Can You Transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points Between Family Members?

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey.

Pooling points amongst two or more people is a great way to get closer to an award redemption, but unfortunately not all credit card and loyalty programs allow it. So TPG reader Cal wants to know if she’ll have any luck with American Express…

I’m an authorized user on my husband’s Amex Premier Rewards Gold. We want to transfer some of his points to me, preferably to my personal Amex Platinum (he is not an authorized user on my cards) or failing that to a frequent flier account in my name. Can he do this?

TPG Reader Cal

 

Not all credit card programs are created equal, so while Chase allows family members living at the same address to transfer Ultimate Rewards points between accounts, and Citi allows transfers to nearly anyone who has ThankYou points, American Express is much more restrictive. The issuer doesn’t allow for the transferring of Membership Rewards points to other accounts, even for family members living under the same roof.

However, if Cal’s ultimate goal is to get her husband’s points into one of her travel loyalty accounts, then she’s in luck. There’s a workaround to this restriction.

American Express allows authorized users to be added to all of its Membership Rewards earning cards. You can add practically anyone as an authorized user onto your account — they don’t have to be a family or friend. Just make sure it’s someone you trust as they’ll be able to spend on the card!

In this case, Cal could be added as authorized user on her husband’s Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and then he could transfer his Membership Rewards points into her loyalty account at one of Amex’s 19 transfer partners.

This could work the opposite way too — Cal could add her husband as an authorized user on her Platinum Card® from American Express and then transfer her Membership Rewards points into his frequent flyer or hotel loyalty account.

And don’t worry — being an authorized user won’t disqualify you from receiving a welcome bonus on an Amex card (though it will potentially affect your 5/24 count for Chase cards, so keep that in mind).

Note that it costs $175 (total) to add the first three authorized users to an Amex Platinum account, then $175 for every additional cardholder (See Rates & Fees). Amex Platinum authorized users receive all the of the card’s benefits like lounge access and hotel elite status. However, you can also add up to 99 Gold Card authorized users (on a Platinum account) for no fee, which in this case would be perfect.

On the Premier Rewards Gold card, the first five authorized users are free to add, costing $35 for each person after that. So Cal and her husband should be able to move points in either direction just by adding each other as free authorized users.

Thanks for the question, Cal, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
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  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
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  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.