Reader question: Which credit cards can transfer points to airlines and hotels?
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This post has been updated with up to date information on which points can be transferred. It was originally published on June 28, 2017.
If you would like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com. One of the things that makes flexible bank currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards so valuable is the ability to transfer points to each program’s airline and hotel partners. But TPG reader Arthur wants to know if every credit card in a specific program offers that feature…
I know there used to be some cards that allowed Membership Rewards points to be transferred and some cards did not. Is that still the case?TPG Reader Arthur
Good question, Arthur. While nowadays most American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards do allow you to transfer points, there are a few exceptions, especially when it comes to older cards. And Amex isn’t the only bank with one set of credit cards that have the transfer feature and another set that doesn’t. Capital One, Chase and Citibank do the same thing, and usually you’ll find that you have to pay an annual fee in order to be able to transfer your points, though not always. Let’s take a look at which card’s enable you to transfer points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
With Chase, you’ll need to have either a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or an Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card in order to be able to transfer your points to any of Ultimate Rewards’ transfer partners. You’ll note those are all cards with annual fees, though the cheapest ones are only $95 per year, which isn’t too bad. Fortunately, if you do have one of these cards but also earn Ultimate Rewards points from other Chase credit cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, points from all your cards will pool together and be transferable as well.
Citi ThankYou points
The same is true at Citibank. You’ll need either the Citi® Prestige Card or the Citi Premier℠ Card in your wallet in order to make your ThankYou points transferable to Citibank’s travel partners. Again, the Premier only costs $95 annually, so it’s not a huge price to pay when you realize how much value it can add to the cashback/points you can earn with the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi Rewards+℠ Card. The information for the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, Amex EveryDay card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Amex Membership Rewards
But what about American Express? Actually, when it comes to cards that can transfer points, Amex is most generous of the three banks, because it offers at least two different travel credit cards with no annual fee that come with the transfer ability. On the personal side, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has the transfer feature and charges no annual fee, while for businesses, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express will let you transfer points without paying an annual cost for the card. Since you can easily pool all your Membership Rewards points together, that means you don’t even need to pay an annual fee to make all your Amex points transferable to the program’s airline and hotel partners.
Just be aware that some other older no-annual-fee Amex cards such as the Optima Card don’t offer the transfer feature, so make sure you pick the right no annual fee card if you want to move your points.
You can transfer points from certain Capital One credit cards to airline partners. Capital One rewards credit cards that earn cash back won’t have the ability to transfer. Instead you’ll need a card that earns miles, like the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. There are also no-annual-fee versions of these cards ( the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card), so you’ve got options.
Featured photo by The Points Guy
Additional reporting by Jason Stauffer
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