The question of whether you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to a friend took another twist this week. January card statements contain the following text:
Effective 20 March 2014, we will be removing the ability to gift or transfer Membership Rewards points to a Membership Rewards account held by someone else. No other changes are being made to the Membership Rewards programme. You do not need to take any action, as this change will take place automatically.
Here is the story so far:
For many years, you could transfer your Membership Rewards points to another person by paying a £15 fee. There was even a page on the Amex website promoting this.
In June 2013, Amex suddenly stopped allowing people to do this. The relevant page on the Amex website disappeared.
In October 2013, I revealed a little ‘twist’. In the terms and conditions of your Amex card, it says specifically that you CAN transfer your Membership Rewards points to someone else if you are closing your account. As it is in the terms and conditions of the card, they are not allowed to remove this feature without giving formal notification.
Some Head for Points readers tried to get Amex to do a transfer. Amex tried to wriggle out of it, claiming that the terms and conditions on the Amex website were ‘out of date’ (despite being dated 2013). One person had to make a formal written complain to Amex before they allowed a transfer.
Amex has now given the required notice period, and will be removing this option as of March 20th.
It is not clear if they will – for this final few weeks – allow anyone to transfer points to another person, or if they will restrict it to people who are closing their accounts.
Hopefully the Amex call centre will now be more amenable, and will no longer give callers the third degree for trying to do this!
If you currently hold a Gold or Platinum card, you may want to have a think about your strategy in light of this development.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our May 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
If you have your own business, don’t miss our EXCLUSIVE offer on the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card, worth 29,900 Avios. See below.
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.
Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.