Help us update our crowdsourced list of Amex Membership Rewards points transfer times

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Membership Rewards is the rewards programme for American Express, covering its Green, Gold, Platinum and Centurion charge cards and the new Amex Rewards Credit Card.

Two and a half years ago, I asked for your help in putting together a list of the actual (as opposed to promised) time taken to transfer points from the UK version of American Express Membership Rewards to various airline and hotel programmes.

The list below is where we ended up.

I thought it was time to update it.  If you have done a Membership Rewards transfer recently, or will be doing one in the next few days, please let me know how long it took by posting a comment under this article.

All of these transfer times are for transfers where the relevant airline or hotel account is already linked to your Membership Rewards account.  If they are not linked, you should expect your first transfer to take a little longer.

Two tricks to note

If you have never transferred out of Membership Rewards before, one thing you should note is that transfers to Virgin Atlantic, Delta and Emirates are INSTANT as long as your accounts are already linked.  This is a very handy function because, if you see a reward flight you want, you know that you can transfer over the points with minimal risk of losing the seat.

The other thing to note is that some partners have very low transfer thresholds.  Nectar is just 1 point.  Club Carlson is 3 points.  Hilton is 200 points.  If you are emptying out your Membership Rewards points to Avios then you will have some left over because transfers must be in multiples of 500.  Nectar, Carlson and Hilton are a good way of using up the rest.

Some advice on getting the Membership Rewards site to accept your account number:

  • Starwood – try adding 0000 at the beginning if you have an issue
  • Flying Blue – try adding 00 at the beginning if you have an issue
  • Club Carlson – try dropping the first 6 digits if you have an issue
  • Virgin Flying Club – call Amex if you have an issue as the system has been troublesome for some time

American Express Membership Rewards transfer time

UK Membership Rewards transfer times

References to ‘day’ technically mean ‘night’!  If I say ‘1 day’ it means that if you do the transfer at some point during today it should arrive in your account at some point tomorrow.

Points generally arrive in your account well before the completion email arrives from American Express, so you should not treat the confirmation email as the actual arrival time.  It is normally better.

Airlines (correct as at 2015 with updates I know about, let me know what’s changed):

Alitalia MilleMiglia – 1 day

British Airways Executive Club – 1-2 days

Delta SkyMiles – instantaneous

Emirates Skywards – instantaneous

Etihad Guest – 1-3 days

Flying Blue – 1-2 days

Iberia Plus – 1-2 days

SAS Eurobonus – 1-2 days

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer – 1 day

Virgin Airlines Flying Club – instantaneous


Hilton Honors – 1-2 days

Starwood Preferred Guest – 1 day

Club Carlson – 4 days (one case took 7 days)


Nectar – 1 day

If you don’t have a Membership Rewards-earning card, remember that you earn 20,000 points for signing up for the (free in the first year) Amex Gold hereMy review of Amex Gold is here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: Emirates flight sim bargain in North Greenwich, Miles & More car rental deals, Avis / BA Holidays competition
Avios Redemption University - Lesson 4 - Why you should consider using 'Avios and Money'
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  1. Rebecca says:

    Instant transfer to Virgin. However, had to do it on the phone as the site wouldn’t accept my virgin flying club number.

  2. Kinkell says:

    Amex MR – BAEC 48 hours

  3. Just did a nail biting Amex Gold to Avios (BAEX) 20,000 transfer so that I could book club world flights with only one flight left with seats. Transfer took around 40 hours and I managed to get the seats I wanted. This thread was useful to me during those anxiety ridden 40 hours 🙂

  4. RussellH says:

    I can now report back on my Club Carlson transfer – I made it on the day this was first published, 12 Jan. I had got the points late afternoon yesterday (but not in the morning), so it took 7 days plus some hours.

    Whether they were actually there just before, or just after, I cancelled my Amex Gold Credit card I cannot say.

  5. Hi Rob,

    I transferred 7,000 AMEX reward miles (gold card) to BA account on 18th Jan (~8pm UK time) and points arrive on 20th Jan.

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