Membership Rewards is the rewards programme for American Express, covering its Green, Platinum and Centurion charge cards and the Preferred Rewards Gold and Amex Rewards credit cards. You can also earn Membership Rewards points via the Business Platinum and Business Gold charge cards for SMEs.
Every 18 months or so, I like to ask 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 last time.
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. Radisson Rewards is 3 points. Hilton Honors 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, Radisson and Hilton are a good way of using up the rest.
What are UK Membership Rewards transfer times?
References to ‘day’ in this article 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 2017 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
Marriott Bonvoy – 1 day
Radisson Rewards – 7 days based on a transaction I did in March 2021
Nectar – 1 day
Thanks for your input.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
The following offers will end soon:
- 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)
Here are the top current deals:
British Airways American Express
10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 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.
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
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending: