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 couple of years, we 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, together with updates based on our own transactions since.
EDIT: The list below was updated in May 2022 and reflects the comments under this article. This is now the most up-to-date list we have.
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, Marriott Bonovy and Emirates should be 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.
British Airways Executive Club – we say 1 day, Amex says 3 days
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles – we say 3 days, Amex says 3 days
Delta SkyMiles – we say instantaneous, Amex says 30 minutes
Emirates Skywards – we say instantaneous, Amex says 2 days
Etihad Guest – we say 2-3 days, Amex says 5 days
Finnair Plus – no recent experience, Amex says 3 days
Flying Blue – we say 1-2 days, Amex says 4 days
Iberia Plus – we say 1-2 days, Amex says 4 days
Qantas Frequent Flyer – we say instantaneous, Amex says 3 days
SAS EuroBonus – we say 1-2 days, Amex says 5 days
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer – we say 1 day, Amex says 15 days!
Virgin Flying Club – we say instantaneous, Amex says 30 minutes
Hilton Honors – we say 1-2 days, Amex says 5 days
Marriott Bonvoy – we say instantaneous, Amex says 1 day
Radisson Rewards – 7 days based on a transaction I did in March 2021, 2-3 days based on recent reader reports, Amex says 10 days
Club Eurostar – we say 1-2 days, Amex says 5 days
Nectar – we say 1 day, Amex says 4 days
Thanks in advance for your input.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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
60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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.