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Airline Transfer Partners Guide – Amex, SPG, Chase, Citi (Updated)

Update 12/4/2016: Updated with recently added and missing airlines. Adjusted color scheme to match the programs (e.g. SPG is purple, etc). If you found this resource helpful check out my other mile & point resources. Please let me know if you find other updates that are needed!

Update 06/24/2016: Updated transfer partner tables and correction made to Virgin America (Citi TY) & Cathay Pacific (Citi TY).

Update 05/22/2016: Air France KLM Flying Blue added as new Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.

Update 04/19/2016: Virgin America added as new SPG transfer partner and Etihad added as new Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner.

Update 02/25/2015: Qantas added as new Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner and other corrections made on transfer chart.

One aspect that makes flexible reward points (or bank-points) incredibly valuable is that they can be transferred to various airline and hotel programs.

Simply put, this means you can earn bank-points and transfer at a 1:1 ratio to your favorite airline miles or hotel points.

Rewards Credit Cards
 

The major bank-point programs include Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), American Express Membership Rewards (MR), Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), and more recently Citi ThankYou Rewards. These programs have multiple valuable transfer partners to choose from and having a resource that can be used to quickly look up which points can be transferred to a specific airline seemed useful.

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After starting this project before taking off on my current 3-month trip through Southeast Asia I finally found some time to sit down and wrap it up. I’ve created a graphic chart showing the airlines in which you can transfer points from each of the transferrable bank-point programs.

To say the least it was difficult enough to wrangle all the bank-point transfer options onto one chart (not to mention Citi ThankYou recently added transfer partners), but in the end I think it turned out fairly readable.

The airlines are categorized by alliance to help identify which airline partners you can fly on when redeeming miles through a specific airline program.

Below is also a table including the transfer rate, in which most point programs transfer at a 1 to 1 ratio, but I’ve noted where some programs have a different rate and also included how long you should expect it to take to have to have the miles transferred to your account.

airline-transfer-partner-guide-amex-spg-chase-citi

Link: Bank-Point Airline Transfer Partner Master Chart

 

How to Use the Transfer Partner Chart

The basis of the chart is to easily look up which bank-points can be transferred to specific airline programs. Earning SPG, Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points can be incredibly valuable if you know how to maximize their transfer partners. Since these cards also offer some of the most lucrative sign-up offers on the market, taking advantage of them is key to racking up tons of airline miles.

Use this graphic to look up which airlines you can transfer points to and also which partner airlines you will be able to fly on from a specific airline program. Just follow the color coded lines from the center transfer partner logos to find their airline transfer partners. Most of these programs transfer at a rate of 1 to 1, but in the table below I have indicated where the transfer rate is worse or better than the 1 to 1 ratio.

Choosing a airline with the most competitive award chart along with high quality partner airlines is one of the best ways to maximize airline miles. Some questions to ask yourself before you transfer your points are 1) do you want free stopovers or one-ways, and where? 2) do you want to fly on a specific airline or premium cabin? Choosing the right airline program to transfer points into can help you book the award you want with free stopovers, avoid paying high fuel surcharges, and use a competitive award chart to save miles.

For instance, let’s say you want to fly on Thai Airways and also add a stopover to your trip. You can first look up to find that Thai Airways is in Star Alliance, you’ll also find all of the other airlines that are within Star Alliance. United is a Star Alliance partner and using their miles would be a great option to book an award flying on Thai Airway including a free stopover somewhere in Asia.

Outside of the three main alliances many airlines also have independent partner airlines, in which some of the most valuable non-alliance airline partners will with covered within the current Award Space Series.

Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

Airline ProgramAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer TimeMembership Rewards Earning Credit Cards
AeromexicoSkyTeam1:11-14 daysThe Platinum Card® from American Express
Air CanadaStar Alliance1:1InstantPremier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
AlitaliaSkyTeam1:1InstantAmex EveryDay® Credit Card
ANAStar Alliance1:12-4 daysAmex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
British AirwaysOneWorld1.25:1InstantBlue from American Express®
Cathay Pacific*OneWorld1:13-7 daysThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
DeltaSkyTeam1:1InstantThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
El AlN/A50:1InstantThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
EmiratesN/A1:1InstantBusiness Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Etihad AirwaysN/A1:1Instant
FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)SkyTeam1:1Instant
Hawaiian AirlinesN/A1:1Instant
IberiaOneWorld1.25:11-7 days
JetBlue TrueBlueN/A1.25:1Instant
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:11-3 days
Virgin AmericaN/A2:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticN/A1:11-2 days
*AsiaMiles includes 20 airline programs.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

Airline ProgramAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer Time
British AirwaysOneWorld1:1Instant
FlyingBlue Air France/KLMSkyTeam1:1Instant
Korean Air SKYPASSSkyTeam1:1Instant
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:1Instant
Southwest Airlines Rapid RewardsN/A1:1Instant
United MileagePlusStar Alliance1:1Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubN/A1:1Instant

Citi ThankYou Rewards Transfer Partners

AirlineAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Cathay Pacific*SkyTeam1:124 hours
Etihad AirwaysN/A1:16 days
EVA AirStar Alliance1:12-6 days
FlyingBlue Air France/KLMSkyTeam1:12 days
Garuda IndonesiaSkyTeam1:12 days
JetBlue TrueBlueN/A1.25:12 days
Malaysia AirlinesOneWorld1:12-14 days
Qantas AirwaysOneWorld1:12 days
Qatar AirwaysOneWorld1:12 days
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:12 days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1:14 days
Virgin AmericaN/A2:12 days
Virgin Atlantic AirwaysN/A1:12 days
*AsiaMiles includes 20 airline programs.N/A

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Transfer Partners

AirlineAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer TimeSPG Points Earning Credit Cards
Aegean AirlinesStar Alliance1:110 daysStarwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
AeroMexicoSkyTeam1:11-2 daysStarwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
Air BerlinOneWorld1:17 days
Air CanadaStar Alliance1:12-5 days
Air China CompanionStar Alliance1:1Up to 1 day
Air New ZealandStar Alliance65:12 days
Alaska AirlinesN/A1:12 days
AlitaliaSkyTeam1:1
American AirlinesOneWorld1:11-2 days
ANAStar Alliance1:17 days
Asia Miles* (Cathay Pacific)OneWorld1:12 days
Asiana AirlinesStar Alliance1:110 days
Avianca AirlinesStar Alliance1:11 day
British AirwaysOneWorld1:14-5 days
China Eastern AirlinesSkyTeam1:1
China Southern AirlinesSkyTeam1:13 days
Delta SkyMilesSkyTeam1:11-2 days
Emirates SkywardsN/A1:14-7 days
Etihad AirwaysN/A1:15-7 days
FlyingBlue Air France/KLMSkyTeam1:11 day
Gol SmilesN/A2:1
Hainan AirlinesN/A1:17 days
Hawaiian AirlinesN/A1:12 days
Japan Airlines (JAL)OneWorld1:17-21 days
Jet AirwaysN/A1:1
Korean AirSkyTeam1:17 days
LATAM AirlinesOneWorld1:1.52 days
LufthansaStar Alliance1:13-4 days
Qatar AirwaysOneWorld1:13 weeks
Saudi Arabian AirlinesSkyTeam1:1
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:17 days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1:110 days
United MileagePlusStar Alliance2:12 days
Virgin AtlanticN/A1:1
Virgin AustraliaN/A1:11 day
*AsiaMiles includes 20 airline programs.

If you found this useful, check out some of my other miles & points resources:

Airline Award Chart Comparison

Hotel Award Chart Comparison

Comprehensive List of Stopover and Open-jaw Rules

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  • Tara

    Great tool! Very clear and handy! Love your work!

  • Rand

    IBeKai, I added a line to Cathay Pacific, hopefully this makes it more clear!

  • I don’t believe SPG points transfer to Jet Blue. Otherwise, great job!

  • Naishal

    Just wanted to say I really appreciate you updating the chart with new information!

    • Rand

      Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll make the update!

  • Brandon

    SPG transfers to Korean Air

    • Rand

      Thanks, I’ll make the correction shortly!

  • Tim

    Perhaps you can explain how to go from Amex MR to United? I can’t seem to figure out how to do it.

    • Rand_Shoaf

      Tim, sorry about that error on my part as United is not an Amex MR transfer partner, it’s updated now.

  • Gabriel Flores

    This is great! Thanks for following up to my original comment and creating this very useful chart! These charts/graphs help separate this blog above the rest.

    • Rand_Shoaf

      Gabriel, happy you found it useful and thanks for the share and support!

  • Ramzi

    Awesome tool, good job!

    • Rand_Shoaf

      Thanks Ramzi!

  • Grado

    Great chart. I appreciate all your hard work!

    • Rand_Shoaf

      Grado, thanks and glad you found it useful!

  • jack

    Thanks for the chart, btw CX is part of OW you listed as Non-Alliance member 😉

    • Rand_Shoaf

      jack, thanks for catching that and I’ll update asap! At least I got it right on the graphic, that takes a bit more time to correct 🙂

    • Rand_Shoaf

      jack, thanks for catching that and the heads up, I’ll update it asap! After looking at it again, I have Cathay Pacific as a duplicate under both Oneworld and non-alliance.