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Can I transfer miles between loyalty programs?
Transfers from credit card rewards programs offer excellent value.
What's in this guide?
Can I transfer miles between frequent-flyer programs?
You typically can’t transfer miles between frequent-flyer programs — even if the airlines are in the same alliance or are partners.
But there are exceptions. For example, you can transfer Avios between your British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus accounts, as these airlines are owned by the same company.
There are third-party sites that facilitate mile transfers. Generally avoid them, however, as they typically offer dismal transfer ratios. Only consider using them in special circumstances, such as if you need just a few more miles to book an award flight.
Redeem miles for flights on other airlines
Even if two airlines aren’t in the same alliance, you can use your miles to book flights on either one if the carriers are partners. Alaska Airlines is an oft-cited example: It doesn’t belong to an alliance, but it’s partnered with major carriers such as American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. You can use your Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book flights with these airlines.
Can I transfer points from a hotel loyalty program to frequent-flyer programs?
Yes — most of the largest hotel chains allow point transfers to frequent-flyer programs. That said, consider avoiding this because it usually comes with a poor transfer ratio. You’ll likely get more value by redeeming your points for hotel stays.
Here are the typical transfer ratios for a few major chains:
|Hotel program||Typical transfer ratio||Typical minimum transfer|
|Marriott Bonvoy||3 to 1||3,000 points|
|World of Hyatt||2.5 to 1||5,000 points|
|Hilton Honors||10 to 1||10,000 points|
|Best Western Rewards||5 to 1||5,000 points|
|Choice Privileges||5 to 1||5,000 points|
|IHG Rewards Club||5 to 1||10,000 points|
|Wyndham Rewards||5 to 1||6,000 points|
Can I transfer rewards from a credit card program to other programs?
A few major credit card rewards programs allow transfers to hotel and frequent-flyer programs. This is one of the best strategies to use, as you’ll often enjoy strong transfer ratios and a wide selection of airlines.
Here are the top credit card rewards programs that allow rewards transfers to frequent-flyer programs. At the time of this writing, only Chase and Amex offer transfers to hotel programs. Click on the program names to learn more about transfers.
|Reward program||Typical transfer ratio||Typical minimum transfer|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||1 to 1||1,000 points|
|Amex Membership Rewards||1 to 1||1,000 points|
|Capital One Rewards||2 to 1.5||1,000|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards||1 to 1||1,000|
Compare credit cards with transferable points
You usually can’t transfer miles between airlines, and hotel transfers can bring weak transfer ratios. However, transferring rewards from certain travel credit cards to hotel and frequent-flyer programs can be an excellent idea.
If you don’t yet have a travel credit card, consider comparing your travel credit card options to find one that suits your needs.
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