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Can I transfer miles between loyalty programs?

Transfers from credit card rewards programs offer excellent value.


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Our pick for 1:1 transfers: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Signup bonus after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

  • Signup bonus worth $750 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer to partner hotels and airlines
  • Low annual fee for a travel card
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If you’re stuck with rewards in a loyalty program you rarely use, you might be wondering if you can transfer them elsewhere. This usually isn’t possible between frequent-flyer programs, and it can be a poor choice for hotel rewards. But you can get excellent value when transferring rewards from credit cards.

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

You can use your airline miles to book flights on other airlines, as long as the carriers are within the same alliance. The largest alliances are SkyTeam, Oneworld and Star Alliance.

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

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
American Express® Gold Card
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
See rates & fees
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Rates & fees
Citi Premier® Card
3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else
15.99% to 23.99% variable
Earn 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.

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Bottom line

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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