American Express is reducing the transfer rate from its own Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles and Emirates Skywards Miles, while adding Qatar Airways and Hawaiian Airlines as new airline partners.
The shakeup is likely to shift loyalties in the credit card space, with upsides or downsides depending on which airline AMEX card holders prefer to fly, so here’s what you need to know:
From October 4, transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Emirates Skywards programs will drop from the current rate of 2:1 to 3:1.
In other words, you’ll need to convert 3 Membership Rewards points to get 1 KrisFlyer Mile or 1 Skywards Mile, rather than today’s lower rate of 2 Membership Rewards points per 1 KrisFlyer or Skywards Mile – an effective 33% devaluation.
Those revised rates apply across the American Express card portfolio for Australian and New Zealand card holders.
But there are also two new airline partners on the AMEX runway.
From August 2023 you’ll be able to convert American Express Membership Rewards points into the Avios currency of Qatar Airways – and with Avios also used by the likes or British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, this will be a positive boost for many.
The Membership Rewards-Avios conversion rates will be
- 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Avios for Australian card holders
- 3 Membership Rewards points = 1 Avios for New Zealand card holders
Hawaiian Airlines will follow in October 2023, at a flat exchange rate for Australian and New Zealand card holders of 2 Membership Rewards points for 1 Hawaiian Miles.