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How Long Do American Express and Chase Points Take to Transfer?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Transfer Amex and Chase points

If you love to travel, you've probably got a card with transferable points in your wallet. Savvy travelers know that moving rewards into airline and hotel loyalty programs can allow you to squeeze max value out of your rewards and travel the world in style. The downside? You have to wait for those points to transfer before you can book your dream trip.

American Express and Chase are two of the biggest players in the world of transferable points. Both the American Express Membership Rewards program and the Chase Ultimate Rewards program let you earn points you can move to partner programs. You can use those transferred points to book flights, upgrade to first or business class, make reservations at hotels all over the world, and earn status with your favorite airline or hotel.

However, those points don't always transfer instantly, and understanding the points transfer process— and the typical time it takes points to transfer and post to each partner— can help you avoid travel debacles.

This guide will give you an overview of the AmEx and Chase transferable points programs, explain how you can earn transferable points and give you an idea of how long you can expect to wait for point transfers.

What you should know about transfer times for points

To avoid glitches that may mess up your travel plans, keep in mind that transfer times discussed here are only guidelines. When it comes to point transfer times, there are no rules or guarantees. AmEx and Chase points transfer times may vary based on the partner, the time of year and your individual situation. So make sure you allow leeway in your planning to account for individual variations in transfer times.

Membership Rewards online portal
Screenshot taken from AmEx website in August 2019

What is AmEx Membership Rewards?

The AmEx Membership Rewards program is one of the most versatile credit card rewards programs available. With 22 transfer partners, you have plenty of options for using your points in the way that will get you the most value.

The best way to earn points in the program is to apply for an AmEx card that provides a welcome offer, then continue to use your card for routine purchases. It's important to note that not all AmEx cards earn Membership Rewards points. Some AmEx cards give you cash back, while other co-branded AmEx cards allow you to earn points in only one partner program. If you want to be able to transfer your points to Membership Rewards partners, it's important to choose the right AmEx card. We'll offer you several options below, but first let's look at the flexibility offered by Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

AmEx Membership Rewards transfer partners

AmEx has a wide range of airline partners, from major U.S. domestic carriers to international airlines known for providing amazing first-class experiences. Here is a list of AmEx airline partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Qantas Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

AmEx also partners with three major hotel companies that offer a choice of dozens of hotel brands, from midscale chains to luxury resorts:

  • Choice Hotels
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Marriott
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Screenshot taken from Chase website in August 2019

What is Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a credit card rewards program that allows you to transfer your points into 13 partner programs.

The best way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points is by applying for the right Chase credit card, getting a sign-up bonus and continuing to do your daily spending on that card. As with AmEx, not all Chase cards offer transferable points. We'll give you the details on Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points after we take a look at the benefits of being able to transfer Chase points to partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners

Chase offers you the option to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to 10 different airlines. Here is a list of Chase airline transfer partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • AirFrance/KLM
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Like AmEx, Chase also offers the option to transfer to three hotel loyalty programs, encompassing dozens of hotel brands. The Chase hotel partners are:

  • Hyatt
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Marriott

Credit cards that earn AmEx Membership Rewards

American Express offers a variety of business, personal and travel cards that earn Membership Rewards. Here are some of our favorite AmEx cards that earn Membership Rewards:

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$550
Regular APR
N/A
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
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American Express® Gold Card

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Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$250
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
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American Express® Business Gold Card

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Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month**
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • Access to the Working Capital Terms program: get additional funding beyond what you can spend on Business Gold with this flexible funding solution designed to pay U.S. based vendor invoices directly when cards are not accepted.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month**
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • Access to the Working Capital Terms program: get additional funding beyond what you can spend on Business Gold with this flexible funding solution designed to pay U.S. based vendor invoices directly when cards are not accepted.*
  • *Terms Apply
Annual Fee
$295
Regular APR
15.74% - 23.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

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Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Terms Apply
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Terms Apply
Annual Fee
$595
Regular APR
N/A
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
Boeing First Class Suite
Transfer AmEx or Chase points to Emirates Airlines to experience the new Boeing 777 first-class suite. Image courtesy of Emirates Airlines.

Credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase offers only three cards with fully transferable rewards points: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Annual Fee
$450
Regular APR
18.74% - 25.74% Variable
Credit Needed
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Excellent
Editor's Rating
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  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.74% - 22.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Savvy traveler tip: If you have one of the Chase cards that earns fully transferable points plus the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can turn your cash back from these two cards into Ultimate Rewards points by transferring it to your other account.


How to Transfer Points with Amex
Screenshot take from AmEx website in August 2019

How long does it take credit card points to transfer to partners?

Transfer times vary based on the program and the partner. While some AmEx and Chase points transfer to partners instantly, others can take as long as 14 business days. This means if you make your transfer on a Friday evening, you could end up waiting almost 20 days for your points to show up in the partner program.

Fortunately, most partner transfers take place within 48 hours. If you're not taking transfer time into account, you may find that a flight sells out or a hotel books up before your transfer is complete. With no way to transfer the points back out of the program, that can lead to a frustrating mess. Understanding the usual transfer times can help save you from a travel nightmare.

Why do point transfer times vary so much?

It takes different times for points to transfer because they are going into different programs with different processes and verification systems. Keep in mind that once the points are transferred, the terms for the program change to those of the transfer partner. Some partner rewards programs have blackout dates that may affect your ability to book flights or rooms. It's a good idea to check transfer times — as well as terms — before you move your points.

How long does it take AmEx Membership Rewards points to transfer?

The transfer time for AmEx points varies widely depending on the partner. Points transfer instantly to some partners but may take as long as a week or two for others. Here's a FAQ on AmEx transfer times for some of the most popular transfer partners:

  • How long does it take AmEx points to transfer to Asia Miles? AmEx points usually transfer within 72 hours to Asia Miles, the frequent flyer program of AmEx partner Cathay Pacific. However, in some cases, points can take as long as five business days to transfer.
  • How long does it take AmEx points to transfer to Delta? AmEx points usually transfer into the Delta SkyMiles program within 30 minutes but can take up to 48 hours.
  • How long does it take AmEx points to transfer to Flying Blue? AmEx points usually transfer instantly into Flying Blue, the frequent-flyer program of AmEx partner Air France/KLM. However, it can sometimes take as long as 48 hours for AmEx points to transfer to Air France/KLM.
  • How long does it take AmEx points to transfer to Qantas? AmEx points typically transfer instantly into Qantas Frequent Flyer, but it can take up to 48 hours to post in the program.

Want the full scoop on AmEx transfer times for all partners? Here's a chart showing how long you can expect to wait for your Membership Rewards points to transfer to each partner. These times are estimates from American Express, and your transfer could take a shorter, or longer, period of time.


AmEx Membership Rewards transfer partner program
Transfer time
Aer Lingus AerClubUsually instant but can take up to 48 hours
AeroMexico Club PremierUp to 14 business days
Air Canada AeroplanUsually 30 minutes or less but can take up to 48 hours
Air France/KLM Flying BlueUsually instant but can take up to 48 hours
Alitalia MilleMigliaUsually instant but can take up to 5 business days
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club2 to 4 business days
Avianca LifeMilesUp to 72 hours
British Airways Executive ClubUsually instant but can take up to 5 business days
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesUsually within 72 hours but can take up to 5 business days
Delta SkyMilesUsually within 30 minutes but can take up to 48 hours
El Al MatmidUp to 48 hours
Emirates SkywardsUp to 48 hours
Etihad GuestUsually within 48 hours but can take as long as 3 business days
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesUp to 48 hours
Iberia Plus4 to 7 days
JetBlue TrueBlueUp to 48 hours
Qantas Frequent FlyerUsually instant but can take up to 48 hours
Singapore KrisFlyerUsually 3 business days, but can take as long as 15 business days
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubUp to 48 hours
Choice PrivilegesUsually instant but can take up to 48 hours
Hilton HonorsUsually within 24 hours but can take up to 5 business days
Marriott BonvoyUsually within 48 hours but can take up to 5 business days

How long does it take Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer?

Most Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly, but a few partners take a day or more to post points transfers.

Here is a FAQ on Chase points transfer times for some of Chase Ultimate Rewards' most popular transfer partners:

  • How long does it take Chase points to transfer to JetBlue? Chase points typically transfer instantly into TrueBlue, the JetBlue Airways frequent-flyer program.
  • How long does it take Chase points to transfer to Southwest? Chase points typically transfer instantly into Southwest Rapids Rewards, the frequent-flyer program for Southwest Airlines.
  • How long does it take Chase points to transfer to United? Chase points typically transfer instantly into MileagePlus, the frequent flyer program for United Airlines.
  • How long does it take Chase points to transfer to Hyatt? Chase points typically transfer instantly into the World of Hyatt hotel loyalty rewards program.
  • How long does it take Chase points to transfer to Marriott? Chase points usually transfer instantly to the Marriott Bonvoy program but may take up to one business day.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner programTransfer time
Aer Lingus AerClubInstantly
Air France/KLM Flying BlueInstantly
British Airways Executive ClubInstantly
Emirates SkywardsInstantly
Iberia PlusInstantly
JetBlue TrueBlueInstantly
Singapore KrisFlyer2 business days
Southwest Rapid RewardsInstantly
United MileagePlusInstantly
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubInstantly
IHG Rewards ClubInstantly
World of HyattInstantly
Marriott Bonvoy1 business day

Can you get around waiting for AmEx and Chase points to transfer?

Sometimes you just don't have time to wait and you need to book a flight or room now. That can be frustrating when you read the fine print and see that your points should transfer instantly but could take up to 48 hours — or even longer. What do you do then?

Fortunately, there are a few programs that will give you an advance on your points so you don't have to make a transfer, then cross your fingers and wait.

One such program is Delta's Fly Now, Earn Later program. As an AmEx cardholder, you may have the option to book flights with miles you are eligible to receive in the future. If you've got an AmEx-Delta co-branded card, such as the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you can use this program to fly and then earn the miles after your trip by using your card.

Once you enroll, points earned or awarded will be credited toward your Fly Now, Earn Later balance. Any points remaining in your Fly Now, Earn Later balance at the end of the billing period will be billed to you at a cost of 2.5 cents per mile.

The Marriott Points Advance program also lets you book before you have enough points in your account to cover the cost. You'll need to have earned enough points to cover the stay at least 14 days prior to check-in. Otherwise, your reservation could be canceled. Marriott is planning a big overhaul to this program beginning in September 2019 that will not allow you to lock in rates on reservations booked with Points Advance. That means if the rate goes up before your stay, you will likely be required to fork over extra points to cover the new total.


Savvy traveler tip: Be sure you know the ratio your AmEx or Chase points will transfer to travel partners. While most points in both programs transfer at a 1:1 ratio, there are exceptions with some partners. Checking ahead of time will prevent a scenario where you transfer your rewards and then get stranded because you lack enough points to book.


Tips for transferring AmEx and Chase points to partners

  1. Get linked up now. In order to transfer points, you have to be a member of your desired partner loyalty program and, in the case of AmEx, have your credit card and partner loyalty accounts linked. Signing up for partner programs and linking your accounts now can eliminate an extra step when it comes time to make a transfer.
  2. Book like the pros. Use a tool like ExpertFlyer to make it easier to search for award space on flights, find available upgrades and choose the best seats on your flights. ExpertFlyer works with more than 90 airlines and can help you find all of your available travel options, so you can easily work around points transfer delays.
  3. Make flexible travel plans. If you're a type A traveler who loves to lock down plans to the exact date and time, taking a more relaxed approach may help you avoid transfer snafus. Plan your vacation with flexible dates to increase the chances that you can find available seats or rooms even if your points transfer gets delayed.
  4. Travel uncommon routes. Choosing less-sought-after flights and traveling during less popular times of year will increase your chances of finding and booking a seat with your points. It also will reduce the likelihood that you'll lose your desired seats before your points have time to post.
  5. Have a plan B. Plan an alternate route or a different vacation using the airline to which you plan to transfer points. That way if your seat is sold before your points transfer, you won't be forced to swap your island vacation for a sad staycation.

Final thoughts on AmEx and Chase points transfer times

Frequent flyers prize transferable points for their flexibility, but transferring points into partner programs can also make booking award travel more complicated. You may expect an instant transfer and then get thrown for a loop when your points take longer to post.

AmEx and Chase offer two of the best, most flexible transferable points programs available, but cardholders must brush up on transfer times for different partners to avoid getting grounded by a points transfer delay.

As long as you take AmEx and Chase points transfer times into account when planning your trip, you can be packing your bags and lifting off into the clouds, or laying your head on that fluffy hotel pillow, in no time.

Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).