You can transfer Amex points to 22 loyalty programs to book travel, from first class to Japan on ANA to hotel stays with Hilton

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  • The Amex Membership Rewards points you can earn with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are some of the most valuable credit card rewards out there.
  • Transferring Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners is one of the ways to get the most value from them.
  • Airline partners like Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic can help you get the best value on first-class award flights. 
  • Not all Amex transfer partners are created equal – make sure to pay attention to the transfer ratios, because they're not all 1:1.
  • See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards »

When it comes to transferable credit card rewards points, you might automatically think of Chase Ultimate Rewards or Capital One miles. But the American Express Membership Rewards program was one of the first points currencies to allow folks with associated credit cards to convert their hard-earned rewards into miles and points with various airline and hotel partners.

In fact, the Amex Membership Rewards program debuted way back in 1991 with just seven US airline partners. Today, Membership Rewards works with 19 frequent-flyer programs and three hotel loyalty programs. Those numbers are impressive in and of themselves – consider, Chase has just 13 partners total, and Citi ThankYou Rewards has 16, but only airlines. 

What sets Amex apart even more, however, is the excellent quality of its partners, and the myriad redemption opportunities they represent.

Here is a comprehensive guide to American Express transfer partners and how to get the most value from your points when taking advantage of them.

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

The best credit cards for earning American Express Membership Rewards

Before you can redeem Amex points, you've actually got to earn them. Only a handful of Amex cards – both business and personal – rack up Membership Rewards points. Other Amex rewards cards earn either cash back, hotel points with programs including Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, or airline miles with programs such as Delta SkyMiles.

Here are the ones to keep in mind:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express American Express® Gold CardAmerican Express American Express® Green CardAmerican Express Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressAmerican Express The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressChase Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardCiti Citi® Double Cash CardChase Chase Sapphire Reserve®

American Express Membership Rewards points are among the most valuable and versatile travel rewards out there. That's thanks not only to the sheer number of airline and hotel loyalty programs cardholders can transfer their point to, but also the variety of excellent redemption opportunities available.

The key to optimizing Membership Rewards points is to pick a credit card that will earn the most of them on the things you tend to purchase most frequently. And then, on the other side of the travel rewards equation, you will want to focus on just a few of the transfer partners with the best redemption opportunities for your needs and goals.

Once you pinpoint the right card and the right partners, you should be able make some strategic transfers and enjoy some excellent award flights and hotel stays.

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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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