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Huge: Amex Adds Qatar Airways & Hawaiian as Transfer Partners & Devalues KrisFlyer & Skywards

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Immanuel Debeer | 04/07/2023

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We have both good and bad news from American Express today! Let’s start with the good news: from August 2023, American Express members with cards that earn Membership Rewards will be able to convert their points to Qatar Airways Avios.

The conversion will be at a rate of 2 Membership Rewards to 1 Avios, which is excellent! We rate Avios as one of the best value redemptions for trips from Australia to Europe and beyond, so having access to it will be a fantastic bonus for Amex members in Australia.

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Award ticket prices from Australia to Europe start at just 90,000 Avios one way in business class, and 135,000 if you choose to mix in some first-class action for the Australia to Doha segment, with taxes of around AU$339 one way.

Keep in mind that there’s also a further 5% discount on such tickets if you happen to be a Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum member (a few of you would be, thanks to the status match a few years ago!)

Another new partner is Hawaiian Airlines, which will also benefit from transfer rates of 2:1 (2 Membership Rewards for 1 HawaiianMile). A one-way flight from Sydney to Honolulu would cost just 40,000 miles + US$78 in taxes for economy and business for 65,000 miles + $78 in taxes.

The Bad News: Devaluation for Singapore KrisFlyer and Emirates Skywards Transfers

Now for the not-so-great news, from October 2023, we will see a significant hit to transfers from Amex Membership Rewards to Singapore KrisFlyer and Emirates Skywards. While currently, members can redeem at a 2:1 ratio, going forward, this will be 3:1. Those looking to redeem Singapore Airlines should probably hold out for Velocity transfer bonuses which would make it a better option than converting direct!

In Conclusion

It’s great to see that Amex has finally added some fresh new partners to the Amex Membership Rewards program in Australia. Having access to one of the best airlines, such as Qatar, via their own Avios program is a big win and counterbalances the devaluation of Emirates and KrisFlyer.

Emirates Skywards charges enormous surcharges on award tickets, so in my opinion, it’s not a huge loss. However, KrisFlyer has always been the #1 points transfer for Amex Membership Rewards users in Australia, so it’s disappointing to see such a significant devaluation. No doubt, we’ll see a lot of people shift their focus to Qatar Airways and Avios as a preferred partner!

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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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  1. HI, thanks for the update.

    You said it takes effect in October, does that mean travel must be taken before October or do you have to transfer your points to eg: Emirates before the 2-1 point takes effect?

    • Hi Gina, nothing changes on Emirates/KrisFlyer side so you will just need to make sure you transfer before the deadline if you wan to take advantage of the current transfer rates.

  2. Hi

    Very disappointed with Amex because of this. Is there any other card or any other way to earn higher krisflyer miles?
    I think Amex should try to get Aeroplan on board with 2:1 conversion and people might not have been that upset.

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