Terms

Transferable Points Programs

Transferable Points Programs

Transferable Points Programs

Ariel Courage is an experienced editor, researcher, and former fact-checker. She has performed editing and fact-checking work for The Motley Fool and Passport to Wall Street.

What are Transferable Points Programs

Transferable points programs allow customers to earn credit card points when using certain cards, and those points can be transferred to participating programs. Instead of points with one airline or hotel, you can transfer points to different ones.

BREAKING DOWN Transferable Points Programs

Transferable points programs offer options for customers where one program may have four different airlines included. In that case, you could transfer your credit card rewards to any of those four airlines’ loyalty programs. Let’s assume you’ve been a lifelong United Airlines flyer and want to take a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, using your United miles might not be the cheapest option. Luckily, you have points with a transferable points program that includes both United Airlines and British Airways. Because flying to Europe with British Airways’ partner, American Airlines, is cheaper than United, you’ve saved miles for a future trip.

Flexible Transferable Points Program

Know how much flexibility a certain program provides and how much you need. For example, American Express may allow you to transfer points to 17 airlines, while Chase may only offer six options. Keep in mind, you will most likely end up paying for more flexibility. You may receive smaller rewards for your purchases from more flexible programs or pay a higher annual fee than if you choose a less flexible one.

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Transferable points can be beneficial when a points partner changes its program in a way that reduces the value of the points you have earned. Airlines and hotels can change their rewards programs whenever they choose, which can be detrimental to points holders. Another benefit of transferable points is the ability to take advantage of transfer bonuses. Credit card companies often offer discounts on transferring points to certain partners. For example, a credit card company may offer a 25% discount to rewards members transferring points to a specific airline during a certain month.

Other Credit Card Factors

While transferable points are a great benefit, it’s not the only factor to consider when selecting a credit card. If you fly on the same airline most of the time, you may get better rewards through a card that is co-branded with that airline. Or if you don’t travel often, a card that offers cash back may be a better choice for you.

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