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Amex V. Authorized User Transfers

Ratingen, Germany - June 21, 2011: Closeup of green American Express credit card on a number pad. AMEX is one of the biggest credit card companies worldwide. Studio shot.

If you want to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to an airline or hotel program of an authorized user, you may need to wait a little bit of time. Effective Sunday, September 1, 2019, the credit card issuer is adding a new waiting period to prevent stealing points from accounts.

American Express is adding a new rule to their rewards, which will affect how soon Membership Rewards can be transferred to the hotel or airline program of an authorized user. As reported by the blog One Mile At A Time and other news sources, the credit card company is adding a 90-day rule for transfers on authorized user accounts.

Previously, the rule allowed for Membership Rewards members to pool points together, but not transfer Membership Rewards from American Express account to another. Instead, members could transfer Membership Rewards points at different ratios to the airline and hotel loyalty programs in the name of the primary member or any authorized users.

But starting on September 1, 2019, any authorized user who wishes to exchange their Membership Rewards points for airline miles or hotel points must be on the account for at least 90 days before a transfer will be allowed. Previous authorized users who have cards from their primary cardholders may not be affected by this rule, as long as they have hit the 90-day mark.

The move comes as frequent flyers and points collectors are being targeted by cybercriminals. In 2018, a website offering to steal miles from other flyers for a price was among many new crimes discovered online. And even in 2019, FlyerTalkers reported having Hilton Honors points stolen through Amazon.com purchases.

This change by American Express also keeps members honest about their activity in the Membership Rewards program, as the credit and charge card issuer cracks down on reward abuse. In 2017, the company started a “Rewards Abuse Team,” monitoring accounts and closing those who had a questionable purchase or redemption history.

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