Can you send your already-transfered AMEX points back to Membership Rewards? Where there is a will, there is a way.
When you transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to an airline partner, you are met with this stark warning–all transfers are FINAL.
But six years at Award Expert has demonstrated many instances in which points already transferred (and deposited) into an airline program can be culled back to Membership Rewards.
It’s not an easy process. It is also not a guarantee. But here’s some thoughts on how to do it.
How to Transfer Airline Points Back to American Express
There is no magic formula, but for the handful of clients who have been successful, I can make three hints.
1. Claim Personal Error
One time a client accidentally transferred to Aeromexico instead of Aeroplan. It was a careless error, but the points had already departed AMEX and hit Aeromexico before the error was discovered. The client explained the situation to AMEX honestly. While it took a few days, the transaction was reversed and the points were removed from Aeromexico and returned to AMEX.
2. Claim Agent Error
A client called Aeroplan to book a trip and the Aeroplan agent instructed him to transfer over AMEX points. A snafu occurred and the space was lost. By calling AMEX, conferencing in Aeroplan, and explaining the situation, the points were returned to AMEX. This also worked for British Airways.
3. Claim “Fraud”
The Air France-KLM Flying Blue controversy led to many appeals to American Express. There was no wrongdoing: Flying Blue was simply cancelling tickets for client’s who had recently opened up an account, transferred in points, and booked online. While it did not work in every case, there were at least two cases in which American Express simply credited the transferred miles back to AMEX.
Clients who have prevailed have generally been good, long-standing American Express cardholders. We’ve had success transferring points back to AMEX from the following programs
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways Executive Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
I have no similar stories for Chase or CITI.
While the answer is generally no, it never hurts to ask. Exceptions will be made under certain circumstances. My experience suggests airlines and AMEX have much more discretion in sending points back and forth than you are led to believe.