Guide to transferring your frequent flyer points

Information verified correct on May 30th, 2016

Experience even more rewards and benefits by transferring your rewards points to frequent flyer programs. Learn which credit card rewards programs will extend your frequent flyer benefits and reach across the globe. 

There are a number of Australian credit card rewards programs that give cardholders the ability to earn reward points in accordance with how much they spend and transfer them to a frequent flyer program. Credit cards providers are well aware of the popularity of rewards programs, so you can expect to find a rewards credit card through just about every prominent credit card provider.

Some credit card providers give cardholders the ability to redeem their reward points by transferring them to their frequent flyer program accounts, and just how this works depends on your credit card provider as well as the frequent flyer program you’re with. Some credit card providers allow you to transfer rewards points to a number of frequent flyer programs when you transfer a set amount of rewards points.

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What information do I need to know before I start transferring my points?

If you’re considering transferring your credit card’s reward points to your frequent flyer account, know that while the process might not quite be a walk in the park, it’s not very complicated, and going through the following should hold you in good stead:

  • Transfer in blocks. Most credit card providers require you to transfer your reward points in blocks, and can also come with minimum transfer requirements. For example, your provider might require that you transfer at least 3,000 points to start with, with further increments of 1,500 points. So, if you’ve accumulated 5,000 points, you would be able to transfer 4,500 points. A balance of 500 points would remain, and you would have to wait until you have 2,500 more points before the next transfer.
  • The timing. Hoping to transfer your reward points to your frequent flyer account just before you plan to travel is not a good idea because it is very unlikely that the transfer would happen in real time. Depending on the card provider and the frequent flyer program, the process could take anywhere between one and 10 days.
  • Earn rate. This refers to the number of reward points a cardholder earns per dollar spent. Certain cards offer good earn rates along with competitive transfer rates, and you can use such cards to transfer your reward points to good effect. Some cards, for example, enable you to earn up to three reward points for eligible transactions, and then allow you to transfer them to your frequent flyer account point for point.

With these tips it's time to compare the different transfer rates you'll enjoy if you transfer your rewards points over to your frequent flyer program.

AMEX logoAmerican Express Membership Ascent Rewards program

If your American Express card does not come linked to the Velocity or Qantas frequent flyer programs, there’s a good chance it earns membership reward points through the Ascent Rewards Program. While you can redeem these reward points for an array of rewards, you can also transfer them to American Express’ frequent traveller partners:

  • Air New Zealand. 100 American Express reward points convert to 1 Airpoints dollar and you have to transfer a minimum of 2,000 points.
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Asia Mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 5,000 points.
  • Etihad Guest. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 1,000 points.
  • Malaysia Airlines. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Enrich mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 500 points.
  • Singapore Airlines. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 KrisFlyer mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 5,000 points.
  • Thai Airways International. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Royal Orchid Plus mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 5,000 points.
  • Emirates Skywards. 4 American Express reward points convert to 3 Skywards miles and you have to transfer a minimum of 2,000 points.
  • Velocity. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Velocity point and you have to transfer a minimum of 2,000 points.
  • Virgin Atlantic. 1 American Express reward point converts to 1 Flying Club mile and you have to transfer a minimum of 2,000 points.
  • Qantas. 1 MR point can be swapped for 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point. This has a minimum transfer of 2,000 points, and is only possible with the Platinum Charge Card. You can still earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points with American Express, although this is only possible through specific Qantas cards such as the Qantas American Express Discovery Card.
Compare American Express cards here

Diners Club LogoDiner's Club

The Diners Club Rewards program gives you the ability to transfer your reward points to a number of frequent flyer programs, which include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, EL AL Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Korean Air, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, South African Airways, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Airlines, and Qantas:

  • British Airways Executive Club. Transfer as few as 1,000 points and get 1 mile for every point.
  • Thai Airways - Thai Royal Orchid Plus. Transfer as few as 1,000 points and get 1 mile for every point.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Transfer as few as 1,000 points and get 1 mile for every point.
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. Transfer as few as 1,500 points, and get 1,200 miles for the first 1,500 points.
Compare Diners Club charge cards

HSBC logoHSBC Rewards Plus

If you're a member of the HSBC Rewards Plus program you can consider transferring your reward points to your Asia Miles or KrisFlyer account:

  • Asia Miles. You can transfer a minimum of 5,000 points, for which you’ll get 2,500 miles.
  • KrisFlyer. You can transfer a minimum of 5,000 points, for which you’ll get 2,500 miles.

Compare HSBC Credit cards here

Suncorp LogoSuncorp Rewards

Suncorp Rewards has a partnership with Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program, Virgin's Velocity program and the Emirates Skywards program. The Suncorp Rewards Program gives you the benefit of transferring a minimum of 10,000 Suncorp rewards points to get 5,000 KrisFlyer or Velocity points.
A minimum of 20,000 Suncorp Rewards points is required to transfer to the Emirates Skywards program. The transfer rate is 3:1, giving you 6667 Skywards miles per 20,000 Suncorp Rewards points (increments of 20,000 are required).

Compare Suncorp Credit cards here

Citibank LogoCiti Rewards

The Citi Rewards Program allows you to transfer your reward points to a frequent flyer program account, and details of your options are as follows:

  • KrisFlyer. You get 1 KrisFlyer mile for every 1.5 reward points, and you can transfer points in multiple of 15,000.
  • Asia Miles. You get 1 Asia Mile for every 2 reward points, and you can transfer points in multiple of 5,000.
  • Velocity. You get 1 Asia Mile for every 1.5 reward points, and you can transfer points in multiple of 15,000.

Compare Citi Credit cards here

bankwest logoBankwest

Bankwest doesn't allow the transfer of points to Frequent Flyer programs. If you want to earn frequent flyer points with a Bankwest card don't fear - they still offer a Bankwest Qantas MasterCard which earns Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Compare Bankwest Credit cards here

CBA LogoCommonwealth Bank Awards Program

The Commonwealth Bank Awards Rewards Program lets you look forward to transferring your accumulated reward points to your Qantas or Velocity frequent flyer program account:

  • Qantas. 2 reward points convert to 1 Qantas frequent flyer point. You also have the option of switching to Qantas points, in which case you’ll earn Qantas points directly, but in this case you’ll have to pay an ongoing annual fee.
  • Velocity. 2 reward points convert to 1 Velocity frequent flyer point, and you have to transfer a minimum of 3,600 points.

Compare Commonwealth Credit cards here:

westpac logoWestpac Altitude Rewards

Westpac's Altitude program gives you the ability to transfer your credit card’s reward points to your frequent flyer program account, and your options include the following:

  • Velocity. 2 reward points convert to 1 Velocity point. You have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points, and follow it up with increments of 500 points.
  • Airpoints Dollars. In this case, 160 reward points convert to one Airpoints Dollar. You should convert a minimum of 1,920 reward points, followed by increments of 480 points.
  • Krisflyer. 2 reward points convert to 1 KrisFlyer point and you have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points.
  • Asia Miles. 2 reward points convert to 1 Asia Mile. You have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points, and follow it up with increments of 500 points.
  • Enrich Miles. 2 reward points convert to 1 Enrich Mile. You have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points, and follow it up with increments of 500 points.

Compare Westpac Credit cards here:

st george logoSt. George Amplify

With the dragon's Amplify card from St.George you can choose to earn Qantas points or transfer your Amplify points to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich program, or Virgin Australia’s Velocity program. You have to transfer at least 3,000 points at a time, followed by increments of 500 points.

Compare St.George Credit cards here:

ANZ LogoANZ Rewards

ANZ's Rewards Card and Rewards Platinum Card operate in much the same way as the offerings from the other big four's rewards cards.

The ANZ Velocity Rewards Program also gives its rewards credit card holders the ability to transfer their reward points to their frequent flyer accounts, and your options are as follows:

  • Airpoints Dollars. Convert 3,000 reward points for 15 Airpoints Dollars. Start with a minimum of 3,000 points, and move forward with multiples of 1,500.
  • Velocity. Convert 2,250 reward points for 1,000 Velocity points, and transfer in blocks of 2,250 points.
  • KrisFlyer. Convert 6,000 reward points for 3,000 KrisFlyer points, starting with a minimum of 6,000 points, and then move forward in multiples of 3,000.
  • Asia Miles. Convert 3,000 reward points for 1,000 Asia Miles. Start with a minimum of 3,000 points, and move forward with multiples of 1,500.

Compare ANZ Credit Cards here:

The points-transfer preference

One of the most important aspects to look at when thinking about transferring rewards points from a credit card to a frequent t flyer program account is the points transfer system. Bear in mind that certain card providers require you to transfer a minimum amount of points, and if this cap is high, you might have to wait for a considerable period before you can initiate such a transfer.

Take into account that not all card providers offer the same transfer rate, so while one card provider might offer one frequent flyer point for every reward point, some others might make the transfer at the rate of two reward points for every frequent flyer mile.

What to be wary of when transferring credit card rewards points to frequent flyer points.

Transferring your credit card rewards points to a frequent flyer program gives you the means to use your reward points to book flight tickets and get upgrades, but you should consider the following at the onset.

  • Earn rate. This is the rate at which you earn reward points, which you eventually hope to convert to frequent flyer points. Better a credit card’s points earn rate, more the frequent flyer points you can look forward to, and the opposite holds true as well.
  • Compatibility. You might have a sizeable number of reward points accumulated in your credit card rewards program but they might not serve the purpose if you can’t transfer them to your desired frequent flyer program.
  • Value for money. When you get a rewards credit card, pay due attention to its annual fee and the interest it attracts, and establish if paying extra is worth getting the resultant rewards.

You can transfer credit card reward points to a frequent flyer program account as long as your credit card provider allows it, and since this feature can vary from one card to the next, it is ideal that you choose a suitable credit card to begin with. The perfect way to do this is to create a short-list and carry out a thorough comparison based on your own financial situation and needs.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I reverse a transfer and get back my original reward points?

Once you transfer your credit card’s reward points to frequent flyer points, a reversal is not possible.

Can I transfer points in between different frequent flyer programs?

Frequent flyer programs don’t normally allow transfer of their points to other frequent flyer programs.

Do my credit card rewards points expire?

This depends on the card provider. While some credit card reward points never expire, some can expire in a given time period, so it if you’re considering transferring your reward points make sure you pay attention to this aspect.

My desired frequent flyer program is not on the list of affiliated programs offered by my credit card provider. Do I have any options?

You can check if you can redeem your rewards points for flight tickets through your rewards program itself. Card providers also keep making additions to their list of partners, so you might want to check if they have any new additions in the pipeline.

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Jonathan

A marketing graduate driven by solving problems for people and creating great content using technology.

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12 Responses to Guide to transferring your frequent flyer points

  1. Default Gravatar
    ky713 | May 23, 2016

    Hi,

    How can I transfer points from my westpac altitude card to Qantas frequent flyers program?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 24, 2016

      Hello Ky713,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unless you have a Westpac card that’s directly linked to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, you can’t transfer your Westpac Altitude points to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

      If you’d like to earn Qantas Points on everyday spending, you can start comparing Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards here.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    Gary | May 17, 2016

    Hello,

    First, can I transfer Altitude points to Qantas Frequent Flyer directly? If not, is there anything else I can do like transferring it to another program which can convert to Qantas points?

    Thanks,
    Gary

    • Staff
      May | May 17, 2016

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your question.

      With Westpac Altitude Credit Card, you can convert/transfer your Altitude points to Qantas and/or Velocity FF programs. Your Altitude points are equivalent to:

      1. For $1 spent on AMEX = 1 Qantas point; for $1 spent on Visa = 0.5 Qantas point
      2. For 2 Altitude Points = 1 Velocity point

      For further information about transferring your Altitude points to Qantas and Velocity FF programs, please refer to the links I’ve forwarded to your email.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    Gerry | May 4, 2016

    How can I exchange Velocity points to Altitude points?

    • Staff
      May | May 4, 2016

      Hi Gerry,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, exchanging your Velocity points to Altitude points is not possible. But you can transfer your Altitude points to your Velocity FF account. You can transfer 2 Altitude points and convert that to 1 Velocity point. You have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points and follow it up with increments of 500 points. Transferring of your Altitude points to your Velocity FF account can be done at the Velocity website. I have sent to your email the link of the page.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    sam | April 28, 2016

    Trying to work the conversion between ANZ rewards to Qantas frequent flyers.
    If i had say 100,000 ANZ rewards what would that convert to in Qantas frequent flyers?

    • Staff
      Sally | April 29, 2016

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your question.

      This will depend on the card you’re using. If you could please let us know, we’ll be able to provide you with more information.

      Cheers,

      Sally

    • Default Gravatar
      sam | May 1, 2016

      ANZ Business one.

    • Staff
      Sally | May 2, 2016

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for confirming this information.

      If you have an ANZ Business card, you can redeem 2 Reward Points for 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  5. Default Gravatar
    oscar | March 6, 2016

    I want to transfer my Commonwealth Bank rewards points to Qantas frequent flyer as I need to travel overseas, what is the procedure?

    • Staff
      Sally | March 7, 2016

      Hi Oscar,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you want to transfer your Commonwealth Bank Awards points to Qantas Frequent Flyer points, you’ll need to opt into the Qantas Frequent Flyer program by calling 13 16 61.

      You can only convert CBA Awards points into Qantas Points that have been earned after you opted into the Qantas program.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

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