Update: American Express has clarified that InterMiles and Etihad Guest are still a transfer partner. You can read all about it here. This article has been suitably amended.
When the Jet Airways crisis broke out, as a holder of the Jet Airways co-branded American Express credit card, I got many a calls and robocalls from American Express assuring me of the value of JPMiles remaining intact. At the same time, Amex was trying to sway me away to another card. I heard from many members as well about they being offered other card products, for instance, the American Express Platinum Travel Card. After a while, the activity died down, however. JPMiles continued to be the only Indian programme available on the American Express Membership Rewards programme after Air India mysteriously vanished at some point in time.
Indian Amex Membership Rewards used to transfer to the following programmes:
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2 MR: 1 KF point)
- Emirates Skywards (2 MR: 1 EK point)
- Etihad Guest (2 MR: 1 EY point)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (2 MR: 1 VS point)
- British Airways Executive Club (2 MR: 1 BA point)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club (2 MR: 1 QR point)
- Finnair Plus (2 MR: 1 AY point)
- JetPrivilege (2 MR: 1 JPMile)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (2 MR: 1 CX point)
- Hilton Honors (1 MR: 0.9 HH point)
- Marriott Bonvoy (1 MR: 1 MB point)
Coming to the transition from JPMiles to InterMiles, another move has happened simultaneously to the development. American Express
has closed out their transfer arrangement with InterMiles and now is offering Club Vistara as the only Indian transfer partner at the moment. As I logged into my American Express account today, I found this new option staring at me.
Like you can see in the screengrab above, even Etihad Guest is out of the picture now for American Express cardholders.
In terms of the number of Membership Rewards points required to earn one Club Vistara point, that would now be 3 MR points for 1 CV point.
The following cards are going to be able to transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Club Vistara points:
- The American Express Centurion Card
- The American Express Platinum Card
- The American Express Gold Card
- The American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
- The American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card (Free)
- The American Express Platinum Corporate Card
- The American Express Corporate Card
- The American Express Green Card
- The American Express Membership RewardsCredit Card (Free)
To be able to transfer, the minimum lot size is 900 Membership Rewards, which would convert to 300 Club Vistara Points. Transfers have to be made in multiples of 900 Membership Rewards points. Further, these points would reflect in your Club Vistara account in about 4-5 days.
This now means that Club Vistara has the following transfer partners:
- HDFC Bank Diners Club
- Axis Bank eDGE Rewards
- IndusInd Bank Reward Points
- American Express Membership Rewards
This is excellent news for American Express Cardholders that they can now again use an Indian airline with a loyalty programme to redeem for flights in India and abroad. Does this mean a co-branded card partnership? Let me get ahead of that question; There are three co-branded card partners possible for now if having a transfer partnership meant having a co-branded card, so we have to see what move comes next for both parties involved.
What befuddles me is the removal of Etihad Guest from the Indian partners, given Amex and Etihad are close partners, and Amex still has Etihad Guest as a transfer partner in other parts of the world.
What do you make of the new transfer partnership between American Express Membership Rewards and Club Vistara?
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