PSA: Link Loyalty Programs to American Express Membership Rewards Before You Need to Make an Urgent Transfer

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday!  A few days ago, I needed to book an award ticket using Avianca LifeMiles, but I didn’t have enough LifeMiles in my account.  Luckily, American Express recently added Avianca LifeMiles as a Membership Rewards transfer partner.  I thought it would be an easy 1-2-3 process of adding my Avianca LifeMiles account to Membership Rewards, transferring Membership Rewards Points to my Avianca LifeMiles account, and booking the Avianca LifeMiles award ticket.  Unfortunately, Membership Rewards was not able to add/verify my Avianca LifeMiles account right away.  The first thing I did was to sign into my Membership Rewards account and click on the Avianca LifeMiles tile.

Then I went through the steps to add/verify my Avianca LifeMiles account by entering the security codes from my American Express card, entering my Avianca LifeMiles account number, and clicking the Link Account button.

Unfortunately, the Avianca LifeMiles tile said “Account Linking is Pending: Linking may take up to 2 weeks…”.  2 weeks! You have got to be kidding me!  I didn’t have time to wait and see how long the linking/verification process would take,  so decided to go over to the Citi Thank You Points travel portal instead.  I believe my Avianca LifeMiles account was linked/approved in roughly 2-3 days.

On the Citi Thank You Points travel portal, I was able to transfer Citi Thank You Points into Avianca LifeMiles and the transfer was instant!  Luckily, if you transfer Citi Thank You Points to Avianca LifeMiles between now and December 12, you will get a 25% transfer bonus.  I did my transfer a few days before the transfer bonus was live :(

Click the Confirm button and your Avianca LifeMiles should be in your Avianca LifeMiles account seconds later.

I signed out and signed back into my Avianca LifeMiles account to see the miles and they were right there waiting for me to use them to book an award ticket.

Long story short, if you plan to transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points to any of their transfer partners, you should add/link the loyalty program now before you actually need to make an urgent transfer.  That way you are not stuck waiting for the program to be verified by American Express.  If you have any questions about American Express Membership Rewards, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

9 thoughts on “PSA: Link Loyalty Programs to American Express Membership Rewards Before You Need to Make an Urgent Transfer

  1. clickbati

    I can comment on transferring AMEX MR to LM. I did linked my account successfully on 11/7 and initiated a test xfer of 1K. Still as of 11/16, there are no signs of LM in my account, AMEX confirmed the transfer but LM email support team is asking for invoice ID or some crap.

  2. Mo

    Thanks for the heads up. I just created and linked all available amex transfer partners. I have no immediate plans for them but you never know when an award program has a flash sale.

    1. Grant Post author

      Very smart idea. Next time you need to transfer points, you will be ready. Just do some research since not all transfer partners process transfers instantly.

  3. Tiara

    For the last 15 mins, the screen shows this message – “We are processing your account linking…” still not completed

  4. preahko

    Thank you SO much for this post…really useful advice! Even though I’ll be saving my MR points for quite awhile before I use them, per your suggestion, I just linked all the airlines and hotel programs I think there’s a reasonable chance I’ll use, plus I signed up with a new one (ANA) just so I could link it.

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