Big: American Express adds Vistara to Transfer Partners

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 change also reflects on the Vistara website, here.

american express vistara

The following cards are going to be able to transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Club Vistara points:

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

Bottomline

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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Comments

  1. Hi Ajay,
    Any idea what is up on the cards for Jet Privilege Amex Plat card. For a similar card with Indusind , I got a mail from Indusind that the Indusind Jet Privilege card is now Indusind Intermiles card.

    Thanks,
    Kiran

    • Did you try clicking on the Log in/Enrol button on the MR page ? I dont see Vistara when i click on “Redeem Rewards”, but on clicking the Login/Enroll button, both Vistara & Etihad show up as transfer partners

  2. HDFC Diners has 1:1 CV Miles , where earning is at 4 MR: Rs. 150.

    Here, 3 MR: 1 CV Miles is putting your MR down the drain.(Unless you have no clue what to do with your exiting MR)

    Also, isn’t Amex offering First upgrade for select Business class on Etihad ?
    Lol.

  3. I would not touch this conversion option unless I already had some CV Points and was falling short of a few for an upcoming transfer. UK award redemption leaves a lot to be desired for, especially when considering international premium cabins this coupled with their non-existing partner network (as of now) for points redemption, I wonder what makes AMEX value CV points much higher than EK, EY and the likes.

    Gutting Etihad is a bad deal for me personally. EY award redemptions on partner airlines is where the value is and they have a fairly decent partner award chart.

  4. Good to have Amex as a Club Vistara transfer partner. However, the earn/conversion rate is extremely poor if compared to say Diners Black (1 CV point/ Rs 150 spend on Amex Gold card vs 5 CV points/Rs 150 spend on DCB).

  5. Are the days to enjoy air miles gone from the Indian skies?

    Vistara knows it’s the only decent player in the market but their redemptions on business class is way way more than what jet provided. Jet used to have aircrafts with as many as 28-32 business class seats in domestic popular routes but vistara I have yet to see any more than 8.

    They want to sell it to only premium payers looks like and just offering 3-4 vouchers a year through axis card.

    Jet allowed multiple changes on redemption ticket. Earlier it was free later it charged 500 miles.Don’t know if vistara allows that Even with penalty.

  6. And i couldn’t believe my eyes when amex shamelessly billed me 10000 Rupees + 1800 Rupees GST a week ago on the card anniversary for their downgraded i may add worthless 9w Amex plat card which made sense only to let go

  7. Yawn.

    Someone please put JPPl/Intermiles out of its misery. I hope HDFC follows the same soon and switches its current JP co brand customers over to something that’s actually valuable.

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