While the American Express Membership Rewards program is an excellent transferable currency when it comes to airline partners, one of its few downsides has been the excise tax fee it charges when transferring points to domestic airline partners such as Delta, JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines.
That fee is six one-hundredths of a cent per point which means that every 1,000 points you transfer comes with an excise tax fee of $0.60. A $0.60 fee is somewhat negligible if you only need to transfer 1,000 points to top up an existing mileage balance, but it means transferring 100,000 points costs $60. That’s a much more significant amount seeing as it’s not a fee charged when transferring Ultimate Rewards, ThankYou points, etc. to domestic airlines.
The good news is that due to the CARES Act, American Express will be waiving this fee on all transfers through the end of the year.
The wording above suggests that the fee will be waived for all transfers from March 28, 2020, but Amex is going further than that. Travel With Grant reports that he received a refund of $1.80 relating to a 3,000 point transfer he made back in February. That could be a nice little bonus if you transferred a large chunk of points in the first few months of the year before any travel restrictions, so check your accounts for refunds if you’ve made any transfers to domestic airlines this year.