American Express has been on fire lately with changes to their cards. The most recent one comes for authorized users and when they can transfer points. American Express has restricted authorized user points transfers to those who have been on the account for at least 90 days.

American Express has described the change as follows:

We are changing the Membership Rewards Terms and Conditions to provide that an Additional Card must be issued to an Additional Card Member at least 90 days prior to linking your Membership Rewards program account to that Additional Card Member’s frequent customer program account.

This restriction will start on September 1, 2019. That means that the current restrictions are in place for the rest of the summer. Furthermore, authorized users that are added now will not be subject to the new rule. I suggest adding authorized users now (if it’s a viable option for you) before the rules change.


Current Restrictions

Amex’s policy for Membership Rewards (MR) points comes in three rules:

The first rule states that Amex pools all MR points earned across all of your own cards into one account. This sole account is managed by the primary user and is represented by that user’s online ID.

Furthermore, the second rule does not allow primary users from transferring MR points to another person’s account unless they are an authorized user.

And the third rule is the lifeblood of many travel strategies. Primary users can transfer MR points to transfer partners if the partner account is in the name of the primary or authorized user.


Final Draw

Some American Express MR-earning cards let you add authorized users for no annual fee. This lets primary users add authorized users, let them transfer points out, and then remove the authorized users. As with card churning, American Express does not like this. Therefore, they will restrict this practice starting in September.