AMEX points transfer to ANA with an “invalid” name

An example from ANA’s “Notes When Entering Information” page.


ANA (All Nippon Airways) is famously restrictive when it comes to using their miles. They’re also picky about names (see above). If you’re like me and have anything like a middle name, multiple first/last names (Spanish naming etc), they’ll make you modify your name to fit their style (I’m thankful they have that guide rather than having us guess).

Unfortunately, this became an issue when I attempted to transfer AMEX MR (American Express Membership Rewards) points to ANA, as AMEX sent my name as-is (correctly, as they have it on file), and ANA still rejected it (silently, after 3 business days).

After some back and forth finger pointing (I already suspected it would be about the name) with chat support, AMEX chat thankfully had the solution, avoiding an infinite loop.


AMEX chat support referred me to the Membership Rewards support phone line. Their number can be found on the AMEX Contact Us page, under “Membership Rewards”.

My experience was no hold time and a very knowledgeable support person who sounded like they run into this often. He linked my account under the modified name I had the miles account under, and the transfer was a success. I haven’t needed to yet but it sounds like I’m good for future transfers.


AMEX, you rock. ANA, please do better. You can apply those name rules for your legacy backend yourselves and match the names, instead of letting us find out 3 days after trying (only if we check) and referring us back to AMEX when contacting support.

P.S. Your name is NOT invalid 💕
(h/t @yournameisvalid and this Wall Street Journal piece: What Can’t the Internet Handle in 2022? Apostrophes)