The Gulf of Suez–Red Sea rift system exhibits superb outcrop examples of extensional transfer zones and displays the control of these zones on syntectonic and post-tectonic sedimentation. Hard and soft linkage transfer zones were identified at variable scales. Hard linkage transfer zones form inward and outward fault kinks whereas soft linkage transfer zones form relay ramps between overlapping rift-parallel faults. The two types of transfer zones invariably exerted fundamental control on the deposition of syn- and post-tectonic sediments, flow direction of drainage systems and locations of sediment entry points, as well as the intensity of erosion patterns of the structurally high sediment source areas. This study highlights the close relationship between the transfer zones and hydrocarbon accumulations in clastic syntectonic reservoirs in rift basins.