If you’re not sure what the American Express Membership Rewards program has to offer, then read on because in the section below we will go into detail what cards to apply for to maximize on benefits while catering to your everyday needs.
Use the membership rewards program for booking travel on American Express, transferring points to Membership Rewards transfer partner, statement credit, shopping at online retailers, swapping for gift cards, shopping on Amazon, paying for Uber rides, and/or buying entertainment.
Signing Up For Amex Membership Rewards
- American Express’ Membership Rewards Program is not available to everyone. Whether you get in depends on which American Express cards you have. Certain AMEX cards offer automatic acceptance into the rewards program such as:
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms apply.
• 4X Membership Rewards Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.,
• 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
• 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
$120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
- Earning Points Regularly. Normally, members can earn one point for every dollar they spend.
- Extra Points. Some cards will give you more points on certain purchases, such as 3 points back for every dollar you spend on airline tickets.
- Exclusions. Certain transactions and purchases are not valid ways of earning points such as taking a cash advance, transferring a balance, using your card to buy travelers checks or using points to make a purchase.
Earn Bonus Rewards
- A few cards offer additional points as a sort of welcome present upon being accepted. In order to qualify for the additional points, you must make a minimum purchase using your American Express Card. The cards listed above offer a different amounts of bonus points depending on what you’re able to spend, as well as a different welcoming bonus depending on which card you apply for. For Example, you can apply for the American Express Platinum Card to start earning.
- If you’re not sure where to start. Here are a couple of ways you can redeem points:
- Booking travel on American Express
- Transferring points to Membership Rewards transfer partner
- Statement credit
- Shop at online retailers
- Swap for gift cards
- Check out on Amazon
- Pay for Uber rides
- Buy entertainment
Book Travel on American Express
- Use Amextravel.com to directly book any travels you’re planning on taking to make sure they qualify.
- Membership Rewards Points. You can use your points to redeem airfare, prepaid hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages.
- Listed below are some examples of how much value you can expect to get from using your points.
- Flights: points are valued at 1 cent per point (a $500 flight will cost 50,000 points)
- Hotels: the value is less, at just 0.7 cents per point (that same 50,000 points will only get you $350 worth of hotel stays)
- Cruises: valued the same as hotels, at 0.7 cents per point
Transferring Points to Airlines
- Partner Frequent Flyer Program. This method can earn you a great deal of points and give you the best value out of the points you’ve earned.
- We’ve listed some of the best AMEX Member Rewards Points Transfer partners below:
- Aeromexico 1:1
- Air Canada (Aeroplan) 1:1
- Air France KLM (Flying Blue) 1:1
- Alitalia (Millemiglia) 1:1
- All Nippon Airways 1:1
- Asia Miles 1:1
- British Airways
- Delta Air Lines (SkyMiles) 1:1
- El Al Israel Airlines
- Emirates 1:1
- Etihad Airways 1:1
- Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue Airways
- Singapore Airlines 1:1
- Virgin Atlantic Airways 1:1
- Not all airlines offer a 1:1 ratio. Some partners, such as British Airways, Iberia, EL AL Israel Airlines, Hilton, and JetBlue Airways, offer a lower ratio.
Determining Points Transfer Value
- Value Of Your Points Depends Airline Choice. To get the most out of your hard earned membership rewards points, you want to look for an airline that offers a 1:1 ratio or better when you transfer your points over.
- Optimal Transfer Value. For example, Delta offers 10,000 SkyMiles when you transfer 10,000 MR points, so this would be optimal transfer value.
- Poor Transfer Value. However, if you fly JetBlue, you are only getting 8,000 TrueBlue points for your 10,000 MR points transferred. The ration is less than 1:1, so it is sub-optimal.
Transferring Points to Hotels
- Transferring Points To Hotel Loyalty Program. The process is similar to transferring points to any airlines rewards program. You need to link your AMEX rewards account to a partner hotel loyalty program.
- Points Will Vary. Depending on which hotel loyalty program you transfer your points to, your point value will vary. Below we will list some examples of programs and their transfers:
- Choice Privileges Rewards: Transfer rate is 1:1 (10,000 MR points equals 10,000 Choice Privilege points). This is of the best deals out their right now that gives the most value for your points even though it only meets the average ratio of points. For example, Comfort Hotels in Tokyo costs 8,000 Choice Privileges points per night, or $240/ night. At a 1:1 transfer rate of 8,000 MR points, this gives your points the value of 3 cents per point.
- Hilton HHonors: Transfer rate is 1:1.5 (1 MR point equals 1.5 HHonors point). However, this doesn’t mean that the value is great. For example, the Hilton Cabana in Miami Beach starts at $159 per night, or 50,000 HHonors points. This would cost you 33,333 MR points, making each point’s value less than 0.5 cents.
- Note. Transferring points to hotels are not as good as transferring points to airlines. Although the Hilton offers more points for your MR points, it results in less value overall.
Redeeming Points for Non-Travel
- Other Things To Do With Your MR Points. If you aren’t interested in travelling or shopping, there are other ways to spend your MR points. We will list some ways to use your MR points:
- Get statement credit: You need to have at least 1,000 points in rewards toward something you’ve already bought. However, you can’t just buy something and return it.
- Pay with points when you shop: You can shop directly through Amex’s rewards store, and from name brands, such as Apple, Sephora, Best Buy, and more. Your points are worth 0.5 cents each (e.g., for a $50 purchase, you’d need 10,000 points).
- Swap for gift cards: MR points can also be exchanged for gift cards from partner brands or American Express. For most cards, purchasing gift cards starts at 2,500 points unless you’re getting an Amex gift card, which starts at 1,000 points.
- Pay for Uber rides: Just add your enrolled AMEX card to your Uber app. Use your MR points to pay for Uber rides, or you can earn 2x points on all Uber charges.
- Check out at Amazon: Link your Amazon account to your Membership Rewards account to make purchases using your MR points.
- Transfer to Plenti: Plenti is a free program that helps you keep track of all your different reward programs that’re partnered with them (including AT&T, Macy’s, Exxon Mobil, and Rite Aid). You can also use your points to check out at those partner merchants at a value of 1 cent per point.
- Buy entertainment: Use your MR points at Ticketmaster.com, Telecharge.com, and AXS.com. Use your points to purchase passes to entertainment events such as Broadway shows, sporting events, concerts, and more. If you’re booking through Ticketmaster, you’ll need a minimum of 2,000 points. For Telecharge purchases, the minimum is 7,000 points.
- Donate to charity: You can even use your points to donate to a qualifying charity through MembersGive. For every 1,000 points you donate, the charity you choose receives $10, with a cap at 500,000 MR points (each year). Once you hit that limit, each 1,000-point donation is valued at $5.
Read The Fine Print
- Fine Print. If you’re planning on using your MR points at multiple sites to take advantage of their rewards programs, then you can’t afford to overlook any terms and conditions.
- Paying Late. Doing this can lose you any of the points you earned making the purchase. You can earn the points back, but it will cost you an additional $35.
- Linked Cards That’re Cancelled. If American Express cancels any of your cards that’re linked to the Membership Rewards Program, you will lose any points you’ve earned. The same thing will happen if you close your account before transferring or using your points.
The American Express Membership Rewards Program offers many benefits and features with high rewards on spending! This rewards program is a great option for those who like to travel frequently because they offer extra points on those transactions. The best way to use this program is to transfer to participating frequent flyer programs! See our full list of Credit Card Promotions.
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