Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Can Amex Points Be Used For

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Book Travel Via The Amex Portal Or Expedia

How To Use Amex Points – BEST WAY to use Amex Points, Membership Rewards Points

You can use Membership Rewards points to book travel directly through American Express via the AmEx Travel site, where you can find flights, hotels and vacation packages. You can also use points to book directly through Expedia at checkout. Either way, the value of points ranges between 0.7 and 1 cent each in these cases.

Redeem Amex Points For Hotels On Amex Travel

Booking hotels on the Amex Travel portal is just as easy but the points value falls short. With this redemption option, each Amex point is worth only 0.7 cents each.

If you’re looking to book hotel stays with your points, we recommend opting for the points transfer option instead. For and Choice Hotels, you can transfer your Amex points at a 1:1 ratio, potentially exceeding the value of just 0.7 cents per point.

What Is American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards is a card rewards program that allows you to earn valuable points on every dollar you spend. American Express Membership Rewards is one of the best card rewards programs because the Membership Rewards points it earns are so versatile. You can redeem points for travel, gift cards, statement credits and more.

However, one of the best ways to use American Express reward points is redeeming them through the American Express travel portal for flights, hotels, rental cars or cruises. You can also transfer points to Amex’s long list of airline and hotel partners, making this program ideal for travelers.

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How Much Credit Card Points Are Worth By Issuer

Reward Program
Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards 1.01 cents Gift Cards

Credit card points, like miles and unlike cash back, can be devalued. Since the credit card issuer says how many points it costs to redeem for each option, they control the value of the points. That means they have the power to suddenly charge more points for an item, and to lower the points value. Cash, on the other hand, has an independent value and cannot be devalued by credit card companies. So if you do decide to get a points card, you should redeem your points often to minimize the chance of devaluation.

Program Overview And History

Can You Turn Amex Points Into American Miles? Can You Use ...

The American Express Membership Rewards program was launched in 1991 and initially called Membership Miles. According to American Express, its the worlds largest credit card rewards program.

You can earn Membership Rewards points with any of these 9 personal and business credit cards:

  • Flexible redemption options

  • High-value travel redemptions through point transfers

Keep in mind that to get approved for a credit card in the Membership Rewards program, you typically need to have good or excellent credit, which starts at a FICO score of 670.

Also, American Express allows only one welcome offer per card per lifetime. So if youve had one of its cards in the past, earned the welcome offer, and later dropped the card, you wont be eligible for the offer again if you apply a second time.

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Book American Airlines Award Flights To Europe At Discounted Prices

American Airlines isnt an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner, but several American Airlines partners are. One of the best airlines for booking partner awards on American Airlines to Europe is Etihad Airways.

Etihad has a different award chart for each partner airline, and its prices for American Airlines awards are great. You can book a round-trip flight from North America to Europe in coach in the off-peak season for only 40,000 Etihad miles. Or, you could splurge on a round-trip first-class American Airlines flight to Europe for only 125,000 Etihad miles or business-class for only 100,000.

These options are significantly less than what you would pay if you used American Airlines miles for the same flight. The challenge is finding American Airlines business or first-class award space to Europe. Also, youll need to call to book Etihad partner awards. Ive called in to book Etihad partner awards in the past and the agents were extremely easy to work with.

How To Spend Your Membership Rewards Points

From transferring your points to airline miles or paying for purchases with points, you can compare some of the ways you can redeem your Membership Rewards below.

Transfer points to a frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program

If you’re a member of one of the nine partnered airline loyalty programs, you can transfer your Membership Rewards to frequent flyer points. Partnered programs Virgin Australia’s Velocity, Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. You can also exchange your Membership Rewards for points with two partnered hotel programs.

Check out the table below to get an idea of how many frequent flyer or hotel points you can get with your Membership Rewards. These transfer rates are for Membership Rewards Ascent and may vary depending on your card. If you already have an Amex Membership Rewards card, log in to your account to see your current transfer rates.

3 MR points = 2 Marriot Points

Book travel

You can use Membership Rewards points to pay for travel with American Express Travel Online, Webjet or at selected helloworld locations. The number of points needed for a booking may vary based on your travel plans, the way you book and your Membership Rewards account.

You can also use your Membership Rewards to buy travel gift cards, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Shopping and gift cards

Pay off your purchases with points, shop with online partners or redeem gift cards with your Membership Rewards:

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Redeeming Amex Points Through The Amex Portal

To redeem points through the Amex portal, log in to your American Express account. You can use your points to buy gift cards, online shop at retailers like , cover your card charges, and pay with points at checkout although as mentioned earlier, youll get the most value out of them by redeeming for travel. Once youre logged in, click Rewards, then Book or Upgrade Travel to redeem your points through Amex Travel.

From there, youll be able to plug in dates for your desired flight, hotel stay, or destination.

Book United Flights With Lifemiles

BEST Ways To Use Amex Points for MAX VALUE

LifeMiles is the loyalty program for Avianca, a Star Alliance member. This means you can book United flights with your LifeMiles, and there are some excellent deals to be had.

The program has kept a standard award chart, so youll pay a predictable price for your flights. The program splits the U.S. up into three regions. You can view the regions and flight prices on LifeMiles United partner page.

While the award chart shows flights starting at 7,500 LifeMiles one-way, theres a hidden 6,500 LifeMile tier thats reserved for short flights like Newark to Washington-National and Pittsburgh . These business-heavy routes can get expensive when booking at the last minute or during peak times, so it helps to have a low-cost points option in your back pocket.

You can score solid deals on longer flights too. Youll pay 7,5000 LifeMiles for mid-haul flights such as Chicago-OHare to Philadelphia and Newark . On the other hand, even longer routes will cost 10,000 LifeMiles or 12,500 LifeMiles one-way, which is still a good deal if cash tickets are expensive.

Domestic first class isnt a terrible deal either. This flight from Newark to Austin is just 15,000 LifeMiles one-way, a mere 2,500 LifeMiles more than an economy ticket.

Related: 3 reasons your family needs LifeMiles for domestic travel

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Pay With Amex Points At Checkout

When shopping at 15 online retailers, you have the option to pay with your Amex points at checkout. Depending on the store, each point will be worth 0.5 cents to 1 cent each.

Retailer 0.7

Although this option won’t necessarily provide the best value, this can be fantastic if you’re looking to use some of your points to offset a large purchase. With PayPal, you’ll have access to millions of retailers that accept this payment method at checkout.

American Express Business Gold

The complex rules on whether you qualify for an American Express sign-up bonus are explained in my article here.

Fundamentally, it is fairly easy to qualify for the bonus on Business Gold and Business Platinum and personal Platinum .

It is harder to qualify for the bonus on personal Preferred Rewards Gold or the American Express Rewards Credit Card .

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Fly In Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class To Europe

As mentioned above, you can use Delta SkyMiles to book Virgin Atlantic’s upper class cabin to Europe. However, you can also book a round-trip award ticket from the U.S. to Europe directly with Virgin Atlantic. Upper-class awards go for as low as 95,000 miles, while economy class tickets can be booked for about 25,000 miles and premium economy tickets for about 40,000 miles. Keep in mind that the price will vary depending on the season and route, plus Virgin Atlantic adds a fuel surcharge on these transatlantic flights.

Fly From The Us To Central Or South Africa

Amex Points Value UK  What Are Your Redemptions Worth?

Singapore Airlines has a pretty good award price for travel to Central and South Africa in business class. A one-way business class flight will cost you 96,500miles when you fly with a Star Alliance partner airline.

This pricing is now higher than United, which requires 80,000 miles each way to fly Star Alliance partners to Central and South Africa. It also gives you the ability to combine your American Express Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points, and by transferring them to Singapore Airlines.

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Book Flying Blue Promo Awards

Flying Blue doesn’t publish an award chart, but it offers periodic deals called Promo Rewards that can save you up to 50% of the miles you’d normally spend on a trip. For example, a round trip to Dubai in business class on Air France may cost 82,500 miles during a promotional period rather than 165,000 miles. You can view the current promotions here.

Maximize Your Amex Points

At its heart, American Express Membership Rewards is a travel rewards program. So to make the most of your Amex points, redeem them for travel, either directly through Amex or via the programs many transfer partners. Depending on the airline or hotel to which you transfer points, and the specific redemptions you make, you can reap some incredible values from Amex points. On the earning side, pick the credit card that accumulates the most points on the purchases you tend to make and whose benefits outweigh the annual fee. Even if your habits change over time, you can always switch to a different Amex card to continue to realize value from the program and its travel rewards.

While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.

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Best Amex Membership Rewards Cards

Now that youre more familiar with how to maximize and burn your hard-earned Amex points, its time to start earning them. Heres a look at some of the best Membership Rewards-earning cards for businesses and individuals:

The information for the Amex Green and Amex EveryDay Preferred cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Us To Northern South America

AMEX POINTS 101: How To Use Amex Membership Rewards Points (How To Redeem Amex Points For Travel)

Flying to northern South America on flights booked with Alitalia miles is an insane deal.

Seriously: it will cost you only 40,000 Alitalia miles to fly round-trip between the U.S. and countries like Peru and Colombia in economy class. Round-trip! Flights in business class will cost 80,000 miles round-trip.

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Cheap American Airlines International Flights

Although Etihad isnt a member of one of the three major alliances, it has non-alliance airline partnerships that yield excellent value. One of the best values is using Etihad Guest points to book American Airlines-operated flights at prices similar to what American charged before its 2016 devaluation.

The best deals are for international business and first-class flights on Americans large international route network. Heres a look at Etihads American award chart for flights departing North America.

These rates are often much lower than youd pay if you booked directly with American. For example, you can use 30,000 miles to book a one-way ticket from any U.S. city to Lima , Bogota or other cities in the Central/South America 1 region. This includes many cities in Central America and northern South America.

Or, you can fly to Europe in business class for 50,000 points one-way. This is cheaper than the 57,500+ miles that American charges for the same tickets, giving you cheap access to Americans large European route network. This includes cities like Frankfurt , Paris and others.

Finally, you can use Etihad Guest to get a solid deal on Americans premium transcontinental first and business class from New York-JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco . The San Francisco route is operated by Americans specially configured A321T aircraft with a true first-class cabin. This costs just 32,500 points one way when you book with Etihad Guest.

There Are A Few Things You Need To Do Before You Call Etihad To Book Your American Airlines Flights

You will need to register for an Etihad Guest account if you do not already have one. Its free. No credit card required.

1. Have your Etihad Guest account member number in front of you.

2. If you are going to be transferring Amex Membership Rewards points, you will need to log in to that account and link it to your Etihad account. for Amex MR transfer partner instructions. DO NOT transfer yet! Just link Etihad for now.

3. Once your Amex account is linked, keep it open so that when you get the agent on the phone and she finds the flights you can transfer immediately from Amex to Etihad.

4. Have your Amex card in front of you because when you do make the transfer, the Amex website will probably ask for the card security number.

5. They may not ask, but if you have your passport handy you may want that in front of you too. Sometimes they will want the passport information before completing the booking on international itineraries.

Once you have all of the above information, you can call Etihad

6. The number is 877-690-0767. Select your language. 1 is for English. Then select 3 for other inquiries, then 3 for Etihad Guest frequent flyer program, then 1 for a new booking with miles. .

8. The agent will ask for your contact information and confirm dates, flights, price, etc.

9. Once she has confirmed that the flight is available, make the Amex transfer for the appropriate amount.

You will receive an email with all of this information once it is ticketed. Thats it!

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The 59 Best Ways To Use Your Amex Membership Rewards Points

As we mentioned above, transferring your points to airline partners is how you can get the most value out of your points.

The award flights described below are typically centered around North America. Youll find first class, business class, and economy class options from the U.S., as well as some great deals between other regions.

Of course, there may be other great award redemptions available. Depending on how and where you like to travel, you may have some other favorite award options if so please add a comment below and share your insights!

Transferring Amex Points To Loyalty Programs

Can I Use My American Express Points to Settle My American ...

The Membership Rewards program’s best feature is the ability to transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Most Amex points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio, although a handful of programs offer slightly less value than that.

Our analysis found that transferring your Amex points to loyalty programs leads to values much greater than 1 cent each. Below, you’ll find the participating airline and hotel programs and their respective point transfer ratios.


Average 2.2 cents

As you can see from the chart above, the point values will vary greatly depending on the itinerary and loyalty program.

For airlines, you’ll generally gain the best value from your points on business or first-class tickets.

On Air Canada, you can earn a whopping 4.7 cents in value for a business-class ticket almost five times the standard value of an Amex point.

Not all redemptions are built the same, so it will take a bit more diligence to check the cash price and the award travel price. However, by taking this extra step, you can find incredible value with your Membership Rewards points.

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Use Amex Membership Rewards Through The Amex Travel Portal

Redeeming your Amex Membership Rewards points for travel through Amexs travel site is very straightforward.

Of course, youll first need to log-in to your Amex account. Similarly to the above process, youll start by clicking Explore Rewards on the account summary page.

Step 2. Go to the American Express travel site

From there, select the Book Travel tab and click the Explore Amex Travel button.

After that, youll be redirected to the Amex Travel page.

Once youre there, click the Start Booking button.

Step 3. Search for travel

Once youve started the booking process youll enter your travel details. Amexs travel portal works like many other travel search engines. Youll need to enter information like your desired destination, travel dates, number of travelers, etc.

In this particular example, Im searching for a flight between Seattle and New York. Once youve entered your travel details, click Search Flights.

Step 4. Select your desired itinerary

Amexs travel portal will populate with a number of different options and will display the cash price and the number of Amex Membership Rewards points youd need for the flight.

From there, youll be able to select the flight you want.

Step 5. Complete the booking process

Again, the process is pretty straightforward and just like with bookings made directly through the airlines, youll have 24 hours to cancel your booking for a full refund.

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