Tuesday, October 4, 2022

What Can You Do With Amex Points

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Skyteam Go Round The World Pass

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

Along with the other SkyTeam airlines, AeroMexico is one the last few carriers that offers an around-the-world award ticket. This award allows you to make a minimum of two and a maximum of 15 stopovers. During your around-the-world trip, you can fly on any one of the following SkyTeam airlines:

  • Aeroflot
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Air

In economy class, the award costs 224,000 Premier Points, which is 140,000 Membership Rewards points at the 1:1.6 transfer ratio. In business class, the award costs 352,000 Premier Points or 220,000 Membership Rewards points. Here are the rules of the award:

  • Travelers must go in the same direction for the whole trip.
  • You must start and end in the same country.
  • There are between two and 15 stopovers allowed with a maximum of five per continent.
  • A stopover is any city where you stay for more than 24 hours.
  • The beginning and end city don’t count as stopovers.
  • All flights must be booked in the same class.
  • There is no time limit for each stopover.
  • The pass is valid for one year after the ticket issue date.

How Do I Maximise The Value Of My Membership Rewards Points

There are other reward options store gift cards and travel gift vouchers etc. The list got a lot shorter in 2019 when American Express removed all physical goods redemptions it is no longer possible to redeem for a toaster.

However, in almost all cases, these are based on a simple formula which gets you no more than 0.5p per point redeemed . Some of the easiest ones to use are Amazon and iTunes gift vouchers.

For the truly lazy, you can also redeem your points for a credit against your Amex statement. This gets you a poor 0.45p per point.

However ..

Shop With Points Via The American Express Site

Cardholders can get discounts and shop with points at retailers from Sephora to Tumi, with the point value varying by store. At Yeti, for example, points are worth about 0.5 cent each. Cardholders can also shop for unique experiences, like VIP treatment at the Met Museum in New York, a $300 value that costs 60,000 points, for a value of 0.5 cent each.

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Book Expensive Hotel Rooms During Events

Dying to see the Super Bowl in person? Or maybe you want to head to New York City for a New Years Eve celebration in Times Square? Regardless of the special event, hotel rooms can get insanely expensive during sporting events, large trade shows, party holidays, and other major events especially at nicer properties.

Thankfully, though, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to Choice Rewards, Hilton Honors, and at varying rates. While this usually isnt the best use of your miles, it can be a solid deal when hotel rooms are extremely expensive.

For example, at the time of writing this article, a night at the Hilton Times Square is $1,621 per room on New Years Eve 2021. Alternatively, you can transfer 40,000 Membership Rewards points to 80,000 Hilton points, and book the night for just a $30 resort fee. This gives you an incredible 4 cents per point in value, almost twice our Membership Rewards valuation of 2.2 cents per point.

So, if youre traveling when hotels are expensive, make sure to check your points options. It could save you thousands of dollars in the process.

Fly Between South Pacific Islands

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This is an amazing deal if you are able to take an extended trip and want to do some Pacific Island hopping.

Singapore Airlines charges 12,500 miles, 31,000 miles, and 40,000 miles each way for travel in economy, business, and first class respectively within the South Pacific. In addition, if you book a round-trip ticket, youll be able to enjoy a stopover on another island for no additional cost!

United would charge the same 12,500 miles one-way in economy class, and their price is now comparable at 30,000 miles one-way for business class and 40,000 miles one-way for first class.

Availability can be tough to find on many of these routes, but if you have some flexibility, you cant beat using your Singapore Airlines miles for travel between South Pacific Islands in business or first class.

h/t: Travel is Free

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Membership Rewards Redemption Options To Avoid

For the most part, we suggest avoiding Amex Membership Rewards points redemptions that offer less than one cent per point in value. This includes using rewards to cover charges made to your account, which would only net you 0.6 cents per point in value. Also, be aware that you will only get 0.7 cents per point if you use your rewards for travel other than flights through AmexTravel.com, for example.

While your rewards are definitely yours to spend, youll get more bang for your buck if you focus on redemption options that net you at least 1 cent per point each.

Book Awards On Other Star Alliance Airlines

Because Avianca is part of the Star Alliance, you can use LifeMiles to book award flights on partner airlines. Additionally, Avianca will occasionally offer promotional awards where you can get discounted award flights on partner airlines. The list of Avianca’s partners in the Star Alliance includes:

  • Aegean Airlines

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Incredible Redemptions With Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is another great example of an airline that has leveraged individual partnerships instead of an alliance membership to build a valuable loyalty program.

Each Virgin Atlantic partner has a different award chart, but youll want to pay the closest attention to Delta and ANA for the best value

Related: How to find and book Virgin Atlantic partner awards

Bid For Upgrades On Your Next Flight

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

American Express lets you use points to bid for discounted upgrades to first class, business class, and premium economy on participating airlines.

A number of airlines offer an option to place cash bids on upgrades before your flight if there are available seats in premium cabins, you can snag them at a potentially steep discount. Most airlines that offer this manage it through a third-party service called Plusgrade.

Under the Amex partnership with Plusgrade, you can use Membership Rewards points to place bids on over 20 airlines, including Aeromexico, Air Canada, Etihad, Qantas, SAS, Singapore Airlines, and TAP Portugal.

Read more: I used credit card rewards to book Emirates first-class flights worth $15,000, and the same strategy works whether you have points from Amex, Citi, or other major banks

Each Membership Rewards point is worth $0.01 toward a bid, according to a spokesperson for Amex. So 1,000 points are worth $10 a solid valuation. The best value from points, however, can be had by transferring them to one of Amex’s airline or hotel partners, and booking flights or hotel stays that way..

To bid for an upgrade using your Membership Rewards points, visit americanexpress.com/upgrade and enter your reservation details. If your bid is accepted, you’ll receive an email.

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How Much Are Amex Points Worth

American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable credit card program currencies.

Theyre transferable meaning you can transfer them to Amexs comprehensive list of airline and hotel partners, including Delta, , and Hilton and you can redeem them directly within the Amex Travel portal. While you can also redeem your Amex points for statement credits or on Amazon or GrubHub/Seamless purchases, theyre most valuable when you use them to book travel.

We recommend checking both transfer partner rates and the travel portal before using your points to book travel. You can often get more value by transferring points to partners, but its not always guaranteed.

Thats because, according to Amex, points values differ depending on how you use them. You can transfer to travel partners at a 1:1 1:2 point to point ratio meaning that for every point you transfer, you can get anywhere from 1 to 2 points within the partners program. Travel bookings through the portal may be worth anywhere from 0.5 cents to 1 cent per point.

On the other hand, online shopping will only net you 0.5 cents per point. A statement credit will net you a similar value, at 0.6 cents per point.

Booking American Flights With Avios

Like flights to Hawaii, you can use British Airways Avios to book mainland U.S. tickets on Alaska and American.

All the same rules apply, so connecting flights cost more than nonstop flights. That said, there are some excellent deals to be had.

Domestic U.S. flights under 651 miles cost 7,500 Avios, while flights between 651 and 1,151 cost 9,000 Avios. You can use this to book flights like New York to Washington-Regan which can get extremely expensive when booking during holidays, peak business travel days or at the last minute.

You can also use Avios to score cheap tickets to Canada and Mexico. This flight from Dallas-Ft. Worth to Vancouver costs just 11,000 Avios one-way. Again, this flight can be prohibitively expensive on peak dates.

Related: Heres why you should care about British Airways Avios

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Do Cash Back Rewards Points Ever Expire

The duration of your cash rewards depends on your carrier. Some publishers will not allow your refund to expire as long as your account is open and in good working order. For other exhibitors, their prizes expire after a certain period of time. A good way to familiarize yourself with your carrier’s policies is to review your card’s terms and conditions.

Dining Out And Experiences

Amex Can Take Back Welcome Bonus If You Close Your Account ...

Whether you are celebrating a business deal or a birthday, destination dining doesnt have to come with a hefty price tag, as you can turn your points into a £500 Selfridges gift card. Use it for breakfast, brunch, or dinner in the upmarket London department stores Brasserie of Light restaurant, which is home to Damien Hirsts crystal-embellished Pegasus sculpture.

Check out our partner Buyagift.co.uk and exchange 100,000 points for a £500 gift card. Then you can let your points pick up the tab for a team-building outing or an adrenaline-fuelled activity that youve always wanted to try. Or organise a culinary weekend with a two-night stay in a London Novotel and a kitchen table experience for four at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant.

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Personal Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points

Not all American Express personal cards earn Membership Rewards points, but American Express issues these 5 cards that do.

You can earn valuable transferable Membership Rewards points on any of these recommended personal cards:

The Platinum Card® from American Express – There’s currently a new welcome bonus offer of 60,000 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. This is our #1 card for accessing 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass . We leverage ~$4,900+ in benefits and perks from the card every year. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card – This card has a new welcome bonus of 35,000 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. We love using this card as it earns 4X Membership Rewards Points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earns 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets . There’s no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly and you’ll have access to many benefits and perks. Terms apply and for rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

I Can’t Find Rewards Points To Use What Do I Do

We’ll never apply rewards points without your permission. To use rewards points for your order when checking out on Amazon, click the “Change” button in the payment method box located below the order summary.When Rewards Points are applied to your order total, you’ll see them before you place your order. If you don’t see Rewards points, click the “Change” button in the Payment Method box. When you choose how you’d like to pay, you’ll be able to apply available Rewards points to your order.

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Take 10 Domestic Trips On American Airlines

Have family and friends scattered around the U.S.? You can visit them on the cheap when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios.

British Airways and American Airlines are both in the Oneworld alliance, so you can use your Avios to book tickets on any American Airlines flight with award space. In many cases, its a better deal to book these tickets with Avios than American AAdvantage miles, too, since British Airways employs a distance-based award chart.

This means that your American Airlines award tickets will be priced based on the length of the flight. In the case of domestic U.S. awards, flights under 1,151 miles cost 9,000 Avios while flights between 1,152 and 2,000 miles cost 11,000 Avios. All domestic awards charge just $5.60 in taxes and fees.

This means that you can book a flight like Minneapolis to New York for just 9,000 Membership Rewards points and minimal taxes. This flight can be well over $300 one-way when booking at the last minute, giving you over 3.3 cents per point in value.

You can find American Airlines award tickets by searching on British Airways website, so theres no need to call in to book.

Other Ways To Earn Membership Rewards Points

How To Use Amex MR Points The Right Way (Updated 2019)

Once you have one of the above credit cards, there are a couple of additional options for earning Amex points. The first is by leveraging Rakuten, one of our favorite online shopping portals here at TPG. Formerly known as Ebates, the site used to only offer cash back for shoppers who clicked through to participating merchants from its dashboard. However, members now have the option of earning cash back or Membership Rewards points.

If you dont currently have an account, you can sign-up here and enjoy a one-time bonus of $30 when you spend at least $30 within 90 days of becoming a member.

Read more: How to use Rakuten to earn bonus cash back or Amex points

Another way to earn Membership Rewards points is when you buy or sell your home. This happens through a company called RBN, a referral brokerage that matches prospective buyers and sellers with participating agents and then awards you up to 1 Amex point for every $1 of the purchase or sale price after closing.

To learn more, check out this guide or you can visit RBNs site to start the process of connecting with a participating agent.

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How Do I Redeem My Microsoft Account Points

Microsoft Account Microsoft Account Control Panel There are thousands of Microsoft rewards available to you, from movies and apps to giveaways and more. Once you have enough points to get what you want, all of these eligible rewards will appear on your redemption rewards page. Just select “Redeem” and follow the instructions.

Spend 3 Nights At A Category 1 Hotel

Up until this point, we have only talked about American Express airline transfer partners, but youll also have access to booking hotels by making use of their hotel transfer partners.

Generally, you wont get as much value from your Membership Rewards points by booking a hotel compared with a flight, but there are still some deals worth considering if you really need a hotel stay.

For example, one good option is booking a Category 1 Hilton hotel like the Hampton Inn in Florence, Alabama.

With Membership Rewards, you can transfer 10,000 points to get 15,000 Honors points good for 3 nights at a Category 1 hotel. Thats 5,000 points per night an exceptional deal!

Your options are a little more limited with Category 1 hotels than Category 2, but youll still have options domestically and internationally. So how about a stay at the Hilton in Alexandria, Egypt or the DoubleTree by Hilton in Anhui, Suzhou?

Hot Tip: Use The Amex Platinum to get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status! You can also check out the various Hilton credit cards to find more ways to earn a bunch of Hilton Honors points, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

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Stay At Luxury Properties Through Choice Privileges

The Choice Privileges program is a lesser-known one compared to the bigger chains but you can get some great redemptions around the world, even at luxury hotels. It’s a 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer and awards at its nicer hotels range from 8,000-25,000 points.

Screenshot courtesy of Choice

You can also use Choice points to book Preferred Hotels and Resorts properties, a group of luxury independent hotels located around the world. For instance, I was able to find a two-night stay at The Leela Palace New Delhi for 70,000 points. We value Choice Points at 0.6 cents each, making the award worth $420. Considering the cash rate for the same dates is nearly $650, it’s a solid redemption.

Screenshot courtesy of Choice

Theres even an online search calendar to quickly check availability , though you do have to call to book Preferred Hotel properties.

As mentioned, Hilton is also a transfer partner, but it’s so easy to earn Hilton points either with cobranded cards including The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or through paid stays, so we don’t recommend wasting Membership Rewards transferring them to Hilton Honors unless you’re just short points for an award booking.

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