Friday, March 17, 2023

What Is Amex Membership Rewards

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What’s The Value Of Amex Points For Shopping Online

Discover the Membership Rewards® Program | American Express

In addition to using points to Cover Your Card Charges, you can redeem points at checkout at several online retailers. With two exceptions noted below, the Pay With Points redemption option provides 0.7 cents per point in value.

That redemption rate is an ever-so-slightly better rate than the 0.6 cents per point that you get when using points to offset card charges. So, if you’re planning on redeeming points through Cover Your Card Charges, it’s worth seeing if you can make the purchase through one of the participating retailers and use Pay With Points instead.

You’ll get a redemption rate of 0.7 cents per point when using points at checkout at the following retailers:

  • Amazon
  • Staples
  • Walmart

The only exceptions to this general redemption rate are Ticketmaster and NYC Taxi .

Book Rooms With Hotel Partners

Just as airline partner transfers result in amazing deals, so do transfers with Amex hotel partners.

Amex partners with three hotel chains: Hilton, Marriott and Choice. Using the same strategy above, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to the hotel program at an often higher value.

Hilton offers the best transfer ratio value, at 2 Hilton points per 1 Membership Rewards point. Marriott and Choice hotels offer a 1-to-1 ratio.

Using this ratio, here’s how many hotel points you could get by transferring 100,000 Membership Rewards® points :

  • Hilton: 150,000 points
  • 75,000 points
  • Choice: 75,000 points

You’ll typically yield more value by transferring your points to airline partners and booking flights, but using points for hotel stays can be smart too. You’ll do well when redeeming points for luxury hotels or when demand for hotels is high which translates into high cash prices.

You can book the Conrad Maldives for 95,000 Hilton points a night, meaning the Amex Platinum welcome bonus would almost be enough to reward cardmembers with a two-night stay. Rooms at the Conrad Maldives can go for more than $1,000 a night.

What Points Can You Earn With Co

American Express also has a number of co-branded cards with its travel partners. Co-branded Amex cards do not earn Membership Rewards points instead, they earn the loyalty program points of Amex partners instead. Here are a few examples of co-branded Amex cards and the points youll earn by using them:

  • earns Marriott Bonvoy points

However, points you earn by using a co-branded card will be less flexible than Membership Rewards points because they are tied to a specific airline or hotel. Nevertheless, if youre a loyal Delta passenger or Hilton guest, having one of these cards in your wallet will serve you well.

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American Express Business Gold Card

This card is a great option for those who value flexibility in both earning and redeeming points. With the Business Gold Card, youll always earn 4x in the two spending categories where you spent the most that month. So, you dont have to worry about selecting the best two categories. Couple that with the flexibility of the Membership Rewards program and you have a potent combination. Read the full review.

How Did We Determine Our Amex Points Value

Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

For our NerdWallet estimate of 2 cents per Membership Rewards point, we factored in several variables:

  • The value of these points when used to book travel directly with the credit cards travel portal.

  • The value of the airline and hotel points to which these points can be transferred, when applicable .

  • The number of top-tier travel transfer partners, as determined by our expert panel.

  • The overall value is determined as: A weighted average between and , with the weight determined by . The program with the largest number of high-value partners receives a 100% weight on , and a program with zero high-value partners receives a 50% weight on .

    AmEx had the highest number of top-tier transfer partners, so it received a 100% weight on its most valuable transfer partner .

    To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

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    Try And Redeem For Travel Whenever Possible

    Redeeming for travel using transfer partners always provides the best value for your Amex points.

    As shown earlier, its possible to get over 18 cents per point in value when redeeming points for aspirational awards. Of course, its still possible to get huge value on domestic tickets using partners like Avianca , British Airways and Delta.

    Speaking of travel: I recommend staying away from the Amex Travel portal if possible.

    While redeeming points through Amex Travel certainly isnt the worst use of your Amex points, it still only provides 1 cent per point in value. My rule of thumb is to always compare the cost of a paid ticket to one booked through a transfer partner. If I cant get more than 2 cents per point in value, Ill pay for the ticket instead.

    Earn Amex Membership Rewards Points Via Amex Offers

    Card holders can also utilize one of the most underrated benefits of having an Amex card: Amex Offers. With Amex Offers, card holders can earn statement credits or bonus points at select retailers. In other words, its the perfect opportunity to save some cash or earn bonus points for purchases you were already planning on making.

    In the past, Amex has offered cash back and bonus points on cell phone bills, utilities and insurance payments. I saved more than $2,000 on five of my Amex cards in 2021.

    To find and take advantage of Amex Offers, youll need to log in to your account. From there, scroll to the bottom of the page to the Amex Offers & Benefits section of the page. Be sure to click View All to load all of your eligible offers, and also be sure to select Add to Card in order to activate your Amex Offer. From there, youll be eligible to earn the bonus points or cash savings that come as part of each Amex Offer so long as you use the registered card to make your purchase. Amex Offers are a massive perk of Amex cards that can save you money or earn you bonus points on purchases you were already planning to make.

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    Do Membership Rewards Points Expire

    Membership Rewards points do not expire, but American Express stipulates that they may be forfeited in certain instances, such as if you return an item you had paid for with your Amex card. If your card is active and your account is in good standing, youll be able to collect as many Membership Rewards as you want without worrying about an expiration date.

    Welcome offers and referral bonuses are other major point-earners, as are Amex Offers, which are special offers that feature limited-time point bonuses at select retailers. Unlocking bonus value will take some strategy, but even with low effort, a rewards card should save you money annually.

    One point is better than none, but to maximize the rewards you get for spending, youll need to use several cards that complement each other with bonus rewards rates in different categories. Even better, if you have multiple American Express credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points, your points will automatically be combined into a single Rewards account.

    For example, you can use the Platinum Card to earn 5X points on flights booked directly with the airline or flights or prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel . The Gold Card is another one with a great category bonus 4X points spent at restaurants or at U.S. supermarkets .

    Redeeming Membership Rewards: Poor

    Membership Rewards® Upgrade with Points | American Express

    Unfortunately, several options for redeeming your points represent less than stellar value and should typically be avoided. These include:

    Use points for charges This is like a cash-back option for covering eligible charges on your billing statement. What are eligible charges? Theres no published definition, and American Express can change whatever charges it deems eligible at any time without prior notification. Youll only receive 0.6 cents per point with this option, so its not a very good return.

    Pay with Points at check-out After linking your Membership Rewards accounts with various online merchants like Amazon and GrubHub, you can use points to pay for your purchases at a slightly better value of 0.7 cents per point. Although this option can sometimes be useful for promotions, you may want to turn this option off to prevent accidental and unauthorized use of your points.

    Complimentary Uber rides You can redeem points for Uber rides at a value of 1 cent apiece. Add an eligible Membership Rewards American Express card as your payment method, and the Uber app will present you with a Use Points option to pay for the ride.

    Redeeming for gift cards One of the worst options is redeeming your points for gift cards. Your points are worth anyway from 0.5 cents to 1 cent apiece on these redemptions, depending on the merchant.

    Related: How everyday purchases cost me thousands of points

    Also Check: How To Redeem Visa Card

    Who We Are And How We Get Paid

    Our goal at Mozo is to help you make smart financial decisions and our award-winning comparison tools and services are provided free of charge. As a marketplace business, we do earn money from advertising and this page features products with Go To Site links and/or other paid links where the provider pays us a fee if you go to their site from ours, or you take out a product with them. You do not pay any extra for using our service.

    We are proud of the tools and information we provide and unlike some other comparison sites, we also include the option to search all the products in our database, regardless of whether we have a commercial relationship with the providers of those products or not.

    ‘Sponsored’, ‘Hot deal’ and ‘Featured Product’ labels denote products where the provider has paid to advertise more prominently.

    ‘Mozo sort order’ refers to the initial sort order and is not intended in any way to imply that particular products are better than others. You can easily change the sort order of the products displayed on the page.

    Fine Hotels And Resorts And The Hotel Collection

    The Fine Hotels and Resorts program offers increased benefits at over 1,100 properties worldwide. This program is available to Platinum Card or Business Platinum cardmembers and the benefits include breakfast for two, a welcome amenity or property credit and room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, when available.

    The Hotel Collection is a more limited program which offers a $100 experience credit and other benefits on stays of two nights or more.

    While Fine Hotels and Resorts and The Hotel Collection are part of the American Express Travel portal, bookings made through the Fine Hotels and Resorts channel are considered eligible rates. This means that hotel reservations made through American Express Travel Fine Hotels and Resorts and The Hotel Collection would earn hotel loyalty program points and elite credit.

    When booking reservations through Fine Hotels and Resorts, points are worth 1 cent each toward the cost of the room.

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    Membership Rewards Vs Amex Co

    Point values fluctuate, welcome offers come and go and partner relationships change. Finding the card thats right for you is as much a game of staying in the know as it is of managing your expenses. Fortunately for American Express cardholders, several travel partners have become almost synonymous with Amex points-earning.

    Putting a true value on those points can be tricky, however. Personal hotel preferences, flight destinations and other factors can add intangible value to points earned on Amex cards. From strictly a dollar-value perspective, points you can earn on American Express cards are roughly the following values:

    Point values can shift often, and resources like The Points Guy report point values monthly, which provides good insight on one of the first factors to consider when applying for a new American Express card. The key takeaway here is that Membership Rewards have a fluid value 2 cents per point is an average of the value you can expect when redeeming them, according to our own valuations.

    Membership Rewards are much more flexible than any partner points program, but if you are loyal to a particular brand you may find more value in the co-branded card.

    So which points are better? The answer is subjective. It depends on your spending habits, travel preferences and location. Start by asking yourself these questions:

    Transfer Membership Rewards Points To Partner Airlines & Hotels

    Maximizing Your AMEX Membership Reward Points Redemptions

    The next and perhaps best way to use Membership Rewards points is by transferring them to partner airline and hotel programs. Just like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and even Capital One Venture Miles, you can transfer Amex points directly into your account with certain airlines and hotels.

    Scope out the full list of transfer partners, and youll see there are plenty of options to send your points.

    Membership Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

    1:1 Instant

    As you can see, your Membership Rewards points will transfer to many airlines instantly. That means as soon as you complete the transfer from your Amex account, they should arrive in your airline frequent flyer account.

    That said, some transfer partners like Singapore, Cathay Pacific, ANA, Iberia, and more will take anywhere from 12 hours to 12 days.

    And while the majority of airline transfer partners will transfer on a 1:1 basis meaning 1 Amex point will equal 1 airline mile thats not the case for every one of them.

    Membership Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

    On the hotel side of things, youll have three options. Hilton, Marriott and Choice hotels.

    Choice and Marriott will transfer at a ratio of 1:1 while Hilton transfers are a rate of 1:2. That means for every 1 Amex point transferred, youll receive 2 Hilton Honors points.

    1:1 Instant

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    How Much Are American Express Membership Rewards Points Worth

    You have a lot of options when it comes to redeeming your Membership Rewards points and the value you get per point varies depending on how you use them. You can also look up the values for different options based on your card using a tool on the American Express Membership Rewards website. Here are ways to redeem:

    American Express Membership Rewards: The Basics

    Earning points: Many American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points with each purchase. Cards that earn points include AmEx’s signature Green, Gold and Platinum cards.

    You’ll earn at least 1 point per dollar spent with your card. Depending on the card, you may earn extra points for spending in specific categories, such as 3 points per dollar at restaurants or 5 points per dollar on certain travel purchases. Additional points can be earned through bonus offers for new cardholders, targeted “Amex Offers” that give you bonus points for shopping with specific merchants, or other incentives.

    Using points: Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for things like:

    • Travel.

    » MORE:Which American Express card is right for you?

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    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.

    Why Is My American Express Card Not Eligible For Membership Rewards

    Can I Link a Corporate Card to My Amex Membership Rewards?

    Not all American Express cards earn Membership Rewards. Instead, some earn cash back, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Other Amex cards are co-branded to earn other types of rewards points directly, such as the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express*. Its also possible that your American Express card does not earn rewards at all, which is often the case on corporate cards.

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    Earn Membership Rewards Through Personal Referrals

    Another great opportunity to earn Membership Rewards points comes from referring your card to friends and family members. Many times, the offers you can send a friend or family member are better than the offers that are publicly available, making it a win-win for both parties.

    Just beware, American Express started taxing points earned through personal referrals back in 2019. Each card will allow you to earn 55,000 points each year through personal referrals, and Amex will tax those at one cent each. That means, come tax time, you would receive a 1099-MISC form for $550 if you max out on those referrals.

    Do Amex Membership Rewards Points Expire

    As long as you have an active card that earns Membership Rewards points, your points will never expire. Even if the points you have were earned from a different credit card than you currently have open, you should have nothing to worry about.

    But if you decide to cancel a card that earns Membership Rewards, make sure you have a plan for your points. If you only have one card open, canceling that card will immediately forfeit all of your points in your Membership Rewards account.

    The best option in this scenario is to transfer your points to one of the airline or hotel partners or use the points up in a different way before you close your account.

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