Amex Membership Rewards: How To Earn And Use Them
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American Express offers multiple rewards cards, some of which earn points on purchases in the form of Membership Rewards.
Membership Rewards vary in how much theyre worth depending on how you choose to redeem them. For example, you could potentially double their value by turning them into Hilton Honors loyalty points versus using them to shop at Yeti and those are just two out of hundreds of options.
Heres how to get the most out of your American Express Membership Rewards.
Fly Cathay Pacific First Class To Asia Via Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class. Image Credit: AuPACS
Cathay Pacific first class is perhaps the most luxurious way to fly to Southeast Asia in first class. With tickets normally selling for $20,000+ round-trip, you definitely want to use points if possible.
The good news is that Cathay Pacific first class will get you most of the way to Southeast Asia in first class. But if your final destination is anywhere besides Hong Kong, youll also hop on a short business class flight to wherever youre headed.
Here are a few fantastic Cathay Pacific first and business class itineraries you can book using Asia Miles transferred from Amex points:
- Boston Hong Kong Mumbai one-way in Cathay Pacific first class then business class for 125,000 Asia Miles
- Los Angeles Hong Kong Singapore one-way in Cathay Pacific first class then business class for 125,000 Asia Miles
- New York City Hong Kong Bali-Denpasar one-way in Cathay Pacific first class then business class for 125,000 Asia Miles
- San Francisco Hong Kong Bangkok one-way in Cathay Pacific first class then business class for 120,000 Asia Miles
Fly Air France Business Class To Paris
Air France Business Class. Image Credit: Air France
Air France offers a stellar business class product on almost all of their long-haul aircraft. This is especially true for Air Frances flights to/from the U.S.
Usually configured to have reverse herringbone seats for maximum privacy and comfort, Air Frances business class product is a stylish, tasteful way to fly to Europe in luxury.
Just like British Airways, Air France offers many nonstop flights to secondary cities in the U.S. Here are some awesome Air France tickets you can book with Amex points:
- Atlanta Paris one-way in Air France business class for 66,500 Flying Blue miles
- Boston Paris one-way in Air France business class for 63,500 Flying Blue miles
- Chicago Paris one-way in Air France business class for 58,000 Flying Blue miles
- Detroit Paris one-way in Air France business class for 68,000 Flying Blue miles
- Houston Paris one-way in Air France business class for 66,500 Flying Blue miles
- Los Angeles Paris one-way in Air France business class for 67,500 Flying Blue miles
- Miami Paris one-way in Air France business class for 53,000 Flying Blue miles
- Minneapolis Paris one-way in Air France business class for 72,000 Flying Blue miles
- New York City Paris one-way in Air France business class for 57,500 Flying Blue miles
- San Francisco Paris one-way in Air France business class for 71,000 Flying Blue miles
- Washington D.C. Paris one-way in Air France business class for 55,000 Flying Blue miles
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Where Can You Redeem American Express Membership Rewards Points
You can redeem American Express Membership Rewards points in the Rewards section of your online account. Alternatively, you can call American Express to redeem your points by phone.
Here’s a list of all American Express transfer partners. As you’ll see, it’s extensive, which is a strong suit of these travel cards. Transfer ratios are even except where otherwise noted.
- Aer Lingus
- Shop for products with points
- Pay with points at checkout
- Redeem as cash back towards previous charges
Although there are quite a few redemptions in the list above, they don’t offer much value. The only one worth considering is to book or upgrade a flight through American Express Travel. You can get $0.01 per point that way with all American Express travel cards except Blue from American Express®. It’s not great, but it’s acceptable if you can’t transfer points for the airfare you want.
The 4 Best Ways To Redeem Amex Points To Fly Transcontinentally
Flying from coast to coast? Some of the most comfortable first and business class seats are flown on these premium routes. Think New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco to Boston!
Here are the best ways to redeem Amex points to fly transcontinentally.
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Fly Premium Economy Or Business Class To The Maldives
If you want a luxury trip to the Maldives but don’t want to blow all your points on a round-trip flight, consider taking a one-way flight on Alitalia. From Italy, a premium economy ticket to the Maldives costs 55,000 miles and a business class ticket costs 100,000 miles. If you don’t mind sitting in economy, you can get a one-way award ticket to the Maldives from Italy for just 40,000 miles. Plus, to get to Italy for your departure flight, you can book a round-trip award from the U.S. for 60,000 miles.
Fly The Worlds Longest Nonstop Flight In Comfort
Singapore Airlines restarted the worlds longest flight New York to Singapore earlier this month. While Americans still cant enter Singapore for tourism, its refreshing to see this flight make a comeback. It will be an excellent way to fly from the East Coast to Singapore and beyond without a layover once travel resumes.
Of course, youre not going to want to spend 18 hours in an economy seat so use your Membership Rewards to fly business class instead. The New York-JFK to Singapore route costs 99,000 points, a small price to pay for comfort on such a long flight.
Onboard, you can expect top-notch service and dining. Plus, the seat is nothing to scoff at either its fully lie-flat and has a fully stocked entertainment selection. Think of it like a five-star hotel room and restaurant that whisks you around the world.
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Utilize Etihad Guest Partner Award Bookings
While using miles for flights on Etihads own metal rarely results in good value for your Membership Rewards points, the Etihad Guest program does have various partner awards you can book. The uniqueness of the individual partner award charts opens up some high-value trips you can book for comparatively few miles.
One great example involves American Airlines, which can result in some substantial savings. A one-way first-class flight from the U.S. to Europe, for example, would only set you back 62,500 Etihad Guest miles compared to 85,000-175,000 AAdvantage miles. Since you cant transfer your Membership Rewards points to American, this is a great option to snag AAdvantage award flights with your Membership Rewards points.
Heres a sample of other current Etihad partner awards you can book. All are priced based on a one-way ticket unless otherwise noted:
- New York-JFK Casablanca in Royal Air Maroc business class: 44,000 miles or 22,000 miles .
- New York-JFK Brussels on Brussels Airlines: 44,000 miles or 27,000 miles .
- San Francisco Seoul on Asiana Airlines: 59,000 miles or 35,000 miles .
- American Airlines A321T business class transcontinental flight: 32,500 miles.
- American Airlines flagship first class to Asia or Europe: 62,500 67,500 miles.
Make sure to look at the ANA, Air Canada and Air Seychelles partner charts for using Etihad miles, each with its own sweet spots.
Last Chance: How To Make Sure Youve Used Your Amex Airline Fee Credit Before The Year Ends
The Points GuyMSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.
Editors note: This post has been updated with new information.
American Express offers multiple premium travel rewards cards, some of which come with perks that will reset at the end of the calendar year, and if you dont use them before they do, its like youre leaving money on the table.
Among them, several American Express cards offer an airline fee credit tied to the calendar year,. As the end of 2021 approaches, make sure youve used the airline fee statement credit thats offered by the following cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Up to $250 credit.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Up to $200 credit.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Up to $200 credit.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Fly Qatar Airways Qsuites To Doha
Qatar Airways QSuites Quad Pod. Image Credit: Qatar Airways
As we mentioned previously, QSuites is one of the worlds best business class products.
Not only can some of the middle seats be turned into double beds, but some rows of business class seats can actually be converted into Quad pods, which is essentially an enclave of 4 seats where everybody can see and communicate with each other.
Qatar Airways QSuites is also famous for its amazing Mediterranean dining, luxurious amenities, fantastic service, and plush bedding. It also the biggest U.S. route network for a Middle Eastern airline in the world. To book these award tickets, youll probably want to use Asia Miles. Here are some awesome redemptions you can make:
- Atlanta Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 75,000 Asia Miles
- Boston Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 75,000 Asia Miles
- Dallas-Fort Worth Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Houston Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Chicago Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Los Angeles Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites 90,000 Asia Miles
- San Francisco Doha one-way in Qatar Airways 90,000 Asia Miles
- Miami Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Philadelphia Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 75,000 Asia Miles
- New York City Doha one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 75,000 Asia Miles
Get Up To 50% Off Some Great Amazon Products
Lets take a look at some examples of how you can apply this discount to your upcoming purchases, even if you dont need anything from Amazon right at the moment.
If youre in the market for a tablet that isnt flashy but gets the job done at a low price, we think the Fire HD 10 is one of the best budget tablets you can buy, and the retailer has a kids edition with a tough, colorful case but the same internal hardware as the main version. The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition currently prices at $119.99 before taxes and shipping, but if you apply the 50% Amex discount, that price drops to an insanely low $59.99.
Or, if youre hoping to pick up a pair of Apple AirPods during the holidays, right now Amazon has them at an impressively low $159.00. But if youre targeted for the Amex 50% off discount, you can get them for an insane $79.50 before taxes and shipping.
And even though these discount offers dont apply to Amazon gift cards, they do apply to many other third-party retailer gift cards that Amazon sells. Amazon has literally hundreds of options, including retailers that might be useful right now, such as Netflix, DoorDash, Whole Foods and more.
So even if you dont have anything to get at before Dec. 31, you can always buy a gift card for yourself using the discount and bank the savings for later.
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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:
Redeem Amex Points For Shopping
American Express has many shopping partners including Amazon, Walmart, Grubhub and Best Buy that allow you to link your account to their sites and apply your points at checkout with a single click.
Additionally, you can use your Membership Rewards points via PayPal anywhere that accepts the service. These options are convenient, but theyre also a poor use of points since you only get a value of 0.7 cents back for each point.
The American Express shopping portal gives you an even worse value on your points. Though you will find a bevy of merchandise through the portal, your rewards are worth 0.5 cents per point. If youre determined to use your Membership Rewards points for online shopping, visiting one of American Expresss shopping partners may be your best bet.
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Fly Skyteam Business Class To New Zealand
The very last way to fly to New Zealand that well recommend is by booking Delta One Suites and then Korean Air, which is one of the only ways to redeem Amex points for SkyTeam business class flights to New Zealand.
The transfer partner of choice is Air France/KLM Flying Blue. Here is a great example redemption you can make:
- Atlanta Seoul-Incheon Auckland one-way in Delta One Suites and Korean Air business class for 121,000 Flying Blue miles
The 6 Best Ways To Use Amex Points To Fly To Japan
Japan is one of the worlds hottest tourist destinations. Easily accessible from the U.S. West Coast, its no wonder people dream about visiting this cultural wonderland.
Japan is also home to 2 of the worlds best first class and business class airlines: ANA and Japan Airlines. Lets get into the best ways to use Amex points to fly to Japan!
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Fly Etihad First Class And Business Class To The Maldives
Etihad First Class. Image Credit: Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is one of the worlds best first class airlines. It offers some of the most premium aviation experiences in the world, even some of the worlds best airport lounges!
Its also one of the few airlines that operates convenient, one-stop itineraries from the U.S. to the Maldives. In this case, the connection point is in Abu Dhabi, its hub in the Middle East.
If flying to the Maldives in luxury is your goal, this is one of the best ways to do it. You can book first class all the way to Abu Dhabi, and then business class on the short, 4-hour flight to the Maldives. The best transfer partner to leverage is Air Canada Aeroplan. If youd like to book a short stopover in Abu Dhabi, you can do so by redeeming an additional 5,000 miles. Here are some great example routes you can book:
- Los Angeles Abu Dhabi Malé one-way in Etihad first class then business class for 130,000 Aeroplan miles
- New York City Abu Dhabi Malé one-way in Etihad first class then business class for 130,000 Aeroplan miles
- Washington D.C. Abu Dhabi Malé one-way in Etihad first class then business class for 130,000 Aeroplan miles
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Fly China Eastern First Class To Shanghai
China Eastern First Class. Image Credit: China Eastern
There arent a whole lot of double beds available in the sky. When you think about airlines offering double beds, you usually think about Singapore Airlines, Etihad , and Qatar Airways QSuites. But you probably didnt realize that an airline called China Eastern offers exclusive double beds in first class!
So if you want to cross a double bed in an airplane off of your bucket list and you want to travel to China, this is the classiest way to do it!
On its 777-300ER aircraft, China Eastern offers an incredible first class hard product though the soft product is lacking compared to Emirates and other top-tier airlines. Theres just 1 pair of seats that turns into a double bed out of 6 seats in total, so its truly one of the rarest first class tickets you can ever book.
And without a doubt, this is the best way to fly nonstop to China in first class. Itll cost you a pretty penny, though, because youll need to transfer your points to Qantas Frequent Flyer to book. Here are some great example redemptions you can book:
- Los Angeles Shanghai one-way in China Eastern first class for 149,800 Qantas points
- New York City Shanghai one-way in China Eastern first class for 170,800 Qantas points
- San Francisco Shanghai one-way in China Eastern first class for 149,800 Qantas points
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