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With the American Express Membership Rewards® program, you can earn points when you use an eligible AmEx card to make purchases and then choose how you want to redeem your points.
The value of your American Express Membership Rewards® points will depend on your card of choice, but it generally ranges from 0.5 cents to 1 cent per point.
AmEx Points: How Much Are They Worth?
Here's an overview of the Membership Rewards® redemption options and the general value per point for each option:
- Pay with points at select stores: 0.7 cents
- Redeem points for gift cards: 0.7 to 1 cent
- Redeem points for a statement credit: 0.6 cents
- Book flights through American Express travel: 1 cent
- Book non-flight travel through American Express travel: 0.7 cents
- Book travel on Expedia.com: 0.7 cents
- Purchase merchandise with points: 0.5 cents
- Donate points to charity: 1 cent
- Transfer points to travel partners: Varies
The value of your points depends on which card you have and how you choose to redeem those points. For example, if you have the Blue From American Express® card, your points are worth 0.5 cents each (instead of 1 cent each) when booking flights through American Express Travel. Or, if you redeem points for a gift card, the cost depends on which gift card you want.
You can use the Membership Rewards® tool to see the options based on your card (or a card you're considering getting) and how many points you want to redeem.
How to Earn American Express Points
There are six personal credit cards and four business credit cards that are part of the American Express Membership Rewards® program and available to new cardholders.
You can earn points whenever you make a purchase using one of these cards. Depending on the card, you might also earn bonus points on certain types of purchases.
For example, with the American Express® Gold Card, you can earn:
- 4 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants.
- 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on the first $25,000 in purchases each year (then 1 point per dollar).
- 3 points per dollar when you book flights on amextravel.com.
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
The American Express® Gold Card offers a variety of other benefits, including statement credits toward select dining and airline purchases. You'll pay a $250 annual fee for the card.
There's also The Platinum Card® From American Express, which has a hefty $550 annual fee but comes with luxury perks, such as access to airport lounges, up to $200 in Uber credits each year and up to $100 in statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you earn 5 points per $1 dollar spent when you book flights directly with an airline or with American Express Travel, or if you book prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You'll get 1 point per $1 dollar spent on all other purchases.
You can earn Membership Rewards® points with other American Express cards as well, including cards that have a lower (or no) annual fee and different bonus categories:
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card doesn't have an annual fee and offers bonus points on eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets.
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and offers bonus points on eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations.
Many American Express Membership Rewards® cards also offer an intro bonus. You'll generally have to spend a certain amount of money during your first few months as a cardholder to receive the bonus, which could be for tens of thousands of points. It could be a good way to jump-start your points stash.
How to Redeem American Express Points
Once you're ready to redeem your points, you can use the Membership Rewards® tool to get started.
You can complete some redemptions, such as for a gift card or statement credit, on the American Express website. If you're paying with points at a partner merchant, you may have to link your American Express account to your account on the merchant's website (such as Expedia.com or Amazon.com) before completing your order to enable the pay with points option.
You may get the greatest value by transferring your points to a travel partner's loyalty program and then redeeming them for a flight or hotel stay. AmEx has 18 airline and three hotel partner programs, and your value per point could be especially high if you can transfer enough points to book a business or first class ticket.
Consider Your Options Before Redeeming
While you can use your American Express Membership Rewards® points for different types of rewards, comparing your options first can help ensure you get the most value from each point.
Booking flights through American Express Travel or redeeming points for a gift card are two of the best options because your points could be worth up 1 cent each. Or, if you're up for doing a little more research, transferring points to a travel partner and then booking a reward flight or hotel stay might be the very best option.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.