Ways To Use AmEx Points featured image

Best Ways To Use Amex Points

Let’s be honest, the American Express Membership Rewards program is one of the best points and miles currencies available. I personally love it and have done since my wife first got a good deal on a Gold account a few years back.

Our AmExs combined have given us a lot (though, of course, we’ve paid a fair amount in fees in the process) – from flight upgrades to lounges, to freebies on Amazon (my personal favorite perk).

According to the most recent valuations by TPG, Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are tied as the most rewarding transferable points currencies, valued at approximately 2 cents per point. And with the right transfer partners, you can potentially squeeze even more value from your points. It’s pretty intense.

But how do you do this? How do you make the most out the American Express Rewards and what are the best ways to use AmEx points? I’m exploring all of that below…

The top ways to use your points

Want all the juice you can possibly get from your points? Here are the best ways to do it.

Transfer to airline partners

You can transfer your AmEx Membership Rewards points to airline partners. This will let you redeem points for flights on various airlines, giving you a big bang for your buck.

Transferring your points to airline partners can maximize the value of your Membership Rewards points. Airlines often offer better value for point redemptions compared to other options like cashback or gift cards. This means you can get more out of your points by using them for flights.

Transferring your American Express Membership Rewards points to airline partners is simple:

  1. Log in to your American Express account.
  2. Head to the Membership Rewards section of your account. This can usually be found by selecting the ‘Rewards’ or ‘Membership Rewards’ tab.
  3. Select ‘Transfer Points’.
  4. From the list of available partners, select your favorite airline to transfer your points to.
  5. Here’s where you provide your loyalty program account information, such as your frequent flyer number and name, to link your AmEx account with the selected airline program.
  6. Enter the number of points to transfer – there’ll be some rewarding promotions available to get the most out of your points.
  7. Review all your transfer details, and confirm the transfer.
  8. Wait a little while for your transfer points to load.
  9. The satisfying part – seeing your miles safely land into your loyalty account! I always check these miles are correct (I’m the detail type when it comes to rewards).

Remember that the available transfer partners, transfer ratios, and specific instructions can change, so always inspect your points.

Transfer to hotel partners

Transferring points to hotel partners is rewarding by name and very rewarding by nature. It’s luxury for a lot less.

Amex for travel rewards

You stand to gain a few things by transferring your AmEx Membership Rewards points to hotel partners. One of the main advantages is increased flexibility. This is because you are not limited to a specific hotel chain – you can choose from a variety of hotel partners, and find those gem stays that best suit your taste and travel plans.

And, of course, there is value maximization, which is what I’m all about. Hotel programs often offer better redemption rates compared to other options, just like you can get with airlines. This means that by transferring your points to hotel partners, you can potentially get more value out of your Membership Rewards points.

Furthermore, transferring points to hotel partners makes you eligible for the benefits and perks offered by the hotel loyalty program. These benefits can include room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, access to exclusive amenities, and more. I’ve had quite a few free breakfasts over the years – and yes, they really do taste better for being on the house!

AmEx points can push further than this though. Accumulate enough and, for some hotel redemption rates, the entire cost of your accommodation could be covered. It’ll be a hefty vault of points you’ll need, but absolutely possible to achieve.

Some hotel loyalty programs offer elite status tiers based on your activity and points balance. By transferring points and staying at partner hotels, you may be able to unlock elite status benefits such as late checkout, priority check-in, and bonus point earnings.

I’m a real fan of the late checkout. Book in tandem with a late flight and you’ve got a whole extra day of holiday. I’ve only used it a couple of times, but it’s a real cheat code for maximizing your stay.

Here’s a tip: always keep an eye out for transfer bonuses – these are extra AmEx points to your transfer when converting to hotel partners. These bonuses can increase the value of your points, and provide an opportunity to accumulate more rewards.

Use for statement credits

Though a little less glamorous, redeeming your AmEx points for statement credits is still a very beneficial reward. It offsets the cost of eligible purchases made on your American Express card, offering flexibility in how you use your points.

In short, this will mean a smaller credit card bill. It’s very handy at times – when we were all grounded during Covid lockdown, this is one of the financial tactics my wife and I used to our advantage when we couldn’t spend our points on travel or going out.

Once you make a qualifying purchase, you can apply your points to offset the cost by redeeming them for statement credits, effectively reducing the amount you owe. It’s a pretty straightforward process, plus it’s flexible and convenient, giving you plenty of control over which purchases you want to offset and when you want to redeem your points.

Here’s another way this could come in handy: if you overspend on your holiday and you’ve got points left over after upgrading your flight and hotel experience, why not shift them onto your statement at the end of your stay? That’s a couple of free margaritas, or a free meal at your favorite local taverna.

Shop with points

I’m not a big one for shopping in general (unless we’re talking health supplements or vintage clothing, two of my weak spots…), but even I have to admit that this is a pretty cool way to use your AmEx points. It gives you an online marketplace filled with a wide variety of products and services that you can use your points to buy.

Screenshot of Amex Points App

By opting to shop with points, you can effectively transform your loyalty points into tangible items – they really do act like cash, here. And you can spend that ‘cash’ on a lot of different things, such as electronics, home goods, fashion, beauty, and so on. From the latest smartphones and gadgets to high-quality kitchen appliances or fashion accessories, there’ll be something for you.

And if you don’t want to shop for yourself? Well, you can also buy gift cards with them. With a wide selection of gift cards available, you can choose to redeem your points for cards from popular retailers, restaurants, or even entertainment venues. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right – a handy way to top up someone’s Christmas or birthday gift, all in exchange for your points.

Shopping with points through the online marketplace is an enjoyable experience. What I mean by that, is that it’s convenient and hassle-free (my kind of shopping).

It’s easy as anything to browse the products and services on offer, take a look at detailed descriptions, and make your selections directly on the platform. Once you make a purchase with your points, the item is typically shipped to the cardholder’s designated address… it really couldn’t get much smoother.

Using AmEx points for shopping gives you a real, tangible reward that you can hold in your hand. A welcome opportunity to buy yourself a deserved treat – the latest gadget, or a cool camera for your travels, maybe – without making any kind of guilty dent in your wallet.

Always remember though, inspect your points – their value when shopping may vary depending on the specific item or gift card chosen. Always compare prices, consider the retail values, and think about the real redemption value before buying anything using your points.

Use your points on Amazon

OK, so we’re still shopping over here… but marrying the ease of AmEx points with the ease of Amazon makes me want to talk about this separately. It’s a great way to use your points – especially during periods of non-travel – and one of my favorite ways of browsing Amazon.

Whether it’s for everyday items for home, or products that’ll be great for your next adventure or work trip away, AmEx points go far with Amazon. Here, your points on Amazon are like credits, much like using a gift card to offset the total cost. And it’s so simple to do.

First, you need to link your eligible American Express card to your Amazon account. This can be done by going to the American Express Shop with Points page on Amazon. Once your card is linked, the process is easy:

  • Enroll your AmEx card in the Membership Rewards program. This is a prerequisite for using your reward points for shopping on Amazon.
  • Browse through the millions of eligible items on Amazon and add them to your cart.
  • Picked your items? Head over to the checkout, and select ‘Membership Rewards points’ as your payment method.
  • Enter the number of points you want to apply to your purchase, and review your order before confirming.
  • It’s on the way! All courtesy of your AmEx points, which will be deducted from your Membership Rewards account.

With Amazon, you’ve got a colossal volume of products to choose from. With Amex points, you’ve got a simple, rewarding way to purchase these items and save yourself some money. A fantastic scheme that’s easy to flex.

Final thought

If you’re an AmEx cardholder, the AmEx Membership Rewards program delivers you a bouquet of attractive redemption options, allowing you to make the most of the points you accumulate throughout both your everyday life, and around the world as you travel.

Whether it’s booking travel, redeeming for statement credits, or shopping online, there is something for everyone.

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