The American Express Membership Rewards program offers a multitude of strong transfer options for your points. Its combination of flexibility and value makes it one of the more coveted credit card rewards programs out there.
Why should you sign up for the American Express Membership Rewards program?
One of the main draws of the American Express Membership Rewards program is the sheer number of transfer partners available. While not all partners accept point transfers at a 1:1 ratio, Amex has a whopping 21 partners. Chase Ultimate Rewards has just 12 transfer partners in comparison.
If you value flexibility and spending your points on travel, the Amex Membership Rewards program should be high on your list of reward programs.
How much are American Express Membership Rewards points worth?
On average, American Express Membership Rewards points are worth about 1 cents per point according to our calculations based on the Amex site at the time of writing. Unlike some other point programs, Amex points are not worth 1 cent when redeemed for cash back or statement credits.
American Express Points
American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points
Of American Express’s 30 plus cards, about a third of those can help you earn Membership Rewards points – six personal cards and four business cards.
These cards offer varied earning categories, with many offering just one or two. Some of these cards also offer additional point bonuses when you make a certain number of purchases in a given month.
Not all Membership Rewards cards feature a welcome offer, so you’ll want to carefully examine your spending habits versus available cards to determine your best choice for earning points.
Unfortunately, you can’t transfer points earned using some of Amex Membership Rewards cards.
The following cards are not eligible to transfer points:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Blue from American Express® Card
Some Blue from American Express cards
Business Management Account
American Express® Gold Card
Optima Credit Card
Optima® Platinum Card®
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Zync from American Express®
Welcome offer restrictions
American Express has a limit on the number of welcome offers you’re able to earn with their cards — specifically, you’re allowed one welcome offer bonus per “lifetime” per card type. In most cases, this means you’ll only be able to take advantage of one welcome offer, though you might be eligible for others depending on the card type.
Fill out the welcome offer eligibility tool on the American Express website if you’re unsure whether you qualify for a card’s welcome offer.
You have a wide variety of travel partners to choose from provided you’re using an Amex card that can transfer points. We’ve listed transfer values as of the time of writing below and you can learn more about redeeming your points for best value.
Aer Lingus Aerclub
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France KLM
All Nippon Airways
British Airways Executive Club
El Al Israel Airlines
Etihad Airways Guest
JetBlue Airways TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Airways Flying Club
Data obtained May 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
American Express makes it easy to access your Membership Rewards account from your online dashboard. Sign in and click Explore Rewards to see your points balance, points earned and options for redemption. Or click Rewards from the top nav.
Below your points snapshot, you’ll find a navigation bar of five tabbed redemption options. Points required for your purchases vary by redemption option and retailer.
Pay with Points at Checkout
Put your points toward online orders at such retailers as Amazon, Grubhub and Walmart. You may also see local merchants as an option — for us, the option to use points for New York City taxis.
Redeem for Gift Cards
Redeem your points for future spending at big names in clothing, travel, dining and entertainment. Boost your points redemption by 10% or more through curated promotions and “sale” cards.
Cover Your Card Charges
Cash in your points for credit toward eligible charges on your current statement.
Use your points toward insider fares on flights, hotels, cars, cruises and packages.
Search for limited-time offers and membership perks at select retailers, and Amex credits all or part of your purchase with your points on your next statement.
The American Express Memberships Rewards program couples strong point values with great flexibility and opportunities for bonus point earnings. Make sure to apply for an Amex card that can transfer points to take advantage of the true value of the program and explore the world.
No. Your Membership Rewards points have no expiration date. However, you can lose earned points by returning purchased items, making late payments or canceling your account.
It depends on your card. Many cards are enrolled automatically for free when you activate your account. Others need to pay an annual fee to participate. Check out the Amex Membership Rewards site for a full list of cards that need to pay.
No. You currently can’t transfer accumulated points to a friend’s account.
No. Your Amex points are stored in a single account pool. You can transfer those points to partners so long as you own a card that allows you to do so.
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
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