Guide to American Express Membership Rewards program

This program has great point values and numerous transfer partners.

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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

Our pick for earning Membership Rewards

American Express® Green Card

  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network — no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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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.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Green Card
30,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
$150
Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. Rates & fees
American Express® Gold Card
35,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
Earn 4x points at restaurants worldwide. Rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
N/A
2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
$0
Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions. Rates & fees
American Express® Business Gold Card
35,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
4x points on two categories on up to $150,000 combined annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
$295
Earn 35,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Transferring 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.

Transfer partners

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.

Travel partner Transfer ratio
Aer Lingus Aerclub 1000:1000
Aeromexico Club Premier 1000:1600
Air Canada Aeroplan 1000:1000
Air France KLM 1000:1000
Alitalia Millemiglia 1000:1000
All Nippon Airways 1000:1000
Asia Miles 1000:1000
Avianca LifeMiles 1000:1000
British Airways Executive Club 1000:1000
Delta SkyMiles 1000:1000
El Al Israel Airlines 1000:20
Emirates Skywards 1000:1000
Etihad Airways Guest 1000:1000
Hawaiian Airlines 1000:1000
Iberia Plus 1000:1000
JetBlue Airways TrueBlue 250:200
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1000:1000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1000:1000
Virgin Atlantic Airways Flying Club 1000:1000
Choice Privileges 1000:1000
Hilton Honors 1000:2000
Marriott Bonvoy 1000:1000

Data obtained May 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

How to navigate account

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.

Book Travel

Use your points toward insider fares on flights, hotels, cars, cruises and packages.

Go Shopping

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.

Bottom line

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.

If Amex cards don’t offer the perks and earning categories you want, compare your reward card options to find one that fits your spending habits.

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