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The long-time leader in rewards credit cards has been American Express. In recent years, other issuers like Chase Bank have challenged that title by introducing some of the best rewards credit cards, but, Amex still has a loyal customer base. One of the primary reasons is American Express continues to offer some of the most valuable purchase rewards in the credit card industry with the American Express Membership Rewards program.

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The following will compare personal and business American Express Membership Rewards credit cards.

No-Fee American Express Membership Rewards Personal Credit Cards

Amex offers six different credit cards that do not charge an annual fee.  They do not pack the same punch as the cards that do charge an annual fee, but they still might be an option to consider as a secondary credit card to supplement another Amex credit card.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: 10,000 points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months – Terms Apply

Purchase Rewards: 2x points at U.S. Supermarkets & Amex Travel 1 point for all remaining purchases

Additional Perks: 20% point boost if 20 or more purchases are made during the billing cycle CDW Rental Car Protection

Blue from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: None

Purchase Rewards: 1 point for all purchases

Additional Perks: CDW Rental Car Protection

American Express Cash Magnet® Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: $150 back in statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases

Additional Perks: $0 plan fees for plans set up during your first 15 months of Card Membership with Plan It®, letting you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees) (Expired)

Welcome Offer: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores; 1% cash back on all other purchases

Additional Perks: Payment flexibility to carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month

Hilton Honors American Express Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases in first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: Earn 7x Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent on eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; 5x Hilton Honors bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations; 3x Hilton Honors bonus points on all other purchases

Additional Perks: Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees)

Welcome Offer: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening

Purchase Rewards: 2x miles per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants; 2x miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1x mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Additional Perks: 20% savings on select Delta purchases; payment flexibility

The clear winner in the no-fee category is the Amex EveryDay Credit Card since it’s the only no annual fee personal Amex card that earns Membership Rewards. This is helpful in being able to keep your Membership Rewards points active at no cost. The Blue series is more designed to serve as cash back credit cards, like the Blue Cash EveryDay or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Annual Fee American Express Membership Rewards Personal Credit Cards

This comparison only factors in the non-branded Amex credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points. There are 5 different options to choose from and are arranged in increasing order based on their annual fee (note the Blue from American Express is listed but has no annual fee). As a brief side note, keep in mind that Amex will only offer you a welcome offer “once in a lifetime” per credit card.

Blue from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: None

Purchase Rewards: 1 point for all purchases

Additional Perks: CDW Rental Car Protection

Green Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: 25,000 points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: 2x Amex Travel purchases, 1x point all other purchases

Additional Perks: CDW Coverage

EveryDay Preferred (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: 15,000 points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: 3x U.S. Supermarkets, 2x U.S. Gas Stations & Amex Travel, 1x all remaining purchases

Additional Perks: 50% point boost if the card used 30 times during the billing cycle

American Express® Gold Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: 35,000 points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: 4x points at restaurants worldwide, 4X points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per year in purchases, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1 point all other purchases

Additional Perks: $100 Annual Airline Credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: 60,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Purchase Rewards: 5x points for airline tickets from Amex Travel or directly from airlines, 2x all other Amex Travel reservation, 1x all other purchases

Additional Perks: $200 airline fee credit, Global Lounge Access $100 Global Entry Credit

Comparing the personal annual fee Amex Membership Cards is a bit more difficult.

American Express Green Card

The American Express® Green Card is the weakest offering of all the annual fee cards. If you only plan on using the card for travel reservations, it might be worth the welcome bonus as you will not have an annual fee the first year.

EveryDay Preferred

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card is a good option for a family to charge their daily purchases to as it earns the most points for some of the largest household budget items, gas, and groceries.  Plus, if you can use the card at least once per day each month, you can also receive a 50% point boost which can come in handy.

Gold from American Express

For those that do not want the Amex Platinum premium travel rewards card, the American Express® Gold Card is the next best option. The earning potential is high, especially if you frequently go out to eat or do a lot of cooking. The $100 annual airline credit can be used for what American Express classifies as “incidental expenses” such as checked baggage fees and in-flight purchases.

Platinum Card from American Express

The “Cadillac” travel card offered by Amex is the Platinum Card® from American Express. The competition has been fierce in the recent months in the premium travel category as Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve, which many consider the best of the premium credit cards.

To address this issue, Amex increased the purchase reward payout to 5 points per $1 spent on air travel booked directly from an airline or using the Amex Travel portal and American Express has hinted at adding additional benefits in the near future as well.

In addition to earning 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, Platinum cardholders will also enjoy complimentary airport lounge access to the Centurion Club, Airspace, Delta Sky Clubs, and International American lounge networks. There is also an annual $200 airline fee credit, and a $100 Global Entry reimbursement.

American Express Business Credit Cards

You might be in the position to consider applying for a business Amex instead of a personal card. If so, there are options to choose from that earn Membership Rewards. Plus, applying for a business credit card will not count against Chase’s 5/24 rule if you intend to apply for a personal Chase credit card in the near future.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 with no category restrictions

Purchase Rewards: 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners; 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter

Additional Perks: Expanded Buying Power to use your card beyond its credit limit

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: Earn 3x points per $1 on your combined eligible purchases up to the first $50,000, at U.S. restaurants, on hotel stays booked directly with hotels, and on airfare purchased directly from airlines in the first 3 months of card membership. This offer ends 11/6/2019.

Purchase Rewards: 2 points on Amex Travel, 1 point on all other eligible purchases

Additional Perks: Option to earn additional MR points with select merchants

American Express® Business Gold Card (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: For a limited time, you can earn up to $500 back in the form of statement credits by purchasing qualifying services with FedEx within the first 3 months of account opening. This offer ends November 06, 2019.

Purchase Rewards: 4x points on 2 categories where your business spent the most each month, 1 point on other categories, 1 point on all other purchases

Additional Perks: No preset spending limit

The Business Platinum Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome Offer: New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 100k, you’ll first have to spend $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, which will earn you 50,000 points. Then, spend an extra $15,000 on qualifying purchases during the same 3 months to earn the additional 50,000 points.

This means you’ll need to spend $25,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months of account opening in order to earn the 100,000 points. If you’re a big spender that wants travel rewards, you will like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.

Purchase Rewards: 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points; 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year); Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per the calendar year

Additional Perks: Similar benefits as the personal Platinum card

The best card will largely depend on your spending habits, as each offers different purchase rewards.

Business Options

Most business owners do well with The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express card. With Expanded Buying Power, you can use your card beyond its credit limit, though the amount you can spend is not unlimited. Essentially, the amount will adjust as you use your card. AMEX will also take into consideration your payment history, credit record, known financial resources, and other factors to determine your limits. The goal is to give you more buying power and the ability to earn more points.

Each business has different needs, but the best Amex Business choices are The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, American Express® Business Gold Card, or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express to earn Membership Reward Points.

Business Gold

Deciding between the Gold personal card or the Business Gold card will largely hinge on your spending habits. The American Express® Business Gold Card doesn’t come with the $100 travel credit, but it rewards business spending.

Regarding its purchase rewards, you can choose two of the following six categories to earn 4x points and the other four will earn 1x:

  • Direct purchases from airlines
  • Select advertising costs
  • U.S. restaurants
  • Select U.S. Gas Stations
  • Shipping
  • Select computer hardware and software purchases

Note that the 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year. Additionally, for a limited time, you can earn up to $500 back in the form of statement credits by purchasing qualifying services with FedEx within the first 3 months of account opening. This offer ends November 06, 2019.

If you are responsible for business purchases, the purchase reward tiers might be an excellent way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases that can be redeemed for travel.

Terms Apply for some of the offers above – Info has been collected independently by JohnnyJet. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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39 Ways to Maximize American Express Membership Rewards Points

Want travel flexibility with your rewards points? If so, you will want to accrue transferable points. American Express Membership Rewards points are some of the best points that can be transferred out to airlines and hotel loyalty partners.

Understanding how your American Express Membership Rewards points work is very important if you want to gain maximum value for the points you’ve earned, so today we’re giving you 39 ways to redeem your Amex MR points.

In addition to transferring your American Express Membership Rewards points to travel partners, you can use the traditional method of cashing them out to approved partners. Your best bet in getting the highest value, however, is to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to select hotels and airlines, which we will outline for you here.

Various Options for American Express Membership Rewards Points

Check out details below for some great ways you can capitalize on your membership rewards and enjoy travel to some pretty amazing places while you do it. Also, be sure to check your American Express Membership Rewards points website where you can look for updates and details regarding bonuses and promotional offers.

When these bonuses are accessible, you can gain an even higher yield for your points. Conducting your research ahead of time will save you lots of miles and money!

Amex Membership Rewards: Hotel Transfer Partners

American Express has three hotel transfer partners. Hilton Honors currently has the highest value for your transfer points as every 1,000 Amex points = 1,500 Hilton HHonors Points. While booking a hotel with your Amex points will not yield the greatest value, it is something to consider, particularly if you don’t fly often.

Amex Membership Rewards: Airline Transfer Partners

There are lots of options when transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points to their airline loyalty partners. Check back on your Amex Membership Rewards site for changes and promotions. When booking flights, you can get great value for points transfer with Aeromexico, in which case 1,000 Amex points = 1,600 Premier Points.

39 Specific Ways to Maximize American Express Membership Rewards Points

The most important thing you can do before utilizing your Amex Membership Rewards points is to do your research. Look for deals and offers online that will yield the best bang for your buck. Here we’ve listed really great options for you to take into consideration.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive compilation, as rewards programs are constantly changing and adding bonuses so their members can compete in a global market. Still, you might see some appealing offers here that you can capitalize on and get the best value for your points. Note that these offers were available at time of writing and may since be slightly different.

1. Spend 3 nights at a category 1 hotel with Hilton Honors.

Booking a hotel using your Amex Membership Rewards points will not provide you with as much value as a flight will. However, there are some good options to consider, especially if you have no intentions of using your points for a flight. When you transfer your membership rewards points you can get a three-night stay at a category 1 hotel for a low 5,000 points per night.

There are currently 10 options for a category 1 hotel in Turkey alone as well as some category 1 hotel options in other cities around the world.

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2. Book incredible rates at hotels in Europe with Choice Hotels.

If you transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to Choice Privileges Rewards, your transfer ratio is 1:1.  This makes it incredibly easy to find great hotel redemptions in Europe, and for a good price. There are multiple options available to you through Choice Hotels including stays in Italy and Sweden that start at just 8,000 points per night.

Check back frequently for updates and offers for a stay in cities all over Europe.

3. Book AeroMexico’s Go Round The World Pass.

If you’re up for a round-the-world-trip, AeroMexico offers a sweet deal with their miles program.  You can redeem 224,000 km to fly around the globe in economy class with up to 15 stopovers along your trip (there’s a five stop-limit per continent). You’ll need to keep in mind that there will be fuel surcharges when you use this award redemption, but the value of a 15-stop flight is a rare jewel these days.  At a transfer ratio of 1:1.6, this is a steal.

4. Fly from the United States to Western Europe with Aeroplan.

You can snag a round-trip flight in economy class to Western Europe from the U.S. for only 60,000 miles with Air Canada.  This is similarly priced as other competitors, but you’ll also be eligible for 2 stopovers when you use Aeroplan.

5. Book Aeroplan’s cheap short-haul flight on Air Canada.

Flights within Canada on Air Canada are often fairly expensive if you’re paying with cash.  You can book a short-haul flight with Aeroplan rewards for just 15,000 miles round-trip. This includes flights on Air Canada Express, Air Canada and other partners that fly domestically.

6. Use Aeroplan miles to travel with an infant child.

If you’ve traveled by plane with an infant child, you know that the cost can vary drastically between airlines.  While some will only charge 10% of your ticket cost, others add additional fees and ticket costs that get quite expensive.  If you fly with Air Canada for a short-haul Canada flight, you’ll only pay $125 for a first-class ticket which is 12,500 miles.  As far as using your Amex Membership Rewards points, Air Canada is a better option for using your miles to travel with an infant on your lap.

7. Fly AirFrance business class when you book in advance with Delta SkyMiles.

Use your SkyMiles reward transfer to book a flight with Air France in business class. You’ll have to book at least 331 days in advance.  If you opt to fly Air France to Europe from the U.S., your best bet in getting a business class seat is to book at least 306-331 days before your departure date. You can use your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express card to earn and save.

8. Fly to Hawaii from the continental U.S. on Delta with AirFrance’s loyalty program.

Flying Blue is a loyalty program for Air France.  You can redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points for a reasonably priced ticket from the continental U.S. to Hawaii using just 30,000 miles.  When booking this round-trip flight, you’ll also have less than $10 in fees.  This is an especially great deal if you’re flying from the East.

9. Enjoy AirFrance’s Flying Blue promo awards for huge savings.

Throughout the year, Flying Blue has Promo Awards that offer special pricing on flights for economy and business class tickets. These promotions range from 25% to 50% off tickets from Europe to specific cities all over the world. If you book a flight for 50% off you can fly round-trip for 25,000 miles in economy or 50,000 miles in business class. You need to keep in mind that your surcharges on flights like these have a tendency to be higher but the promo deal compensates for that, making this a great option to consider.

10. Book a flight to the Caribbean from the U.S. with Flying Blue miles.

You can save 5,000+ miles on a flight from the United States to the Caribbean when you choose Air France’s Flying Blue miles program over most American airline competitors. A round-trip flight will only cost 30,000 miles if you fly in economy class with Flying Blue.

11. Fly from the U.S. to South America with Alitalia.

If you want to travel from the U.S. to the southern part of South America, there is a great deal to consider through Alitalia.  You can head to Argentina or Chile with a round-trip economy ticket that costs just 50,000 miles.  Business-class seats for the same flight will cost you 75,000 miles, which is a great deal.

12. Book a trip to Europe from the U.S. with Alitalia.

Travel to Europe from the United States is fairly common, so don’t settle for an expensive ticket.  Finding a good price for your ticket is easy when you transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points through Alitalia. You can fly round-trip in economy for just 50,000 miles or in business for 80,000 miles.  If you’ve always wanted to eat genuine Spanish food or see the sights of Rome, this is a great way to do it!

Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash

13. Travel to Southern South America from the U.S. with All Nippon Airways.

Another great option for reasonable travel to the southern part of South America from the United States is with All Nippon Airways.  While most award charts consider South America to be two regions, ANA considers it to be one region.  This will save you money when booking flights to countries like Uruguay, Chile or Argentina.  On a round-trip flight with United, you’d spend 60,000 miles to travel in economy, but with ANA you’d save an additional 10,000 miles for the same trip!

14. Fly All Nippon Airways round-trip to Japan.

Use your Amex Membership Rewards by transferring to ANA for a flight to Japan.  In this particular instance, you can fly round-trip in business class for just 85,000 miles during peak season.  Those rates go down even further during slow season (January, February, and April). If you prefer to fly economy, you will only use 40,000 miles during the slow season and that’s 10,000 miles less than you’ll spend on flights to Japan with other partners.

15. Travel from North America to Asia Zone 1 via All Nippon Airways Mileage Club.

ANA includes China, Guam, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines  in the category of “Asia Zone 1.”  If you want to book a round-trip business-class ticket, you’ll only use 80,000 miles during low season.  You can save even more when you fly economy and only use 45,000 miles for a round-trip flight.

16. Fly from North America to Asia Zone 2 via All Nippon Airways Mileage Club.

Asia Zone 2 includes India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Myanmar, according to All Nippon Airways.  You can also travel to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan using APA here as well.  Depending on where you’re travel to in Asia Zone 2, your fares can be quite expensive.  Using your Amex Membership Rewards points might be a much better option for a great value.  A round-trip business class ticket will cost only 100,000 miles during the low season and nearly half that at 55,000 miles in economy.

17. Travel from the U.S. East Coast to Europe with Asia Miles.

Asia Miles gives a huge incentive to customers by offering up to four stopovers on a round-trip award ticket.  If you’re flying from the United States East Coast, you could book a trip in economy class for 60,000 points round-trip.  Hit multiple cities on your travels and get a great value for your miles.

18. Fly First Class from New York to Vancouver with Asia Miles.

When looking at the best options of redemption for your Amex Membership Rewards points, flying with Asia Miles is a good choice.  With Asia Miles, you can get from New York to Vancouver in a first-class seat with Cathay Pacific.  At only 35,000 miles each way, this is a fabulous way to affordably check out first-class and travel to an amazingly beautiful place on the planet.

British Airways at London City Airport Picture by Stuart Bailey

Tip: it’s a better deal to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios.

19. Book a short-haul flight with British Airways Avios.

Unfortunately, the current transfer ratio from Amex Membership Rewards points to British Airways is only a 1.25:1 ratio. While this change is less than its previous 1:1 ratio, there are still great deals to consider. Short-haul flights, for example, will cost 5,625 Amex Membership Rewards points when you’re flying less than 650 miles internationally from Dublin to London for example.

20. Go to Europe from the United States East Coast via British Airways.

Transfer your points to Avios through British Airways and book a flight from the East Coast to Europe on Air Berlin. There are a few options available that will only cost 20,000 Avios each way in economy class. This is a particularly great choice because, in addition to the low cost, Air Berlin generally has lower surcharges than many other competitors.

21. First Class flight from New York to Vancouver using British Airways Avios.

Travel in Cathay first class from JFK, New York to Vancouver for a mere 50,000 Avios each way.  This is also an insane deal for you to consider if you need to travel to the Pacific Northwest. You can easily book a flight from Vancouver to Seattle and get from East Coast to West Coast on a budget.

22. Travel from Miami to Lima with British Airways.

A way to travel from Miami to Lima, Peru is via British Airway Avios with a cost of only 20,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.

23. Enjoy British Airways low fees for last-minute travel.

When you book a last-minute flight with British Airways with their Avios program, you will not incur additional fees as with some other competitors. Furthermore, if you have to cancel a flight last minute, you’ll only pay the cost of your taxes for the cancellation (up to $40). If you aren’t sure about a particular flight, or you have to make last-minute changes to your plans, British Airways is the way to go.

24. Fly to Japan from L.A. on British Airways.

If you’re headed to Tokyo from Los Angeles, California, you can snag an economy class ticket for 25,000 Avios miles via Japan Airlines.  Even though the transfer from your Amex points to Avios is at a 1.25:1 ratio, this option is reasonable, especially considering that you’ll pay less than $40 in taxes for this flight.

25. Use Delta’s SkyMiles to fly Chinese airlines in renown business class.

Using Delta’s SkyMiles you have the option to book a China Eastern or China Airlines flight in business class.  These airlines have well-recognized business class options and in the case of transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points, they are reasonably priced.  For either airline, you can use 80,000 SkyMiles one way for your business class ticket.  As long as there is availability to your desired destination, China Eastern would the finer choice but in the long run, both are good selections.

26. Book low-mileage flights within the U.S. using Delta’s SkyMiles program.

Amex charges a minimal fee of 0.06 cents per point to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Delta’s SkyMiles program.  There is a maximum charge of $99 for a U.S. domestic airline.  Even with this consideration, Delta offers great selections for short flights within the continental United States.

Depending on availability, you could find a flight for as low as 5,000 SkyMiles on specific flights.  You’ll want to check Delta’s pricing before booking your flight, as the cost of redemption for SkyMiles can change closer to the departure date.

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27. Snag crazy cheap flight to Europe with Etihad Airways.

Brussels Airlines is a partner of Etihad Airways and offers insanely inexpensive flights to Europe.  A round-trip flight from New York to Brussels, for example, will only cost you 36,625 miles in business class.  You heard that right!  As you can imagine, these deals are often difficult to find. If there is availability, this is a top of the line savings to check out.

28. Travel with an infant on Etihad.

In addition to really sweet deals on Brussels Airlines, Etihad charges a mere 10% of the mileage cost for your infant to travel with you on your lap.  Especially on low-cost flights economy and business class tickets, you can travel with your small child for a very low cost.  That business class ticket from New York to Brussels would only cost you 3,663 miles for your infant ticket!

29. Hop over to Hawaii from North America with Hawaiian Airlines.

Since Hawaiian Airlines offers a 1:1 transfer ratio from your Amex Membership Rewards points, you can get a great deal on a flight.  Flying from North America to Hawaii will only cost you 20,000 miles one-way with the Coach SuperSaver award.  You can also upgrade your flight to the First Class Saver award if you call reservations at least 26 hours before your flight departure.  Snag this deal for only 25,000 miles and have points leftover for your hotel expenses while you’re there!

30. Fly in top-rated suites with Singapore Airlines.

The Singapore KrisFlyer miles program is an incredible transfer opportunity for your Amex membership rewards points.  Singapore Airlines’ Suites tickets are world-famous for its first-class luxury.  Suites feature a luxury double bed among other options and are relatively affordable in comparison to their counterparts. There are first-class suite tickets available as low as 25,000 miles.  Check out their award chart for other options and details.

31. Travel on Singapore Airlines between the continental U.S. and Hawaii.

Another great option with Singapore Airlines is to redeem your KrisFlyer miles for a flight between the continental United States and Hawaii. You have the option to fly all classes of service on Star Alliance Airlines.  Prices for a one-way trip range between 17,500 miles and 40,000 miles.

32. Book an economy ticket on Star Alliance airlines from Europe to the U.S. using KrisFlyer miles.

You can book a flight from the United States to Europe for just 27,500 miles one-way on a Star Alliance member airline. This is a savings of 2,500 miles in comparison with other competitors in the U.S. like Delta and American. All of these savings really add up and make this a deal worth exploring!

33. Fly to the Middle East or Northern Africa from the U.S. on Singapore Airlines.

If you’re traveling for the United States to either the Middle East or North Africa, Singapore Airlines offers awesome prices. Your Amex membership rewards can be transferred for KrisFlyer Miles on Star Alliance airlines, which includes EgyptAir, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, Swiss, and United. You can travel for 37,500 miles in economy, 57,500 miles in business or 75,000 miles in first class (one-way).

34. Fly Singapore Airlines from the United States to Africa with KrisFlyer Miles.

When you want to head to Central or South Africa, consider flying with Singapore Airlines. Using your KrisFlyer transfer miles, you’ll pay 72,500 each way for a business class ticket. This is a great saving in comparison to United’s cost of 80,000 miles each way for the same ticket with a Star Alliance partner flight.

35. Use KrisFlyer Miles to travel Virgin America to Europe.

When using KrisFlyer Miles through Singapore Airlines, another option is to fly via Virgin America to Europe. This will cost even less than a Star Alliance flight. Take a trip to Europe in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for a mere 100,000 miles round-trip! The availability on these flights is generally good and you’re guaranteed to save thousands of miles taking this route.

36. Fly First Class On Lufthansa to Europe with Singapore Airlines.

If you’ve been interested in flying Lufthansa First Class, this is the best way to do it.  You will have some surcharges around 400 Euro, but even so, your overall cost is very competitive in the current market.  With your Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer Miles you’ll pay around 160,000 miles to fly round-trip. american express membership rewards

37. Fly to Dubai from the U.S. with Virgin Atlantic.

At a 1:1 transfer ratio, booking a flight with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club is another great travel option.  For an economy class ticket, you’ll spend just 73,500 miles for a round-trip ticket from Boston, Chicago, or Washington D.C. to Dubai.  Whether you’re booking a flight for business, or just to enjoy the luxury shopping, modern architecture, and incredible food, it’s a flight worth considering.

38. Head to London from Atlanta using Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club miles.

This is a trip worth taking, especially if you’re down with flying in economy class. At a low cost of only 35,000 miles, you can travel round-trip in economy class from Atlanta to London. That’s an incredible steal.  A premium economy ticket will set you back 55,000 miles for the same trip but is still a great choice to think about. Keep in mind, there may be carrier-imposed surcharges or other taxes and fees to budget for as well.

39. Use Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club miles to travel to India from New York.

A one-way ticket from New York to Delhi will cost a low 38,750 miles in economy class. This is a really affordable option that won’t set you back 40,000+ miles in your Membership Rewards points. Be sure to calculate your taxes and fees before booking your flight to get a better idea of the total ticket cost.

Frequently Asked Questions About American Express Membership Rewards

What is the American Express Membership Rewards points program?

American Express provides its cardholders with an incentive program called Membership Rewards. Each time you use your credit card for approved purchases, you earn rewards that can be cashed in for gift cards, shopping, travel, entertainment and more. Through this program, you can use your points by making purchases on the Amex website, or you can opt to transfer your points to approved partners. In the case of your Amex card, the highest value of redemption is on airline and hotels via partner redemption options.

Which American Express cards are eligible for American Express Membership Rewards points?

Apply for an Amex credit card and enjoy membership bonuses and special limited-time offers.  As you can see below, there are quite a few options when it comes to the Membership Rewards program.  Cards that are eligible for membership rewards points include:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express –– 5x on airfare booked directly from airlines and many other premium perks
  • The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

How do I sign up for American Express Membership Rewards?

Once you’ve been approved for an Amex credit card, you are automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards program. Many cards provide a welcome bonus or limited time offer once you are approved and meet the conditions. You begin to accumulate additional points as soon as you use your card.  See the terms and conditions for each specific card for details regarding how to earn extra points on your daily purchases.

Can I easily check my Membership Rewards account?

After you create a unique username and password for your American Express card account, you can log in easily to check the status of your Membership Rewards points. The Point Summary will show you how many points you have earned and are eligible to redeem.

Do my American Express Membership Rewards points expire?

Your American Express Membership Rewards points have no expiration date as long as your credit card is active. However, you do need to carefully read the program terms, as they may be forfeited as described.

What are Amex Membership Rewards pending points?

Each month you will earn points as you spend money with your card. Before the end of the billing cycle, points will show on your statement as pending. When a full billing cycle has ended and you pay your bill, they will become redeemable points in your account.

How do I transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to approved partners?

Visit your American Express Membership Rewards website to transfer your points to a loyalty program. Click the Get Started link under the Transfer Points tab.

american express membership rewards

Visit your membership rewards website to transfer points to an approved partner. You’ll be redirected to the page where you can select your preferred method of transfer. Scroll down to the hotel or airline of your choice and click on the link provided.

american express membership rewards

Select your preferred method of points transfer and redeem with an approved provider. When you arrive at the page for your transfer, you’ll need to enter in the amount of Amex Membership Rewards points you’d like to transfer. Your redeemable transfer points will show up in the box below. You’ll need to read and accept the terms and conditions before logging in to continue the process.

american express membership rewards

Log in to transfer your Membership Rewards points. Once you’ve logged in and transferred your points, be aware that you cannot reverse the decision. Carefully look over your selection to make sure it is correct before submitting the request. Also, be sure to check back frequently for available offers that will get you, even more, bang for your buck. Promotions will be added throughout the year and may provide you an incredible deal that you just can’t pass up.

american express membership rewards
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Visit London and other cities throughout Europe for a fraction of a ticket price when you transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points.

Enjoy the journey!

We’d love to hear back about your travel plans and how much you saved using your Amex Membership Rewards points. If you find another incredible deal not listed here, let us know. Enjoy redeeming your points and exploring the big, beautiful world in which we live!

Can You Get the American Express Gold if You Have the Premier Rewards Gold Card?

In case you missed it, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card is now the American Express Gold. And, it comes with some exciting new benefits. With the American Express Gold, you now earn bonus points on dining plus you can earn $120 in dining credits. To announce the changes, American Express mailed a letter to current cardholders.

Can You Update Your Premier Rewards Gold to the American Express Gold?

American Express automatically updated the Premier Rewards Gold in October 2018 to the American Express® Gold Card. You can enjoy these two benefit enhancements:

  • $120 Dining Credit ($10 each month for select restaurants)
  • 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (First $25,000 in annual purchases at U.S. supermarkets then 1 point per $1 after)

Continue to Enjoy These Premier Rewards Gold Travel Benefits

You will still continue to enjoy these benefits with the American Express® Gold Card:

  • 3x Membership Rewards® points on airline tickets directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
  • 1x point for all other purchases
  • $100 air travel credit
  • 1:1 Membership Rewards point transfers

Note that the American Express® Gold Card is a metal card.

You Won’t Get These Benefits When You Update

Because you’re already a card owner, you won’t enjoy the welcome offer. Existing cardholders are sometimes at the losing end when credit card companies revamp their current lineup. This is one of those instances.

Should You Stick With the American Express Gold?

Card updates always lead current cardholders to question if the update is worth the change. So, you need to decide if these updates are worth sticking around for:

  • 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide
  • 4x points at US supermarkets (on first $25,000 in spending annually, then 1 point per $1)
  • $120 in dining credit

You get $10 monthly statement credit (equal to $120 in savings) when you eat at one of these merchants (enrollment required):

  • Grubhub
  • Seamless
  • Boxed
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Shake Shack (only at participating locations)

Maximize the $100 airline credit and $120 dining credit. If the Gold isn’t quite for you, you might consider alternate cards instead.

Wells Fargo Propel

The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected by Johnny Jet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

The Wells Fargo Propel also comes on an American Express credit card. You won’t earn Membership Rewards points or have 1:1 point transfers, but you have some nice dining and travel benefits. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card comes with these benefits:

  • 3x points on dining, travel, gas, transit, and streaming
  • 50% travel redemption bonus
  • $600 cell phone protection
  • 30,000-point bonus offer worth $300

When redeeming your Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards, each point is worth one cent each for cash and gift cards. But, your points are worth 1.5 cents when redeemed for award travel. You can redeem your points on the Wells Fargo travel portal. Although you don’t get 1:1 point transfers, the 50% bonus is a nice tradeoff.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of the American Express Gold. But, it’s still a solid pick with an annual fee of $95. If you want a pure travel rewards card, the Sapphire Preferred offers these benefits:

While you don’t earn 4x points on dining and groceries, you don’t pay extra for the $120 dining credit you might not use. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you still have access to 1:1 point transfers. There are several overlapping transfer partners like JetBlue, British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Singapore Airlines. Also, you get access to a few new partners like Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Plus, you can transfer your points to World of Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott Rewards too.

Platinum Card from American Express

This option takes the opposite approach. Sometimes, you get more benefits when you spend more upfront. The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with more benefits that may work better for you. Plus, you may qualify for its 60,000 Membership Rewards bonus. Some of the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express that you might like include:

  • 5x points on plane tickets booked directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
  • 5x points on hotels booked at AmexTravel.com
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Free airport lounge membership

Premier Rewards Gold is Now the American Express Gold Card

Big changes have come to the American Express Premier Rewards Gold credit card. Besides stronger benefits, there is also a name change – the American Express® Gold Card. This new card is especially advantageous for foodies as it earns valuable Membership Rewards Points. Let’s break down the changes and explore what’s new.

What to Expect From the American Express Gold Card

American Express first announced the changes to Premier Rewards Gold owners. Here is a sample of the latest benefits.

$120 Dining Credit

Each month, American Express will issue a $10 dining credit. Over 12 months, that’s a $120 credit. This is similar to the Amex Platinum Uber credit. Platinum cardholders get $15 each month plus a $20 bonus in December to apply towards Uber rides. This dining credit is easy to use. Since most restaurant meals cost at least $10, the credit can be used in a single purchase. The credit can be used at these restaurants (enrollment required):

  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Grubhub
  • Boxed
  • Participating Shake Shack locations
  • Seamless
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Going with GrubHub can be the easiest option, especially, if you want food delivered to your front door. GrubHub allows you to pick from a variety of options and will even deliver to your hotel too!

4x Purchase Rewards on U.S. Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets

Speaking of food, the American Express® Gold Card earns 4 points per $1 on restaurants purchases worldwide and U.S. supermarkets. You will only earn up to 4x points on the first $25,000 in spending each year at U.S. supermarkets though — a high spending limit. After hitting the $25,000 limit, you will only earn 1x points on remaining purchases. Unless you’re feeding an army, it probably won’t be an issue.

What Card Benefits Stayed the Same From the PRG?

You will continue to enjoy these card benefits in their current form.

$100 Airline Fee Credit

Each year, you get a $100 airline fee credit. Therefore, this credit reimburses your checked bag fees and in-flight purchases. However, it’s only valid for one airline of your choice, therefore it is not as flexible.

3x Rewards Points on Airfare Purchases

You will also continue to earn 3 Membership Rewards® points per $1 on plane ticket purchases. However, you must purchase these tickets directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com. Booking any flight from a third-party booking site only earns 1 point per $1 spent.

Are the New Changes Good?

Overall, these new changes make the American Express® Gold Card a solid credit card. Similarly, it’s best competitor is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The two largest differences between the two cards are the bonus point categories and the 1:1 transfer partners.

You Can Earn More Points with the Amex Gold

Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards. American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points. Now that you can earn 3x points on plane trips and 4x points on food, the Gold is better for these purchases. Although the Gold doesn’t earn double points on non-air travel purchases like the Sapphire Preferred, the 3x and 4x bonus can help you earn more points still.

Membership Rewards has more 1:1 Airline Transfer Partners

The most valuable redemption option for your Amex Membership Rewards points is award flights. Each point is worth one cent each when you book a flight on AmexTravel. But, your points are almost always worth more when you transfer them to one of the 17 airline transfer partners. In almost every case, your points transfer on a 1:1 basis. Some of the best transfer partners include:

  • ANA
  • Delta
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • JetBlue

American Express just added Aer Lingus, so now you can transfer your points to all three Avios airlines.

Alternatives

While there are many perks to the Amex Gold card, there are alternatives that may be better suited for your needs. Therefore, here are two solid alternatives to the American Express Gold Card.

Platinum Card from American Express

Reason to Get: 5x points on Plane Tickets and Hotels For luxury air travel perks and 5x air travel rewards, go with the Platinum Card from American Express. You enjoy a $200 airline fee credit. Additionally, you get free Global Entry and airport lounge membership too. You can also get 5x on hotel nights booked on AmexTravel.com too. One cool thing about any credit card that earns Membership Rewards points is that you can transfer them to the air or hotel travel partners. You will want to apply for one of these two Amex Membership Rewards cards instead.

Blue Cash Preferred Card

Reason to Get: Up to 6x points on U.S. supermarket purchases and 3x points at U.S. gas stations For your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each year, use the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Why? You get 6% back, up to $6,000 annually.

After that, you earn 1% on all remaining U.S. supermarket purchases. You can also earn an unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

For all other purchase categories, you earn an unlimited 1% back. Although you may prefer to earn Membership Rewards for the 1:1 transfers, the 3% back essentially values your points at 3 cents each.

Learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Cash Back Credit Cards

Summary of the Guide to American Express Membership Rewards

In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to earn American Express Membership Rewards. The American Express® Gold Card is great for earning those valuable Membership Rewards Points and just one example of the various options consumers have. Whether you want to earn for grocery purchases or need a business credit card or prefer cash back, there are many choices available.

For rates and fees of the Cash Magnet® Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue from American Express®, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card®, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card®, please click here.
Johnny Jet Editorial

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

A Guide to American Express Membership Rewards
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