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American Express’s travel reward credit cards have gotten a reputation for being some of the best cards for earning points to use towards your travels. Amex also lets you book travel on their website, making it easy for you to redeem Membership Rewards points. Still, many people wonder if Amex’s travel reward cards are worth the annual fee.
If you’re considering getting an Amex Membership Rewards credit card, you’ll be happy to hear that you can good deals booking on Amex Travel in addition to transferring your points out to a travel partner. These are some of the deals available to you when you book your trips through Amex Travel.
Amex Travel Reward Credit Cards
Amex’s two best-known travel reward cards are their Premier Rewards Gold Card and their Platinum Card. Both cards offer worth-while rewards and points that you can use when you’re booking trips on Amex Travel.
Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card
If you’re looking for an affordable card with no foreign transaction fees, Amex’s Premier Rewards Gold Card is a good choice for you. The Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card has plenty of perks for travelers, including a $100 airline credit that can be used for incidental fees. You can use this credit on any qualifying airline, and you’re given one calendar year to spend this credit. You can’t use this credit to buy your plane tickets, but you can use it for:
- Checked baggage fees
- Change fees
- Pet flight fees
- Oversize or overweight baggage fees
- In-flight entertainment and amenity fees
- Airport day lounge fees
- Phone reservation fees
If you’d rather use this fee for your plane ticket, you can buy a gift card from your chosen airline. Gift cards aren’t officially on the list of approved items, but most travelers say that they are given a reimbursement as long as the gift card is $100 or less.
The Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card also has some other great awards available. If you spend at least $2,000 in the first three months you have your card, you’ll earn 25,000 Membership Reward Points, which can be redeemed for travel. Plus, you’ll earn 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. You’ll also earn 2X points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. Also, if you book a consecutive two-night or longer stay at a qualifying hotel, you’ll get 2X Membership Reward points along with $75 to spend on the hotel’s dining, spa, or resort activities.
The Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card has a $0 Intro Fee for the first year you use it. Then, if you like the card and decide to keep it, you’ll pay $195 a year.
Amex Platinum Card
Many travelers choose to use Amex’s Platinum card because of the benefits it offers frequent travelers.
The Business Platinum from American Express includes a 35% rebate when you use points to book air travel. You’ll get this rebate when you use Membership Reward Points to pay for some or all of a plane ticket on qualifying airlines. To get the rebate, you’ll have to book through American Express Travel. You’ll get the points back about six to eight weeks after you book your flight. You can get up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year with this rebate.
The one caveat is that you can only use your rebate for one airline each year if you’re buying economy class tickets. You can also only change your airline once per year. However, you can use this rebate on any airline if you book in first or business class through American Express Travel.
The one downside to the Amex Platinum card is its hefty annual fee of $550, but Amex gives you plenty of perks to make up for this fee. This includes a $200 airline fee credit for incidentals. Like the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card’s credit, you can’t use this credit to pay for your airline ticket, but you can use it for most other fees accrued during airline travel.
The personal Amex Platinum also offers $15 each month in Uber credits for rides in the U.S., and they give you a $20 bonus in December. In total, you can get up to $200 in Uber credits a year.
Amex Platinum also has some other nice perks for travelers, like a $100 fee credit for Global Entry and TSA Pre. The Platinum card also has no foreign transaction fees. Plus, your card gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world. You’ll be able to relax in the Centurion Lounge and The International American Express lounges. You’ll also get access to Amex’s partner airline lounges when you’re flying with that airline. For example, you can use the Delta SkyClub when you’re traveling on Delta flights.
In addition, Amex Platinum gives you 5X Membership Reward points when you book your flights directly with airlines or through the Amex Travel portal. They also give you 5X Membership Reward points when you book stays at eligible hotels through Amex Travel.
Booking through Amex Travel
You can easily use your points when you book your travel through Amex Travel’s website. Each point is usually worth about 1 cent. However, if you have an Amex Business Platinum card, each point is worth about 1.54 cents because of the 35% rebate.
You can also transfer your Amex Travel points to one of Amex’s 17 airlines partners. Sometimes, you’ll get better deals if you transfer your points. Other times, you’ll get a better deal if you book through Amex’s travel portal. Also, be aware that there are different point transfer ratios and estimated transfer times for each airline.
Before you decide if you want to transfer your points or use your points through Amex’s website, experiment a bit. See how many points both options would cost you, and don’t forget to take your rebate into consideration. Doing this will help you choose the best option for each of your flights.
The Benefits of Using Amex Travel
Amex Travel offers useful deals for both frequent and non-frequent travelers. They offer especially lucrative deals if you have an Amex Platinum Card, but they also have good deals for those using the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card. Amex Travel offers a wide variety of deals for travelers, making their cards a good option for most travelers.
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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.