Once you are over the 5/24 Chase rule with their cards, it is time to head off into the world of American Express Membership Rewards. I recently transferred American Express points to British Airways to travel to London. It was easy to transfer my points and then book a ticket.
American Express offers several credit cards that earn Membership Reward points when you use them for purchases. American Membership Rewards are similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards. Here are some things you need to know about American Express Membership Reward credit cards.
Here are the transfer partners you can use with your American Express Membership Rewards:
Earn 100,000 American Express Membership Reward Points after spending $5000 in 6 months with the American Express Platinum Credit Card. This offer changes often so it may be different when you view it.
The American Express Platinum Card is one of my favorite cards and it will always be in my wallet. I really think the benefits outweigh the annual fee. If the cost of the card is $695 and I take off the $200 airline credit, $100 Shop Saks credit, the $179 Clear credit, and the $275 credit for Uber, I end up paying nothing for this card even before I take advantage of the streaming credits.
60,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $4000 in six months on the American Express Gold Card. This offer changes often so it may be different when you view it.
15,000 points after meeting $1000 spend in 3 months currently
10,000 Membership Rewards after spending $1000 in 3 months.
Earn 2 points per dollar spent at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year); then 1 point dollar after that and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. This is a great card to downgrade to after you get your rewards from a higher annual fee card because it has no annual fee. Be sure and get both calendar years of benefits for the card you are downgrading from, for example, the Gold Card, before you go to this card.
50,000 Membership Rewards after spending $2000 in 6 months. This can change periodically.
Here is a link to the American Express Green Credit Card.
Warning: Be sure and let the annual fee post before you cancel any of these cards after your first year! You have a 30-day grace period to cancel. There have been reports of American Express clawing back (taking away) any points you haven’t used if you cancel the card before this. Also, if you want to cancel a card, be sure and downgrade to a no-fee card like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Spend card so you don’t lose your Membership Reward points.
A great way to earn more Membership Rewards is to refer others, including spouses, to your card. This is how to do that. Once you sign in, you will see a screen that looks like this:
Click on the blue button that says “refer now”. You will get the following screen:
You can refer someone by email or send them a personalized link. You can even put that link on Facebook to entice all your friends to signup and get more referral points.
Here are all the ways you can use your Membership Rewards. You can see that you can use your membership rewards in a lot of ways. You get the most value when you use them for travel. Don’t fall for the ease of covering your card charges or paying with points at checkout or for gift cards.
Going through the AMEX portal by picking “book or upgrade travel” is easy. Sometimes you can find great value, especially for relatively cheap tickets. Other times it makes more sense and you will get more value by transferring your points to a partner. In this case, you would pick the “transfer points” tab. Comparing the two is always advisable if you want to get the best value for your points.
Chase and Citibank let you share points with another account holder. Unfortunately, AMEX does not unless they are an authorized user on one of your accounts. Because I am an authorized user on my husband’s American Express Gold Card, he can share or transfer his Membership Rewards to me. Usually, we do not suggest being an authorized user on a spouse’s card. I had canceled my card previously and wanted to use his card for the 4x on groceries and so I became an authorized user. It now works to my benefit for this usage.
You don’t have to worry about this if you have at least one card that earns Membership Rewards open. I have no plans to close my Gold and Platinum cards so this is a non-issue for me. If you were to close your card that earns Membership Rewards, be sure and downgrade to one of the no annual fee cards like the American Express EveryDay Credit Card.
American Express Offers are offers that are particular to a certain AMEX credit card. It may be something like ” save $40 on a $200 Marriott stay” or something similar. You have to add these to your card and then use that card for your purchase. They will then credit you that amount. I have saved a lot of money with these offers and they are worth checking out. Here’s some of what is currently offered on my Platinum card.
Once you are over 5/24, I would definitely consider getting Membership Rewards. I think Alex and I both agree that Ultimate Rewards are the easiest rewards to use but Membership Rewards are a close second! If you like to travel on the partner airlines listed, like Delta, these cards are definitely for you! These cards are transferable points cards and can be used with so many transfer partners.
Let us know if you have more questions about Membership Rewards or how to use them. We are always happy to help you through the travel hacking process!
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