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What are American Express points worth?

Summary

See how much American Express points are worth and how they compare to other rewards programs’ points.

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American Express Membership Rewards points are more valuable than the average rewards point, for a variety of reasons: The points are fairly flexible, with no expiration dates or blackout dates to worry about; you have a plethora of redemption options to choose from; plus American Express has a large list of airline and hotel partners that you can transfer points to at a good value. However, not all of the redemption options are worthwhile.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Amex Platinum card

Why should you get this card?

The Amex Platinum card comes with a massive list of perks – including the most extensive lounge access of any credit card and hundreds of dollars in travel credits – making it the best value for a luxury traveler.

Learn more

More things to know:

  • 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in first 6 months
  • 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during first 6 months of card membership
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on American Express Travel
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • Access to Priority Pass lounges, Centurion lounges and more
  • Up to $200 airline credit per calendar year after you select one qualifying airline and incidental fees
  • Up to $200 Uber credit per calendar year. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $179 in statement credits per calendar year when you use your Platinum Card to pay for your annual CLEAR membership. Enrollment in CLEAR is required.
  • Up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credit per year ($20 each month) when you pay for eligible purchases at participating partners. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $300 in Equinox credits each year when you use the Platinum Card to pay for select eligible Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply

American Express points value

We value Membership Rewards points at 1.19 cents on average. This is a solid value for a general credit card rewards program, most of which fall around the 1 cent per point range. However, it’s outperformed by the Chase Ultimate Rewards program as well as many miles-based rewards programs.

Point value by loyalty program

Membership Rewards points do offer a wide range of redemption options, so your points’ value can vary greatly depending on how you redeem them. Not all of these options are a great deal, though. Cash back fans will be especially disappointed to learn that Amex offers a paltry 0.6 cents per point for statement credits.

Redemption optionPoint Value
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express airline bonus (one designated airline only)1.35 cents
Membership Rewards portal airfare (except Blue card)1 cent
Other Membership Rewards portal travel rewards (cruises, hotels, rentals, vacations) (except Blue card)0.7 cent
Membership Rewards portal travel with Blue card (including airfare)0.5 cent
Uber1 cent
Gift cards/VouchersUp to 1 cent
Shopping partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Dell, Grubhub, Newegg, PayPal, Rite Aid, Saks Fifth Avenue, Seamless, Staples, Walmart)0.7 cent
Pay with points at checkout (select merchants)0.7 cent
Shopping portal0.5 cent
Ticketmaster0.5 cent
Statement credit0.6 cent
Charity donation1 cent (up to 500,000 points, 0.5 cent thereafter)
Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to travel partner)0.5 cent

On the other hand, airfare redemptions are generally the most valuable option. In fact, they can boost Membership Rewards points’ value substantially, especially if you take advantage of American Express’ transfer option – you can get more than 2 cents of value per point with certain partners:

Transfer optionPoint value (Includes transfer ratio and excise fee)
Singapore KrisFlyer2.36 cents
Iberia Plus1.7 cents
Aeromexico1.6 cents
Delta SkyMiles1.55 cents
Avianca LifeMiles1.5 cents
Aeroplan1.5 cents
All Nippon Airways (ANA)1.48 cents
British Airways1.4 cents
JetBlue1.16 cents
Emirates Skywards1.1 cents
Hawaiian Airlines1.08 cent
Aer Lingus1 cent
Alitalia MilleMiglia1 cent
Asia Miles1 cent
Etihad Guest1 cent
Flying Blue1 cent
Qantas1 cent
Virgin Atlantic0.8 cents
El Al Israel Airlines0.05 cents

Other Advantages of Membership Rewards points:

Membership Rewards points don’t expire

As long as you own at least one Membership Rewards card, you don’t need to worry about your points expiring.

There’s no limit to how many Membership Rewards points you can earn (for the most part)

There’s no cap on the overall number of Membership Rewards points that you can collect (though you may be limited on how many bonus points you can earn on a particular card)

See also: 9 ways to earn American Express points

You can redeem Membership Rewards points for a variety of rewards

Even if they vary in value, you can’t complain about a lack of redemption options with the Membership Rewards program. Besides redeeming points for travel, cash back, gift cards and merchandise you have several unique options for redeeming points, including trading them for Uber credits for a decent value of 1 cent per point.

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to most of Amex’s travel partners at a 1:1 rate

American Express’s long list of travel partners is the secret sauce that puts extra oomph into Membership Rewards points – you can transfer your points to most travel partners at a 1:1 rate for a good value. Just beware of a few transfer partners with terrible transfer ratios.

Your points pool into a common account

Unlike some competitors (e.g., Chase Ultimate Rewards), Membership Rewards points aren’t connected to a specific credit card account. All your points pool into a single Membership Rewards account, which makes life a little easier. You don’t have to transfer points from one card to another, nor do you have to worry about shuffling around points if you cancel a card.

Disadvantages of Membership Rewards points:

Watch out for hidden fees

Unless you’re a Platinum cardholder, a few fees are lurking beneath the surface of the Membership Rewards program. Booking airfare through the American Express travel portal will cost you $6.99 for a domestic plane ticket and $10.99 for an international plane ticket, and booking through the phone will cost you even more – $39 per reservation.

Also, you have to pay a 0.06 cent per point excise fee (up to $99) when transferring points to one of Amex’s domestic airline travel partners. It’s a small fee, but you should factor it into the overall value of your transfer.

Most redemption options (including cash back) have a poor value

The Membership Rewards program really falls short on its cash back redemption option with a very low value of 0.6 cents per point when you redeem points for statement credits. This really cuts into the Membership Rewards program’s flexibility, as you’re stuck redeeming points for travel (or a few other options) if you don’t want to lose out on value.

There’s a minimum threshold to redeem points

You can’t just redeem your points any time you please. You have to wait until you have a sufficient number of points to redeem them – 1,000 points for a statement credit or transfer to a travel partner and 5,000 points for flights. These aren’t difficult thresholds to reach, but this does further limit the program’s flexibility.

See also: Best ways to spend American Express points

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report
Business
14.22%
Airline
15.51%
Cash Back
16.27%
Reward
15.97%
Student
16.78%

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