American Express Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Membership Rewards points

Robin Ratcliff
Reviews Editor
Researcher, analyst and editor

Amex Membership Rewards Guide

Photo Credit: Manuel Moreno / Unsplash

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers.


If you love luxury travel perks, or if you love collecting large sign-up bonuses to finance your travels around the world, then you should consider signing up for an American Express Membership Rewards card or two.

What is American Express Membership Rewards?

The American Express Membership Rewards loyalty program is the rewards program of choice for frequent travelers who love lounge access and other luxury travel perks. The program has it quirks, but thanks to its prodigious array of cards with generous sign-up bonuses and a large list of travel partners that you can transfer points to (mostly at a 1:1 rate), the Membership Rewards program should definitely be a point on your journey toward traveling the world on rewards points.

American Express Membership Rewards program overview

Type of currency Flexible points
Average point value 1.19 cents
Credit cards Everyday card, Everyday Preferred card, Blue card, Green card, Premier Rewards Gold card, Platinum card, Blue Business Plus card, Business Green Rewards card, Business Gold Rewards card, Business Platinum card, Mercedes-Benz card, Ameriprise Financial Gold card, Ameriprise Financial Platinum card, Morgan Stanley card, Morgan Stanley Platinum card, Schwab Platinum card
Redemption options Airfare, hotels, vacations, cruises, merchandise, gift cards, Expedia travel, Uber/NYC taxi, event tickets, donations, statement credits, transfer to a travel partner
Minimum required to redeem
  • 5,000 points for a flight
  • 1,000 points for statement credits and transfers
Do rewards expire? No
Blackout dates/travel restrictions None. If a flight or a hotel room is available, you can book it with your rewards.
Point transfer options
  • 19 airline and hotel partners
  • Rewards pool into common account, so you don’t have to transfer from card to card
  • 0.06 cents per point for transfers
  • $6.99 per domestic plane ticket or vacation package through Amex Travel
  • $10.99 per international plane ticket or vacation package through Amex Travel
  • $39 per airfare or vacation package phone booking
  • No fee for hotel or cruise bookings
Best for
  • Frequent travelers
  • Heavy spenders
  • Business travelers 
  • Luxury travelers
  • Delta flyers

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Updated: 03-22-2018