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American Express is a leading credit card issuer with a variety of cards, many of which offer membership reward points. These points are awarded each time you make a purchase.
Typically, you’ll earn at least one point for every dollar that you spend, but some cards offer higher rewards when you spend in certain categories. This means that you could earn as much as five points or more per dollar.
You can accumulate your Amex points and you don’t need to worry about your points expiring. However, the value of the rewards depends on how you redeem them. So, here we’ll delve into this topic in more detail and answer the question, how much are Amex points worth?
The Dollar Value of Amex Points
One of the best features of the American Express rewards program is its flexibility. However, this does mean that there is no easy answer to the question of how much your points are worth. The value of your points will depend on which redemption method you choose including:
American Express rewards are weighted towards using points to book travel purchases using the Amex Travel portal. Depending on the type of travel you book, you can expect an average points value of 0.7 to 1 cent each.
So, as an average figure, if you have 20,000 points, it should provide approximately $140 to $200 in travel credit.
American Express also has relationships with a number of other reward programs. This means that you can transfer your Amex points to a selection of partner programs. You can typically expect a 1:1 transfer ratio.
For example, one Amex point is worth one Malaysia Airlines Enrich mile. Obviously, the dollar value will then be determined by the cash value of the miles or points in the partner program.
American Express also has relationships with a number of retailers, which means that you can use your Amex points when you pay for your online purchases. The dollar value of the points can vary according to the retailer, but the redemption rate is typically 0.5 cents to one cent for each point.
As an example, if you shop with Walmart, Amazon or Best Buy, you can expect a value of 0.7 cents per point. So, 10,000 Amex points would provide $70 of shopping credit. If you don’t find your preferred retailer on the list of partner brands, you can also use your Amex points for PayPal at a rate of 0.7 cents per point.
Lastly, you can use Amex points to redeem for gift cards, merchandise and even charity:
- Gift Cards: Amex has a list of gift card options from a variety of dining, travel, and shopping retailers. The specific dollar value varies according to the retailer, but the typical value is 0.5 to 1 cents per point. So, you’ll need approximately 1000 points to get a $5 gift card.
- Merchandise: There is also a selection of merchandise available on the Amex Rewards website. The typical cash value of your points for this redemption method is 0.5 to 1 cent each.
- Charitable Donations: American Express also facilitates donations via JustGiving. You can choose a charity and then make a donation using your points, with a redemption value of 0.7 cents for each point.
How Much Are Amex Points Worth When Redeeming for Cash Back?
Another possible redemption option is to get cash back on your statement. You can use your reward points for statement credit against charges you’ve put on your card.
This redemption method has a dollar value of 0.6 cents per point. So, if you have 10,000 points, you would receive $60 in cash back on your next bill.
How Much Are Amex Points Worth If You Book Through Amex Travel?
The Amex Travel Portal makes it easy to use your points to book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and other travel related purchases. It is effectively an online travel platform similar to more well known models such as Expedia or Booking.com.
To use the platform, you simply need to click “Travel” on the Amex homepage and select “Book a Trip.” If you want to use your points to book a flight, simply click the flights tab and enter your travel dates, departure and arrival cities and whether you want a round trip or a multi city itinerary. After you click “Search” the portal will compile all the available ticketing options.
You can filter the search results with various parameters including departure or arrival time, the airline, the number of stops and the travel duration, with a facility to order your results according to your needs.
Examples: Amex Points Worth on Amex Travel Portal
When it comes to how much your Amex points are worth when you book through Amex Travel, domestic economy flights tend to offer the best redemption values. You may expect to receive an average cash value of your points of 1.15 cents per point. For example:
- Miami to New York: This economy flight costs 23,365 points and with a cash value of $269, you’re getting a points value of 1.15 cents each.
- LA to Honolulu: This flight has a $549 cash cost and a point requirement of 48,240, which works out to a points value of 1.14 cents each.
- Boston to London: You can still get some excellent deals even if you don’t want to travel domestically. This Boston to London economy flight is a good example. The cash price is $804 or 75,832 points, which means that your points are worth 1.07 cents each.
How To Maximize Points Worth on Amex Travel Portal
- The Amex Travel portal displays each flight segment separately, so you need to choose your outbound flight before you view the inbound options. You will also see both the cash and points prices for each flight option.
- If you find a flight you would like to book, you simply need to click select.
- You’ll then be directed to another page showing your inbound flight options, but your chosen outbound flight will still appear above at the top of the page.
- Each inbound flight will show the additional cost, but you may find some that do not increase the trip cost further.
- Once you select both your outbound and inbound flight, the portal will display a full itinerary and you’ll be prompted to confirm the selection, by clicking “Continue Booking.”
- You will then be directed to the Traveler Information page, and you’ll need to provide the standard traveler details including name and date of birth.
- Once you enter the traveler details, you will proceed to the payment page. You can choose to pay with your Amex points, your American Express credit card or a combination of both.
The Value of Amex Points for Flight Upgrades
You can also use your points in the Amex Travel portal to upgrade your flights. Again the value of your points for this redemption method will depend on the specific upgrade options. As with the main booking section, you’ll see both a cash price and a points price for the various upgrade options.
For example, it may cost $300 to upgrade from an economy class ticket to first class. With a points cost of $30,000, this means that your Amex points are worth one cent each.
This is a little less than the value you can get when you book flights and hotels, but it can be a nice way to make your trip more memorable.
There may also be some circumstances where you can find deals offering a better redemption value, so it is always a good idea to compare the cash price and points price to ensure that you are happy with the value of your Amex points.
How Much are Amex Points Worth When Transferring to Partner Programs?
As we touched on earlier, transferring Amex points to partner programs may represent one of the best redemption values. American Express has over a dozen partnerships, but the transfer rates vary.
Although a couple offer 1:1 ratios, most have a 3:2 ratio. This means that you’ll need three Amex points to get one mile or point with the partnership program.
Transferring Amex Points To Delta: Example
For example, three Amex points will get you two Delta SkyMiles. Delta miles tend to have a higher than average cash value, at approximately 1.5 cents each. This means that if you have 3000 Amex points and transfer them to the Delta program, you’ll get 2000 Skymiles with an approximate value of $30.
As with booking travel through the Amex Travel portal, you’ll still have to check the specific Delta flights to find the best points value, but this can be a good way to use your Amex points.
As an example, if you are flying from Los Angeles to New York around Thanksgiving, flying on Tuesday 22nd November and returning on Sunday 27th, it will cost you 93,500 Delta Skymiles.
However, if you fly on Thursday 24th and return on Thursday December 1, the cost drops to just 25,500 Skymiles. So, if you are prepared to have some flexibility on your travel dates, you can get the best value for your miles.
Things To Consider When Booking Through Amex Travel
There are a few things to note about booking travel through the Amex portal. Occasionally, Amex has Featured Itineraries. These can provide some nice perks with a particular flight, such as complimentary lounge access.
These deals are not always available, but if there is one, it will appear at the top of your search results page, regardless of how you have sorted the results.
Another point to note is that Delta is an Amex featured airline, which means that Delta flights often are highlighted first. So, if you’re looking for the cheapest award, be sure to check below any Delta flights.
You should also be aware that if you have an eligible card, and you’re flying from an airport that has a Centurion Lounge, this will be indicated in the results.
Boost Your Amex Point Value By Transfer Bonuses
Although transferring your Amex points can be a great way to enjoy good redemption values, you may be able to boost this further with transfer bonuses. From time to time, American Express offers public and targeted bonus offers for transfers. These varied from 15% to 40%.
In simple terms, this means that if you transferred points as part of a bonus offer, you’ll get more miles or points with the partner transfer. For example, on a 40% bonus, if you transferred 10,000 points, effectively you’ll be getting the transfer value of 14,000 Amex points.
Of course, you shouldn’t transfer points simply because of a bonus, but if you’re planning on making a booking using your partner program, if there is a bonus promotion, it can give your miles balance a nice boost.
It is important to note that all transfers are one way. Once you authorize a points transfer to a partner program, it is not possible to reverse it. This means that you need to double check the transfer details including the number of points before you click to confirm the transfer.
If you want to give the balance on a partner program a boost, you can complete a points transfer in a few simple steps. Transferring Amex points is a simple process:
- Log into your American Express account, navigate to the “Explore Rewards” page, click the “Earn and Redeem” button and then click the “Transfer Points” link.
- Link your Membership Rewards account to the partner program. You will get a message confirming that the accounts are linked. Now you can move your Amex points to the partner program. When you use the same airline partner, you should see the frequent flyer program.
- Select the points that you want to transfer. Enter the three and four-digit security codes. Congratulations, the transfer is completed.
- To confirm the transfer, check your partner loyalty program account. Most transfers are instant, but there may be a slight lag at times. If you cannot see the transfer, log out of your account and log back in.
How Much Are Amex Points Worth When Redeeming for Shopping?
American Express has numerous shopping partners and you can link your Amex account to their sites. This will allow you to use your Amex points at check out with only a single click. You can also link your PayPal account, so you can use your Amex points for practically any online shopping.
Once you link your Amex Rewards account, on most shopping platforms, you will be able to see your points balance before you choose your payment method. However, how the point redemption works depends on the retailer.
For most retailers, when you pay with points, the purchase amount will be charged to your credit card account. The points are then deducted from your Rewards account and Amex will apply a credit to your card account to reflect the points that you used. Any remaining balance if you don’t have sufficient points to cover the full cost will remain charged to your credit card account.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen simultaneously. There may be occasions where the charge appears on one bill, but the credit does not appear until the following billing cycle. This means that you will need to pay at least the minimum amount due to avoid a fee or charge on your account.
With most retailers, the shopping redemption method provides a points value of 0.7 cent per point. This means that if you have 10,000 Amex points, you’ll have $70 of shopping credit.
How to Earn Amex Points?
One of the best things about the American Express Rewards program is that it is remarkably easy to earn Amex points. There are a number of ways that you can earn points including:
- Making purchases using your eligible American Express card
- Making bonus category purchases, which pay multiple Amex points for each dollar
- Welcome bonus when you open a new American Express card account and meet the promotional criteria
- Amex offers that provide Amex points.
Not all American Express cards offer Amex points, but there are several great options to choose from. These include:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: This is the top-tier American Express rewards card with a hefty annual fee, but it does offer some fantastic perks. In addition to lounge access, airline credit and other benefits, there is an attractive welcome bonus and a generous reward structure.
- The American Express® Gold Card: The Gold Card has a lower annual fee, but it still has a generous tiered reward structure, weighted towards dining. This provides great opportunities to earn Amex points, particularly for travelers, who can also receive a statement credit for eligible dining purchases.
- The American Express® Green Card: This card has a reasonable annual fee and some nice perks, particularly the tiered reward structure and welcome bonus. This is a good card to earn Amex points if you tend to dine out, but there are also decent rewards for everyday spending.
- Amex EveryDay® Credit Card : The Amex EveryDay card has no annual fee, which makes it a great option for those who want to earn Amex points without worrying about covering a charge. As the name suggests, the main focus for the card is everyday spending such as grocery store purchases. You can also get point bonuses for frequent card use.
- Amex EveryDay® Preferred Card: This is the upgraded EveryDay card and offers a larger welcome bonus and higher reward tiered structure. If you’re prepared to pay a modest annual fee, it is easier to accumulate Amex points with this card.
As you can see, there is no simple answer to the question how much are Amex points worth.
However, if you’re prepared to shop around for the best redemption options, you can maximize the value of your Amex points to get some great rewards.
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
1X – 2X 2X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year), then 1x on all purchases
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
American Express Green Card
1X – 3X 3X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, 3X Membership Rewards points on travel including flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours and ridesharing services and 1X Membership Rewards points on other purchases
40,000 points] 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months
American Express® Gold Card
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
The Platinum Card® from American Express
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership