How much are Amex points really worth? Our guide to figuring out their value
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How much are your points really worth? It’s an important question in gauging which cards can get you the most bang for your buck. Luckily, American Express Membership Rewards points are easy to earn and have lots of value.
Once you earn Amex Membership Rewards points, you’ll want to redeem them for the best value you can. You can get between 1 cent and 5 cents in value per Amex Membership Rewards point on average, with redemption values even higher with a little research.
For example, the American Express® Gold Card is a fantastic choice for those who spend a lot at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. In comparison, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a better choice if you spend a lot on travel and are looking for premium travel perks.
In addition to offering a wide variety of cards, Amex has added a number of limited-time card benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic to help you get even more value out of their cards.
Let’s look at the best ways to get the most value out of your Amex Membership Rewards points and see how much they are really worth:
A detailed look at the value of Amex points
How to earn Amex points
|Card||Welcome bonus & minimum spending requirements|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.|
|American Express®️ Green Card||Earn 30,000 Amex Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening. Terms Apply.|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Earn up to $300 when you make eligible purchases with Dell Technologies, DocuSign and FedEx within the first three months of Card Membership (up to $100 per merchant, in the form of statement credits). This offer will run through November 4, 2020|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||60,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
|American Express® Gold Card||60,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first six months of account opening. Terms Apply.|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.|
|Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||15,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
|Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||10,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
Of these, our top Amex Membership Rewards points-earning cards are:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best small-business Amex card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best no-annual-fee business Amex card (see rates & fees)
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best Amex card for flights
- American Express® Gold Card: Best Amex card for restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases
What value can you get when you redeem your points for cash back?
Quick answer: 0.6 cents for statement credit, 1 cent each for gift cards
If you want to quickly redeem your points for cash or gift cards, you can do it online. However, you should avoid doing so as you don’t get optimal value for your points. If you use your points to pay your statement balance, you’ll only get 0.6 cents per point … which is terrible. Gift cards are a little better: You’ll get 1 cent per point in value on some gift cards, while others cost closer to 0.8 cents per point.
What value can you get when you book through the Amex Travel Portal?
Quick answer: 1 cent each (~1.54 cents each with the Amex Business Platinum) for flights, 0.7 cents each for other travel
The American Express Travel Portal allows you to turn your points into cheap travel. You can log into your Amex account and book flights, hotels, car rentals, and more using points, cash or a combo of both.
The Amex Travel Portal lets you redeem your points for airfare at a rate of 1 cent per point. For example, you can book a $200 round-trip flight from Washington, D.C., to Orlando for 20,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.
However, one great perk of the Amex Business Platinum Card is that you can actually get points back when you book flights using points. That’s because Amex gives you 35% of your points back for all first-class or business-class flights booked through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points. You can also get 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points (up to 500,000 points per calendar year).
That means if you book a $1,000 flight (100,000 points) through the portal when you have the Business Platinum Card, you’ll get 35,000 points in return, which means your flight really only cost 65,000 Amex points.
Keep in mind, you’ll only get a value of 0.7 cents per point when you redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for other travel through the portal, like hotels and car rentals.
What value can you get from Amex transfer partners?
Quick answer: Between 0.4 and 7 cents each
Below we’ve listed some popular Amex travel partners and the typical value per point you’ll get when moving points to them. One thing to keep in mind is that unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards, some Amex partners do not transfer at a 1:1 ratio. For example, when transferring to JetBlue, they transfer at a 250:200 ratio. That means if you need 10,000 JetBlue points, you’ll need to transfer 12,500 Amex Membership Rewards points.
|Airline||Transfer Ratio||Estimated Transfer Time|
|Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)||1:1||48 Hours|
|Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)||1:1||Instant|
|Singapore Airlines||1:1||Up to 24 hours|
- British Airways – 0.7 to 5.5 cents each (typically 1.6 cents)
- Singapore KrisFlyer – 0.8 to 4.5 cents each (typically 1.8 cents)
- All Nippon Airways (ANA) – 0.6 to 7 cents each (typically 1.7 cents)
- Choice Hotels – 0.7 to 4.2 cents each (typically 1.1 cents)
- Hilton – 0.4 to 2 cents each (typically 0.6 cents)
- Marriott – 0.3 to 1.5 cents each (typically 0.7 cents)
Note: Transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott, Hilton, or Choice Hotels is not usually a good deal.
Here are a couple of examples of calculating the value of Amex Membership Rewards points.
Great value: Business-class flight with ANA miles
ANA (All Nippon Airways) offers fantastic value, especially when flying in business class. ANA offers a great sweet spot when traveling from North America to Japan for 75,000 to 90,000 points round-trip in business class. A business-class flight from New York to Tokyo could otherwise cost more than $6,000.
For example, a nonstop, round-trip flight from New York (JFK) to Tokyo goes for ~$6,332. However, if you book the same exact flight using points, you’d only be spending 85,000 points plus taxes and fees. That’s getting a value of ~7.5 cents per point (~$6,332 cash price of the ticket / 85,000 points), 6.5 cents more value than you’d get if redeeming your points for cash back.
By transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to certain airlines, you can “buy” tickets you might not otherwise be able to afford.
Not ideal: Coach From Boston to Orlando on JetBlue
Let’s take a look at an example of a round-trip flight on JetBlue from Boston or Orlando that costs ~$447.
When you look to book via points, it costs only 28,700 points. That would give you roughly ~1.6 cents per point value. However, remember that Amex points transfer to JetBlue at a 2.5:2 ratio. So, if you were to pay for this using Amex points, you’d need to transfer 35,875 Amex points over to your JetBlue account.
Now, the value drops to ~1.2 cents per point. You would get some additional value by transferring to a partner, but you wouldn’t get the same bang for your buck as you did with the ANA flight to Tokyo. So in this case, it probably makes more sense to book this flight with cash and save your points for another redemption.
Incredible value with a single Amex Membership Rewards point on Amazon
Every so often Amazon partners with American Express to offer some extreme value for Amex Membership Rewards points. Team member Jasmin wrote about how she got $55 worth of discounts on Amazon by using only 2 Amex points. That’s a value of $27.50 per point!
These are limited offers, but they can be a great way to save money on Amazon since you only have to use 1 point typically to get the discount, then just pay for the rest of the order in cash.
A few months ago, Amex was offering 20% off Amazon orders when using 1 Amex point. Lots of readers and MMS team members were able to maximize this by spending $500 on Amazon and getting $100 off — a fantastic deal.
How should you use your points?
Deciding on the best way to use your Amex points is really up to you. Maybe you’ve been dying to go to California and even though you may only get 1.5 cents per point, you still get a free flight. That’s certainly a valid use of your rewards.
Maybe you’ve been hoping to go on a Carnival cruise and you have 20,000 points you’d like to put toward your dream trip. Go ahead and buy $200 worth of Carnival gift cards through your Amex Rewards portal and get on that cruise for $200 less than you normally would have spent.
Or maybe you just want the simplicity of using the Amex Travel Portal to book flights or hotels and using your points to pay for your travels.
Amex Membership Rewards points are really flexible and give you lots of options. There’s no right way to make the most of your points. Any travel you book using Amex points is free travel that you get from rewards on purchases you’d be making anyway.
Amex Membership Rewards points are extremely flexible. That flexibility is exactly what makes it so tough to pinpoint their exact value with a single number. You can get anywhere from 0.3 cents per point to 7 or 8 cents per point depending on how you redeem your points. On average, you’ll get a value of 2 cents per point.
When you add that to the fact that you can get up to 4x or 5x Amex points on purchases, you are effectively getting 8% to 10% back in certain categories. You’ll usually get the most value per point by transferring points to Amex airline partners, like ANA or Air Canada Aeroplan.
Amex Membership Rewards points are easy to earn with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express or the
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, please click here.
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressAPPLY NOW
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)