What to do with 75,000 to 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points? [Expired]

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What to do with 75,000 to 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points? [Expired]

Million Mile SecretsWhat to do with 75,000 to 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points? [Expired]Million Mile Secrets Team

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Readers have been asking what they can do with 75,000 to 100,000 Membership Rewards points.  A few weeks ago there was a 100,000 point American Express Platinum card and up to January 28th there is a 75,000 point The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN available.

1.   Travel Using Pay With Points

The simplest way to use Membership Rewards points is to use the “Pay with Points” feature and get 1 cent per point towards air travel booked through the Membership Rewards portal.  You get less than 1 cent per point if you book hotels and car rentals through the portal, so best to use Pay with Points for air travel.

This means that 75,000 membership Rewards points will get you $750 and 100,000 Membership Rewards points will get you $1,000 towards air travel expenses.

Membership Rewards Points Value 2
Using Pay With Points For 1 Cent Per Point

The advantage of using Pay with Points is that you get lots of flexibility with booking your travel because you don’t have to search for only low availability flights.  If there is a flight for sale, you can use points to book it.  You will also earn miles on the flight you book.

The downside is that the car rental portal often has higher rates than elsewhere and that you may be able to get more “value” by transferring to airline partners and then redeeming for international first and business class flights.  But these are YOUR points so use them in a way which makes sense for YOU!

2.   Gift Cards & Amazon

Another way to earn 1 cent per point is to redeem Membership Rewards points for gift cards.  So 75,000 points = $750 in gift cards & 100,000 points – $1,000 in gift cards.

If you seek Big Clothing with Small Money then perhaps Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers, or Coach gift cards are for you.

Or if you want more Frugal Clothing with Small Money, there is a Gap Brands gift card which can be redeemed at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta stores.

2016-01-11_21-13-44
Gift Card Redemptions at 1 Cent per Point

Or you can redeem points for 1 cent per point for Victoria’s Secret, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Gap, Nike, Zappos, Barnes & Noble, a few restaurants, and other stores.

You can also redeem for Amazon.com purchases, but you only get 0.7 cents per point, which isn’t a great value.  This means that 100,000 points will get you $700 in Amazon purchases and 75,000 points will get you $525 in Amazon purchases.

Membership Rewards Points Value 4
Not a Great Value to use With Amazon

3.   TRANSFER TO Airlines

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to airline partners and then redeem for flights within the US, to Hawaii, and the rest of the world.  The bad news is that most partners charge fuel surcharges on international awards which vary by the partner airline you fly on.

2016-01-11_21-02-04
Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points to Airlines for Big Travel

American Express has frequent transfer bonuses to British Airways, and British Airways Avios are a great use for short distance travel.  However, the transfer ratio from AMEX Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios points is now 5:4, which isn’t as good as most other airline transfer partners.

At some point I’ll write a series on American Express Membership Rewards points, but until then here’s a great series of posts, from One Mile at a Time, on how to use Membership Rewards points after transferring them to airline partners.

If you want to travel on a suite in Singapore Airlines, transferring Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines is perhaps the best way to get it!

4.   TRANSFER TO HOTELS

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to Starwood hotels (SPG points), but the transfer ratio isn’t especially good.  You get only 333 Starwood points for every 1,000 Membership Rewards point transferred.

You usually get 1,500 Hilton points for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points transferred, but up to January 31, 2013 you get 2,000 Hilton points.  So 100,000 Membership Rewards points becomes 200,000 Hilton points or 75,000 Membership Rewards points becomes 150,000 Hilton points.

You can also transfer to Choice Hotels, but I don’t see much value in that unless you can snag a cheap room on points in Europe or other expensive destinations.

Bottom Line

Membership Rewards points aren’t as easy to use as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but there are lots of possibilities if you investigate the options.  Of course, none of these options may make sense for you, so study the options before applying for a card with a high spending requirement.

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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! :)

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What’s the best way to use 200,000 Amex points right now? Any deals to be had right now? Thank you!!

michael eshragh

Hi, I’m planning to travel to Middle East and I need to buy 300,000 points. do you know anybody that not using their point and want to cash it out. Thanks

Good Info. Thanks Darius

Hi Darius,

I recently received an offer to upgrade from Amex gold card (175/year with no extra fee for my wife to have her own card on same account) to the Platinum card (personal) with a fee of 450/year plus an additional 175/year for my wife to have her own card. The Gold card reward points accumulated will transfer 1 to 1 and I have 378k accumulated. The Platinum card will give me 25k points for early use or 50k points if I spend 5k in 3 months. That was by phone inquiry and I don’t see it in the fine print that was mailed to me. There is a $200/year airline fee credit for the account, not per card as selling point. You also get the option to enroll in the Airport lounge access. It doesn’t sound like I’ll benefit that much for spending an extra $450 a year for 2 Platinum cards over the gold card with the same reward point system. The 50k in points for signing up is worth about $500 so I’m ahead the first year but after that I feel like I’m losing money ($450 more a year for 2 cards and only $200 a year in airline fee credit). The “no international transaction fees” don’t amount to much for me. Am I missing something?

Thanks

Philip

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Phillip Rowan – The $200 fee is per calendar year, so you could get it twice…

Steven Gilbert

Hi Darius,

Re Amex Gold MR points. How do I find about special points transfer deals at better than 1:1 points to miles? I am airline agnostic although being closest to Newark and LaGuardia, UA has the most flights out of Newark, while LaGuardia favors Delta, US Air, and American.

Thanks,

Steve

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