Yikes! Amazon Auto-Enrolling AMEX Cards in Shop With Points, Don’t Let Them Steal Your American Express Membership Rewards Points!

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If you’ve ever used an American Express card to make an Amazon purchase, you’ll want to pay extra close attention the next time you check out.

A few months ago folks were having an issue with Amazon defaulting to paying with their AMEX Membership Rewards points, and they were unwittingly paying with their points!  You can use AMEX Membership Rewards points to pay for your Amazon purchases, but it is a terrible value (you’ll get ~0.7 cents per point in value).

Plus, I got an email from Amazon yesterday saying that they are “launching a new feature that automatically enrolls your American Express Membership Rewards® card to Shop with Points at Amazon.com.”

Umm…no thanks!

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It’s not clear that this auto-registration in the Shop with Points program will default your payment to AMEX Membership Rewards points or just automatically give you the option to pay with them.  But I figured it’s worth a heads-up, just in case.

I checked my account and when I selected an AMEX Membership Rewards points earning card, it did not default to paying with points.  However, I have had that card in my Amazon account for a while and had previously set the default to not pay with points.  So if you have an American Express card in your Amazon account that wasn’t previously linked, you’ll want to double check the default payment settings next time you checkout.

You can see which cards are linked to Amazon’s Shop with Points by signing into your account through this link.  If you made a Shop with Points purchase that you didn’t want to make, folks have had success getting their points refunded and changing the payment method by contacting Amazon customer service.

If you want to make sure you’re earning the most rewards for your Amazon purchases, check out our list of the best credit cards for Amazon spending.

Was your AMEX card automatically set to pay with points?  Please let me know in the comments.

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Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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1 year ago

WOW!!TY! TY! My Amex auto set to pay with points.
If you tell me to check, all my points would be gone.

1 year ago

This is very chicken $hit on both amazon and amex

John B
1 year ago

I was auto-enrolled but it was not set to default to AMEX points. I have yet to use it because, as you say, it’s a terrible value.
It is however a good gauge to compare the value of the deal I get when redeeming my points, vs actual cash value.

Coleeta Jackson
1 year ago

Hey this have accused several time on my account. I pay with my American express card. And later my point also pay for the same item. Amazon state they didn’t see it on there system. Then Americans Expess replace my point after several attempts. Some one is hacking into the system and take point. I removed my credit card payment on my Amazon account. Also there is a leaked on the system. You will get charger from Amazon on your bill. And you didnt order anything. This have been going on for 4 year nw. So please check your bill statement

Reply to  Coleeta Jackson
1 year ago

Maybe someone hack in your computer?

Paul S
1 year ago

Good article. Glad you are making people aware that making a non promo purchase with points is a terrible deal.

Paul S
1 year ago

Auto enroll is not a bad thing if you are alert. Agree it is a terrible waste of points at 2/3 cent per point. That said, I have gotten incredible value out of my points during Amex Amazon promotions. Last Prime Day, I made 5 purchases that way. One point, worth 2/3 cent, got me 20% off each purchases, subject to a total of $ 500 max purchases.

That combined with a $50 Amazon gift card on a Sonos One, brought the Sonos One to $ 110 net. Last month, another promo gave me $ 30 off for using one point.

1 year ago

I’ve paid with amex points thru Amazon but it does give you the choice of paying by your regular registered card, PayPal or amex points.