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American Express Improves Integration With PayPal – Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Payments

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This past week, American Express announced a new partnership with PayPal that will bring new benefits for American Express cardholders who use their cards with PayPal or Venmo.

While all of the details are still not clear, American Express did announce 4 ways that the new partnership will benefit cardholders.  They plan on implementing these services throughout 2019.

PayPal and American Express Announce Strategic Partnership to Better Integrate the 2 Services

Once these changes take place you’ll be able to:

Redeeming Membership Rewards Points With PayPal

Probably the biggest announcement here is that you will soon (sometime in 2019) be able to redeem your Membership Rewards points on purchases at any merchant that accepts PayPal.

While this opens up almost limitless possibilities for redeeming AMEX Membership Rewards points, we don’t know what AMEX Membership Rewards points will be worth on your favorite retailer’s site.  But if I had to guess it would be similar to the rate that AMEX points are worth on Amazon.  On Amazon, Membership Rewards points are only worth ~0.7 cents per point.

Considering that AMEX points are some of the most valuable points in the industry, these direct pay options are rarely the best way to use your points.  However, it’s always great to have options!

Better Integration Between the AMEX Mobile App & PayPal

Most the other announcements are simply better integration between AMEX and PayPal.  These integrations will make it more convenient to use your American Express card on PayPal.  The changes are also expected with Venmo, which is owned by PayPal.

On American Express’ side, you will have the ability to send money directly inside the AMEX Mobile app to friends and family who use PayPal or Venmo.  Folks will also be able to add an American Express card to their PayPal account from within the AMEX Mobile app or online.

Soon You Will Be Able To Pay Off Your AMEX Card With Balances From PayPal or Venmo.  This Is Great When Your Friends Send You Money To Pay For Dinner!

Probably the best integration to me is that you can now pay your American Express card off using balances that you have on PayPal or Venmo.  This would be great for those times that you buy something for a group of friends on your AMEX card and everyone sends you money on Venmo to cover it.  Now you can just transfer that balance directly to your American Express card to cover the charges.

Note:   Offering to pay for group dinners and having your friends pay you back is an easy way to earn free rewards points and meet a card’s minimum spending requirement (assuming you trust them to pay you back)!

Bottom Line

American Express has announced an expanded partnership with PayPal to better integrate the 2 services.

The partnership will include new features such as:

These services will also expand to Venmo, the money sending app, which is owned by PayPal.

The standout benefit here is that Membership Rewards points will be redeemable at online merchants that accept PayPal as a payment method.  Unfortunately we don’t expect that this will be a valuable use of your points, but we are still waiting to hear an exact conversion rate.

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Hat Tip:   Business Wire

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