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Is This AMEX Membership Rewards Partner a Good Deal?

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American Express is making it easier to use AMEX Membership Rewards points.

Now you can book discounted Expedia flights using American Express Membership Rewards Points.  But just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

I’ll Show You How to Redeem AMEX Membership Rewards Points Through Expedia. And I’ll Explain Why for Most of Y’all, This Is NOT the Way to Use Your Points

Discounted Expedia Flights Using American Express Membership Rewards Points

Link:   AMEX Expedia Partnership

Link:   AMEX Expedia Terms & Conditions

American Express has a way to use your AMEX Membership Rewards points!  You can now redeem your points through Expedia.

Here are the details:

Similar to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you can choose the ratio of AMEX Membership Rewards points and cash to pay for your travel through Expedia.  And there doesn’t appear to be a minimum amount of points you can use.

Enter the Amount of Money You’d Like to Pay for With Points

If you cancel or return a Pay with Points reservation, Expedia will refund the corresponding dollar amount to your card.  To retrieve the AMEX Membership Rewards points you used for your purchase, you’ll have to call 1-800-297-3276.

You can read the full Terms & Conditions here.

Which Cards Are Eligible?

You can link any credit cards that earn AMEX Membership Rewards points to your Expedia account.  These cards include:

Note:   You can only link 1 AMEX Membership Rewards points earning credit card to your account at a time.  So make sure you merge all your AMEX Membership Rewards points to your linked card on the AMEX website.

How to Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points Through Expedia

Step 1.   Sign-in to Expedia

Head to Expedia.com and log-in to your account at the top of the page.

Navigate to the Expedia Website and Sign-In

Step 2.   Find “Payment Methods” on Your Account Page

Click “My Account” at the top of the home page, and click the “Payment Methods” tab on the right side of the page.  Here you’ll see the option to pay with either AMEX Membership Rewards points or Citi ThankYou points.  Click the link that says “Shop on Expedia with your eligible points today!

Click the Link Under “Points Programs” in the “Payment Methods” Section

Step 3.   Click “Link Your Accounts”

Under “Partner Programs“, you’ll see an option to link your AMEX Membership Rewards account.  Click “Link Your Accounts“.

Press “Link Your Accounts”

Step 4.   Enter Your Card Details

Enter the information on your eligible AMEX Membership Rewards points earning credit card to link your account.

Tell Expedia Which Credit Card You Want to Use Points From

That’s it!  Your AMEX Membership Rewards account should be linked to Expedia.  The site will show you how many AMEX Membership Rewards points you can use to shop for airfare and hotels.

Your Accounts Are Linked! Now You Can Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points Through Expedia

Just search for travel as you normally would.  For example, a flight from Orlando to Newark in early December costs ~$138 on JetBlue.

Use the Expedia Website as You Normally Would

When you are at checkout, Expedia will give you the option to use AMEX Membership Rewards for all or part of the bill!

You Can Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Your Purchase, or You Can Save Them for More Valuable Redemptions

You can use the exact same process for booking hotels!  Just remember, you can NOT book packages with your AMEX Membership Rewards points (like airfare + hotel).

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points Through Expedia?

Booking travel through Expedia with AMEX Membership Rewards points is a BAD deal.

You’ll only get 0.7 cents per point in value through Expedia.  That’s only slightly better than redeeming your points for cash at 0.6 cents each.  And AMEX Membership Rewards points can be worth so much more!  Because you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to valuable transfer partners like British Airways, Delta, and Singapore Airlines for Big Travel.

For example, a flight from Minneapolis to Vancouver, British Columbia, usually costs ~$200 one-way.  But you can transfer just 9,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to Delta for the same flight!  That’s a value of ~2.2 cents per point ($200 / 9,000 points).

Easily Get 3X the Value of Your AMEX Membership Rewards Points When You Transfer Them to Delta Instead of Redeeming Them Through Expedia

Even if you redeem your points for airfare through the AMEX Travel Portal, you’ll get a value of 1 cent per point (30% more value than through Expedia!).

Plus, you will NOT earn hotel points or elite night credits when you book a hotel through an online travel agency like Expedia.  And the hotel will likely NOT recognize your elite status.

I recommend using your AMEX Membership Rewards points with transfer partners to get the best value.

Check out my Big Travel guide to AMEX Membership Rewards points to learn how to get the most out of your points!

Bottom Line

There’s a way to spend your AMEX Membership Rewards points.  And it’s NOT a good deal.

American Express and Expedia have partnered up to give you the opportunity to buy travel at a value of 0.7 cents per point.  As long as you have an AMEX Membership Rewards points earning credit card, like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can participate.

Redeeming points for 0.7 cents each is a bad deal for savvy folks like us, because you can get 3X that value (or much more!) by transferring your AMEX Membership Rewards points to travel partners like Delta, Etihad, and Flying Blue!

Do you plan to use this American Express Expedia partnership for your travels?

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! :)