AMEX Points Value
AMEX Points can be worth as much as 2 cents or more. Calculate the cash value with the AMEX Points Value Calculator and get the list of redemption options.
American Express Membership Rewards Points can be worth as little as 0.5 cents or as high as 2 cents or more per point. Transferring your points to airline and hotel partners will give you the chance to receive the best value, but you can also obtain solid value redeeming points directly with AMEX as well.
AMEX Points Value Calculator
The AMEX Points Value Calculator will calculate the average cash value of your Membership Rewards Points based on redemption. You can enter any amount of points in the table below.
Membership Rewards Points Cash Value Calculator
|Transferring To Partners||$0 - $0+|
|AMEX Travel Site Airfare||$0|
|AMEX Travel Airfare||$0|
|AMEX Travel Airfare||$0|
|Members Give (Charity), NYC Taxi||$0|
|AMEX Travel Hotels||$0|
|AMEX Travel Hotels||$0|
|AMEX Pay With Points At Checkout||$0|
|Card Charges / Statement Credit||$0|
|Gift Cards||$0 to $0|
American Express Travel Portal
The American Express Travel Portal allows you to book flights, hotel, car rentals, and cruises all in one spot. Using your Membership Rewards Points to book travel through the portal is one of the easiest ways to redeem your points and using them towards airfare specifically is one of the best options.
When you redeem your Membership Rewards Points for airfare through the American Express Travel Portal, your points will be worth 1 cent each. So if a flight costs $275, you would need to use 27,500 Membership Rewards Points to cover it. This is one of the best redemption options for Membership Rewards Points outside of transferring them to airline and hotel partners.
It is possible to get even more value out of your Membership Rewards Points using the American Express Business Platinum Card and American Express Business Gold Card. Both of these cards offer a point rebate when you use your Membership Rewards Points to book airfare on the American Express Travel Portal. The rebate will apply to:
- First/Business class with any airline booked through the American Express Travel Portal
- All other fares booked with one airline of your choosing (can change once per year in January)
AMEX Business Platinum Card Rebate
The AMEX Business Platinum Card is a luxury travel card that offers many travel benefits. One of those many benefits is the 35% Point Rebate it offers when you use your Membership Rewards Points to book airfare on the American Express Travel Portal. This means you will get 35% of the points you used to book your travel added back to your account.
For example, I used my AMEX Business Card to buy four Delta Airlines tickets which cost me $1,073.26. Instead of paying cash, I decided to redeem my AMEX Membership Rewards Points instead which cost me 107,326 points.
Exactly one month later, American Express credited me my rebated points which put 37,565 Membership Rewards Points back into my account.
So overall I used a grand total of 69,761 points to pay for a $1,073.26 flight which gave my AMEX Points a value of 1.538 cents each. A value of 1.538 will always be the case when using this rebate option. Just note that you will need to have enough points to cover the cost of the flight at 1 cent each.
AMEX Business Gold Card Rebate
The AMEX Business Gold Card is a superb business card (or personal card if you want to use it that way) that offers a 25% rebate when you redeem your Membership Rewards Points for airfare through the American Express Travel Portal. This operates exactly the same as the AMEX Business Card, but with a slightly smaller rebate.
Using the same 107,326 points from the previous example, a 25% rebate would have meant that I would received 26,832 points back. So I would have spent a total of 80,494 points giving me an AMEX Point value of 1.33 cents each which is always the case when using this rebate.
Is The Rebate Better Than Transferring Points?
If you have the Business Platinum Card or Business Gold Card, you'll have to decided on whether you want to transfer points to the frequent flyer program or redeem them directly through the American Express Travel Portal. Neither one of these options is "always" the better choice. There are times in which the rebate is a better option and times in which transferring is the better option. Since both rebates have a point value assigned to them, it's pretty easy to figure out which option gives your points the best value.
Let's look at an example. I typically visit Florida to see family so booking flights from either CMH or DTW to TPA is a common occurrence for me. Let's look at flights from Detroit to Tampa on Delta. The cheapest flight is a non-stop at 8:40am. Below is the price in cash and the price in Delta SkyMiles.
Looking at Main Cabin, I could transfer 16,000 Membership Rewards Points to my Delta SkyMiles account and redeem them to get a value of 1.34 cents each. If I was to buy the same ticket on the American Express Travel Portal it would cost a total of 22,620 Membership Rewards Points.
With the 35% rebate I would get 7,917 of my points back. This means I would end up using a total of 14,703 Membership Rewards Points. That makes the AMEX Business Platinum rebate the best option.
The 25% rebate would come out to 5,655 points saved which comes out to a total of 16,965 Membership Rewards Points total. You would actually end up paying a few points more, but if you went this way you wouldn't have to pay that $11.20 in taxes on the SkyMiles redemption. So this comes out to be about equal with transferring points.
Delta Airlines Benefit
Delta is the sponsored airline of the American Express Travel Portal. When you use your AMEX Membership Rewards Points to pay for your flights, you'll still earn Delta SkyMiles as well as Medallion Qualifying Miles, Medallion Qualifying Segments, and Medallion Qualifying Dollars. So if you're working towards Delta Medallion Status and you want credit for everything on award flights, redeeming your Membership Rewards Points for flights on Delta using the American Express Travel Portal is the way better option.
Membership Rewards Insider Fares
Another plus to redeeming Membership Rewards Points for airfare is the Membership Rewards Insider Fares. Depending on the cost of your tickets or how many tickets you're buying, this can save you a few thousand Membership Rewards Points. You must be signed into your Membership Rewards account to see these fares. They will usually pop up first in your list of results when searching for flights through the portal.
You can use Membership Rewards Points to book hotel stays through the American Express Travel Portal. If you have the AMEX Platinum Card, AMEX Business Platinum Card, AMEX Centurion Card, or AMEX Business Cenurion Card, you'll be able to book stays at Fine Hotels & Resorts properties at a value of 1 cent per point which is pretty good value.
All other hotel bookings that are not part of Fine Hotels & Resorts program will give your AMEX Points a value of 0.7 cents per point. So a hotel that's $200 per night would cost you roughly 28,571 Membership Rewards Points per night. This isn't the best redemption option, but it can still be useful if you want to stay for free or shave down the cost of the hotel.
If you're booking a stay at Hilton or Marriott, you need to remember that they are both transfer partners of American Express. Marriott points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and Hilton transfers at a 1:2 ratio (doubles the points). There will be times where transferring your points to Marriott or Hilton will be the better option.
For example, the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners hotel costs 21,500 Membership Rewards Points per night for weekend stay in August. Marriott has the hotel listed for 17,500 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night. This is an instance where you would want to transfer your Membership Rewards Points to Marriott and then redeem them directly from your Marriott Bonvoy account.
You also want to be aware that Marriott gives you the 5th night free when you book at least 5 consecutive reward nights. So if you were to book this hotel for Monday-Saturday (5 nights), you would only have to pay for four which would be a total of 70,000 points. If you were to book through AMEX, you would have to pay more and pay for all five nights. So you would end up dishing out a whopping 107,500 points.
Hilton also offers a 5th night free benefit, but you'll need to have at least Hilton Honors Silver to use the benefit. Marriott's benefit is open to everyone with a Marriott Bonvoy account regardless of status.
Depending on which AMEX credit cards you have when booking your travel through the American Express Travel Portal (regardless of how you're paying), you may see the option to book hotels that are part of Fine Hotels & Resorts or part of The Hotel Collection.
Fine Hotels & Resorts
Room upgrades, daily breakfast for two people, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, noon check-in, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a unique property amenity, such as a spa or food & beverage credit comes with Fine Hotels & Resorts reservations. These benefits are specific to Platinum and Platinum Business cardholders.
The Hotel Collection
The Hotel Collection comes with a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities and can also receive a room upgrade at check-in if available. This is available to the personal and business cardholders of Platinum and Gold cards.
AMEX Upgrade With Points
American Express allows you to use Membership Rewards Points to place an offer towards a seat upgrade with more than 20 airlines. After you've purchased your ticket with a participating airline, you can jump to the American Express Travel Site to enter your reservation details. If the itinerary is eligible for an upgrade, you can then use points to make an offer. You will find out where or not the offer has been granted usually within 5 days of the flight. The following airlines allow you to make an upgrade offer using Membership Rewards Points:
- Aerolíneas Argentinas
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Mauritius
- Caribbean Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Fiji Airways
- Gulf Air
- Kenya Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Philippine Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Air Portugal
AMEX Pay With Points At Checkout
American Express Membership Rewards Pay With Points program allows you to use your points at checkout with top retailers. The value of your points will range between 0.5 cents and 1 cent depending on the retailer. While not the best use of points, it's nice to have an option that can help the cost off your bill at checkout.
Pay With Points Amazon
Membership Rewards Points can be used at checkout with Amazon for a value of 0.7 cents per point. Points can be used to cover the whole balance or part of the balance. Amazon occasionally has promos in which using points toward your purchase can get you a certain dollar amount of. The plus to this is that you can usually sign up for the promotion, apply 1 Membership Rewards Point towards your purchase, and still receive the discount.
If you really enjoy spending on Amazon.com, Amazon has their own line-up of 5 credit cards that offer 5% cash back on Amazon purchases. Some of the cards also offer 5% cash back on Whole Foods Stores purchases as well. Using Amazon's credit cards will be the better option over using Membership Rewards Points.
American Express allows you to use your Membership Rewards Points when using AMEX Checkout. AMEX Checkout provides a way for American Express cardholders to easily pay merchants at checkout. If available, this option will usually pop up as a method of payment. AMEX checkout is available at a great deal of retailers including:
- Neiman Marcus
Redeeming your points through AMEX Checkout will give you a value of 0.7 cents per point. So $10 will cost you around 1,429 Membership Rewards Points. While I don't recommend using AMEX Points during AMEX checkout, I do recommend using AMEX checkout when paying normally with your American Express cards. AMEX checkout provides unique digital Card numbers that can only be used at the intended merchants. So if you don't want to give your actual card number to the retailer, you can use AMEX Checkout for piece of mind.
Pay With Points Best Buy
AMEX Membership Rewards can be applied to purchases made at Best Buy for a value of 0.7 cents per point. This means you can spend 1,429 Membership Rewards Points to receive $10 off your Best Buy bill. Best Buy is frequently found in AMEX offers during the year offering bonus points per $1 spent as well as other forms of discounts. Pair your AMEX offers with Best Buy Points, Best Buy Elite status, and a cash back portal such as Rakuten and you're looking at extensive savings. So while I don't recommend redeeming points, you can earn a bunch of value shopping at Best Buy with American Express.
Pay With Points Boxed
AMEX Membership Rewards can be applied at checkout for purchased made through BOXED for a value of 0.7 cents per point ($10 = 1,429 Points). Boxed is another frequent partner of American Express offering bonus points and discounts to cardholders through AMEX Offers.
Pay With Points Dell
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be used to shop on Dell.com which includes Dell computers and monitors along with other electronics and accessories. This can be a good way to shave off the price of your purchase. You can combine this with the annual Dell credits offered on the AMEX Business Platinum Card to save even more.
Pay With Points Expedia
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be used at checkout to pay for travel booked through Expedia at a value of 0.7 cents per point. Be sure to compare the Expedia price against the price offered through the American Express Travel site if you do decide to use your points.
Expedia has their own rewards program and those who use it can benefit from collecting Expedia Rewards Points and applying them to travel booked through their website. Expedia Points are worth 0.71 o 1.42 cents each, so you'll want to earn Expedia Points directly if you enjoy spending with them.
Pay With Points GrubHub
Like ordering food? AMEX Membership Rewards can be used towards the GrubHub food delivery service for a value of 0.7 cents per point. Those looking to save with GrubHub may want to look at the American Express Gold Card which offers $10 a month for a total of $120 in dining credits per year.
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed for the full cost of the fare and tip when using New York Citi taxis. This is one of the few Pay With Points options that will give your AMEX Points a full 1 cent in value. If you use NYC Taxis, Membership Rewards Points could be of use.
Pay With Points Newegg
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be applied towards technology purchases made with Newegg. Points redeemed in this matter will be worth 0.7 cents each.
Pay With Points PayPal
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed with PayPal when you check out at online stores around the world.
Pay With Points RiteAid
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be used for RiteAid purchases at a value of 0.7 cents per point. This can be done directly at your local RiteAid when you swipe your card.
Pay With Points Saks Fifth Avenue
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can used to pay at checkout when shopping online with Saks Fifth Avenue for a value of 0.7 cents per point. Those who enjoy shopping at Saks Fifth may enjoy the $100 in annual statement credits the AMEX Platinum Card offers.
Pay With Points Seamless
If you're looking to save on online food orders, AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed for orders on Seamless for a value of 0.7 cents per point. Those looking to save $10 monthly on Seamless as well as earn a solid return on dining and grocery should consider the AMEX Gold Card.
Pay With Points Staples
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed with Staples to pay for office equipment, furniture, electronics and more. These redemptions will give you a point value of 0.7 cents per point. Staples is sometimes featured as an AMEX offer which can save you a couple extra dollars per year.
Pay With Points Ticketmaster
Those looking to pick up tickets through Ticketmaster can use AMEX Membership Rewards Points to take care of the balance at checkout. This gives AMEX Points the lowest value of 0.5 cents per point ($10 = 2,000 points). If you're really trying to use points towards Ticketmaster, You're better off using your card to pay for the event and then using points to wipe off the card charges for a slightly better value of 0.6 cents per point.
Pay With Points Walmart
AMEX Membership Rewards Points can be applied at checkout for those shopping at Walmart. Points will have a value of 0.7 cents each. Those who consistently shop with Walmart will benefit more collecting Walmart Rewards Points.
Cover Card Charges
Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed towards card charges for a value of 0.6 cents per point. You can use your points to cover card charges made to any of your Membership Rewards credit cards regardless of how the points were obtained.
When redeeming your Membership Rewards Points, AMEX allows you to pick which charges you want to cover using your points. If you do not have enough points to cover the charge, it will not allow you to use partial points to cover it.
American Express Rewards Gift Cards
Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed for almost 100 different gift cards consisting of restaurants, retail stores, entertainment and more. The value you get out of redeeming your points for gift cards will range between 0.5 cents and 1 cent in value. Listed below is a partial list of gift cards available just to give you idea. You can slide over to AMEX's website to see the full list of gift card options.
Do note that some of these gift card options are bad ideas. For example, picking up a Delta Airlines gift card would be a terrible choice since you can redeem your Membership Rewards Points for 1 cent each on the American Express Travel Portal for flights on Delta or transfer them directly to your Delta SkyMiles account at a 1:1 ratio. Keep an eye out for stuff like this and be careful when redeeming for travel gift cards.
- Olive Garden
- Ruth's Chris Steak House
- Banana Republic
- Barnes & Noble
- Bath & Body Works
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Spafinder Wellness 365
- Best Western
- Hilton Hotels
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Whole Foods
- Delta Air Lines
- Best Buy
- Sam's Club
AMEX Shop With Points
You can use Membership Rewards Points to shop the Membership Rewards store. It features a range of departments such as technology, home & office, sports & games, and more. It also has brand name products from top companies such as Apple, Sony, and Google. Redeeming your AMEX Points through the shopping portal will give them a value of 0.5 cents each which is one of the lowest redemption values for Membership Rewards Points.
Unless you're trying to empty our your balance, I wouldn't take this route. You would be better off using your credit card to make the purchase and then using the points to cover the card charges. This methods rewards you with additional points (from purchasing the item) and it allows you to use a cash back portal to earn additional cash back on top of your purchase.
Transferring AMEX Points To Partners
The best values for Membership Rewards Points can be obtained by transferring them to airline and hotel partners. I wanted to save this option for last because unlike the previous redemption options, this one doesn't have anything close to a set value. Transferring your points can give you a value of 0.1 cents per point or it can give you 7+ cents per point. It all comes down to who you transfer them to and how you use them once you transfer them.
For example, I can transfer Membership Rewards Points to my Marriott Bonvoy account and redeem them for a 5-night stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Chillicothe giving me 1.78 cents per point.
Or I can redeem them for two nights at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel and get a value of 0.76 cents per point.
See the big difference in value? The same thing applies to airlines. If you're aware of how valuable an airlines frequent flyer miles can be, you can pass your AMEX Points to that airline and obtain great value.
Let's say I wanted to be fancy and try out Delta One using my Membership Rewards Points to fly from Detroit to Amsterdam. The cash price for the flight is a few dollars short of $5,000.
The lowest cost in Delta SkyMiles is 160,000 Miles.
The rebates provided by the AMEX Business Platinum and AMEX Business Gold card would be out of the question as the flight would cost nearly 500,000 Membership Rewards Points using the portal. Even with the Platinum Card's International Airline program which shaves down the cash price, it's still going to cost a lot of points if you take this path.
The most straightforward option would be transferring 160,000 Membership Rewards Points to your Delta SkyMiles account. This will give your SkyMiles a value of around 3 cents each which is quite superb... BUT... there are other options.
Delta Airlines is part of the SkyTeam Alliance and they have a handful of airline partners in addition to the alliance partners. These partnerships allow you to book award flights on Delta using partner airlines. I know that Virgin Atlantic is one of the best options for booking Delta flights to Europe, especially Delta One. Let's go to the Virgin Atlantic website and look at the same flight.
The same flight will cost 100,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles for a roundtrip in Delta One. This gives me a whopping 5 cents per point which is unbelievable value and a great deal considering some of the most basic Delta flights in Main Cabin can run you 70,000 SkyMiles.
When trying to get great value out of your Membership Rewards Points (at least for flights), you'll want to first figure out your destination. For example, I can Google 'best ways to get to the Maldives on points' and several articles from trusted sources will pop up in the results. They will then typically lay out a bunch of airlines that you can use, how many miles it will cost, and other useful tidbits of information. From there, you can check AMEX's list of transfer partners and see if any of those transfer partners are mentioned in the list. If so, you now have a plan of attack as you can transfer your points to that airline and redeem them to get to your destination.
For hotels, Marriott is your best chance for getting good value out of Membership Rewards Points as it's not hard to find value, especially if you make use of the 5th night free benefit. On the other hand, it can be hard to get good value out of transferring your Membership Rewards Points to Hilton and Choice and doing so will typically devalue your points. With Hilton, you're better off using Hilton's excellent line up of credit cards. Choice also has it's own Choice Privileges credit card.
No Rush To Transfer
One more point I wanted to touch on for transferring points is the fact that you don't have to be in any rush to transfer them to a program. Even if you only plan on using them for one airline or one hotel loyalty program, I would recommend transferring them only when you need to do so. You never know when another deal might pop-up with another loyalty program. Plus, AMEX offers transfer bonus from time to time that can earn you bonus points or miles when moving your AMEX Points to another loyalty program.
Be sure to go into your American Express account and link all of the rewards programs that you are part of. This makes it easy to transfer points on the spot when you need them.
Other Ways To Redeem
All of the options for redeeming your points are pretty much covered above. I recommend reading up on AMEX's transfer partners to get the list of hotels and airlines you can transfer your points to and to get the details on each partner. Plus, you can calculate how many points you'll earn when transferring between programs.