American Express Membership Rewards: What Are Amex Points Worth?

American Express Membership Rewards: What Are Amex Points Worth?

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American Express Membership Rewards can be used in various ways, offering consumers tons of options for their points. With so much flexibility, it can be hard to decide which option provides the best value. Amex cardholders will typically get the best deal by transferring their Amex points through the airline transfer program where they can get 2.2 cents in value per point on average.

In this guide, we dive into the Membership Rewards portal to assess all of the redemption options and what the points are worth.

How much are Amex points worth?

The value of Amex points will vary greatly per redemption option, but you can expect to receive a minimum of 0.5 cents per point. On average, we found that you can get 2.2 cents per value by transferring your points over to Amex's loyalty program partners.

Amex points redemption options

The following table shows the value you can expect from the following redemption options. Out of all of these options, you'll extract the most value from the points transfer program, but booking flights through Amex Travel and purchasing gift cards aren't a bad deal either.

Amex points value

Redemption option
Estimated value
Transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programsDepends on program (around 2.2 cents on average)
Book flights through the Amex Travel portal1 cent
Book hotels through the Amex Travel portal0.7 cent
Redeem for gift cards0.5-1 cent
Shop with points0.5 cent
Pay with your points at checkout0.7-1 cent
Cover your card charges and receive a statement credit0.6 cent
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With plenty of redemption options to choose from, let's take a closer look at how each option works.

Transferring Amex points to loyalty programs

membership rewards

The Membership Rewards program's best feature is the ability to transfer your points to 21 airline and hotel loyalty programs. Most Amex points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio, although a handful of programs offer slightly less value than that.

Our analysis found that transferring your Amex points to loyalty programs leads to values much greater than 1 cent each. Below, you'll find the participating airline and hotel programs and their respective point transfer ratios.

Type of program
Loyalty program
Transfer ratio
AirlinesAerLingus AerClub1:1
AeroMexico1:1.6
Air Canada Aeroplan1:1
Air France KLM Flying Blue1:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia1:1
ANA Mileage Club1:1
Asia Miles1:1
Avianca LifeMiles1:1
British Airways Avios1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1:1
Emirates Skywards1:1
Etihad Guest Miles1:1
Show All Rows
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We sampled five different award travel itineraries to calculate the average point value to demonstrate the power of this redemption option.

Program
Itinerary
Cash price
Redemption
Point value
Air Canada AeroplanToronto (YYZ) to Frankfurt (FRA)Economy round-trip$1,201.5894,558 points + $171.651.1 cents
Business class round-trip$6,556.58139,758 points + $202.364.5 cents
Delta SkyMilesNew York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)Economy round-trip$666.8020,000 miles + $11.203.3 cents
First class round-trip$1,056.8090,000 miles + $11.201.2 cents
Hawaiian Air HawaiianMilesPhoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL)Economy round-trip$45940,000 miles + $121.2 cents
First class round-trip$2,616120,000 miles + $122.2 cents
Singapore KrisFlyer MilesSan Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG)Economy round-trip$936.82120,000 miles + $65.120.7 cents
Business round-trip$9,993.40251,000 miles + $78.744.0 cents
Marriott BonvoyJW Marriott Cannes$92070,000 points1.3 cents
Average2.2 cents
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As you can see from the chart above, the point values will vary greatly depending on the itinerary and loyalty program. For airlines, you'll generally gain the best value from your points on business or first-class tickets. On Air Canada, you can earn a whopping 4.7 cents in value for a business-class ticket — almost five times the standard value of an Amex point.

Not all redemptions are built the same, so it will take a bit more diligence to check the cash price and the award travel price. However, by taking this extra step, you can find incredible value with your Membership Rewards points.

Redeem Amex points for flights on Amex Travel

round trip

Using your Amex points to book flights through the Amex Travel portal will yield 1 cent per point. While this option provides average value, you can book virtually any airline or flight itinerary through Amex Travel. For simplicity's sake, booking flights through Amex Travel can save you a ton of time and effort.

Redeem Amex points for hotels on Amex Travel

hotel

Booking hotels on the Amex Travel portal is just as easy — but the points value falls short. With this redemption option, each Amex point is worth only 0.7 cents each.

If you're looking to book hotel stays with your points, we recommend opting for the points transfer option instead. For Marriott and Choice Hotels, you can transfer your Amex points at a 1:1 ratio, potentially exceeding the value of just 0.7 cents per point.

Redeem Amex points for gift cards

membership

American Express offers the ability to redeem your Amex points gift cards in five categories: air and lodging, car and rail, dining, experience and retail. The points value will depend on which gift card you choose, as low as 0.5 cents per point. Out of these options, most dining and retail gift cards will yield the highest value at 1 cent per point.

Redeem Amex points for shopping

Redeem Amex points for shopping

You can visit membershiprewards.com to use your points to shop at hundreds of stores spanning various categories. You can use your Amex points to purchase Apple products, appliances and even furniture.

For most of the products listed, each Amex point will be worth 0.5 cents each, which isn't necessarily the best use of your rewards. American Express will offer special offers where you'll need fewer points for certain items. Even with these offers, you generally won't get more than 1 cent of value per point.

Pay with Amex points at checkout

Pay with Amex points at checkout

When shopping at 15 online retailers, you have the option to pay with your Amex points at checkout. Depending on the store, each point will be worth 0.5 cents to 1 cent each:

Retailer
Points value (in cents)
Amazon0.7 cents
Best Buy0.7 cents
Boxed0.7 cents
Dell.com0.7 cents
Grubhub0.7 cents
JustGiving0.7 cents
Newegg0.7 cents
NYC Taxi1 cent
PayPal0.7 cents
Rite Aid0.7 cents
Saks Fifth Avenue0.7 cents
Seamless.com0.7 cents
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Although this option won't necessarily provide the best value, this can be fantastic if you're looking to use some of your points to offset a large purchase. With PayPal, you'll have access to millions of retailers that accept this payment method at checkout.

Cover your card charges with Amex points

Cover your card charges with Amex points

You also have the option to cover eligible charges on your card using your Amex points. When viewing your online statement, you have the opportunity to pay your bill or redeem your points for eligible expenses. By opting for the latter option, a statement credit will appear within 48 hours — effectively erasing this charge.

This option will yield 0.6 cents per point, and you'll need to use a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points.

Cards that earn Amex points

Not all American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points, so you'll want to make sure you own one of the following eligible cards:

Card
Annual fee
Welcome offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express$550 See rates and feesEarn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.
Apply Now
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$595Earn 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card plus earn 5x points on eligible purchases in 5 select business categories, up to 80,000 bonus points per category, all within the first 3 months of Card Membership.Read Review
American Express® Gold Card$250 See rates and feesEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
Apply Now
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American Express® Business Gold Card$295Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Earn up to $300 in statement credits on eligible U.S. advertising and U.S. shipping purchases. Terms and cap apply.Read Review
American Express® Green Card$15030,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.Read Review
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.Read Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express$010,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.Read Review
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express$95Earn 15,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.Offer not available
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressNo annual feeNoneRead Review
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Express\u00ae Gold Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","$250 \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"See rates and fees\" href=\"https:\/\/www.americanexpress.com\/us\/credit-cards\/card-application\/apply\/prospect\/terms\/gold-card\/26129-10-0\/#terms-details?print\"\u003ESee rates and fees\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.","\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-AffiliateButton\" data-component-name=\"AffiliateButton\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"AffiliateButtonV2--root \"\u003E\u003Ca class=\"Link--root Button--root Button--primary Button--fluid \" href=\"\/credit-cards\/redirect\/1304?url=_travel_american-express-membership-rewards-comprehensive-guide\" rel=\"noopener nofollow\" target=\"_blank\" title=\"Apply Now\"\u003EApply Now\u003Cspan aria-hidden=\"true\" class=\"StyledIcon-sc-e7wugl dBUYFD ValuePenguinIcon--root ValuePenguinIcon--lock\" color=\"inherit\" name=\"lock\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"DisclaimersList--root\"\u003E\u003Cul class=\"DisclaimersList--unordered-list\"\u003E\u003Cli class=\"DisclaimersList--list-item\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.americanexpress.com\/us\/credit-cards\/card-application\/apply\/prospect\/terms\/gold-card\/26129-10-0\/?print#terms-details\"\u003ESee Rates & Fees.\u003C\/a\u003E Terms Apply.\u003C\/li\u003E\u003Cli class=\"DisclaimersList--list-item\"\u003EOn American Express' Secure Website\u003C\/li\u003E\u003C\/ul\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"AffiliateButton\"\u003E{\"color\":\"primary\",\"disclaimers\":[\"\\u003Ca href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.americanexpress.com\\\/us\\\/credit-cards\\\/card-application\\\/apply\\\/prospect\\\/terms\\\/gold-card\\\/26129-10-0\\\/?print#terms-details\\\"\\u003ESee Rates & Fees.\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E Terms Apply.\",\"On American Express' Secure Website\"],\"icon\":\"lock\",\"label\":\"Apply Now\",\"link\":\"\\\/credit-cards\\\/redirect\\\/1304?url=_travel_american-express-membership-rewards-comprehensive-guide\",\"name\":\"American Express\\u00ae Gold Card\"}\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The American Express\u00ae Business Gold Card: Is It A Good Business Card?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/american-express-business-gold-rewards-card\"\u003EAmerican Express\u00ae Business Gold Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","$295","Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Earn up to $300 in statement credits on eligible U.S. advertising and U.S. shipping purchases. Terms and cap apply.","\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary\" title=\"Read Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/american-express-business-gold-rewards-card\"\u003ERead Review\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The American Express\u00ae Green card review?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/american-express-green-card\"\u003EAmerican Express\u00ae Green Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","$150","30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.","\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary\" title=\"Read Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/american-express-green-card\"\u003ERead Review\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The American Express\u00ae Business card review?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/american-express-business-green-rewards-card\"\u003EBusiness Green Rewards Card from American Express\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95","Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards\u00ae points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.","\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary\" title=\"Read Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/american-express-business-green-rewards-card\"\u003ERead Review\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Amex EveryDay\u00ae Credit Card: Potential for 20% Membership Rewards Point Bonus\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/amex-everyday-credit-card\"\u003EThe Amex EveryDay\u00ae Credit Card from American Express\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","$0","10,000 Membership Rewards\u00ae points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.","\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary\" title=\"Read Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/amex-everyday-credit-card\"\u003ERead Review\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E"],["The Amex EveryDay\u00ae Preferred Credit Card from American Express","$95","Earn 15,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.","Offer not available"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The Blue Business\u00ae Plus Credit Card from American Express Review: Should You Apply?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/blue-business-plus-credit-card\"\u003EThe Blue Business\u00ae Plus Credit Card from American Express\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","No annual fee","None","\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary\" title=\"Read Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/blue-business-plus-credit-card\"\u003ERead Review\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":false,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

ValuePenguin's verdict

Amex Cardholders will gain the most value from the loyalty transfer program. However, it's nice to have other considerable options if you're not interested in using your rewards for award travel. Overall, the Membership Rewards program is one of the best credit card programs out there, excelling in flexibility and long-term value.

What are the best ways to use Amex points?

The best way to use your points is to transfer them over to Amex's 21 loyalty partners. Generally, booking business or first class flights will yield the most value for your points, up to 4.7 cents of value according to our samples above. If you're unable to find award travel space, booking through the Amex Travel portal isn't a bad idea either. However, it's advisable to book flights rather than hotels through this portal, as you'll gain a value of 1 cent each versus just 0.7 cents. If you're not traveling anytime soon, you can also redeem your points for many gift cards at 1 cent each.

What are the worst ways to use Amex points?

Any redemption options offering value below 1 cent each should be avoided at all costs. Unless you're strapped for cash and want to use your points balance to cover a purchase or a statement charge, we recommend avoiding all other redemption options entirely.If you want to earn cash back instead of flexible points, many cashback cards can offer redemption values of 1 cent each that will suit your long-term goals better.

Do Amex points expire?

No. While Amex points never expire, you may forfeit them if you close your account, make late payments or misuse the Membership Rewards program.

Can I have more than one card that earns Amex points?

Yes. If you own multiple cards that earn Amex points, they'll be consolidated into one program account for your use.

Can I share my Amex points with friends or family members?

No. American Express does not allow you to transfer your Amex points to other accounts not tied to your own.

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Business Gold Card, American Express® Green Card, Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).