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Amex Travel is the online travel portal for American Express cardholders to book flights, rental cars and other travel necessities. You have the option of paying with a credit card, or redeeming American Express Membership Rewards to pay for your trip.
Amex Travel is similar to other travel booking sites like Expedia or Orbitz. However, American Express cardholders can access additional benefits through Amex Travel like complimentary upgrades and extra amenities.
We will cover everything you need to know about Amex Travel, and what to consider before booking.
Amex travel overview
Amex Travel is a great platform for Amex cardholders to book on, as it is a seamless website that integrates well with your cardholder profile.
Once you log in, you will see your American Express Membership Rewards account balance in the top right-hand corner. As you navigate through the site, you will find offers and promotions if you hold a qualifying American Express credit card.
Booking a flight is extremely simple. Fill out the information on the Amex Travel homepage and you will be served options that match it.
You will notice that because this profile has The Platinum Card® from American Express attached to it, the site automatically highlights additional benefits, such as Delta Sky Club access and Centurion Lounge access at participating airports. It also lists the cash price and number of points required, which is helpful to determine which currency works best for you.
You can also search by number of stops, departure/arrival time and by specific airlines.
While many travel websites do not have a great website experience for rental cars, Amex Travel offers a simple page design to give you the rental car options you need.
It allows you to filter by the type of car, the distance from your desired pick-up location and price per day.
There are a few things to note when booking a rental car through Amex Travel.
- Prices are clear upfront. Amex lists the final price upfront, which is helpful for consumers to know exactly how much they will pay. Many travel carriers charge excess fees, which can lead to consumers paying much more than they intended.
- You can't use Amex points. You can't use your Amex points to purchase a rental car, and there are no additional benefits to booking a rental car with Amex travel. It may be advantageous to price shop other travel websites since this is the case.
Of the different bookings offered through Amex travel, hotel reservations are the most useful. You can locate hotels within the Fine Hotel & Resorts and The Hotel Collection portfolio of properties. These hotels offer a plethora of benefits for qualified card members.
You can pay for hotels with cash or Membership Rewards points. However, it makes sense in most cases to pay with cash since the value of Membership Rewards points is generally low when redeemed for hotel stays.
Regardless of property, all prepaid hotels through Amex Travel earn bonus Membership Rewards on select cards. Plus, if you book with either The Hotel Collection or the Fine Hotels & Resorts with a qualifying card, you will earn the following benefits:
- Fine Hotels & Resorts: Daily breakfast for two, room upgraded at check-in (when available), noon check-in (when available), 4 p.m. checkout guaranteed, complimentary Wi-Fi and a unique amenity valued at $100.
- The Hotel Collection: $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining/spa/resort activities and room upgrades (when available). To earn these benefits, you must stay two or more consecutive nights.
If you are looking to cruise, but unsure of the cruise line or destination, Amex Travel offers a great platform to start your cruise shopping. You are able to search by destination, specific cruise line, month of travel and number of nights.
Once you input your cruise information, Amex Travel will populate a list of options, including dates, cruise line, prices of various rooms and ports visited.
One great feature of booking through Amex Travel is the Cruise Privileges Program. For cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you can receive benefits on cruise bookings of five nights or more.
These benefits include $100-$300 in shipboard credit redeemable toward dining, spa treatments and more. You can also receive exclusive amenities that are unique to each cruise line, such as premium wine or assorted food items.
Amex cards with Amex Travel benefits
If you hold one of these American Express credit cards below, booking through Amex Travel can be beneficial.
Amex Travel benefits
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.
Additional benefits at The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts
|Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.||$695|
|American Express® Gold Card||Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply.||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.||$250|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
Additional benefits at The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts
|Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.||$595 (10/14-1/12/22)|
Should you use Amex Travel for booking travel?
Amex Travel offers a great web experience, but lacks benefits for users who aren't Amex cardholders. There is very little advantage to using this platform, outside of the following benefits:
Paying for flights with points
If you prefer the ease of booking flights with points rather than transferring points to another travel program, the Amex Travel portal is the go-to place to redeem your Membership Rewards. When booking a flight through Amex Travel, you have the option to pay with cash or points.
However, you should be aware that, in most cases, redeeming your points this way is a bad deal.
When you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to other airline programs to redeem them for flights, you can get values of 2 cents per point or more. With many of the flights on the Amex Travel portal, on the other hand, you get a much lower point value:
To calculate the value you are obtaining with a specific booking, use the following formula:
(Cash price of flight) / (Number of Membership Rewards points needed) = Value of points
Using this formula, you will find that the sample bookings above are worth only around 1 cent per point.
Amex travel insider fares
While using Membership Rewards through Amex Travel can be a bad deal, Amex Travel insider fares offer a selection of flights that earn a decent rate for using Membership Rewards.
If you have a card that earns Membership Rewards and search for flights on the Amex Travel website, you may come across listings highlighted in blue:
For the sample flights above, the value per point is around 1.2 cents — a little better than average for Amex Travel portal redemptions, though still pretty low. While insider fares aren't always a great deal, you will find decent values here and there.
Does Amex include travel insurance?
Amex does not include travel insurance when you book through Amex Travel. However, Amex offers travel insurance on several of its credit card products, or as a one-time policy purchase.
Is Amex travel insurance good?
Amex travel insurance is competitive to other large travel insurance underwriters.
Will Amex Travel price match?
Yes, Amex Travel will price match as it offers a lowest rate guarantee. If you want to file a claim, you can do so here.
Do you need to notify Amex of travel?
No, you do not need to notify Amex when you plan to travel with an Amex credit card. Its website states that it uses "... industry-leading fraud detection capabilities that help us recognize when our Card Members are traveling."
How do Amex points work for travel?
Amex points, known as Membership Rewards, can be redeemed for travel through the Amex Travel portal, or can be transferred to its list of travel partners.
The information related to The Business Platinum 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.