How to Get the Most Out of Your American Express Membership Rewards Points

Everyone likes to get rewards and companies know it. From credit cards to movie theaters to airline companies, it seems like everyone is offering rewards. However, very few people actually know how to get the most out of their rewards. Are you one to go for the “low hanging fruit”, or are you smart about redeeming your rewards in ways that are actually valuable?

Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your rewards:

Travel Wiser

You can redeem your points through AmEx’s travel portal to book flights and hotels easily. They have a working relationship with some of the best hotel chains around the world, including Best Western, Hilton, and Starwood. It may take a lot of points (a minimum 5,000 points is required), but if you do not have enough to cover the entire amount, the balance of the purchase price will remain charged to the card.

Go for the Gift

If you need birthday or holiday presents, consider getting gift cards. AmEx allows reward participants to redeem points for gift cards for many popular brands, some at 1 point per penny. (AmEx gift cards are 2 points per penny.) It may require a lot of points but if you have a lot of accumulated points that you don’t use, it can be a great way to offset costs.


Uber seems to be taking over, especially if you travel frequently. You can pay with your points if you link your AmEx to Uber. Just remember to tip your driver!

Do Good

If you like to give to charity, AmEx’s Members Give program allows participants to donate $10 for every 1,000 points redeemed. Members can also redeem points for certificates to give as gifts.  Recipients then redeem the certificates by choosing one of over a million US charities to donate to.

Online Shopping

You can link your AmEx account to BestBuy or Amazon’s online platforms. Unless you have a huge stockpile of points, you most likely won’t be able to get anything huge, but it is a good way to keep your costs low.

Statement Credit

While it may not be the best, one way to redeem points is to use them toward eligible charges. However a minimum of 1,000 available points is required.

Whatever you do, be smart about how you use your points. There is no way to determine who will get the most out of their points, or to say that one way is the best way. You have to determine that for yourself.

If you are still unsure what to do with your AMEX points, another option is selling them for cash. For more information on how to do that, click here.