Beginner’s Guide: American Express Reward Points

Amex points for short, American Express has a pretty sweet transferable currency and some of the best customer service among credit card companies. American Express Reward Points are both easy to earn and easy to use. Along with Chase Ultimate Reward Points, Amex Points are one of the most valuable currencies in the points and miles game due to their flexibility and numerous redemption options. Let’s take a deeper look!

The American Express Platinum Card

Earning American Express Rewards Points

Amex points can be earned from several American Express credit cards, with a variety of cards having different bonus categories. For example, the American Express Platinum Card offers 5x on flights while the Gold Card offers 4x of Dining and Groceries. The credit card line up at American Express makes it easy to earn more points via bonus categories.

In addition to credit card spending and sign-up bonuses, you can also earn American Express Membership Points via Rakuten’s shopping portal. Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten has a sweet partnership with American Express, turning cashback directly into Amex points. This could be a great way to boost your points total and prep for your next big trip.

Last of all, American Express credit cards have a unique program known as American Express Offers or Amex Offers for short. This is a collection of offers linked to your credit card. To access these offers, you can go through their app or website and link the offers to your credit card. Amex offers are updated on a frequent basis so I would check these offers periodically. Amex offers are linked to a specific store but could offer bonus points for spending at a store, or statement credit for a certain amount of spend at a store. Either way, Amex offers can potentially save you lots of money and help you earn even more points per dollar.

Earn More Points by Combining Rakuten With American Express Rewards

Using and Redeeming Amex Points

Redeem for Travel through Amex Travel

American Express has travel portal that offers fine hotels/resorts and flights. In the portal, you can redeem your points or use cash to book. The major positive of Amex’s travel portal is the American Express International Airline program. You can book discounted premium class travel using cash or Amex points. Premium class travel includes premium economy along with business and first. This can be a great way to save on premium economy fares with cash and a suite spot for special business class fares using Amex points.

Amex makes redeeming and booking extremely easy. The one caveat in my experience was not being able to select a seat for one of the 4 segments of a trip. To solve this issue, I called China Airlines soon after booking and was able to have the agent assign me an aisle seat. (I prefer aisle seats on international trips). If you ever have trouble with seat assignments and purchased a premium class ticket, be sure to give the airline a call. They tend to be nicer.

My China Airlines TPE – DPS (Taiwan to Bali) Flight Recap

Amex has an amazing Travel Portal with Great Discounts

Tip: If you book with points using the Amex travel portal, be sure to credit the flight to a loyalty program. I credited my China Airlines trip to Bali with Delta Airlines netting me over 15k redeemable miles. Unlike other airlines, trips on Delta partners earn miles towards million miler.

Redeem Through Transfer Partners

Redeeming through transfer partners is an amazing way to get great value of your Amex points. American Express has several unique transfer partners including ANA(All Nippon Airways) and Delta Airlines. I personally love the ability to transfer points to ANA where you can redeem a round trip ticket in business from the West Coast to Japan for as little as 85,000 points. ANA awards must be round trip, but it is hard to beat the low cost. American Express occasionally offers transfer bonuses which is another way to get even more value through transfer parters.

Amex Points can also be transferred to Marriott, Hilton, and Choice Hotels loyalty programs. Transferring points to hotel programs at a 1:1 or with a slight bonus is typically not a good idea. You can get better value elsewhere Cash prices seem to be closed tied to point redemption, so I would only transfer Amex Points to hotel programs if you are short of a redemption. Otherwise, there are plenty of hotel co-branded credit cards available with solid signup bonuses.

My Take on Amex Points

If you’ve read this far, you can probably tell that I’m a huge fan of Amex Points. I love how easy it is to earn points, especially when I’m making business purchases through Rakuten/Ebates. With a solid stash of points, I hope transfer them to ANA for a first class trip with Jen to Japan. Hopefully this is an option for next year.

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