Although there are quite a number of credit cards out there, not all of them have an associated rewards program. But being a major card company, AmEx has several, including the American Express Membership Rewards Program. It’s one that offers travel, shopping, and entertainment benefits, among others. Let’s take a tour of its features.
Membership Rewards Levels For Different American Express Cards
Let’s start with identifying which cards qualify for this particular rewards program. Your American Express card may be associated with one of three levels of membership rewards. I’ve put together a handy list to see where cards belong:
#1 Membership Rewards Express Level: Earn unlimited points, which have no expiration date.
|Blue for Business||Blue from American Express||American Express Platinum Business|
|Optima Platinum||ZYNC from American Express||Business Management Account|
#2 Membership Rewards Level: Has the basic benefits that the Express level has, with extra focus on travel benefits.
|Gold Card||Green Card||Premier Rewards Gold|
|Executive Business Card||Corporate Card||Gold Card from AmEx OPEN|
|Business Green Rewards||Business Membership Rewards||Rewards Plus Gold|
#3 Membership Rewards First Level: This is the luxury card group that offers private rewards and access to premium brands.
|Platinum Card from American Express||Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN||Corporate Platinum Card from American Express|
If you already have an American Express card, you can log into your account and check to see if you can enroll.
How Do You Earn Points With American Express?
If you’re a member, it’s possible for you to earn points on almost every dollar you spend. That means that those daily purchases you already make for groceries, gas, or at the drugstore can help you earn points. You also have opportunities to earn bonus points. For instance, if you shop for goods and services through the Membership Rewards website’s Earn Points section, you’ll have a chance to earn up to ten times the usual number of points. Some of the partners here include Macy’s, Banana Republic, Dell and many other huge brand names. Another way to earn bonus points is by booking travel through American Express’ travel website; you’ll earn twice the points here.
Some other great ways to stack up the points: sign up for the automatic bill pay service, add additional cards to your account for family and friends, and refer folks to American Express. Each referral will get you 5,000 points (you’ll need to login to get this tracked). Any rewards points you collect aren’t capped and won’t expire.
Redeeming AmEx Points
Redeeming points isn’t a difficult process, either. You can spend your points on travel, shopping, entertainment, and dining options.
For Travel: Use the points you’ve earned to pay for part of a trip or all of it. You can use your points on airfare, cruises, vacation packages, or to book your hotel rooms. When you use the points for a flight, you don’t have to bother with blackout dates or seat restrictions.
If you already have a frequent flyer or guest account with another program, you can actually arrange to have your Membership Rewards points transferred. Or you can use your points for certificates towards flights, theme parks, car rentals, and other travel rewards. The Membership Rewards site can even help you find the right hotel room or flight.
Shopping: Credit card companies have joined the ranks of online shopping sites by coming up with their own portals. You can shop at the American Express Membership Rewards site to find tons of items and services in different categories such as Beauty & Spa, Electronics, Fashion & Accessories, and Gift Cards. You’ll find goods from Apple, Callaway Golf, and lots of other familiar brands here. Or if you prefer, there are more than a million selections available at shopAmex, where you can use both your points and your AmEx card to acquire the gifts you want. As you can see, being a card holder provides more savings options for you as you shop.
Entertainment & Dining: Thanks to Membership Rewards, AmEx cardholders can secure offers on entertainment rewards for movies, theaters, and concerts. If you love to eat out, you’ll find offers for memorable dining experiences, too.
Using The Points Advance Feature
What if you don’t have quite enough points to redeem the reward you want? Instead of waiting for the points to accumulate normally, you can use the Points Advance feature for up to 15,000 points. Plus, you can buy points if you need them. That way, you can get the reward you want without delay. This works particularly well during the holiday season. I’ve been able to pick up merchandise and items through the program for less than their usual cost by applying points to a purchase, while putting the difference onto my card. It’s pretty convenient, as I’m able to do a gift upgrade this way and pick up a nicer gift for a loved one than I would have gotten elsewhere.
One thing that some people may find issue with is dealing with the whole points system. I know a few people who’ve forgotten about their points and who’ve ended up losing them when they expired. It’s good that this is something you won’t have to worry about with the American Express rewards program. Keeping track of your points isn’t an elaborate ordeal either. Instead, just head over to your Points Summary Page. You’ll be able to see where you stand and what rewards you’ve already gained.
If you aren’t already part of a rewards program, it can be worth it to sign up with one. Consider the American Express Membership Rewards Program to see if you like its rewards. You could soon be earning travel and shopping rewards once you’re a member! Don’t forget to check if your card is enrolled in the program. Most AmEx cards are automatically enrolled, but it doesn’t hurt to confirm this.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. These are the author’s opinions alone, and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
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