The American Express Membership Rewards Program–A Complete Guide

American Express Membership Rewards® is a loyalty program that rewards you for using your American Express Card. If you are enrolled, you can earn one point for virtually every US dollar or euro spent. To earn rewards just use your Amex Card for purchases. You can redeem your points for flights, hotels, car hire, charity and merchandise rewards. You can also use your points to pay your annual Card and Membership Rewards® fee.

To help you navigate Amex Membership Rewards, we’ve put together this complete guide. We cover how to earn points, how to use points, and how to enroll in the program.

How to Earn Points?

There are two primary ways to earn Amex Membership points: Signup bonuses and everyday spending.

Signup Bonuses

Amex offers a number of cards with hefty signup bonuses. These offers change frequently, so it’s important to confirm the details with Amex before applying for a card. Here’s a list of the Amex cards currently paying hefty bonuses.

  • American Express Gold Card: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • American Express Business Gold Card: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Once enrolled in the program, you will accrue one point in your program account for every dollar charged. Any points accrued in your program account for any given year will be carried forward on the enrollment date anniversary as long as all conditions have been met. One such condition is that you don’t earn your points until a charge is billed to your account and paid. Points are not awarded for the following transactions: dash advances services fees and Interest, express cash charges for dishonored checks, finance charges, travelers cheques, late payment and referral charges, cash advances, foreign exchange.

Once you have earned your points, you have several options (listed below) to redeem your points. There are travel rewards, shopping rewards, and entertainment rewards you can cash your points in for. Points never expire and there is no limit to the number of points you earn.

How to Use Points

  • Travel Rewards: The Membership Rewards Program can work great for people who frequently travel. There are a wide variety of options for redeeming your rewards points whether it be for airline tickets or hotel stays. You also have the option of transferring your Amex reward points into a frequent flier program of your choice or redeem your reward points for an airline ticket certificate. In addition, you can also choose to redeem your points for rental cars.
  • Shopping Rewards: The program has a significant number of retail partners. This allows members to get discounts by shopping at the retailers who are affiliated with Amex. These retailers includes categories like apparel, electronics, beauty, sports and more. You can choose to redeem your reward points for gifts or gift certificates from many of the retailers. The program offers incentives for shopping with the featured retailers. From time to time, American Express will offer enrollees the opportunity to accrue extra Points for charges made at particular merchants which accept American Express Cards or during a specific period of time or in connection with offers and marketing initiatives performed with participating merchants and/or companies of the American Express Group.
  • Entertainment Rewards: The entertainment rewards the program offers are one of a kind. There are seven different categories under entertainment for American Express Membership Rewards Program. One such category is the ‘Experience Category’ which allows you the option to redeem your reward points for some of the coolest experiences. You can choose between various options including a day trip to Wonderland in Canada, or a hot air balloon trip. Even experiences as incredible as a sub-orbital space flight and a zero gravity flight are also available with your points.

How To Enroll

The Membership Rewards program is a built-in feature of most American Express® Cards — you may already be enrolled. If your Card is not enrolled, log in to your account, select the “Points Summary” link, and then the enroll button.