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How to Redeem American Express Rewards

American Express is all about the rewards. The most popular American Express credit cards and charge cards are designed to deliver all kinds of amazing perks to cardholders in a wide variety of spending categories from travel and dining to entertainment and everyday purchases.

But how can you actually redeem all those membership rewards points, cash back opportunities, and welcome bonus points?

Well, actually, American Express offers you quite a few different ways to redeem AmEx points. And in some cases, the best way for you to redeem your American Express Membership rewards will depend on the type of card you’re carrying as well as the specific nature of the rewards program associated with your card. You may be able to redeem your rewards using American Express Membership Rewards Points, you may be able to receive cash back for your purchases in the form of statement credit rewards, you may be able to recoup your spending for airline miles, and you may even be able to shop or contribute to charity using those rewards points.

Still wondering how you can earn all of these amazing rewards? Well it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to make the most of the time you spend in the air and on the road, check out our list of the best travel rewards cards from American Express. Interested in how you can maximize your benefits on things like gas, groceries, and home goods? Check out our feature on the very best American Express credit cards for everyday purchases.

If you’ve already managed to collect a bunch of AmEx membership rewards points, read on to find out what you can actually do with them.

Where can I redeem AmEx points?

However you plan to use your membership rewards points, you’ll need to use either the American Express online or mobile portal. Make sure that all of your settings are up to date on your account dashboard and download the AmEx mobile app for your smartphone or tablet.

Either one of these platforms will provide you with access to a Rewards Dashboard. This is the platform for your membership rewards account. Here, you can keep track of the AmEx membership rewards points that you’ve earned, explore the different benefits for which you can redeem these points, and review your options for processing these redemptions.

As you explore your options, keep in mind that the redemption options may vary based on the specific card you have. Likewise, all rewards programs are subject to change, promotional rates, and discontinuation. You’ll need to visit your personal Rewards Dashboard for the most current information.

[Check out our article on managing your American Express account settings for a look at some of the other things you can do using your American Express online account and/or mobile app.]

7 Ways to Redeem Membership Rewards Points with American Express

Every rewards card offer is slightly different, which means you may have access to some of these redemption options but not others. You’ll want to visit your online account dashboard for more details on the exact options available with your American Express membership rewards points. That said, the following are among the ways that cardholders may be able to take advantage of their AmEx membership rewards program.

Travel Bookings

American Express travel cards like the Platinum Card and the Gold Card make it easy to redeem rewards points directly on flights, lodging, rental cars, and other travel-related expenses. You will likely have the option of using your points at a fixed value to make these travel purchases as long as you make your reservation or booking directly through the American Express Travel Portal. Bear in mind that terms, conditions and limitations for how and where you can book flights and hotels may vary from one American Express card to another.

Loyalty Programs

American Express works with a wide range of “transfer partners.” Transfer partners are airlines and hotels who offer enhanced loyalty program benefits to certain American Express cardholders. As an article from NerdWallet explains, “American Express has about two dozen different hotel and airline transfer partners. The AmEx transfer ratios you receive depend on which program you’re transferring to; while most are at a 1-to-1 ratio, some can be as high as 1-to-2. This means that one AmEx point will become two hotel or airline points.”

With airline partners like Aer Lingus, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Air France, you can transfer points from your American Express membership to bookings for flights all over the world. As for hotels, American Express transfer partners include Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Choice Privileges. You may be able to maximize the value of your points by leveraging these partner programs for great flight and lodging deals.

Statement Credits

American Express offers an array of cash back cards including the popular Blue Cash Everyday Card and the American Express Cash Magnet Card. With these particular offers, your “cash back” is generally redeemed in the form of statement credits. These can be used to offset the cost of purchases made using the card. So, for instance, with the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, you will earn 6% cash back on all grocery purchases for up to $6000 in a single year. If you max out that total, you would be eligible for a statement credit of $360, which could be applied toward purchases using your card.

Gift Cards and Merchandise

Through an array of partnership programs, American Express makes it possible for members to redeem points for gift cards from various retailers or for merchandise available through their rewards catalog. You’ll find deals on electronics, athletic gear, lifestyle items and more, and you’ll be able to pay for these items using your points.

Entertainment and Experiences

If you prefer to spend your money on experiences, as opposed to merchandise, you may be able to redeem points for access to exclusive cultural performances, concerts, or sporting events. These options will vary widely depending on your American Express card and the availability of certain experiences.

Shopping with Points

Through its Pay With Points program, American Express makes it possible to use your membership rewards points to check out with certain retailers, most notably Amazon Prime.

Charitable Donations

You can use the same Pay With Points program to channel your rewards into eligible charities and non-profit organizations. For instance, American Express provides a direct channel that allows you to redeem and donate points to the Save the Children charity.

Keep In Mind…

As noted above, rewards programs may be subject to change. While you will never lose the value or utility of the AmEx points you’ve earned, certain perks and benefits may not always be available. Before you make plans to redeem points for rewards, be sure that you are viewing the most up to date information on the availability of certain benefits and the best channels for accessing these benefits.

If you can’t find the information on your online account dashboard, or you have further questions, you can also reach out over the phone or online by live chat to American Express membership rewards services. Check out our list of key customer service contacts to find the right department for your needs.


Looking for other ways to earn membership rewards points and maximize the value of your American Express card? Check out our list of the American Express cards with the highest credit limits and the highest rewards packages. But be warned, these same cards typically carry the highest annual fees!