7 Min Read | Updated November 27, 2023

Originally Published: October 28, 2020

How Much Are American Express Membership Rewards® Points Worth?

American Express Membership Rewards® points values differ depending on how and where you redeem them. Find out what points are worth and redeem them wisely.

American Express Points Value


Many American Express Cards offer you various ways to earn Membership Rewards points.

You can redeem those points in many ways, including gift cards, airfare, covering eligible charges, and more.

It’s worth knowing how the value of points can change depending on how and where you redeem them.

It’s safe to say that one of the best parts about having a Credit Card is earning rewards for purchases you were planning anyway. Many American Express Cards let you earn Membership Rewards® points and then redeem them in whatever manner best matches your lifestyle. Plus, there’s no limit to how many points you can earn on eligible purchases – and they don’t expire as long as you have one active Credit Card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program and your account is in good standing. Do note, however, that terms apply to all of the benefits listed below.


That’s all great, but many American Express Card Members ask: What are Membership Rewards points worth? There’s a short answer and a long answer, of course, and this article takes you through both, then a bonus section about ways you might maximize your points-earning potential.

American Express Membership Rewards Points Value: The Short Answer

The first thing to know is that the value of American Express Membership Rewards points vary, depending on how and where you choose to redeem them. But the range is clear: You’ll typically get anywhere from a half cent to one cent per point. Points-earning bonuses can increase the number of points you get for the dollars you spend, effectively raising point values further because you had to spend less to get them.

Breaking Down Membership Rewards Points Value Variations

From first class travel to gift cards and covering your card charges, the dollar-to-point value for American Express Membership Rewards points varies depending on how you choose to redeem them. To give you an overview of how points value can change, here are some common redemption methods and their approximate points values.


Note that the below examples were calculated using the American Express Platinum Card. Be sure to check the American Express Membership Rewards Points Calculator to see how much points are worth when using different redemption options.


Use Pay with Points at Checkout. Some retailers let you link your American Express Membership Rewards account so you can use Pay with Points at their online checkout, typically redeemed at a value of 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point. For example, 10,000 points can get you $70 towards purchases at select online retailers, food delivery services, and more (about 0.7 cents per point).


Currently, the value of 1,000 Membership Rewards points is equal $7.00 when redeemed through PayPal. Please note that this is subject to change.


Gift cards. When you redeem points through American Express’ Membership Rewards gift cards portal, you can get up to 1 cent per point. This means you could redeem, for example, 5,000 rewards points for up to $50, depending on the brand. Choose from dining and retail gift cards, travel brands, and more.


Cover your charges. Amex lets you use points to cover eligible charges on your statement at a value of 0.6 cents per point that you can then apply to one of your purchase transactions, which could help you to reduce your bill. 


Use Pay with Points through American Express Travel®. With most American Express Credit Cards, flights booked through American Express Travel can be redeemed at a points value of 1 cent per point. This means that 50,000 points could cover a $500 plane ticket. You can also upgrade your seats to business or first class, typically at the same redemption value, if your flight itinerary is eligible. Other travel purchases, like prepaid hotel bookings and cruises, can typically be redeemed at a value of 0.7 cents per point, meaning 50,000 points could net you $350 toward hotel stays. And because Membership Rewards points don’t expire, they’ll be ready to travel when you are.


Transfer Points. American Express partners with several frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs, allowing you to transfer Membership Rewards points to whichever participating partners you prefer. In fact, Amex offers you the opportunity to transfer points to the most airline partners of any major U.S. credit card rewards program. Just link your eligible Credit Card account to the loyalty program, select the amount of points to transfer, and redeem through your frequent travel provider. Most partners offer a 1:1 point transfer ratio, with some exceptions: You’ll get two Hilton Honors points for every Membership Rewards point, for instance. Don’t forget to double check your itinerary first, because all transfers are final.


A great way to get a feel for how much points are worth, and figure out how to best redeem points for your needs, is to use the American Express Membership Rewards Points Calculator. But no matter how you choose to redeem, it’s a good idea to carefully review your redemption options since certain transactions may be final. It’s also important to note that redemption values are subject to change, though they don’t change often.


As a guide, when using the American Express Platinum Card, redemption of Membership Rewards points may be worth the following:


Redemption Point Value
Use Pay with Points at Checkout 0.7 - 1 cents per point
Gift cards Up to 1 cents per point
Cover Your Charges 0.6 cents per point
Use Pay with Points through American Express Travel® Up to 1 cent per point
Transfer Points Typically 1:1 point-to-point ratio (but varies)


Note that all offers and redemption values are subject to change. Terms and conditions apply.


Membership Rewards Points Earning Strategies

Perhaps the most obvious way to earn Membership Rewards points is by using your Credit Card for purchases. But you can supercharge points values if you pay close attention to bonuses, promotions, and the spending categories in which your Card offers points multipliers. Here are some of the ways you can earn points: 


Welcome offers. Some American Express Cards have welcome offers. They tend to change over time, and usually require you to spend a certain amount in the first few months of Card Membership. For example, you might see bonuses like 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $2,000 in purchases on your new credit card in the first three months as a Card Member. If you redeem 30,000 points at 1 cent per point, that’s the equivalent of $300.


Category multipliers. Some cards offer bonus points for purchases made in certain spending categories like travel, dining, groceries, or gas. Depending on the credit card, you can typically earn anywhere from 1 point to 5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases. For example, consider the American Express® Gold Card,1 which offers:


  • 4X points at restaurants worldwide.
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases a year).
  • 3X points when you book flights directly with an airline.
  • 1X points on all other eligible purchases. 

Booking through Amex Travel. Most American Express cards offer bonus points for booking travel directly through American Express’ dedicated travel portal. 


Amex Offers. Available to all consumer and business2 American Express Card Members, Amex Offers is a program that lets you earn extra points – or save money by earning statement credits – when making select purchases through eligible retailers, restaurants, and services. All you have to do is check your account info for available offers, opt in as desired, shop, and reap the benefits. 


Additional ways to earn points. Some Credit Cards may offer additional ways to earn extra points if you meet certain eligibility requirements. This may include making a certain number of purchases within a billing cycle. For example, consider the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card.3 With Amex EveryDay, if you make at least 20 purchases on the card in one billing period, you’ll earn 20% extra points on those purchases.   


E-commerce portal. Rakuten is an e-commerce portal that lets you earn bonus points for qualifying purchases at supported retailers. You can link your American Express account to your Rakuten account, and Rakuten will transfer accrued points to your Membership Rewards account.


Refer a friend. If you refer a friend (or a business) to American Express and they’re approved after applying through the referral link, you’ll earn bonus points for your efforts.

FAQs on How Much Are American Express Membership Rewards Points Worth

How can I find out about new redemption options or promotions for American Express Membership Rewards points?
To stay informed about new redemption options or promotions for American Express Membership Rewards points, you can regularly visit the American Express website or log in to your online account. American Express often updates its rewards page with the latest redemption offers, exclusive promotions, and limited-time deals. Additionally, you may receive email communications or notifications through the American Express mobile app, including updates on new redemption opportunities for Membership Rewards points.


What should I consider when deciding between redeeming Membership Rewards points to cover charges versus using them for travel redemptions?

When deciding between redeeming Membership Rewards points to cover eligible charges or using them for travel redemptions, consider the value you can obtain from each redemption option. Travel redemptions, such as booking flights or prepaid hotel stays through the American Express Travel portal, may offer higher value per point compared with covering charges. If you frequently travel or have specific travel plans, using points for travel can provide the most value. On the other hand, using points to cover your charges may offer you more flexibility depending on your specific circumstances. How you use points will depend on your personal preferences, travel needs, and financial goals.


Can I pool or share Membership Rewards points with family members or friends who also have American Express Cards?

No, points collected in your account are not transferable to any other person or account.

The Takeaway

There are many ways you can earn and redeem Membership Rewards points. American Express points values differ depending on different factors including how you redeem them and where you redeem them, so it pays to understand all your redemption options before completing a transaction. Savvy Card Members can max out their points values by choosing redemption options with high point-to-dollar ratios.


Terms and Conditions for the Membership Rewards® program apply. Not all redemption options are available to all members. Visit membershiprewards.com/terms for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice.

Megan Doyle

Megan Doyle is a business technology writer and researcher whose work focuses on financial services and cross-cultural diversity and inclusion.


All Credit Intel content is written by freelance authors and commissioned and paid for by American Express. 

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