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  1. #1

    American Express Membership Rewards Program Reviewed!

    If you have or are considering getting one of American Expressís many cards, you may be wondering about their rewards program. Or, rather, rewards programs: they have three. Today, we look at the value and selection of their different programs. Keep reading for details on the best redemption options to maximize your point value.

    Tiers

    There are three main tiers to American Expressís Membership Rewards, each corresponding to a particular set of cards. Below is a list of which cards fit into each tier.

    Membership Rewards First:

    American Express Platinum

    Membership Rewards:

    American Express Green
    American Express Gold
    American Express Premier Rewards Gold
    American Express Rewards Plus Gold Card
    American Express business card line (except for the ones listed below)

    Membership Rewards Express:

    Optima Platinum
    ZYNC from American Express
    Blue from American Express
    Blue for Business
    American Express Platinum Business
    Business Management Account

    Selection

    The selection of American Expressís rewards program is pretty good. You have over 200 rewards choices. Another neat perk that American Express offers and a lot of other membership programs donít is the option to transfer your points to a bunch of different rewards programs, like Delta or Hilton. You can get a full point for each point you transfer with most of these programs. This feature is not available with Membership Rewards Express.

    Value

    Depending on which tier your card fits into, the value of your rewards points will differ. For example, when using Pay with Points to book a flight, Membership Rewards and Membership Rewards First give you a full penny per point redeemed. On the other hand, Membership Rewards Express only gives you Ĺ a cent for each point. Thatís a huge difference in value.

    If you have either of the former two membership rewards programs, your best value will come by transferring your points to Delta, AirTran, or ANA, at slightly more than a penny per point. After that come Pay with Points and some gift cards, giving you exactly a penny per point. Last and least come shopping on Amazon with points, receiving a statement credit, and transferring your points to hotel loyalty programs, all at less than a penny per point.

    If you have one of the cards that use the Membership Rewards Express program, such as ZYNC, it looks like your best point value will come with gift cards. Look for ones that offer a penny per point. For example, a $100 gift card for 10,000 points. American Express is more flexible in this regard, as they have lower-value gift cards that still have the same point value (such as $10 for 1,000 points). Many other rewards programs require you to amass 10,000 points before you can get the full value for your points.

    Verdict

    American Expressís membership rewards program is pretty good, especially if you have a card that is enrolled in the regular Membership Rewards or Membership Rewards First. These cards have a good selection and good point value. Even if you were thinking about getting one of American Expressís slightly lower-end cards, such as ZYNC or their Blue card, it can still be a good card for you, as long as you donít use the points for travel.


  2. American Express Membership Rewards Program Reviewed!
  3. #2
    Thanks for the nice breakdown above - I believe Centurion would be in the top tier Membership Rewards program as well.

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