Everything you need to know about the American Express Membership Rewards program

 

Whether you’re a rewards points pro or just starting out, you’ve almost certainly heard of the American Express Membership Rewards program. But how familiar are you with all it has to offer?

With its wide range of cards, uncapped points, and numerous bonus offers, the American Express Membership Rewards program is a favourite among points savvy spenders. You’ll be able to earn points on eligible purchases you make with your Amex card, which you can then exchange for a whole heap of freebies, including flights and gift cards. The Amex rewards program is consistently one of the better value programs out there. 

What type of rewards are available?

With Amex, you’ll get access to a range of rewards, including flights and shopping opportunities, but there are plenty of other ways you can put your points to use.

  • Travel - Dedicated American Express members will find their next big holiday could be closer than they think. With Membership Rewards points, you’ll be able to save money on flights and accommodation, plus access a number of useful perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and rental cars for when you arrive at your destination.
  • Shopping - If you’re shopping online at David Jones, you’ll be able to pay for your purchases using the points you’ve accrued. Once you’ve picked out your items and reached checkout, simply select to pay with your Membership Rewards points. You can pay with your points in full, or opt to pay with a combination of points and card.
  • Entertainment and experiences - American Express also has a partnership with Ticketmaster, meaning you’ll be able to use your points to pay for your next big concert or theatre event. You’ll just need to log in to your Ticketmaster account and provide your American Express Card details at checkout.
  • Gift cards - Your rewards points aren’t just limited to those two brands, though. You’ll also be able to purchase gift cards from a wide range of retailers, including Amazon, Bunnings, Country Road, Event Cinemas, Harvey Norman, Hoyts, iTunes, Rebel Sport, Uber, and Westfield. Just make sure you look over the terms and conditions for each card, as the amount of time they’re valid might vary.
  • Make donations - If you’re looking to make a charitable donation, you’ll be glad to learn the Amex Rewards program allows you to do just that. Your points can go to such organisations as The Smith Family, Save the Children, RSPCA, WWF, and more.
  • Points for annual card fee or membership rewards fee - If you have enough points, you can use them to cover your annual fee or your rewards fee for select cards.
  • Get credit back onto your card - You’ll be able to redeem your points for credit on your card. If you have multiple Amex credit cards linked to the one rewards account, your primary card account will receive the credit.

Amex cards you can choose from

Amex offers a long list of cards to suit a range of customers. The cards differ in terms of points earning potential, fees, and interest rates, plus some of the more exclusive cards come with a minimum income requirement. 

Platinum and premium cards

Platinum and premium cards don’t just come with a higher points earn rate than most other Amex cards, they deliver much greater benefits and services.

Frequent Flyer cards

If you spend much of your time up in the clouds, an Amex Frequent Flyer card deserves a spot in your wallet. You’ll be able to earn points on most purchases, plus access a number of perks, like airport lounge access and complimentary travel insurance.

Rewards credit cards

With Amex rewards credit cards, you can receive shopping gift cards, use points to pay for everyday purchases, and access a number of goodies to make your next holiday all the more relaxing.

 

How you earn points on your Amex card

You can earn Amex Rewards Points every time you make an eligible purchase using your American Express rewards card, so whether you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping, trawling the internet for clothing, or treating your friends to drinks, you’ll see your points balance grow.

There are a few ways you can earn extra points too, such as by linking additional cards. This allows you to share the one account across multiple cards, so your family can all chip in to help get those benefits faster.

Another way to score points quickly is with a bonus points offer, which you can usually nab when you first sign up for a new American Express rewards card. You’ll usually have to meet a minimum spend criteria, and the points on offer will depend on which card you choose, so click through to each card below to check out what’s on offer. 

You can also count on extra points when you refer a friend. Each time you make a successful referral, you’ll receive an extra 15,000 points in your balance.

If you’ve downloaded the American Express Mobile App, you’ll be able to earn Bonus Points when you play Local Champion, a feature which rewards you for supporting for favourite local businesses. All you’ll need to do is select a local merchant from the list provided, and set out to use your card there more times than any other American Express member for the next 30 days. If you succeed, you’ll earn 1 Bonus Membership Rewards point per $1 spent, with a limit of 10,000 bonus points.

How to redeem points with American Express

To redeem your hard-earned points, you can log into the American Express website and browse the rewards available. Once you’ve found something you like, simply click ‘redeem,’ sign in if you haven’t already, and click through to the confirmation page. 

If you’re making a purchase at a partner retailer, you can also choose to pay with points right there in the store. You’ll need a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points to do so and you should receive a prompt with the option to pay using your points at the checkout.

Frequently asked questions

Do American Express points expire?
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Are there caps on points?
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Is there an annual fee for being part of the Amex Membership Rewards program?
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How do I check my Amex rewards points balance?
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What happens to my points if I fail to make a repayment?
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What happens to my points if I end my Amex membership?
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If you’d like to see how Amex fares next to the rewards cards on offer from other providers, be sure to visit our rewards credit cards comparison page.