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

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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.

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.

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American Express

Velocity Platinum Card

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American Express

Qantas Ultimate Card

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.

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American Express

Essential Credit Card

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American Express

Velocity Escape Card

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American Express

Qantas Discovery Card

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.

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American Express

Platinum Edge Credit Card

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American Express

Explorer® Credit Card

 

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.

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?

As long as your account is current and in good standing, you won’t have to worry about your points expiring.

Are there caps on points?

The twelve American Express cards listed above don’t have any caps on the amount of points you can earn, meaning you won’t have any pressure to redeem them and can keep saving until something you really like catches your eye.

Is there an annual fee for being part of the Amex Membership Rewards program?

Yes. There is an annual $80 fee for being part of Amex Membership Reward Program, which will be billed to your account. Added to the, each card may come with an annual fee, which varies depending on the card you choose. Some, like the Low Rate Credit Card, Velocity Escape Card, Qantas Discovery Card and Essential Credit Card don’t charge an annual fee. Others, like the Velocity Platinum Card, Explorer Credit Card and Qantas Ultimate Card do.

Make sure you weigh up the value of the freebies and rewards on offer against the cost of the annual fee.

How do I check my Amex rewards points balance?

You’ll first need to sign up for American Express online services. This will allow you to view your points balance as well as manage your account through your online account.

What happens to my points if I fail to make a repayment?

If you are unable to make a repayment on time, the points you earned on that purchase will be forfeited. You’ll be able to reinstate these points within 90 days of your original statement date by making all of the required payments, otherwise they will expire. This can be done online or over the phone.

If you find yourself overspending and paying fees or interest on missed repayments and a lingering balance, it might be time to reevaluate your spending. Remember, charges like this can quickly outweigh the value of any rewards program or freebies you might be getting.

What happens to my points if I end my Amex membership?

If you decide to cancel your membership in the American Express Rewards program, the points you’ve accrued will be forfeited and cannot be reinstated.

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.