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AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

soupy5
Frequent Contributor

AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

Forum - curious to hear of anyone's experience with AMEX and using points to pay for charges. I'm considering using points (which I honestly have never used for anything, to date) to pay my Platinum AF billed last month; not because I have to, but because I have points that are so far are just sitting there. Does AMEX frown upon or otherwise look negatively on using points to pay for charges, or is it totally okay in their eyes? I only ask in case there's some "behind-the-scenes" evaluation they might make, the thought being that perhaps you can't otherwise pay the charges in cash. 



Current Scores Jul 2020 – FICO 8
Message 1 of 19
18 REPLIES 18
simplynoir
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

They would actually probably be very happy if you used your points to pay charges off on your credit card since the value is pretty bad for the customer. I don't see why AMEX would have any issues with that.

Message 2 of 19
soupy5
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges


@simplynoir wrote:

They would actually probably be very happy if you used your points to pay charges off on your credit card since the value is pretty bad for the customer. I don't see why AMEX would have any issues with that.


Thanks for the perspective. I guess I didn't look very thoroughly into the redemption structure. I have several hundred thousand points, and the value for using points for card charges vs travel or other spending is indeed very low. I would leave anywhere from $10 up to $40 on the table for every 10,000 points. I'm thinking I may re-think this approach :-)

 



Current Scores Jul 2020 – FICO 8
Message 3 of 19
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

Yeah, Amex loves it when customers use Membership Rewards for statement credit at 0.6 cents per point, for gift cards valued between 0.7 and 1.0 cents per point, and for using them at checkout with retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. for 0.7 cents per point.  They certainly wouldn't hold it against you! 

 

If you have hundreds of thousands of points just sitting there, consider a nice free vacation instead?  Smiley Happy

Message 4 of 19
simplynoir
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yeah, Amex loves it when customers use Membership Rewards for statement credit at 0.6 cents per point, for gift cards valued between 0.7 and 1.0 cents per point, and for using them at checkout with retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. for 0.7 cents per point.  They certainly wouldn't hold it against you! 

 

If you have hundreds of thousands of points just sitting there, consider a nice free vacation instead?  Smiley Happy


+1

 

There's no rush and if you want to use them for non-travel use at least some gift cards will get close to 1 cent value per point. I don't know if they do gift card deals like Chase does for UR but I'd keep an eye out for that

Message 5 of 19
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

Re: gift card sales

 

They do, but they're usually on the cards that are normally valued at around 0.7 cents. When I log in today, a GC sale is my suggestion for using MRs:

 

delta-gc-sale.png

 

20% off sounds great, until you actually look at what the usual rate is (0.700 cents) and how that translates as a sale (0.875 cents), keeping in mind that worst case scenario you can always just purchase Delta airfare at 1 cent per point through Amex Travel, or transfer the points 1:1 to SkyMiles for a minimum of 1.2 cents, although I've been getting at least 2 cents on my redemptions this year.  International premium cabins can easily be much more.

 

delta-gc-sale_2.png

It's rare to see Amex GCs ever exceed 1 cent per point (i.e. 10,000 points for $100).  Off the top of my head, I can recall Home Depot eCertificates on Business Platinum being 1.2 cpp a few years ago during a promo.

Message 6 of 19
soupy5
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yeah, Amex loves it when customers use Membership Rewards for statement credit at 0.6 cents per point, for gift cards valued between 0.7 and 1.0 cents per point, and for using them at checkout with retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. for 0.7 cents per point.  They certainly wouldn't hold it against you! 

 

If you have hundreds of thousands of points just sitting there, consider a nice free vacation instead?  Smiley Happy


Well, just over 300K, 100 of which came with the card. Regarding vaactions, its funny - I did receive a promotional flyer/e-mail/something-or-other, offering vactions booked through AMEX Travel. When I looked into them, the point values these guys were asking were astronomical! Now granted, these were killer vacations, but that whole experience sort of engrained in my thinking that I'd need years of charges at my pace to get to the points needed for a vacay. Now that I'm REALLY looking into this, roughly $3K for travel (if I redeem all) can fly me somewhere and back and even stay indoors for a few nights :-)

 

Thanks K-I-B



Current Scores Jul 2020 – FICO 8
Message 7 of 19
soupy5
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges


@simplynoir wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yeah, Amex loves it when customers use Membership Rewards for statement credit at 0.6 cents per point, for gift cards valued between 0.7 and 1.0 cents per point, and for using them at checkout with retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. for 0.7 cents per point.  They certainly wouldn't hold it against you! 

 

If you have hundreds of thousands of points just sitting there, consider a nice free vacation instead?  Smiley Happy


+1

 

There's no rush and if you want to use them for non-travel use at least some gift cards will get close to 1 cent value per point. I don't know if they do gift card deals like Chase does for UR but I'd keep an eye out for that


Will do. Good to know there's no rush in redeeming them.



Current Scores Jul 2020 – FICO 8
Message 8 of 19
KJinNC
Valued Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

I opened this thread to say "turn back before it's too late," but I see you've looked into it some more and realized that's not a good value.

 

The Platinum is about as pure a travel card as exists, you weren't thinking about using the points for travel?

 

I transferred my 52,000 points into Delta SkyMiles ... then realized it wasn't enough for my upcoming trip, and won't be enough until I redeem the 35,000 SkyMiles for my Delta card welcome offer. Oh well, should have left them as MRs for now for flexibility, but I'm sure I'll find a use for the 87,000+ SkyMiles next year.


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Message 9 of 19
soupy5
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX - Using Points To Pay For Charges

Thanks KJ! Still appreciated nonetheless. I have a renewed respect for the points, and I will be putting them to BETTER use towards travel. Once again, the Forum comes through, thanks to members like you!


Current Scores Jul 2020 – FICO 8
Message 10 of 19
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