I know nothing, but thanks for bringing it to our attention. Not sure if this is something I’d ever have to use, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.
I just ran across this benefit on my Amex Gold on accident and haven't seen it discussed here, yet.
Amex says it is "New!". What makes it kind of cool is you effectively bid your upgrade in MR directly with the airline before your flight and they can either accept or reject your offer.
Here is the exact language:
"Check to see if your flight itinerary is eligible to upgrade using Membership Rewards® points.‡
How It Works
Select your airline.
Enter your reservation details to see if your itinerary is eligible to upgrade.
If eligible, use Membership Rewards points to place an offer towards an upgrade.
Your offer will be accepted or declined by the airline, usually within 5 days of your flight. Whatever the airline's decision, American Express will communicate the result to you via email prior to your departure.
If your offer was accepted, visit your airline's website or call your airline to obtain a copy of your updated itinerary.
Good to Know
If your upgrade offer is accepted, the dollar amount of your offer will be charged to your Card account. Points will be deducted from your Membership Rewards account and a credit for the corresponding dollar amount will be applied to your Card account."
That last part is a little strange, sounds like Amex will always give you 1cpMR in cash value, but not sure. I think you'd be able to get a good redemption value if you say offered 10k MR for a first class upgrade that would've cost $200 to buy outright. Amex would then charge your card $100, subtract 10k MR, and then credit your card back $100 (I think?).
Seems kind of neat to bid on your seat upgrade with MR. Anyone know anything about this, what to expect, or if there is a secret to getting good upgrades using this benefit?
I thought this was great until I saw the list of airlines.