cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

New Member

What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

I applied and got approved for the new Amex Gold card. I plan on meeting the minimum spend so I plan on getting 50k points through that. Plus I'm estimating I'll get another few thousand here and there so we'll say I'm expecting 55k MR points. I don't really travel too much so that leaves my redemption options fairly limited. I'm alright with getting 1 cent per point but obviously more is always better. But I definitely can't justify using the points as a statement credit for only .6 cents per point. I've looked into gift cards and the ones I'd be interested in (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.) all charge less than 1 cent per point. So then I considered a Staples gift card, then I use the gift card for a Visa/Mastercard prepaid card. Unfortunately, Staples' policy on that is pretty clear that I can't do this. So without traveling or anything like that, what are some ways I can optimize the MR points?

Message 1 of 24
23 REPLIES
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

It's well known that in order to get the best value for your points, it usually involves travel.  That being said, some other less valuable options that are non-travel include:

 

  • Paying charges on your account (Only about 0.6 cents per point)
  • Uber rides (About 1 cent per point)
  • Amazon - I consistently see offers on Amazon to checkout using points (About 0.7 cents per point)
  • Shopping at the Membership Rewards Portal



Message 2 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

Plenty of gift cards available for 1CPP Zappos, Gap,  Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, Crate and Barrel, Olive Garden, REI, Williams and Sonoma. 

 

But this is why I say the Citi Thank You Premier is such a better card.  First you get 60k points sign up bonus but all their gift cards are 1cpp.  And you can book hotels at 1.25 CPP.  Neither you get with Amex.  

BOA Premium Rewards, AMEX BCE, AMEX PRG, AMEX Ameriprise Platinum, AMEX SPG, AMEX SPG BIZ, CITI AADvantage Platinum, CITI AADVantage Business, Chase Hyatt, Chase Southwest Premier, Chase Southwest Plus, Chase Marriott Business, Barclay Arrival +, Barclay AAdvantage Red Aviator, Barclay Aviator Business, USAA Prefered Cash Rewards, Citi Thank You Premier, JCrew, Pottery Barn, Express, NFCU Go Rewards.

Former Cards: Lendup L Card, Bank of America Cash Rewards, Capital One Quicksilver
Message 3 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

Like it or not, your new Amex Gold is a travel card, designed for people who travel.  There is no way to get your money’s worth from this card unless you travel.

Chase Sapphire Reserve • PenFed Power Cash Rewards
Chase United Explorer • UNFCU Azure • NFCU cashRewards • NFCU Go Rewards • PenFed Promise
No CC debt • No bonus chasing • No app sprees • No gift cards • No AZEO • No airline incidentals • No business cards • No authorized users.
Message 4 of 24
Regular Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

I have the Amex gold and I don’t travel too terribly much. I still find it profitable with the cards i have because of the multipliers. Even if you’re only getting 1 cent per point, it’s still 4% back on groceries, dining etc. plus all the credits. I used my sign up bonus for a saks gift card which was 1 cent valued. I say keep an eye on gift cards or save your points for a rainy day. You may be able to plan a vacation later on where you pay little out of pocket. I don’t think you always need an immediate goal in how to use your points. Life changes and it’s good to have them handy! I also do this with my delta miles. I only fly A few times a year and fairly cheaply so I’m saving those for a bigger trip I want to plan on a few years.



Message 5 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?


@LCC_mk14 wrote:
I have the Amex gold and I don’t travel too terribly much. I still find it profitable with the cards i have because of the multipliers. Even if you’re only getting 1 cent per point, it’s still 4% back on groceries, dining etc. plus all the credits. I used my sign up bonus for a saks gift card which was 1 cent valued. I say keep an eye on gift cards or save your points for a rainy day. You may be able to plan a vacation later on where you pay little out of pocket. I don’t think you always need an immediate goal in how to use your points. Life changes and it’s good to have them handy! I also do this with my delta miles. I only fly A few times a year and fairly cheaply so I’m saving those for a bigger trip I want to plan on a few years.

Totally agree with this, the "earn and burn" mentality may be sound, but do not discount saving for those "life changing" moments, or trips you never planned for, but can now do with the points sitting there waiting for you.....

Message 6 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

None!

Amex Plats | Amex EDP | Amex PRG | Ink+ | Chase Reserve | Amex BRG | Barclays AA | Citi AA exec | Amex Hilton
Message 7 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?


@UpperNwGuy wrote:

Like it or not, your new Amex Gold is a travel card, designed for people who travel.  There is no way to get your money’s worth from this card unless you travel.


+1.

 

If you don't travel, you should re-think the wisdom in using travel cards. Yes, at 1 cpp it's in the same ballpark as cashback, but if cash is what you're after you can also use cashback cards with similar rates of return and not have to deal with converting to gift cards and the like.

 

That said, your best non-travel options are generally going to be gift cards. Expect about 1cpp with an occasional promotion for 1.1 or 1.2 cpp. A lot of redemptions for merchandise or credits will come in at less than 1 cpp as well.

Message 8 of 24
Member

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?

If you have the Schwab Platinum Card, you have the ability to cash out your MR Points at $1.25 per MR Point.

Message 9 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the best way to use MR points without traveling?


@redpat wrote:

None!


The new washer and dryers in my basement argue otherwise.  1CPP from Home Depot is a good way of redeeming.  Especially when the annual fee for the card was waived.  So if you end up with 55k points that is $550 to use at Home Depot.  I also used the $200 in airline gift cards to pay for taxes on international flights from Southwest.  But I am guessing you could sell them for $150 if you don't travel.  That would give you $700 in value in the first year without traveling. 

BOA Premium Rewards, AMEX BCE, AMEX PRG, AMEX Ameriprise Platinum, AMEX SPG, AMEX SPG BIZ, CITI AADvantage Platinum, CITI AADVantage Business, Chase Hyatt, Chase Southwest Premier, Chase Southwest Plus, Chase Marriott Business, Barclay Arrival +, Barclay AAdvantage Red Aviator, Barclay Aviator Business, USAA Prefered Cash Rewards, Citi Thank You Premier, JCrew, Pottery Barn, Express, NFCU Go Rewards.

Former Cards: Lendup L Card, Bank of America Cash Rewards, Capital One Quicksilver
Message 10 of 24