Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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For American Express cardholders, the Membership Rewards program provides a fantastic opportunity to earn points and redeem them for travel.
Many American Express credit cards earn Membership Rewards at a minimum of 1x point per dollar spent, with bonus categories offering up to 5x points per dollar, making it easy to rack up points with everyday purchases.
Plus, there are tons of other ways to earn points — you just need to know where to look.
With this in mind, you can easily earn 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points in just 90 days. And to prove just how easy that is, we’re going to show you how to do it in this article.
We’ll start out by taking a look at why you’d want 100,000 American Express points and then move on to some earning strategies, including signing up for new credit cards, allocating spending, and taking advantage of Amex Offers.
Let’s get started!
In fact, 100,000 miles is more than enough to get anywhere in the world from the U.S. in economy class, and even enough for a round-trip business class ticket from the U.S. to Tokyo. Don’t worry — we’ll go more in-depth on these redemptions later in the article.
For now, let’s take a look at how to actually earn these points!
American Express has a suite of different personal and business credit cards, each with varying benefits, points-earning, and annual fees.
Several American Express cards offer 2x, 3x, 4x, and even 5x points per dollar on purchases made at supermarkets, gas stations, and directly with airlines or through Amex Travel.
Study the list of personal and business American Express cards below and compare each of their points-earning rates with what you spend in a normal month. We’ve also listed out other various benefits for each card, so make sure to give them a look.
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.
When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 120,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).
The American Express® Business Gold Card is excellent at racking up rewards for your business spend.
The card earns a whopping 4x points per $1 in the 2 categories (from a list of 6) that your business spends the most money on each month. With no need to opt-in or preselect your categories, so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.
Earn Membership Rewards for your business spending the easy way: get 2x points for the first $50,000 in purchases per year.
As a business owner, getting a credit card that maximizes each dollar you spend does not have to be complicated or expensive. Especially when you opt for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
With the Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases throughout the year (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter) and receive purchase protections and no-additional-charge employee cards all for no annual fee (see rates and fees).
The simple and straightforward earning structure makes it a great fit for those looking to earn flexible rewards, without having to fixate on which purchases earn the most points.
Let’s take look at all that the Amex Blue Business Plus card has to offer.
Further, each of these cards offers a welcome offer. This is a lump sum of points that you’ll earn after spending a set amount of money on your new American Express account within a specified time of actually opening the account.
These minimum spend requirements are usually between $1,000 and $5,000, but they can reach up to $20,000 for large offers on business cards. You can earn anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 Membership Rewards points from these introductory offers.
It can take up to 8 weeks for the points to appear in your account, but the welcome offer often posts sooner than that. In our experience, they generally post a few days after you meet the spend requirement.
Even better, the points you earn from the offer are in addition to the standard points you will earn from spending on the card.
Depending on how much you spend and the card you sign up for, you can meet or exceed your 100,000-point goal from a single card!
As discussed, each American Express card has different spend categories. So with that in mind, don’t be afraid to open a couple of Membership Rewards-earning cards over time. Doing this will not only give you multiple welcome bonuses, but you’ll also be able to earn the maximum points on all of your everyday purchases.
For example, if you have an Amex Gold card or American Express Platinum credit card, you’ll earn at least 3x points on tons of bonus categories.
At restaurants and on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets, the Amex Gold card earns 5x points. And with the Amex Platinum card, you will earn 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline.
So look through the American Express card lineup and apply for cards that align with your frequent purchase categories. Then, make sure to use the right cards when you make purchases in said bonus categories.
Depending on how much you spend, this can net you some serious extra points every month. It’s especially true if you make lots of reimbursable business expenses in these purchase categories.
Have an upcoming vacation or business trip? Book your flight through Amex Travel with any American Express card that earns Membership Rewards and you’ll earn bonus points!
Any American Express card that doesn’t earn bonus points on flights will earn 1 extra Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on flights booked through Amex Travel.
If you’d rather book your flight directly, you can still earn category bonuses with cards such as the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Gold card at 5x and 3x points per dollar, respectively.
Note that the Amex Business Platinum card earns 5x points per dollar when booking flights through Amex Travel, so always book through the portal when paying with this card.
Hot Tip: The Amex Gold card earns 3x points per dollar on all airfare purchased directly from an airline.
Most loyalty programs have shopping portals that award points for online purchases.
While American Express used to have a shopping mall, it has been replaced by the popular Amex Offers. These are located at the bottom of the page once you log into your account.
You will find select offers from various merchants that will provide statement credits or bonus Membership Rewards points for purchases. Make sure to use the specific card to which the offer is attached or you won’t earn the extra points or the statement credit.
For example, we’ve seen an offer that gives select cardholders 3,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $300+ at Best Buy. Just note that you’ll need to charge your Best Buy purchase to your American Express card to earn points.
Keep in mind that once you add an Amex Offer to a card, you won’t be able to add it to other cards. If you have separate logins, you will be able to add them to multiple cards. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of each offer to ensure your purchase is eligible for the statement credit or bonus points.
Hot Tip: Check out the best current Amex Offers, from travel and dining to entertainment and shopping.
Check your current referral offers to discover how many points you can earn for referring friends to specific American Express cards. Offers vary, but you can usually earn 5,000 to 30,000 Membership Rewards as a referral bonus.
Go to the Amex Offers & Benefits section at the bottom of your online account summary and click the Refer Now button to find current offers. You will have the option to share via email or to copy the link and share it as you please. For more information, check out our guide to the American Express Refer A Friend program.
As we mentioned earlier, American Express does not have its own shopping portal. Recently, though, the credit card company partnered with cash-back portal Rakuten — formerly known as Ebates — to offer Membership Rewards points in lieu of cash-back.
In short, Rakuten lets you earn bonus Membership Rewards points when you click through a link on its website before you make a purchase with select merchants online. The number of points you’ll earn is based on how much you spend, with some merchants offering as much as 10 points per dollar spent.
Using Rakuten is simple: just create an account and select Membership Rewards earning instead of cash-back. Then, look for the merchant you’d like to make a purchase with and click the orange Shop Now button on the left-hand side of the page.
You’ll then be redirected to the merchant’s website where you can make your purchase as usual. The points will post to your Rakuten account within a few days. Then, the points will be transferred to your Membership Rewards account based on the following schedule:
|Purchases Posted to Your Rakuten Account||Points Transferred to American Express|
|January 1 to March 31||May 15|
|April 1 to June 30||August 15|
|July 1 to September 30||November 15|
|October 1 to December 31||February 15|
Make sure to check Rakuten before you make purchases online, as you can earn some serious bonus points through the portal. Depending on how much you shop, this could make nice progress towards your 100,000 goal — especially if you have frequent business expenses.
Further, consider using CashBack Monitor to compare points-earning for specific merchants across all shopping portals. Nearly all airlines have their own cash-back portal, so you could be leaving valuable points on the table without comparing.
So, you’ve earned 100,000 Membership Rewards points — now what?
You’ll definitely want to read our guide to redeeming Membership Rewards points — this article gives you a look at all of the best Membership Rewards redemptions!
But first, here are a few quick suggestions on how you can use your points:
Between using Amex credit cards, Amex Offers, and shopping on Rakuten, you’ll be well on your way to earning 100,000+ Membership Rewards points — especially if you apply for multiple Amex cards.
The fun truly begins when the points are in your account, though. Make sure to check out our full article on redeeming Membership Rewards points for some inspiration on booking your next trip.
The information for The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Blue from American Express® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
Membership Rewards, the American Express loyalty program, gives you points for using Membership Rewards credit cards and making purchases from Membership Rewards partners. Those points can then be redeemed for free travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
Not all American Express cards are eligible for the Membership Rewards program. Participating Amex business and personal credit cards include the following:
The value of Membership Rewards points will depend on the redemption chosen. You’ll get the most value out of your points by transferring them to an airline partner and booking an award flight. To really get everything out of your points, your best options will be international business class or first class flights.
Although points will appear as “pending” at the end of the billing cycle during which they were earned, it can still take a couple of months for points to become available.
If you ask on the phone or via live chat, an Amex representative might release pending points so you can transfer the points to an airline for a redemption.
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs as long as you have an eligible American Express credit card. You’ll know your card is eligible if the option to transfer points is listed on your account page under Use Points when you log in to your account.
A complete list of the Amex credit cards that do NOT offer the option to transfer Membership Rewards points to a loyalty program is available here.
If you have at least 1 Membership Rewards credit card, you will periodically receive targeted offers to earn additional bonus points. Previous offers have included bonus points for purchases made at Home Depot, Best Buy, and for shopping on Amazon.
American Express Membership Rewards points will not expire as long as your account is open and current. If your account is terminated by American Express or if you no longer have at least 1 account that participates in Membership Rewards, your points will expire.
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