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!
Why Would You Want To Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points?
There are many ways to redeem your Membership Rewards points, but by far the best way to use them is by transferring your points to one of American Express’ various transfer partners.
Membership Rewards points transfer to airlines in all of the major alliances, so you can book a ticket to Australia, Europe, or anywhere in between.
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.
How To Earn 100,000+ Amex Membership Rewards Points
For now, let’s take a look at how to actually earn these points!
1. Use Amex Membership Rewards Credit Cards
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.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
Recommended American Express Cards (Business)
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!
2. Allocate Your Spending to the Right Cards
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, Amex Platinum card, and an American Express® Green Card, you’ll earn at least 3x points on tons of bonus categories.
On all eligible travel purchases, you’ll earn 3x points with the Amex Green card. 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.
3. Book Flights Through Amex Travel
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.
4. Check Out Your Amex Offers
Most loyalty programs have shopping portals that award points for online purchases.
For example, United has MileagePlus Shopping, Southwest has Rapid Rewards Shopping, and Chase Ultimate Rewards has Shop through Chase.
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.
5. Refer a Friend to Membership Rewards Cards
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.
6. Use the Rakuten Shopping Portal for Even More Points
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.
Hot Tip: Download the Rakuten Android or iPhone app and click on the Lyft option before you take a ride with Lyft — you’ll earn 25 Membership Rewards per ride!
How To Use 100,000+ American Express Membership Rewards Points
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:
- Fly to Tokyo in First or Business Class: One of our favorite redemptions is transferring Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic and then using those points to book tickets from the U.S. to Tokyo in first or business class on ANA.
- This redemption costs just 90,000 0r 95,000 Membership Rewards points for a round-trip ticket from the U.S. West Coast or Midwest/East Coast to Tokyo respectively. If you opt for first class, you’ll pay just 110,000 or 120,000 when departing from the same regions.
- Grab a Lei and Head to Hawaii: Transfer points to Singapore Airlines and fly to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines from the U.S. with someone special for 23,000 to 25,000 miles per person for a round-trip booking in economy class.
- Fly Singapore Suites: Singapore Suites is one of the best first class products in the world. The newest variant of this product has a separate bed and seat, so you can dine and eat in comfort. Better yet? You can fly this product from New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) for just 86,000 Membership Rewards points transferred to Singapore Airlines and minimal taxes.
- Walk the Fox Glacier in New Zealand: A round-trip economy flight from the U.S. to New Zealand on a Star Alliance partner airline is just 80,000 Avianca LifeMiles.
- Transfer Bonus Promos: American Express often runs transfer bonus promotions to select airline partners. If there is a promo for an airline partner that you are planning to use to book an award flight, take advantage of 10%, 15%, 20%, or even 40% transfer bonuses (our Transfer Partner Calculator is an easy way to see current offers!).
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 regarding the American Express® Green Card 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, please 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, please click here.