When it comes to earning Membership Rewards points, you have lots of Amex credit card options to choose from. American Express offers a wide range of personal and business credit cards with a variety of bonus categories to boost your earnings.
To take advantage of this earning potential, you’ll need to determine which cards are right for you. Then, with a simple strategy, you’ll be on your way to earning some serious points and reaping the rewards.
Before long, you’ll have enough points to book a family vacation or a luxury trip for yourself. Amex points are transferable to nearly 20 airlines and 3 hotel loyalty program partners, which makes booking a trip on points even easier.
In this article, you’ll learn why you’d want to earn Membership Rewards points, which personal and business American Express credit cards earn Membership Rewards points, and all of the other ways you can earn Membership Rewards points.
Now, let’s dive into all the best ways to earn Membership Rewards.
The Value of Membership Rewards Points
Flexibility of Membership Rewards Points
Flexible redemption options for your Membership Rewards points result in rewards that you can easily use. Here are some examples:
- Redeem rewards at any time for any amount per transaction
- Transfer rewards to the loyalty programs of Amex travel partners
- Transfer rewards between business and personal Membership Rewards accounts
- Use a combination of points and cash for travel purchases
- Have the option to redeem points for cash, gift cards, and more
Ease of Earning Membership Rewards
It’s easy to earn Membership Rewards points on purchases when your mix of spending matches the reward-earning categories on your American Express credit card.
- Every purchase made earns Membership Rewards points
- Bonus category purchases earn multiple Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
- Generous welcome offers jumpstart your earnings
- Earn Membership Rewards points through Amex Offers
Bottom Line: Membership Rewards points are valuable because of their flexibility at redemption time and the ability to earn points quickly.
Earn Lots of Membership Rewards With American Express Personal Cards
Personal Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points
Not all American Express personal cards earn Membership Rewards points, but American Express issues several cards that do.
You can earn valuable transferable Membership Rewards points on any of these recommended personal cards:
Bottom Line: Whether you need a personal card that earns rewards on everyday purchases or a business card with perks and business bonus earning categories, American Express offers choices with several options that earn Membership Rewards.
1. Introductory Welcome Offers
The fastest way to earn plenty of Membership Rewards points is to apply for an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards, complete the initial spending requirement, and earn a welcome offer.
All American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points offer an introductory bonus, and some are occasionally quite generous (it’s still possible to find the coveted Amex Platinum card 100,000-point intro bonus!).
Although offers can differ, a welcome offer is generally earned after completing an initial spending level in the first 90 days after you are approved for the card.
2. Flights Booked With Airlines
If you spend a lot on airfare, you’ll earn plenty of Membership Rewards points booking directly with the airline:
3. Earn on Purchases Through Amex Travel
Most American Express cards earn multiple points per dollar spent when booking through Amex Travel:
4. Earn Points at Supermarkets
Grocery purchases add up, so it would be a shame to miss out on rewards for those purchases!
Select one of these American Express cards, and you’ll earn big on purchases at U.S. supermarkets.
Hot Tip: The “supermarkets” category does not include wholesale clubs such as Costco or Sam’s Club.
5. Earn Points on Dining
You might consider picking up the tab more often if you’re earning lots of Membership Rewards points on your dining purchases.
The Amex Gold card earns 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
Also, it’s worth noting that “restaurants” do not always include eateries inside hotels or resorts — those are sometimes coded as hotel transactions.
6. Earn Points at Gas Stations
You’ll earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent at U.S. gas stations with the Amex EveryDay Preferred card.
7. Frequent Transaction Bonuses
American Express wants you to use your card often and offers an incentive for frequent purchases. Keep these cards in your wallet to earn up to 50% more Membership Rewards points each statement period.
Bottom Line: With so many bonus categories, personal American Express cards offer a variety of ways to earn lots of Membership Rewards.
Earn Lots of Membership Rewards With American Express Business Cards
Business Credit Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points
If you own a business, you’ll want to select a business card that earns the most rewards on your highest expenses. Amex has several options to choose from.
Here are some of our recommended Amex business credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points:
8. Introductory Welcome Offers
American Express business cards offer lucrative introductory bonuses that vary depending on current promotional offers and the specific card you select.
Just choose the card that is right for you based on your spending habits, your tolerance for an annual fee, and whether the card offers benefits you can use.
9. Flights Booked With Airlines
If airfare is your highest expense during your monthly statement period, the Amex Business Gold card will earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent when purchasing airfare directly with the airline.
10. Earn on Purchases Through Amex Travel
American Express business cards will serve you well if you spend a lot on travel.
Some cards, like the Amex Business Platinum card, also come with premium travel benefits such as lounge access, hotel and rental car elite status, and more.
11. Earn Points With Bonus Spend
The Amex Business Platinum card offers 1.5x for eligible purchases on your card made at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, at U.S. electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers, and at U.S. shipping providers as well as on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year).
12. Earn Points on Other Business Expenses
Business bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold card elevate rewards-earning on your highest business expenses each statement period.
The Amex Blue Business Plus card ensures every business expense you make (up to $50,000 per year) earns 2x points.
13. Earn Points on Dining
Those business meetings over dinner or that office lunch you had delivered for the crew should all be earning Membership Rewards points!
Be sure to use a card that earns multiple points per dollar spent on dining, like these:
14. Earn Points at Gas Stations
Filling up the tank can be rewarding when you’re earning Membership Rewards points.
Hot Tip: One major benefit of the Amex Business Gold card is that bonus category earnings are automatic — you don’t have to pre-select your bonus categories. Whichever 2 categories have the most expenses each statement period will earn 4 points per dollar spent (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year).
15. Earn Rewards on Every Purchase
Every business American Express card we’re discussing here earns at least 1 Membership Rewards point for every dollar spent on every purchase you make.
More Ways To Earn Membership Rewards Points
16. Add an Authorized User
American Express occasionally targets current cardholders and offers Membership Rewards points for adding authorized users. The offer usually comes in the form of an email.
Be on the lookout for your own personal offer to earn additional Membership Rewards points!
17. Amex Offers
You can earn thousands of extra Membership Rewards points each year with Amex Offers. These offers, which deliver great deals and bonus earning potential at select merchants, can be accessed at the bottom of your account home screen once you log in.
From there, you can add special offers to your card that will help you earn extra Membership Rewards points.
All cards, even cash-back credit cards, have their own offers — and there are tons of possibilities to use these to build your rewards bank!
18. Earn Big With Refer-a-Friend
Earn bonus points when you refer a friend for an American Express card. If they apply and qualify for the card using the link you’ve sent to them, you will get bonus points credited to your account.
Refer a friend by logging in to your Amex online account to get and send your special referral link.
The points vary depending on the card, but both you and your friend will benefit: a special bonus points offer for you and a welcome offer for them.
Hot Tip: You don’t have to have the specific American Express card you are referring to, and you can earn bonus points when referring a friend for most American Express credit cards.
19. Earn Points Shopping In-store and Online by Linking to Rakuten
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a shopping portal with in-store and online offers at thousands of merchants. While Rakuten and many similar platforms have long offered cash-back awards, Rakuten is the first to partner with a transferable credit card points program.
You can now earn Amex Membership Rewards points at the same rates as cash-back! At our current points valuations, that is nearly double the value.
New users can sign up online where you’ll be asked to enter your email address and Amex online account credentials. Existing users should go to Account Settings and change their payment method to Switch to Membership Rewards points (you’ll need to enter your Amex online account credentials when prompted).
Hot Tip: Using Rakuten to shop in-store, you need to link your credit card and manually activate in-store offers each time you shop. When shopping online, you don’t need to link your credit card, though you do need to start your shopping at the Rakuten site.
Membership Rewards are easy to earn when the card you select matches your spending profile and rewards your largest purchases.
Whether through introductory bonuses, category-focused spending, or spending on everyday purchases, you will be on your way to earning a lot of American Express points.
Earning lots of Membership Rewards points is exciting, but redeeming them is even better. Soon enough, you’ll be redeeming points for some amazing award flights that will take you around the world!
The information regarding The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, and 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.