Airfare and Prepaid Hotel Purchases
With the Amex Platinum card, you will earn 5x Membership Reward points per $1 spent directly with airlines, as well as airfare and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. The earning is capped at $500,000 in purchases per calendar year.
So the best way to maximize your points earning with the card is to use it for all of your airfare and prepaid hotel purchases. If you’re someone who travels often, this will allow you to earn a ton of points.
By virtue of being an American Express cardholder, each month you’ll receive dozens of Amex Offers that you can attach to your Amex Platinum card, which helps you earn more Membership Reward points.
These offers can provide you with some excellent value by allowing you to earn additional points or cash-back for shopping with select merchants. Simply add your offers of choice from the bottom of your card’s home screen, and you’re ready to start earning.
American Express allows you to earn points for referring your friends to their credit cards. Just send your friend your unique link — if they are approved, you’ll receive a point bonus added to your account.
Hot Tip: You can receive a bonus even if your friend doesn’t apply for the card you hold. For example, if you have the Amex Platinum card and you refer a friend who decides to apply for the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll still receive the point bonus.
Adding More Membership Rewards Cards
If you’re a fan of the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem, then adding more Membership Rewards cards to your wallet is a no-brainer.
Take the Amex Gold card for example, which earns 4x Membership Reward points per $1 spend at U.S. restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets. With this 2-card combo, you’ll be earning tons of points for all your airfare, dining, and supermarket purchases.
There are plenty of other personal and business American Express cards, too, with varying bonus categories.
When it comes to using your Membership Rewards points, you have a few main redemption options that all vary in value and their usefulness.
American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable point currencies out there because they can be transferred to one of Amex’s many airline transfer partners.
This is easily the best option to get the maximum value out of your hard-earned points, as you could use them to purchase business and first-class flights that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars!
Hot Tip: It’s a common misconception that using transfer partners is way too complicated and takes too much time to master. It’s a lot easier than you might think — check out our guide to Amex transfer partners and how to use them.
You’ll also have the option of using your points to offset airfare and hotel purchases you make through the Amex Travel portal (though you won’t get great value).
When using your points toward an airline ticket you’ll receive just 1 cent per point — and an abysmal 0.7 cents per point when redeeming toward a hotel stay.
American Express will also give you the option to use your points to cover eligible charges you’ve made with your card. However, when doing so your points will only be valued at 0.6 cents each — which is terrible for points as valuable as Membership Rewards!
American Express offers plenty of retailers where you can cash in your points and get a gift card in return. But in doing so, you’ll receive anywhere from 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point toward the gift card.
Again, this is not a method we advise, as you’ll be losing huge value in the form of travel rewards.
Shop With Points
Lastly, you can use your Membership Rewards points to offset the cost of your purchases with retailers like Apple, Best Buy, or Saks Fifth Avenue.
There are dozens of merchants to choose from, but we don’t recommend it as using this method will only earn you 1 cent or less per point in value.
Bottom Line: At Upgraded Points, we highly recommend using your points with American Express transfer partners — that is where the big value is found. Due to this, we do not advise anyone use their points for gift cards, statement credits, or any option that only earns 1 cent per point or less.