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Amex Will Limit the Value of Cashing Out Points With Schwab Later This Year

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Ryan Smith
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Ryan Smith

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Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publicat...
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Do you cash out your Amex Membership Rewards points to Schwab? If so, we’ve got some bad news.

Starting October 1, 2024, the number of points you can cash out at full value will be limited. After reaching the limit, the value of your points will drop by more than 25%.

Here’s what those with a Schwab account connected to American Express need to know.

New Limits Coming on Cashing Out Amex Points to Schwab

Those with the American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab can currently cash out their points at a rate of 1.1 cents apiece. Prior to August 31, 2021, these cardholders could cash out points at 1.25 cents apiece, and now there’s another devaluation coming.

There will not be a full reduction in the value obtained from your points, but there will be a limit. Starting October 1, 2024, you’ll only be able to cash out Membership Rewards points at full value (1.1 cents each) up to 1 million points per year. After reaching this limit, you’ll cash out points at just 0.8 cents each. For those counting, that’s 72.7% of the full value, equal to greater than a 25% loss in value.

The notice is found here in the benefits description.

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Image Credit: Yaeger Architecture

Granted, cashing out your points doesn’t always provide the most value for Membership Rewards. However, it’s nice to have this option if you’ve got a lot of points and need to pay for expenses for which you can’t redeem points. Think home remodeling, travel you booked outside AmexTravel.com, etc. You can pay for those and then essentially redeem the points as cash to use to pay off your credit card bill.

Bottom Line:

The rate at which you cash out points starting October 1 will only drop after redeeming 1 million points to your Schwab account annually. Within this limit, nothing is changing. After that, you’ll lose 27% of the value on further points redemptions from Amex to Schwab.

Final Thoughts

While the number of people impacted by this change won’t be in the majority of Amex Membership Rewards points collectors, it’s still a negative for those with the Amex Schwab Platinum card who enjoy this feature and use it to redeem points for expenses they need to cover by using their points like cash.

If you redeem points to your Schwab account, you’ll need to start tracking how many points you redeem with this feature annually. After 1 million points, they’ll be worth less. That’s an unfortunate move on the part of Amex and Schwab.

The information regarding the American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

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About Ryan Smith

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.

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