How to get more rewards and benefits with American Express Membership and bonus points.
When signing up or spending regularly with American Express (Amex) credit cards, you could be eligible for bonus points. While rewards programs are what Amex is famous for, you can boost your points balance significantly by earning bonus points.
Being a member with American Express means that you get great rewards and benefits just by using your credit card. Depending on the card you choose, you can redeem your points for a multitude of products and services. There are a number of credit cards you can sign up for that automatically make you an American Express member, though the rewards that you can get differ from card to card.
American Express Membership Rewards credit card comparison
What are American Express reward bonus points?
American Express Rewards bonus points are essentially extra or additional rewards points that may come in the form of two groups:
- extra bonus points when you sign up for a card,
- or bonus/extra points, that yield higher rewards points for using an American Express credit card, on eligible transactions.
While credit cards with sign-up bonus offers provide tens of thousands of points in one hit, using your card for eligible transactions can add an extra points per dollar spent.
The American Express Membership bonus points work much like you’d expect them to; you earn points and redeem them on great rewards like flights, gift cards, hotels and much more. Being an American Express member also gets you access to other complimentary features like unemployment insurance, fraud protection, and travel insurance when you pay for travel expenses with your card. Most American Express cards require you to pay off your entire balance monthly, so if you are able to afford to pay off your balance on a monthly basis, these cards could be perfect for you.
How do the rewards work?
Membership Rewards is American Express’ customer loyalty program. It is designed to reward customers for regularly spending with their American Express cards by offering more Membership Rewards points for the more money they spend. In addition, American Express regularly runs bonus points offers as an incentive to either sign up for a card (for example 80,000 bonus points for signing up to a card) or to use their card to spend more at certain retailers.
As a result, cardholders can accumulate a balance of reward points over time. Those points can then be redeemed for an extensive variety of travel, shopping and entertainment rewards, or transferred to other loyalty programs offered by airlines and hotels.Back to top
At the time of writing, customers who applied for an American Express Platinum Card could receive 80,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points. To take advantage of the offer customers needed to sign up before a cut-off date and spend $1,500 on their card within the first three months of card membership.
American Express Platinum cardholders are members of Ascent Premium, American Express’ highest tier of rewards. This tier offers:
- 3.00 points for every dollar spent at selected restaurants
- 1.00 points per dollar spent with airlines, accommodation, major cruise and tour operators
- 1.00 points per dollar spent in foreign currency, either overseas or online
- 0.50 points for every dollar spent on utilities, telecommunications and government bodies
There’s a points threshold of 300,000 points per year of membership, after which the earn rate reverts to one point for every dollar spent (except at merchants where you already receive 0.50 points per dollar). Cardholders also receive American Express’s general security and customer service benefits, along with the ability to transfer their reward points to 10 leading airline rewards programs.
What are the types of American Express cards with Membership Rewards bonus points?
- Bonus points on sign up. These are bonus points offered to new customers. They often go up to the tens of thousands of points, but usually you need to spend a certain amount during a certain time period to be eligible for such offers. Balance transfers usually eliminate your ability to earn these points, so remember to read the fine print to make sure you know the exact terms and conditions.
- Bonus points for shopping at selected partners. American Express has many alliances with retailers, hotel chains and other merchants. By shopping at one of these partners and taking advantage of a bonus points offer, you may be able to double your points earning capability on eligible transactions.
- Bonus points for linked cards. These are cards that are specifically linked to another organisation, allowing you to earn more points to redeem on purchases from that particular group. For example, the David Jones American Express Card offers you a high points earn rate for all purchases from David Jones.
Pros and cons
- Wider flexibility with rewards. Amex Membership Rewards offer a huge range of items you can redeem for, including multiple airlines so you’re not tied down to just one.
- Get rewarded for spending. Get rewarded for buying everyday necessities with the various credit card offerings from American Express. As an American Express member, you get bonus points on a wide range of purchases, and you can then redeem those points on great rewards like flights, travel offers and petrol.
- Worldwide acceptance. American Express cards are accepted worldwide, so you can use your card while travelling to continue earning rewards abroad.
- Cardholder benefits. As an American Express member, you get premium benefits like 24/7 customer service and world-class security protection features.
- Surcharge may apply. Some merchants will impose a surcharge for using American Express.
Make sure you can keep your repayments up
The fact that you need to be able to pay off your monthly American Express card balance is something that needs to be stressed. The ability to pay off your balance each month is essential to guarantee that you are able to actually afford the card. It’s also a good idea to avoid signing up for a card that doesn’t suit your needs. For example, if you only shop at David Jones on rare occasions, you will probably not be able to make the most of the benefits offered by one of American Express’ David Jones cards. Though if you are, you can also compare more American Express cards through here.