Upcoming Series: Tips on Maximizing American Express Perks and Points

by on April 19, 2011 · 16 comments

in American Express, Points Guy Pointers

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I recently ran a series on maximizing British Airways miles and I received a ton of positive reader feedback. That made me think that I should do a series to highlight the major benefits of the main American Express cards and how to best maximize Membership Rewards points.

I jotted down a rough outline. Feel free to comment below if you have any recommendations for topics I should cover.

1) Overview of the key American Express Cards
2) Membership Rewards Express vs. Membership Rewards vs. Membership Rewards First
3) Platinum Card Perks
4) Membership Rewards Transfer Bonuses: A history of past bonuses and rundown of current promotions
5) Membership Rewards: Mastering Star Alliance Transfer Partners
6) Membership Rewards: Mastering SkyTeam Transfer Partners
7) Membership Rewards: Mastering Oneworld Transfer Partners
8 ) Membership Rewards: Mastering Non-Alliance Transfer Partners
9) Membership Rewards: Booking Hotel Rewards
10) Spotlight on Non-Travel Rewards

I’ll do as many installments as necessary, so feel free to comment below with suggestions or send me an email. I’ve been using American Express cards (and points) for years, so I hope to educate you all on the amazing value that can be realized once you understand where the opportunities lie.

FYI: Below are the links to the actual posts in my Maximizing Amex Series as they ended up evolving:

There are the ten posts in my Maximizing Amex series. They are; Post 1: Understanding the Card Offering. Post 2: Understanding Membership Rewards. Post 3: Understanding Transfer Bonuses. Post 4: Platinum Card Review. Post 5: SkyTeam Transfer Partners Post 6: Oneworld Transfer Partners. Post 7: Star Alliance Transfer Partners. Post 8:Understanding Emergency Travel Assistance and Travel Accident Insurance. Post 9: Purchase and Return Protection and Extended Warranty. Post 10: Car Rental Benefits.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

pixel girl April 19, 2011 at 8:44 am

Love this idea! Thanks, PG!

Andrew April 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Sounds great! Any chance you could do a ‘compare/contrast’ to the cards available in Canada?

The Points Guy April 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

Andrew- definitely! I’m not an expert on the non-US cards, but I’ve been meaning to do some more research anyway :-)

gpapadop April 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

In the Overview post please make sure you point out the Minimum Annual Fee that has to be paid in order to stay in this program, starting from the no fee cards (don’t think there are any) to the most expensive (which I think is the Platinum at $450). Also point out all the other cards too Blue etc that do not have a MR component…I always found that to be very confusing. Thanks.

bl181 April 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

I am new to your blog and really enjoy reading about how to maximize my points! Thanks!

CP April 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

Please also highlight the difference in Membership Rewards between those of us who have the Blue card and the AMEX charge cards. I understand, as a Blue card holder, I’m not eligible for the “traditional” Membership Rewards – such as airline miles.

Jim April 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

Great idea. I use the Platinum Card so I’m highly interested in learning more about each topic. I appreciate your time, thanks.

Jon April 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

As a forced user of the AMEX corporate card, I always feel I am getting screwed on points here since it’s just 1 point per $1 spend and redemption rates seem poor… any thoughts you have on things corporate users can do to max points here would be helpful!

The Points Guy April 19, 2011 at 11:40 am

@Jon- I’m a corporate card user too and innmy experience the $75 fee for membership rewards is well worth it! I’ll go over in more detail- stay tuned!

Thanks for the encouragement all- keep the feedback coming!

Andrew April 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Can you add in a part on FHR benefits and a part on what happens to points when you cancel a card?


AB April 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Can the cards be churned? Can you earn bonuses on each of the different types of cards ie. a plat bonus and a gold bonus?

maccoinnich April 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

If it’s half as good as the BA series then it will be essential reading; looking forward to it.

Might be worth adding a section on how to earn MR points faster (Signup Bonuses, Bonus Points Mall, referral bonuses, customer service bonuses, other ways that I’m not thinking about…?)

Andrew Douglas April 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

this sounds awesome! look forward to all the installments

Alex April 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Sorry for the slightly OT comment – but regarding the BA series, are you still planning on posting one for stopovers / example valid routings? That series has been excellent, and your advice on some creative ways to maximize award value would be great – especially for S. America / Asia.

And thanks for all the great posts. I’m up to 8 friends & family applications for the BA card through your link – I keep pushing ‘em. Even though they think I’m an addict… Which I am of course.

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