Today’s your last day to cash out points with the Amex Platinum for Schwab — here’s why you might want to

Aug 31, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


While transferring your credit card points to airline or hotel partners usually yields the highest-value rewards, sometimes it makes more sense to redeem your points in other ways if you aren’t planning on traveling anytime soon. Cue the American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab, which lets you cash out your points into a linked Schwab brokerage account.

Today is the last day to redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points this way for an elevated 1.25 cents each. For Schwab cardholders, this redemption method might be worth taking advantage of before it disappears.

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The information for the Amex Platinum Schwab card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why choose the Amex Platinum Schwab

TPG values Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, thanks to a plethora of high-value transfer partners. However, points and miles are a bad long-term investment — if you don’t plan on using them for travel soon, it might be better to get cash in your bank account.

No matter how you built your Membership Rewards points balance, there’s one credit card that’s a clear winner if you’re looking to trade your points for cash: The American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab. It offers all the same great benefits of the regular Platinum Card® from American Express, including the annual airline fee statement credit, Centurion lounge access, hotel elite status and a whole lot more. (Enrollment is required for select benefits.)

However, there’s one perk that has historically made the Amex Platinum Schwab card a true standout. If you carry this specific card, you can redeem points into your linked Schwab brokerage account at a rate of 1.25 cents each.

While this is well below TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points, this is still one of the best values on the market if you’re looking for a way to redeem your points for cash.

Unfortunately, Aug. 31, 2021, is the last day that you can take advantage of this opportunity to cash out your points at an elevated rate of 1.25 cents each.

Starting tomorrow, Sept. 1, 2021, Amex is lowering this redemption rate to 1.1 cents.

How to cash out your points

When you apply for the Amex Platinum Card for Schwab, you do have to log in to your Schwab account first. This way, your Amex and Schwab accounts will already be linked when you receive and activate your card.

Once you log in to your investment account, you should see the Invest with Rewards option on the main page.

After being reminded that only the basic cardholder is eligible to redeem points this way, you’ll be asked to input your card information to verify the account.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

You can only choose from a number of preset redemption values, but you can mix and match the preset options. In my case, I decided to cash out 40,000 points for $500 in the form of four 10,000-point packages.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

After that, you’ll confirm your selection and hit Redeem Now.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

I was pleasantly surprised at the transfer speed. The $500 was posted to my Schwab account instantly, even though I made this redemption on a Sunday when banks were closed. That means if you were considering this option but waiting until the last minute, it should still be available to you. Just make sure you do it today.

Note that receiving a cash reward like this may be a taxable event, and you should speak to a certified tax professional about how this might affect you and your business.

Bottom line

This was far and away the lowest redemption value I’ve ever gotten from my Membership Rewards points, but it’s still a worthwhile redemption for those who know they won’t be traveling in the near future.

Starting tomorrow, the value drops even further to 1.1 cents per point from the long-standing 1.25 rate — which will make this option less appealing.

Note that you will need a Schwab brokerage account for this redemption. If you don’t already have an account, it can be a handy card to have in your wallet. Aside from the ability to cash out points to a linked Schwab account, you’ll also be able to take advantage of fee-free ATM withdrawals worldwide.

Once you cash out your points, there’s no way to undo that and get them back, but if you don’t see yourself traveling for a while, this may be a smart move — especially if you transfer your points before the redemption value drops on Sept. 1.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber Cash annually (only for use in the U.S.)  (Enrollment required for select benefits)

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Annual Fee
$695
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.