Select Amex cardholders can now redeem 40% fewer points to cover charges

Apr 12, 2021

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File this one under better, but still not great.

At TPG, we evaluate the value of various points currencies based on the options to redeem them — including award availability, flexibility, transfer partners and much more. American Express Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece, according to our latest valuations. That’s primarily due to the program’s strong array of travel partners you can transfer points to.

However, if you wanted to use points to pay off your bill, Amex values your points at 0.6 cents each — far below our valuation.

That seems to have changed for select cardholders. As first reported by Doctor of Credit, Amex is now targeting some members by allowing them to redeem 40% fewer points to cover charges. That means you are now getting exactly 1 cent in value per point.

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I was targeted on all of my Membership Rewards earning cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card and American Express® Green Card.

The information for the Amex Green 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.

(Photo courtesy of Amex)

Related: Is it better to get cash back or points if I don’t travel much?

Typically, a $21.76 charge would require 3,627 points to offset (remember, points are valued at 0.6 cents here). With the 40% targeted bonus, you would only need 2,176 points.

To check if you qualify,  login to your Amex account and navigate over to the “Rewards” tab. The first thing you’ll see is “Cover Your Charges,” where you can easily identify if you qualify for the bonus points redemption.

(Photo courtesy of Amex)

Is it worth it?

If you’re targeted, 1 cent in value per point is certainly better than 0.6 cents per point. But unless you’re sitting on a glut of points — and you have a strong inkling to use them here and now — there are more valuable ways to use Amex points. Remember, these points don’t expire as long as you keep at least one Membership Rewards card open, so there’s no reason to rush into a low-value redemption.

Amex is playing catch up here as Chase already allows redemptions of at least 1 cent per point (more than 1 cent on Ultimate Rewards travel and Pay Yourself Back) for several of its most popular cards, including Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Featured photo by John Gribben / The Points Guy

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