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

Apr 12, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Interested in more credit card news and advice from The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter.

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

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
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.