American Express Membership Rewards Program Credit Cards
Use your Amex card to earn Membership Rewards points as you spend and redeem them for flights, cashback and more.
The American Express Membership Rewards program is designed to reward cardholders for their spending and loyalty. This means that you earn reward points each time you make a purchase on your card. The more you spend, the more points you will accumulate.You can then use your points to redeem various travel, shopping and entertainment rewards. You can even transfer Membership Rewards points to any of the American Express airline and hotel partner programs, including Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer programs. Read on to find out how the Membership Rewards program works and how it could help you get more value from your American Express card.
Comparison of American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards
Different Membership Rewards program options
Even within the Membership Rewards program, there are different types of Membership Rewards accounts or streams. Each of these program options feature different terms and conditions and benefits, which you can read more about in the reward section below. This table gives you a run-down of the basics of each Membership Rewards option available.
How to earn Membership Rewards
If you’re enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, you can earn points in a few different ways:
Reward credit cards
Start earning Membership Rewards now with an American Express credit card. While the rate at which you can earn points differs among cards, you can typically earn at least 1 point per $1 spent and up to 3 points per $1 spent with some cards. For instance, the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card lets you earn 3 points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol retailers, 2 points per $1 spent on international transactions and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
Many of these cards also come with bonus points on sign up, allowing you to earn tens of thousands of points when you meet the spend requirements on your first purchases with the new card. To further boost your balance, you can also earn bonus points by shopping with certain retailers or by successfully referring friends to the card scheme. Another way to increase your points-earning potential is to obtain additional cards for your family, business partner or employees so that their expenses jointly contribute to your reward points balance.
The “Local Champion” feature within the Amex app earns you points with a game-like interface that encourages you to spend at local retailers. Here’s how to win:
- Using the free American Express app on an iOS or Android smart device, register your card and choose up to 10 local stores where you want to compete for the title of Local Champion.
- Score the highest number of transactions at one of your stores within 30 days to win the title and earn an extra 1 point per $1 spent, as long as no one steals the title from you by exceeding your transactions.
- This means you can earn up to 4 points per $1 spent at a local restaurant if you have an American Express Platinum Card, up to 10,000 bonus points across your 10 chosen retailers.
American Express offers
American Express frequently offers extra opportunities to earn bonus points or cashback by shopping with your card at partnered retailers. The simple steps are:
- Shop the existing offers online or via the American Express app.
- Save the offers that you like to your card.
- Spend using your card.
- Enjoy the savings that are credited to your account.
Stores that have participated in the past include Woolworths, David Jones, Dan Murphy’s, Harvey Norman, Qantas, THE ICONIC and more.
Refer a friend and earn
You can earn up to 200,000 points per year by successfully referring a friend or family member to the American Express card scheme. All you need to do is:
- Log into your account and select the card you’d like to refer.
- Send the link for the chosen card to your invitees, by email or via social media.
- Wait for the bonus reward points to be credited once they’re approved.
Your friend will also stand to receive bonus sign-up points and perks, such as annual fee waivers. Certain terms and conditions may apply and will vary with each card. How to earn the most Membership Rewards points with your American Express credit card
How can I redeem my Membership Rewards?
Now that you know how you can pick up points, check out some of the following ways you can put them to good use:
Pay with points
The Membership Rewards program lets you use your points to pay for purchases or cover the cost of your annual fee. You can select “Pay with Points” by logging into your account online or via the American Express app. Once logged in, select the eligible transaction from your online account and you’ll receive a credit within 72 hours. A minimum of 1,000 points must be redeemed at any one time and credits cannot exceed the relevant charges or your current outstanding balance. You may also redeem points for a credit to your card, to be used in any way you like. As of 15 April 2019, 13,500 points is required to redeem $67.50 via “Points for Credit”. Alternatively, you can pay for annual card fees or membership fees via “Points for Fees”. Required points vary with different credit cards.
Shop with points
- David Jones online. Pay for your online purchases at David Jones with Membership Rewards points. Simply shop the online range at the David Jones online store, add your chosen items to the Shopping Bag and head to the checkout once you’re ready to pay. Select “Membership Rewards points” as your payment method, enter your American Express card details and pay for your entire purchase or part of it with points. 13,500 Membership Rewards points are worth $67.50 and a minimum of 3,000 points must be used for any redemption.
- Ticketmaster. You may also use Membership Rewards points to pay for concerts, the theatre, sports events and more at Ticketmaster. Simply select your tickets and head to the checkout as usual, but opt to use Membership Rewards points when choosing your payment method. You can make a full or partial payment with your points. 13,500 Membership Rewards points are worth $67.50 at Ticketmaster.
Travel with points: Flights with frequent flyer partners
If you belong to any of the partnered airline loyalty programs, you can exchange your Membership Rewards points for frequent flyer points or miles with any of the following:
- Air New Zealand Airpoints
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Transfer rates, minimum transfer amounts and eligible transfer partners may vary depending on your credit card, but you can view your applicable rates and partners by logging into your account online or via the app. For instance, you may transfer your Membership Rewards points to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program as long as you have a Velocity account in your name. The rate is currently 2 Membership Rewards point to 1 Velocity point and each transfer must be at least 2,000 points. Your points transfer will usually take up to three business days to be processed.
Book a holiday through American Express Travel
- Flights. Visit the American Express Travel website, search for your roundtrip, one-way or multi-stop flight and pay for it for using your Membership Rewards points. The program has more than 40 partner airlines, covering a wide network of routes that can carry you anywhere in the world.
- Car hire. Your Membership Rewards points can be used to book a rental car to be picked up at your travel destination.
- Hotel. Search for hotel options on the website and enjoy periodic promotions such as a complimentary night’s stay.
- Hotel packages. Access more attractive prices when you purchase “Flight & Hotel” or “Flight, Hotel & Car” packages with your Membership Rewards points.
- Experiences. Search for “experiences” on the website and be surprised by exciting tailored activities such as hot air balloon rides, exclusive shopping tours, cooking classes, cultural performances, walking tours and much more.
- Cruises. Book a cruise via the American Express Travel website and use your Membership Rewards points to pay for all or part of your trip.
Your Membership Rewards points can also be converted into gift cards to be spent on retail, entertainment, online specialty stores or travel. Gift cards for amounts between $10 and $10,000 are perfect for gifting or using yourself either in-store or online. Retail stores include Coles, Myer, Bunnings, Country Road, iTunes and more, with $10 gift cards starting from 2,000 points.
Points plus pay
You can generally use a combination of Membership Rewards points and cash to redeem rewards. You may also choose to top up your balance and buy points when redeeming merchandise or gift cards, or when transferring points to partner programs.
How to pool your Membership RewardsIf you have more than one American Express credit card eligible for earning Membership Rewards, you can pool your points together by linking your cards. You can call the number on the back of your card to arrange this.
Different types of Membership Rewards programs
Even within the Membership Rewards program, there are different types of Membership Rewards accounts to suit different cardholders. Each type differs slightly in its features and benefits:
- Membership Rewards Gateway. This basic membership type allows you to earn and redeem points at David Jones online and can also be used for gift cards, points for credit, “Pay with Points” and American Express Travel Online. You can also transfer your points to eight leading airline reward programs (with the exception of Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club) and two hotel loyalty programs.
- Membership Rewards Ascent. Membership Rewards Ascent is a higher tier membership type that is free for platinum credit cardholders and that corporate cardholders can subscribe to for $89 a year. Personal and charge cardholders, as well as blue and gold credit and business cardholders, can also subscribe to the program for $80 a year. It offers access to the same benefits as Membership Rewards Gateway, except you can transfer points to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
- Membership Rewards Ascent Premium. Membership Rewards Ascent Premium is the top tier membership type that is available to American Express Platinum Charge and Platinum Business Charge cardholders. In addition to all the membership perks accessible by Membership Rewards Ascent cardholders, the Ascent Premium program lets you transfer points to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
How to manage your Membership Rewards account
Checking your points balance.
Once enrolled, you can log into your account online or via the smartphone app to check your points balance anytime.
How to reinstate forfeited points
Membership Rewards points are forfeited when an account payment becomes more than 40 days overdue. To reinstate them, you’ll first need to pay the overdue bills. Next, reinstate your points online by logging into your account or by calling 1300 363 276 Monday-Friday, between 8am and 6pm. A fee will apply and you must reinstate forfeited points within 90 days of your statement due date or those points will permanently expire.
How to buy points
You will be given the option of buying points at a rate of 1,000 points for $25 while making a redemption or points transfer.
How to transfer points
First, you will need to register your frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program membership number by logging into your account online. After you’ve linked your membership number to your Membership Rewards account, you can then a request a points transfer online. Most transfers are processed within one to three days, but can sometimes take up to five business days.
Picture: ShutterstockBack to top
Ask an Expert
Credit Cards Comparison
* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.