How to buy American Express Membership Rewards

Short of points and need to redeem a reward urgently? Discover how you can buy Membership Rewards to boost your points balance.


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If you’re eager to redeem a gift card or transfer your points into frequent flyer miles ASAP, there’s a way to make up that shortfall of points right now. If you belong to the American Express Membership Rewards program, you can make up the difference by buying your points if you’re a little short. As always, there are some terms and conditions involved, so read through this guide to learn how you can get the most out of your Membership Rewards.

How do I buy Membership Reward points?

To purchase your Membership Rewards points, you can call Membership Rewards on 1300 363 276. Make sure to have your Membership Rewards membership number ready to enter before you make the call.

The points are sold at $25 per 1,000 Membership Rewards points, which equates to roughly 2.5c per point. Points also need to be bought in amounts of 1,000, which is important to remember when requesting how many points you'd like to purchase. Once you've bought the points, you'll need to redeem them or transfer them to a partnered program at the time of purchase. So, make sure you know what you want to do with the points before you buy them, because you won't have the option to save them in your account for a rainy day.

Terms and conditions to consider when buying Membership Reward points

  • Purchased points can only be used towards merchandise and gift card redemptions, or frequent flyer partner program transfers. This means you can only buy points when you’re organising a transfer of your existing points to your frequent flyer membership program.
  • Points cannot be purchased for use in the ‘Points for Credit’ or ‘Points for Travel’ reward segments. When you’re redeeming flights internally as part of the American Express Membership Rewards program, you can top up missing points for an internal flight redemption at the rate of $100 for 10,000 points, which is far cheaper than buying them at 2.5c per point.
  • You don’t earn points for the purchase of points.


When should I buy Membership Reward points?

If you're tossing up whether or not you should buy some Membership Rewards, here are some scenarios where the option could come in handy:

  • You need to redeem a partner airline flight urgently and don’t have time to accumulate the rest of the required points.
  • There’s a partner airline offer that you want to catch before it ends, such as a special flight redemption discount or Velocity’s credit card points transfer bonus promotion.
  • You’re just slightly short of the required points for a gift card which you need pronto.

In any case, depending on your card and reward, a simple calculation will easily help you decide whether the extra points are worth buying. If you're desperate to redeem a specific reward and need a little extra boost to cover the cost, it could prove useful. However, if your points shortfall is large, you could potentially pay a lot out-of-pocket compared to the market value of the reward.

Purchasing Membership Rewards for a flight to Singapore

Say, you wish to redeem a flight to Singapore urgently and need 50,000 points for an Economy return ticket. You’re 16,000 points short, which will cost $400. Since that’s half the price of buying a full-fare ticket with flexible cancellation terms and you could earn more miles if you just buy the ticket outright (albeit 50%), it might not be worthwhile for you to buy the points to redeem the flight. On the flipside, it would be a no-brainer if you’re only 2,000 points short and can cover the difference with $50 cash.

So there you have it, an easy way to boost your Membership Rewards balance to get the most out of your points. Make sure you weigh up the terms and conditions and value of the points though before you start splurging on Membership Rewards.

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Compare American Express Membership Rewards credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Membership Rewards Gateway
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
Finder Exclusive. Ends 01 February 2021.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 120,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards
20.74% p.a.
Get 120,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 30,000 points in the second year. Ends 27 Jan 2021.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Membership Rewards Ascent
20.74% p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus points when you spend at least $1,500 within the first 3 months. Plus, receive $200 travel credit each year. Ends 27 Jan 2021.
American Express Platinum Business Card
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 200,000 bonus points and a $300 statement credit when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
American Express Platinum Card
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
Earn 150,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Additional 50,000 points in the second year. Ends 27 Jan 2021.
American Express Gold Business Card
Membership Rewards Ascent
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points and up to 51 days to pay for purchases.
David Jones American Express Card
Membership Rewards
20.74% p.a.
Not just for David Jones shoppers, receive 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 7,500 Qantas Points on eligible spend.

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