Pay for purchases with rewards using the Amex app

Access your Membership Rewards points and use them for everyday purchases from anywhere with the Amex Australia app.

The Amex Australia app is designed to make it easier to manage your American Express credit card on-the-go. As well as giving you access to all your account details, this app allows you to redeem Membership Rewards points to pay for regular purchases. This function is called “Pay for Charges” and is part of a suite of unique features on the app, which also gives you access to Amex Offers, bonus points and the Local Champion game.

How can I use Membership Rewards to pay for purchases?

  1. Download the free Amex Australia app for iPhone or Android.
  2. Log in to the Amex app and choose the transaction you want to pay for with points. This will take you to a detailed transaction page.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the transaction detail page and select “Use Points”.
  4. Read and agree with the terms and conditions then press "Use Points" again to complete the process.

You can expect to receive an accompanying credit on your American Express account within 48 hours. If you don’t have enough points in your account to pay off the transaction in full, your points will be converted to a statement credit which will partially pay off the charge. A minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points is also required to complete a transaction.

How much can I save?

Depending on where you’re shopping, you can save at least $7 cash value for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you redeem. Some retailers (such as Woolworths) may offer a higher level of savings.

Other app perks

This feature was rolled out in a broader upgrade to the American Express mobile app in 2015 and 2016. Other features include:

  • Amex Offers. Browse offers and get cashback credits when you use your registered card and spend above a set amount at participating retailers.
  • Local Champion. Earn up to 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points by registering for the Local Champion game and shopping at participating retailers.
  • Personalised notifications. Keep on top of your account by setting up payment reminders and card spend alerts.

Are there any limitations for the Amex Pay for Charges feature?

Unfortunately, not all American Express customers can take advantage of this feature. For example, only primary cardholders (not additional cardholders) can make use of it.

Similarly, cardholders who own direct-earn frequent flyer cards, such as the American Express Velocity Escape or Qantas American Express Discover card, are unable to take advantage of the Pay for Charges scheme. Plus, if you own a bank-issued Amex card (distributed by ANZ, Commonwealth Bank or Westpac, for example) you’ll be excluded from the offer.

While the American Express Pay for Charges initiative is designed to offer extra value for cardholders enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, it may not be the most cost-effective way to redeem points. So make sure you consider your spending habits and the type of rewards you’d like to redeem to determine whether this feature is of value to you.

Rates last updated December 11th, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Essential Credit Card
Membership Rewards Gateway
1
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with this card. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Membership Rewards
1
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance. Plus, a 12 month balance transfer offer.
American Express Platinum Card
80,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Premium Ascent
1
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
David Jones American Express
20,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus points, David Jones benefits including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
American Express Gold Business Card
10,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Ascent
1
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of 10,000 bonus points, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Platinum Business Card
120,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Premium Ascent
1
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy 120,000 bonus points, a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and hotel benefits.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Gateway
2
16.99% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, 2 yearly entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
30,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Fly faster with up to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance when travel is booked on your card.

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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