Pay for purchases with rewards using the Amex app

Information verified correct on May 24th, 2017

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, NAB 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 May 24th, 2017
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Bonus Points Annual fee
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $200 Travel Credit every year.
0 1 $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
0 1 80,000 bonus points $1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
The David Jones Credit Card gives you everyday shopping gift points which can be redeemed for travel and gift cards. Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a range of in-store benefits at David Jones.
1 30,000 bonus points $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Keep track of your business expenses with a dedicated business credit card. Your account details can be uploaded in to MYOB, Excel or Quicken to help with BAS reporting.
0 1 10,000 bonus points $169 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Provides easy tracking and management of business expenses - reporting meets ATO requirements. Dedicated Platinum Business Concierge to assist you day-to-day.
0 1 100,000 bonus points $1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist 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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