There are a few different transferable points programs available, but over the years one of the most popular has always been American Express’ Membership Rewards program. The reason is because of the ample ways points can be used and the wide selection of credit cards that can help you earn points quickly. Let’s take a deeper look into how you can earn Membership Rewards points and the different ways you can receive ultimate value.
1. Transfer Points to Loyalty Partners
One of the best ways to receive maximum value for your Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to one of the many loyalty partners. There is a large selection of both hotels and airlines and each of the following partners will transfer 1-to-1 unless noted.
- Aeromexico — 1-to-1.6
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
- All Nippon Airways
- Asia Miles
- British Airways — 250-to-200
- Delta Air Lines
- El Al Israel Airlines — 1,000-to-20
- Etihad Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Iberia Plus — 250-to-200
- JetBlue Airways — 250-to-200
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin America — 200-to-100
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
- Choice Hotels
- Hilton Hotels — 1-to-1.5
- Starwood Hotels — 1,000-to-333
To get the most value out of each point, you could use them for one of the following redemptions.
All Nippon Airways From the United States to Japan
Until recently, the All Nippon Airways award chart was based on distances. That used to provide many sweet spots for award travel. Even though they have changed to a region based award chart, there are still some great deals. One of them is round-trip flights from the United States to Japan. You can fly round-trip in coach for just 40,000 miles during low season and business class for 75,000 miles, also in the low season.
All Nippon Airways From the United States to Asia Zone 2
You could use All Nippon Airways miles to fly round-trip from the United States to Asia Zone 2 for just 55,000 in coach or 100,000 in business class. Asia Zone 2 is classified as Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Flying Blue From the Continental United States to Hawaii
A great use of Flying Blue miles is to fly round-trip from anywhere in the continental United States to Hawaii for just 30,000 miles.
Aeroplan From the United States to Oceania
Transferring Membership Award points to Aeroplan will allow you to use 90,000 miles to fly round-trip from the United States to Australia, New Zealand or anywhere in the South Pacific. You could make this trip for 80,000 United miles, but what makes using Aeroplan miles worth it is that they will allow you to make two stopovers before reaching your destination. That means you could fly to Tahiti and make stops in both Australia and New Zealand on the way.
British Airways From Miami to Lima, Peru
If hiking to Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, you might want to consider flying British Airways from Miami to Lima, Peru. Because British Airways has a distance-based award chart, the flight in coach is just 12,500 miles each way.
2. Buy Gift Cards
Another way to use your Membership Rewards is to receive gift cards from different restaurants, retailers and for travel. The value you receive will be anywhere from a half-cent to one cent per point.
3. Go Shopping
You could also use your points to shop online with certain retailers. Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com and Newegg.com offer 0.7 cents per point. Other partner retailers give you a half-cent per point in value.
4. Use American Express Travel or Airbnb
There are a few different ways you can use your points on travel beyond transferring them to partners. You can book airfare on American Express Travel for one cent per point. You could also book with Airbnb for 0.7 cents per point.
5. Enjoy Entertainment
If you want to redeem your points for concert tickets or for a Broadway show you can do so through Ticketmaster.com, AXS and Telecharge.com. The value is a half-cent per point.
6. Ride With Uber
You could also use your Membership Reward points to pay for Uber rides. You will receive one cent value per point used.
7. Get a Statement Credit
Finally, you could choose to use your points to receive a statement credit. However, by doing this, you will only receive 0.6 cents value per point.
Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points
There are quite a few different credit cards that give you the opportunity to earn Membership Rewards points. Below you will find a few of our favorite cards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
Card Details +
The Platinum Card® from American Express has been one of the elite cards available for a few years. When you sign up you will receive 60,000 Membership Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. You can then receive 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and hotels when booked through the airline and by using American Express Travel. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent.
The annual fee on the Platinum card is $550. This puts the card out of reach for many people. But before you discard the idea of adding it to your wallet, consider the travel benefits. Not only will you receive a $200 airline fee credit, which will pay for things like change fees or baggage fees, you also receive up to $200 in annual Uber savings. And you get complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts among other perks.
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
Card Details +
Another of the elite cards is American Express® Gold Card. When you sign up for this card, you receive 35,000 Membership Reward points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. You receive 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on any airfare purchased directly with airlines. You also receive 4X points on up to $25,000 in purchases per year at U.S. restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets. All other purchases earn one point per dollar. There is a $250 annual fee. Other than the earnings potential, the other benefits can make the annual fee worthwhile to travelers. Each year you receive a $100 airline fee credit. You can also earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. That’s an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment is required.
At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, American Express® Gold Card and Amex EveryDay Preferred card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).