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Get 500 free American Express Membership Rewards points

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If you have an Amex Membership Rewards account, and are opted in to emails (and if not, you should be), you should have received an email yesterday which looks, on the face of it, like a piece of junk.  

It was called ‘Glittering festive gift ideas from Membership Rewards’, an invitation to hit the Delete key if ever there was one.

However, this email contains a very attractive promotion:

Redeem online between 1 October and 31 December 2012 and receive a bonus of 500 Membership Rewards points on your first redemption

Amex has run this promotion every year for the last 3-4 years and the bonus points always post.  Note, though, that you won’t get your 500 bonus points until close to the back-stop date of 10 February 2013.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, you should try to do the smallest possible redemption that you can.  Why bother moving 1,000 points to Avios?  If there is a 100% bonus on Avios transfers next year, you will actually be worse off if you move 1,000 points now that you don’t need.  At the same time, you should obviously do a transfer to a programme where you can use the points.

What do I suggest?  Club Carlson has a minimum transfer requirement of 3 points.  Jumeirah Sirius is 15 points.  BA / Virgin / BMI all need 1,000, so I would ignore those.  

The winner, I think is Nectar (assuming you have an active Nectar card) where the minimum transfer is just 1 point.  That leaves you 499 points up.

Personally, I will probably do Club Carlson (although I will need to ring them to change the card number linked to my MR account).  If I can’t be bothered, I will move 15 into my dormant Jumeirah account – although as we are at one of their properties in December, it won’t be dormant for long.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • traveler says:

    A quick question for those who transferred to Nectar points – when you register, do you need enter the entire card number (starting 9826…) or just the second part of it?

    • Alan says:

      Just the 2nd part – see my other post on this page, it doesn’t work with the whole thing.

  • Jenni says:

    When it says “redemption”, does this not technically exclude the MR points transfers to BAEC etc though? I’m puzzled by the wording as I thought the redemptions were only for the gift cards and Trunkis and the like? I don’t want to do a transfer if I won’t get the extra 500 points in case there’ll be a more lucrative transfer offer in the future…

    • Raffles says:

      In previous years it has worked fine. I did 15 points to Jumeirah last year and 1 to Nectar the previous year and got the bonuses OK. Send 1 point to Nectar or 3 to Club Carlson if you’re concerned, but on past treatment you shouldn’t be.

      • Jenni says:

        Thank you Raffles, I’ll certainly give it a go then. Absolutely addicted to your blog by the way!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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