Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Don’t use the American Express Membership Rewards Auto-Redeem feature

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American Express Membership Rewards has a new feature – Auto-Redeem. 

Don’t use it.

It is just a gimmick, and a poor value gimmick at that.

This is how it works.  You click on the ‘Use Points for Purchases’ link on the statement page of your Gold or Platinum account.  You will then see a further link for Auto-Redeem.  You can then select from three potential recurring payments that you may have – Netflix, Naked Wines and Spotify.  No other companies are included.

If you turn on Auto-Redeem, American Express will automatically look for charges from these three merchants on your statement.  When it sees one, it redeems enough Membership Rewards points to pay the bill and adds a statement credit to your account.  It is meant to happen within three days of the original charge appearing.  This effectively nullifies your subscription payment.

Here’s the snag.  You only receive £4.50 of statement credit for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points.

You should be looking to get around 1p per Membership Rewards point on a good day.  1 point = 1 Avios, for instance, and you should be able to get 1p per Avios when you redeem.

This is my article explaining the best value Membership Rewards redemptions.  You can see from this how poor 0.45p per point is.


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 (94)

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

  • Chris says:

    I’m off to Miami in June next year. Looking to use up to 120k SPG points for our first two nights. Currently looking at South Beach W or St Regis. Can anyone advise from experience please?

    • Munch says:

      Same dilemma. W seems to be more in the action with more possibilities for eating out (breakfast included – we don’t have plat status) but the St Regis seems to be more of a 5* experience. Still torn between the two.

    • Kevin says:

      I imagine atmosphere will be quite different.

      Sometimes being at a W is a bit like staying at 16 year old’s birthday party. This is fine as long as you like loud music with your swim. I haven’t stayed at that one though and I find the restaurants at W hotels to be pretty good.

  • Yuff says:

    OT: has anyone parked at the Stansted Hampton recently….are there many parking spaces available?

  • Andrew says:

    OT BA is showing some unusually high reward availability to SFO in July/August next year. Some flights showing as 7 or 9 seats available in J (notably on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). For example 31/7 LHR-SFO there are 7 and 9+ seats available in J. Returning on 14/8 both flights seem to be showing 9+.

    I can’t take part as already booked our holibobs for 2019, but thought this might be of interest to some as finding reward seats can be tricky at times.

  • Doug says:

    FGS Now you’re confusing things all the more!
    In a previous article, you said that Avios is NOT closing, now you talk about Avios accounts being closed.
    Is there any wonder people are confused?

    • Peter K says:

      Avios.com the website is not closing. Avios.com accounts are closing.

      Avios.com the website will instead be used by Vueling and Aer Lingus account holders.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      However Avios TRP, which is what Rob referred to, is indeed closing. This is the part of Avios.com that had nothing to do with Vueling or Aer Lingus (but is exactly the same) – if you’re a member of Vueling or EI, and the accounts are linked to your Avios.com account, it stays.

  • Phatbear says:

    With the impending closure of avios accts i have some concerns about my upcoming lloyds avio upgrade voucher.

    My anniversary year started on 19th August and as of today i have spent just over £7000 in 9 days so was wondering if anyone has any insight into any problems with lloyds issuing an upgrade voucher seeing as such things dont really exsist with BAEC.

    I already have one in the bank, which ive had assurances will stay on my accts but i will have to phone baec to use it.

    I phoned lloyds today and they were as good as useless and i had to explain it wasnt a question about points and that my year doesnt start on 1st jan.

    So any input on this issue?

    • phatbear says:

      oh also has anyone got any idea of time scale for them posting the vouchers on to your account?

  • Alex says:

    There’s currently a BA points offer in the AMEX BA Offers. Receive 12,500 bonus Avios when you purchase 25,000 Avios for £415 online by 10 Sept 2018. Offer available for the first 100,000 to Save to Card. That equates to 1.1p per point if anyone’s interested.

  • Chris says:

    Flip the world view around; if you are relatively travel points rich (i have a couple of million avios and similar store of IHG points) and find myself with about 250k MR points. As I’m unlikely to use them for travel and i’m wondering what are the better redemption uses of MR points?

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

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