American Express has launched a very interesting offer for holders of The Platinum Card.
(Sorry, this is for Platinum cardholders only. It does not apply to Business Platinum, Preferred Rewards Gold or any other American Express card, it seems.)
If you use your points for statement credit (ie reducing what you owe next month by redeeming points) you would usually receive a pitiful £4.50 per 1,000 points.
This new offer is worth £9 per 1,000 Membership Rewards points. This is surprisingly good.
What are Membership Rewards points worth?
Here is my core article on the best uses of American Express Membership Rewards points.
Here is a summary of my valuations:
0.75p – 1.5p per point (estimate, 1:1 ratio) – airline miles
1p per point (estimate, 1:3 ratio) – Radisson Rewards hotel transfers
0.75p per point (estimate, 2:3 ratio) – Marriott Bonvoy hotel transfers
0.66p per point (estimate, 1:2 ratio) – Hilton Honors hotel transfers
0.66p per point (estimate, 15:1 ratio) – Club Eurostar points transfers
0.5p per point (guaranteed, pseudo-cash) – retailer gift cards
0.5p per point (guaranteed, pseudo-cash with potential for upside) – Nectar points
0.45p per point (guaranteed, pseudo-cash) – taking Amazon credit
Read my article on the best Membership Rewards transfers to see how I justify these numbers.
Is Amex really offering 0.9p per point for statement credit?
Yes it is. It is NOT advertised yet. However, go to your American Express account and select ‘Use Points for Purchases’ on your Platinum Card home page.
You are taken to a page like this. Select an individual transaction (click to enlarge):
As you can see, I am offered a rate of £9 per 1,000 points.
This deal is NOT available on Business Platinum and Preferred Reward Gold cards unfortunately, or at least not the ones in my house. It only shows on my Platinum card.
Should I redeem my Membership Rewards points for 0.9p each?
That’s not for me to say, of course.
However, as you can see from my numbers above, the bulk of transfers are worth LESS than 0.9p per point.
I would definitely take 0.9p in cash instead of turning my American Express points into Eurostar, Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson Rewards or Hilton Honors points.
This is NOT because these schemes are bad, but because the transfer rate is not generous enough.
(Hilton is currently selling Hilton Honors points with a 100% bonus, which works out at 0.4p each. The link is here, the offer runs to 27th May. Instead of converting Amex points to Hilton Honors at 1:2, it is cheaper to buy Hilton points on your Platinum card and use your Amex points to settle the bill via a statement credit!)
The decision is more marginal for airline miles. Here are the American Express airline transfer partners, all of which are 1:1. If used sensibly, you should get more than 0.9p per airline mile. However, you won’t get SUBSTANTIALLY more than 0.9p per mile and cash in the bank may be more useful to you at the moment.
You should also remember that there are many opportunities throughout the year to buy Avios at around 1p to 1.1p per point. Transferring from Amex at 1:1 into Avios is still a better deal than cashing out for 0.9p, but it is clearly more marginal at this level and the benefit of getting cash in your hand may be high.
My only thought is that, if this offer leads to a reduction in the flow of points to miles, and so a reduction in the money that the airlines are getting from American Express, some airlines may be tempted to offer a generous Membership Rewards transfer bonus to turn the tap back on.
When does this offer end?
It isn’t clear. There are similar offers in France and Canada which are running until 20th July so it MIGHT match that. I imagine that American Express will email everyone in the next day or so.
You can only redeem credit against actual purchases, so your maximum redemption is limited to the value of purchases you make before the closing date.
Amex France and Amex Canada are also offering Platinum cardholders double points on all of their spending for three months. Let’s see if that part of the offer turns up in the UK. If it does, the Platinum card will become the most rewarding card on the market!
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)