Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

American Express will pay you 0.9p CASH for your Membership Rewards points

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American Express has launched a very interesting offer for holders of The Platinum Card.

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 pointsThis 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 points from credit cards? – August 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

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:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (126)

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

  • N says:

    Tax implications?

  • Nelson says:

    As Rob says 4.5£ on my amex business gold for 1000 transfer. Unlucky! 😉

  • Ian S says:

    Any thoughts on why American Express are doing this – it seems counterintuitive?
    Why wouldn’t they rather hang on to our cash?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Could be any one of the 3 reducing their liabilities, Giving Plat holders a little boost to carry on paying c£50 a month, A 10% discount on what they Usually pay for airline miles. Perhaps all 3 at once.

      Btw I’d still choose Marriot Bonvoy but that’s because it can still offer 1p per point value to me as Id use cash to stay at some of the luxury properties instead.

    • Nick says:

      1. To reduce liability on the bottom line
      2. To stop haemorrhaging Plat customers (and having to refund fees pro-rata)

      The latter is very relevant – they know their customers are travel-heavy and aren’t getting their usual benefits. Plus PP visits are lower so cheaper for a while. How many will keep their cards if they aren’t travelling? I have skin in this game – they have about 10 days to convince me to keep my card or it gets cancelled. I was going to call the other day but before I could I received their email saying ‘look out for special things’ so held off. Looking forward to seeing what else they come up with.

      • PJ says:

        This actually helps me take the decision to cancel my Plat by running down my MR balance in a way where I can get decent value from it.

      • Anthony says:

        I’m exactly the same, I phoned yesterday and they said they were advising plat card holders to downgrade to the gold charge card for free for the first year and upgrade to platinum again instead of outright cancelling. I spoke to them online in chat and said I was looking to cancel unless there was more communication and more incentive to keep the card. I was told they’d heard that a lot and they passed the feedback up the chain, whether they did or not is a different matter

      • Alan says:

        Yeah I’m pretty skeptical about their ‘special things’. If their normal offers are anything to go by they’ll still manage to make them only applicable in London, even during lockdown!

    • James says:

      I would guess that amex is cash rich and they are using this to lower their points liabilities/debt, as most people might be looking to cash out at this time.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Surely we’ve seen once again recently if they are concerned about being too cash rich they need only buy shares in an airline?

        Solve that one in short order….

    • Rob says:

      I agree. For years they have tried to play down the airline miles option due to the cost and force you onto vouchers which cost 0.5p vs 0.8p+ per airline mile.

  • AJ says:

    Typically I transferred a significant sum of MR points to Avios yesterday prior to me cancelling card. I may have been interested in this so am a little annoyed.

    IMO Amex have been too slow in offering anything to keep their Plat customers and I will be cancelling as soon as transfer of my points complete.

    • Daniel says:

      Points can be transferred up to 30 days post account closure anyway, so close now and save having to pay for an extra month.

  • Dubs says:

    Is this part of what Amex were eluding to in email sent out yesterday?

  • illuminatus says:

    Too late for me, downgraded to Gold about a week ago. Was surprised not to be offered some retainment deal despite a hefty monthly spend and 6 years as a customer, I suppose that’s due to an avalanche of cancellations over the recent weeks.

  • the_real_a says:

    The AMEX rebate card consistently offers 1.25% (tiered) in cold hard cash. So this offer is not so generous in comparison. Its just quite boring.

    • the_real_a says:

      I was of course meaning a rebate is “boring” Vs the arbitrage opportunity of points even though in the current market its probably more advantageous.

      • Rob says:

        It is boring, I agree! These are odd times though. Some people may see this as an excuse for clearing their points and cancelling the card too, culling another monthly expense. Whilst I didn’t mention it in the article, there is another option to consider – where hotels and flights will be very cheap for a couple of years, and so a poorer use of miles and points than usual.

        • Owain says:

          Although that could mean that one is likely build up a big stash of points in the next couple of years, so there might be a strong argument for keeping it in a convertible currency (such as MR points), rather than accumulating too large a balance in a specific hotel/airline loyalty program.

        • mradey says:

          Rob,

          Maybe you could write an article on where you see flights/hotels etc. pricing over the next year? I don’t see any cheap hotel prices for dates I am looking at – November/December in my case.

          mradey

  • James says:

    I am not sure this is boring, to be fair.

    If someone has had some reduction in salary then at least using the points to help pay for some things is better then spending the cash.

    I am most interested in the amazon payments. As I often use these points to get, what I class as free goods.. Well my wife does anyway.

    • Rob says:

      But that really makes no sense – better to pay for cash for Amazon purchases and then use your 0.9p statement credit to settle the cost. Don’t, whilst this is running, use the integrated pay with points option.

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