Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

EXTENDED: Amex Business cardholders can sell their Membership Rewards points for 0.9p!

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American Express has been running a very interesting offer for holders of American Express Business Gold and American Express Business Platinum.

This is the same offer which was made available to holders of the personal Platinum card earlier in the year.  A similar, poorer, version is still running for Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders who are offered a 50% bonus, or 0.675p per point – our article is here.

Using Membership Rewards points for statement credit

If you use your Membership Rewards 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 offer is worth £9 per 1,000 Membership Rewards pointsThis is surprisingly good.

The offer was running until 18th November.  It has now been extended to 31st December.

Pay with Points offer on Amex Business Gold

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.  Go to your American Express account and select ‘Use Points for Purchases’ on your Business Gold or Business Platium card home page.

You are taken to a page like this, from my Business Platinum card.  Select an individual transaction (click to enlarge):

American Express Business pay with points offer

As you can see, I am offered a rate of £9 per 1,000 points.

Pay with Points offer on Amex Business Platinum

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.

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.

When does this offer end?

With the extension, the offer is now available until 31st December.

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.

If you want to find out more about Amex Business Gold and Amex Business Platinum, links to our reviews are below.  You qualify for a sign-up bonus if you haven’t had a Membership Rewards points card in the past SIX MONTHS.  (Yes, the rule is six months and not 24 months for the Business cards.)

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

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

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

Comments (17)

  • Andrew says:

    I wish Amex would bring this back for personal platinum – seems the odd one out now with both business and personal gold getting a better rate.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    This always baffles me ! Why would anyone get a Amex to get points presumably to get Miles.
    Then sell them for less ?
    Would a cash back card not be a better option if that’s what you wanted to do ?
    Don’t get me wrong i understand some on here have a lot of points
    I myself (between all 3 of us for clarification) have over 5 mill in both points and Avios, but they will be needed at one point so why sell (unless they have been accumulated through work it doesn’t make sense to me)

    • Andrew says:

      It’s good to have flexibility I suppose – this year I would rather have the cash as I’m sitting on a lot of Avios and don’t know when I can use them. Previously I’ve never cashed in my MR points.

    • Rob says:

      If you’d just lost your job (or, like me, had seen a massive decline in your income this year) then generating some ready cash might come in handy. Not everyone is living off a 2/3rd final salary pension like you Chris 🙂

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Rob Good point i can see if you’ve lost your job and have massive outlays i can see it would be necessary to sell, especially if you couldn’t afford to fly anymore
        But yourself Rob or others in your position with a decline of income, i would have thought the points would be too valuable to cheaply let go
        But i get your point sorry

        • HAM76 says:

          What we did when we had this offer on our cards during the summer was using the points to book a suite in a family-owned hotel that we wouldn’t have been able to book on any points or miles. Less than 32,000 MR per night for a huge penthouse suite on the beach were definitely worth our points.

      • Genghis says:

        Exactly. It’s a sunk decision – i.e. you cannot go back in time and change to getting a card that earns cash, but what you can do is sell some of the points you have accumulated.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Rob just for your benefit, I’m not living off a 2/3rd final salary pension my works pension was/is only £8.500 pa.
        Retired at 50 used my savings/investments to buy house Blackburn, niece lives in it wrote her own tenancy agreement never seen it lol
        told her do whatever she wants whilst living there never put rent up whilst i’m alive goes to my kids when i go val-halla lol
        sold 2 time-shares Osborne Apartments Hesketh Cres, Torquay TQ1 2LL That’s my only regret (made a large profit but wished i hadn’t sold Gr)
        With all my investments i bought my pension of £20 k but for life at 50 (did cost a lot of dosh at the time)
        I’m sure yourself in a former life might of advised me better
        My partner says I’m a square peg in a round hole until last year only ever had a £8 Tesco phone (that only changed because son gave me his lol)
        I always switch phone off just before I go away even in UK,
        never switch TV or phone on whilst abroad never read or buy a newspaper, always up 7.00am or earlier 7 days a week
        drink 4/5 cups of coffee before 9am
        especially on Holiday (mind i say i’m always on holiday)
        One good thing about my lifestyle is I’ve “NEVER” in my life had a headache (honest never) Doc says it could be due to the amount of coffee i go through in a day (don’t drink except xmas ect so doesn’t really count maybe one glass on holiday)
        Water, juice, n loads coffee
        i joke that my first headache is the one that kills me lol

    • Peter K says:

      One extra thing you’re missing Chris is that the Gold business card can be had between the 2yr Amex gaps, while the [email protected]@ck cards block any new personal sign-up bonuses.

      I think it’s good to have an extra option, plus it allows you to use up every single possible point (min 400) if you are thinking of closing the card, unlike transferring to miles/hotel points.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Peter K Yes agree i was looking at it from my perspective that was wrong Never been in Business (well legally anyhow lol)
        Did deal in Antiques when i retired at 50 stop myself being bored
        Mainly Early Doulton (before they became Royal) Barlows ect
        bought at Auctions/carboots sold at Antique Fairs with a couple of friends
        Kept the one’s i wanted for my collection sold when i needed to down-size (had around 300 pieces) a old friend of mine sold most for me (Adam Partridge (Knutsford Auctions)
        Was on Secret Dealers as well they bought around 20ish as well gave dosh kids

  • S says:

    @ Rob – from your experience do you think American Express could pull this offer early? I’m still in two minds whether to cash some in. Do you know how far back on your statements you can go to redeem for credit? Thanks

    • Polly says:

      It shows your purchases on the page as far as it is allowed. Mine have gone back a few weeks.

    • Peter K says:

      Unlikely as I’ve had an email from amex saying this is extended. They are unlikely to go back on this due to the bad will it would engender.

    • Rob says:

      Given it was only extended yesterday, I doubt it.

  • the_real_a says:

    How does this work when you have a spend offer – for example the £50 Hilton rebate. Do you redeem for the amount pre or post rebate?

  • Freddy says:

    Any statement credit would reduce my business expenses = higher declared profit = more tax which reduces the gain. Will hold on for avios transfer