Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How your SME can earn points paying bills with Amex Premium Rewards

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This article is sponsored by American Express

If you want to earn rewards for yourself from payments made by your small business, American Express has two Charge Cards which are well worth a look:

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

You can learn more about American Express® Business Platinum® and American Express® Business Gold® Cards by clicking the links above.

Earn bonus Membership Rewards points paying bills with Premium Rewards

American Express has recently launched a new service for Cardmembers called Premium Rewards.

This is available to holders of its Business cards, as well as selected personal cards.

It allows you to pay the majority of your company bills – to suppliers who do not take payment cards – via American Express and earn Membership Rewards points in the process!

As an example, Premium Rewards can be used to pay, and I quote:

  • PAYE
  • HMRC
  • Non-accepting merchant and supplier payments
  • Rental fees and business rates
American Express Premium Rewards

How does American Express Premium Rewards work?

Once you have set up your Account, making payments is a simple process:

  • You go online and tell American Express where it should send money, and how much
  • American Express takes the money directly from your bank account
  • American Express makes the payment
  • You earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 sent

What does American Express Premium Rewards charge?

The fees for Premium Rewards are on a sliding scale:

  • Payment under £10,000 – 1.25%
  • Payment of £10,001 – £100,000 – 1.15%
  • Payment of £100,000+ – 1%

Payments can be batched to reduce the fee.  If you want to pay your staff using Premium Rewards, for example, the 1.15% band would apply if the combined total sent on payday was over £10,000.

American Express Premium Rewards

How do I benefit from this?

There is clearly an administrative benefit in using one simple online platform to arrange and execute payments.

The real benefit, however, is in earning additional Membership Rewards points.

Because the fee for Premium Rewards should be a tax deductible business expense in many cases, the Membership Rewards points have the potential to offer good value.

Transferred into frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points or for one of the other redemption options, you have the potential for you or your staff to build up enough points for a valuable reward. This could include flights in premium cabins or stays at luxury hotels through Membership Rewards partners such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Hilton and Marriott.

American Express Premium Rewards 2

What American Express Cards can be used with Premium Rewards?

Premium Rewards can be used with American Express Business Gold and American Express Business Platinum Cards.

Points can also be credited to other American Express Cards, however, as long as:

  • Your Card is issued in the UK
  • Your Card is not a Cashback card
  • Your Card is not a co-branded card

Personal American Express Cards such as The Platinum Card® and American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card would qualify.

However, payments for the service need to be made by a business and Premium Rewards should only be used for business payments.

How do I sign up for Amex Premium Rewards?

American Express Premium Rewards won’t be right for everyone, but it may suit your business.

There is no online sign-up service at the moment.  You can download the two Premium Rewards brochures (PDF) here and here.  These include a form that you can send in, or alternatively you can call to register.

American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Comments (39)

  • Andy says:

    I may be thick, but I’m struggling to see the benefit in this, perhaps somebody can explain.
    Say I decide to pay my next VAT bill which is circa £90,000, AMEX will take 1.15% or £1035 in charges to pay this. In return I get 90,000 points which is probably worth around £700 if you can ever find upgrades on flights, I note also that I can offset Corp tax which will be circa £200.
    Have I missed something (BTW it’s also pretty easy to make the payment on BACS so I don’t see that as an advantage).

    • Jonathan says:

      Depends what you value a point at, I’d value 90,000 and £900+

      I’d also consider spending the extra £10k and the. You’d move to the Amex 1% tier instead of 1.15%

    • Rob says:

      Er, yes. You’re not factoring in the tax shield on your drawings.

      19% corporation tax + 32.5 dividend tax for a top rate taxpayer (38.1% if you earn over £150k), so you are paying nearer £500 for the points, and you should get over 1p each if used well.

      • Andy says:

        Rob, for me my time is more valuable

        • Rob says:

          How much longer can it take? I assume you can set it up to pay VAT with your details and after that it isn’t more than 5 minutes additional work vs making a normal bank payment. If you have a six figure VAT bill then you’re buying 100,000 MR points for around £550. There is a decent margin on that. Obviously if your VAT bill is £20k per year then it may be too much trouble.

          • Andy says:

            Rob my VAT bill is typically £100K per quarter. But my problem is getting value out of the points which would align with my lifestyle, rather than altering my lifestyle. I find it very difficult to use my points to say upgrade an air-flight as availability is always an issue. The only spend would be amazon purchases, what value do they have converted to Amazon buys?

          • Rob says:

            A bit less than 0.55p!

            Availability for miles seats is exceptionally good with other Amex partners, such as Emirates. I bagged 4 x business class for Christmas the other week when BA didn’t have a single seat left for the whole of December.

  • AY says:

    Do you find suppliers are ok accepting the payment from Amex? Can they easily identify it is from your company?

    • Andy says:

      You don’t use Amex Cards to pay the suppliers, you use the AMEX payments which is a direct transfer of money

      • AY says:

        I understand that, but when the supplier receives the payment does it say it’s from Amex or from our business?

        • Jonathan says:

          You can put a reference number in similar to a bacs. Most cases this would be your account number or invoice number. The 10-15 suppliers I have used it with including HMRC and Amex (yes I pay my corporate card off with it to double dip) haven’t had any problems allocating the payment.

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            It’s not really a ‘double dip’ if you’re paying the 1% fee twice though – or am I missing something?

          • Jonathan says:

            Maybe not double dip but the opportunity to earn MR points twice on the same spend. I’m not paying the fee twice either. Let’s say I spent £10k on my business platinum card earning 10k MR points. Rather then pay by direct debit I can pay it via this service to earn another 10k points for a small fee. Whilst it might not be economical to do this, it is a risk free easy method to amass substantial MR points.

  • KBuffett says:

    How long does it take to get signed up?

    • Jonathan says:

      5-10 days I would say I was up and running in. I think it’s a small team and depends on demand