Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Amex Business cardholders can sell their Membership Rewards points for 0.9p again

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American Express has brought back its very interesting offer for holders of American Express Business Gold and American Express Business Platinum.

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. I am not sure if all Business cardholders are included in this but it seems very widely spread.

The offer runs until 30th April so you have plenty of time to take part.

Before you ask, there is no sign of the offer returning for personal American Express cardholders at the moment.

This offer would work with the current 100,000 point sign-up bonus

As you will have seen on Head for Points this week, American Express is currently running two crazily good sign-up bonuses on its Business cards:

This means that, as long as this offer is open to all, you can cash in your sign-up bonus for £900 of statement credit on Business Platinum and £450 of statement credit on Business Gold.

(Obviously you need to trigger your sign-up bonus before 30th April to do this, otherwise it won’t arrive until the 0.9p offer has ended.)

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

In reality, you should ignore everything below 0.8p. This is because, due to the new Avios / Nectar partnership, you can get 0.8p per point in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay credit.

To do this, you move your Membership Rewards points to Avios at 1:1, and then on to Nectar at 250:400. This means 1 Amex point gets you 1.6 Nectar points worth 0.5p each. 1.6 x 0.5p is 0.8p per Amex point.

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 Platinum card home page.

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.

However, the new Avios / Nectar partnership changes the landscape a bit.

Amex / Nectar is a long term partnership. You can cash out your Amex points via Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos for 0.8p whenever you want.

Getting 0.9p of statement credit via this offer is:

  • more valuable and
  • a lot less bother

…. but if you don’t take up the deal then it isn’t the end of the world. You can still bail out via Avios / Nectar for 0.8p later on.

When does this offer end?

The offer runs until 30th April.

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.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2024 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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (33)

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

  • Chris says:

    Great article! But I have a question – if you’re using Hilton or Marriott points for the most premium hotels only, as such as Conrad Maldives, St. Regis Maldives and etc. don’t you get almost 2.5p per point in value?

    • Harry T says:

      2.5p per point is rarely possible but I usually redeem for 1p per point. Some people would say it depends whether you would pay the cash price though, when calculating the value per point.

      • Genghis says:

        Replaceable cost. Can’t value at something more than you can buy it for or alternatively get it.

        • Harry T says:

          Knew I could rely on you, Genghis!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Isn’t that the value vs an MR conversion rather than the value you are getting out of the points vs cash (either it’s worth or you are willing to pay)

          Bonvoy are also harder to purchase

          • Genghis says:

            General accounting for inventory: lower of cost and NRV. IMO the purpose of valuing your points is to compare different options to acquire them. Then any “profit” or indeed loss comes when you effectively sell them vs what would otherwise have paid.

            If it’s not possible to buy all the Marriott points you need, should still value at the next best way to “buy” them, e.g. probably MR conversion.

            Anyway, it’s all theoretical 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    What a shame it’s not on personal cards. Seems Amex are putting all their energy into business cards with new ongoing benefits, the huge signup bonus and now this MR burn offer.

    • Crafty says:

      Agreed, is anybody clear on why such an aggressive focus on the business market right now?

      • Rob says:

        Hugely higher fees from shops – since business cards are not covered by the law on interchange fees – could well be a teeny tiny part of it …..

        Amex will probably bank £350 just from the swipe fees on your £10k.

    • Peter K says:

      Personal platinum had lots of offers last year.

      The co-brand cards don’t make them as much money.

      Businesses who are spending significant amounts (such as required for the signups at the moment) are likely to be a good long term invoice for Amex.

      • Freddy says:

        You’d think they’d increase the earn rate on these cards if it was so lucrative. My business is mainly using the BAPP and Amazon Amex card but I’d jump on the biz gold if the rate was say 1.5% for long term spending

    • Doug M says:

      By aiming a business card at someone with no MR earning card presently they may be generating genuine new customers rather than serial churners and his n her referrers.
      When Rob teased of UK points history I was hoping for something spectacular. This may be the largest bonus ever, but the criteria make it fairly niche.

      • Rob says:

        If you take our readership as a whole, ie the full 50,000 regular readers, this doesn’t seem to be the case. We sell 3x more Amex Gold cards than all other Amex cards put together. Logically the majority of these people do qualify for the bonus, which means they would also qualify for Amex Business 100k if self-employed.

        • Doug M says:

          I’m confused now. The article makes clear, I thought, that a personal MR card means no bonus. You’re stating how many Amex Gold’s you shift each of which would mean no bonus. I called it niche because I’d have thought HfP readers without a MR card would be in a minority.

          • Rob says:

            Exactly … but they are not, because if they were in a minority we wouldn’t sell more Amex Gold cards than all other Amex cards put together (x3).

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Statement credit on your business card will reduce your business’s statement balance payable, ultimately increaseding profits. This is then taxable in some form . Spending Nectar points is not. This changes the maths completely. Surely worth a mention to consider this in an article aimed only at business card holders?

    • LK says:

      That’s not right as you’d still have the underlying expenditure to offset against profit.
      Depending on your arrangement with the business it could actually work out better. If points are seen as personal (which they should be as they aren’t taxed as a benefit in kind) then you’ve effectively introduced your own money to repay a business debt. This increases the amount the business owes you and can be subsequently withdrawn tax fee. (All dependent on your specific arrangements)

    • memesweeper says:

      Correct. The benefit of the reduced bill flows to the company , assuming you run the card through the company and pay the annual fee with the company’s funds. If your business is in profit bear that in mind. I don’t think there’s anything to stop you holding a business card and paying all fees, and collecting all benefits, personally, but there may be a T or a C I’ve missed.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You would expense the invoice not your Amex bill.

      The statement credit could, and I think should, be treated as additional revenue. You’d have to get your accountants advice though.

      • Genghis says:

        Ultimately it’s what HMRC think initially (and then the courts) think.

        I’d argue that when you make the initial purchase in the Ltd co’s books, it’s Dr expense, Cr payable. Then when you sell MR points against a specific purchase, it’s Dr payable, Cr expense (i.e. a rebate), which has the effect of increasing taxable income and therefore tax paid.

        Yes, normally points are outside the scope of tax, but here, spending points directly to get what is a rebate against a business purchase and then treating the amount saved as personal is asking for trouble.

        YMMV, I guess. Chartered Accountant but don’t work in tax.

        • Rob says:

          I think you over-think. The best thing to do is ignore it and, in the literally 1000:1 chance that HMRC decides to investigate you at random, claim ignorance (indeed, I doubt even in an HMRC investigation it would come up) and then if they really insist, pay the tax – you wouldn’t get a penalty I’m sure.

          We settled some very aggressive, bordering on dodgy, failed tax planning in my private equity days and the agreement was that we would settle as long as no interest or penalties were applied. HMRC agreed with this.

        • Howard says:

          I think the reason avios etc are not taxable is because they follow the usual rule for benefits in kind of cost to the employer, which in the case of avios etc is zero. See below guidance from HMRC.

          I would have thought the same logic would apply to statement credit?

        • Ryan says:

          Agree with Genghis in the black and white of it, in theory…

          99.9% will go unnoticed if you just treat the rewards as a Dr’s capital introduced / loan and Cr the DLA with the £ amount, even then as you say, will need to go to court.

          Will the HMRC’s staff of two men and a dog waste their time? Probably not

        • Ryan says:

          Howard, we’re not talking about if there’s any personal tax to pay (Income tax etc) but if the reward increase Corporation Tax
          BIK re value of benefit of rewards and benefit for Ltd are two separate taxes

  • Joe Green says:

    I have business platinum but didn’t get the email and not seeing the new rate in my account. I did use the offer last time so not sure if that makes a difference.

    Do you know how we can check if eligible or when it is meant to update?

    • Rob says:

      25th was the stated start date.

      If you a dummy transaction, what rate comes up? I don’t have any money outstanding on my card so I can’t test it unfortunately.

    • James P says:

      Same query from me. Amex business gold who did use the offer last time – still showing £0.0045 per point.
      Nearly 2m mr points so it would make a sizeable difference!

  • Stephen says:

    Unfortunately, not appearing on my Business Gold card either, just the usual 1000 Points = £4.50

    • Rob says:

      Mine shows that and I have the email saying I’m getting £9. As I have no active transactions, I can’t select one to see what actually comes up unfortunately.

  • J says:

    What’s you’re general take on current acceptance criteria for Sole Traders? Given CoT have closed applications entirely, does there seem to be a much tighter restrictions for Amex too?

    • Rob says:

      Amex don’t care, because the cards have PERSONAL liability. It doesn’t matter where you apply on behalf of a sole trader, partnership or Ltd company – if the business fails, you are on the hook to pay Amex.

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