UPDATE – DECEMBER 2022: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above. Thank you.
American Express is currently running a ‘best ever’ bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points plus a £200 Amex Travel credit when you take out The Platinum Card and spend £6,000 in your first six months.
This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards.
The offer ends at midnight tomorrow, Tuesday 25th October.
To help you decide if you want to apply, I thought I would update this article on how you could use your 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points.
You can apply for The Platinum Card here.
We also ran the following articles earlier in the campaign which are still worth a read if you are interested in applying:
- ‘Are the four free American Express Platinum hotel status cards worth having?‘
- ‘Why American Express Platinum gets you into more lounges than you think‘
- ‘Why Fine Hotels & Resorts is one of the best Amex Platinum benefits‘
- ‘If you cancel Platinum, the Amex Rewards Card will keep your points alive‘
This article is about how to make the best use of your Amex Membership Rewards points. It does NOT cover every Membership Rewards redemption but it does cover the bulk of the pseudo-cash, cash and travel options. If we haven’t covered an option, you should assume that it offers poor value.
Membership Rewards sensibly chose to discontinue ‘physical’ redemptions in 2019. You can no longer redeem your points for a toaster. This is good news because the toaster was, unsurprisingly, poor value for your points. If you still want a free toaster, redeem your points for an Amazon gift card.
The Amex Membership Rewards website is here if you want to look for yourself at what is available.
How can you earn Membership Rewards points?
This article is based around the current 60,000 points bonus on American Express Platinum. However, you can also earn Membership Rewards points from other American Express cards. These include:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review) – currently with a 30,000 points bonus (limited time special offer) and FREE for a year, with four airport lounge passes and £10 per month of Deliveroo credit thrown in, apply here
- American Express Rewards (review) – the only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards, apply here
- American Express Business Platinum Card (review) – 60,000 points bonus (limited time special offer) and a host of benefits including airport lounge access for four people, four mid-tier hotel elite statuses, digital subscription to The Times, £150 of annual Dell credit, £200 of annual Amex Travel credit and more, apply here
What are your 60,000 points from American Express Platinum worth?
0.75p – 1.5p per point, £450 – £900 (my target value)
Airline miles. My last piece on valuing Avios points is here and Amex points transfer into Avios at 1:1. This is why the sign-up bonuses are so valuable.
It is impossible to tie down a tighter range because of the number of different airline partners and the various ways (upgrade, long-haul, short-haul, economy, premium) you can redeem. Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 to Avios, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Finnair, Flying Blue, Qantas and SAS. The transfer rate to Singapore Airlines is 3:2.
My personal spreadsheet of the last 8.5 million Avios I have redeemed shows that I got an average value of 1.2p. This is based on what I would personally have been prepared to pay for the flights I took, however, which may be far different from what you would have been prepared to pay. My best redemptions far exceeded this.
0.8p per point, £480 (guaranteed value)
In early 2021, the supermarket loyalty scheme Nectar become a partner with British Airways Avios points. You can convert 50,000 Avios per month to Nectar, at a rate of 250 : 400.
Because a Nectar point has a fixed value of 0.5p when spent at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, it means that 1 Avios can be turned into 1.6 Nectar points worth 0.8p.
As long as you shop at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, you can get 0.8p per Membership Rewards point, guaranteed.
To do this, you convert your American Express points to Avios and then transfer them to Nectar.
0.8p per point, £480 (my target value)
Club Eurostar points. I value a Club Eurostar point at 12p as our article explains. The 15:1 transfer rate into Club Eurostar means you are getting 0.8p per point. Club Eurostar offers guaranteed availability – if there is a seat for cash, you can book it for points – which means that you are more likely to be redeeming onto peak trains which are peak priced for cash.
Before I go on ….
You are guaranteed 0.8p per Membership Rewards point if you convert American Express points to Avios to Nectar.
All of the options below earn you less than 0.8p per point. You need to have a good reason to use any of the options below instead of Nectar. That said, if you know how to maximise the value of hotel points then Marriott and Hilton can still be decent options.
0.75p per point, £450 (my target value)
Marriott Bonvoy hotel transfers. Amex points convert at 2:3 into the Marriott Bonvoy programme. It is fairly easy to get 0.5p per Marriott Bonvoy point as I explain here.
0.5p per Marriott Bonvoy point means, at a 2:3 exchange rate from Membership Rewards, you should be getting 0.75p per Membership Rewards point. You now have a whopping 30 hotel brands to redeem at, including Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, W, Marriott, Autograph, Design Hotels, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis etc etc.
I had some exceptionally good returns pre-covid which have got me far more than 0.5p per Bonvoy point. At Christmas 2020 I got 1.2p per point in Ras Al Khaimah as I explained here.
I did three stays this Summer (one at St Regis New York and two at the University Arms in Cambridge) where I got outsized value, which is unsurprising given current cash rates. Next week we are at the acclaimed Al Maha desert resort in Dubai where we are getting 1.5p per Bonvoy point based on the cash rate.
0.66p per point, £400 (my target value)
Hilton Honors hotel transfers. Hilton has moved closer to a revenue-based redemption model in recent years, although you can get still outsized value at times. Over time I have come to believe that 0.33p per point is a fair valuation for a Hilton Honors point. The conversion rate is 1:2 to Hilton which is how I get to 0.66p per Amex point. Hilton brands include Conrad, Waldorf Astoria and Hampton.
0.6p per point, £360 (my target value)
Radisson Rewards hotel transfers. Radisson Rewards used to be an exceptional American Express redemption until the value of the points were slashed overnight earlier this month.
We have now reduced our valuation of a Radisson Rewards point to 0.2p, which is what you get when redeeming them for a discount on a hotel room. There is no longer a reward chart – all you can do is discount cash bookings. The conversion rate is 1 Amex point to 3 Radisson Rewards points so you’re getting 0.6p of hotel discount, give or take, for every Amex point you convert.
0.5p per point, £300 (guaranteed)
Retailer gift cards – Starbucks, M&S, Harrods etc.
0.5p per point, £300 (guaranteed)
The value of a Nectar point, given that you can redeem Amex points for Nectar points at a 1:1 ratio. It is stupid to do this, however, given that you get 60% more value by transferring American Express to Avios to Nectar as I explained above.
0.45p per point, £270 (guaranteed)
Redeeming for American Express statement credit at 0.45p per Membership Rewards point you cash in.
There is real value, potentially over £600-worth, in the 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points you would receive as a sign-up bonus on American Express Platinum.
You will also, of course, pick up a £200 Amex Travel credit as well during this current special offer which runs to Tuesday 25th October.
This assumes that you qualify for the bonus and meet the target of spending £6,000 in six months. Remember that you can cancel the card at any point for a pro-rata refund of the annual fee.
You can apply for American Express Platinum here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 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:
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.
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 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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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
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.