Earn 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles!
cartes points privileges voie

The ultimate travel hacking guide to American Express Membership Rewards

To the point American Express membership rewards is the program you absolutely need to know to save a lot of money on your travels! With this ultimate travel hacking guide, you'll learn how to earn and redeem American Express membership rewards.
points privileges american express

Open an American Express membership rewards account

By applying to one of American Express’ membership rewards cards, you automatically become the holder of a membership rewards account.

A membership rewards account can be linked to one OR multiple cards.

However, the account is nominative:many cardholders cannot share the same account.

cards points cards membership rewards audrey buildings
My American Express membership rewards cards

Earning points

Before redeem American Express membership rewards, you’ll have to earn them!

Let’s discover together all the earning possibilities:

With welcome bonuses

The easiest way to earn American Express membership rewards is by applying to one of the membership rewards cards and getting a welcome bonus.

Welcome bonuses are different between each card and are available to new cardholders.

The American Express® Gold Rewards Card

The American Express® Gold Rewards Card is the best-known card in American Express’s membership rewards program.

His welcome bonus amounts to 25,000 membership rewards and is earned after $1,500 purchases in 3 months.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the frequent flyer card of the American Express membership rewards program.

This card has many advantages such as unlimited access for its holder and a guest at more than 1,200 airport lounges, an annual travel credit of $200 and a nice earning of membership rewards.

His welcome bonus amounts to 50,000 membership rewards and obtained after $3,000 purchases in 3 months.

 The Platinum Card® from American Express
<a href="https://milesopedia.com/go/amex-platine/">The Platinum Card®</a> of Audrey

American Express Cobalt™ Card

The American Express Cobalt™ Card is the travel hacker’s favorite card in American Express’ membership rewards program.

His welcome bonus can be up to 30,000 membership rewards in the first 12 months (2,500 membership rewards are earned each month of the first year after $500 of purchases).

amex platine cobalt restaurants
Platine card Cobalt card at the restaurant

The American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card®

The American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card® is the most affordable card in the American Express membership rewards program for self-employed/professional/small business owners.

His welcome bonus amounts to 30,000 membership rewards and is obtained after $5,000 purchases in 3 months.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the card for frequent flyer professionals in the American Express Membership Rewards Program.

The card has many advantages such as unlimited access for its holder and a guest at more than 1,200 airport lounges and a great earning of membership rewards in all shops.

His welcome bonus amounts to 40,000 membership rewards and is obtained after $5,000 purchases in 3 months.

Business Platinum Card® from American Express Centurion
Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Centurion Lounge access in San Francisco

With expenses and bonus categories

Aside from the welcome bonus, the best way to earn membership rewards is by using your card to pay for all your purchases.

It is thus possible to earn between 1 and 5 membership rewards per dollar depending on the categories of purchases.

You’ll have to be strategic in the earning of membership rewards!

Discover all the shops close to you that accept American Express with this interactive map.

If the American Express Cobalt™ Card is the ultimate earning card in some 5X categories, don’t forget the other 2X earning categories offered by the American Express® Gold Rewards Card

However, if most of your purchases are made in other categories, Business Platinum Card® from American Express will be recommended due to its earning rate of 1.25 membership rewards per dollar.

To earn more membership rewards consider gift cards purchased in the 2x and 5x the points in shop categories! More information here.

IMG 6562
Les cartes-cadeaux pour gagner des points-privilèges

With friends' sponsorship

American Express is the only institution that allows you to sponsor friends so they can open a card.

Offers are not always attractive compared to those offered on milesopedia.

Indeed, some offers may require spending up to twice as much money in 3 months to get an equivalent welcome bonus. Nothing to make good friends with…. !

However, it is an option to keep in mind… especially in a couple.

For the sponsor, it is possible to obtain between 5,000 and 25,000 membership rewards per sponsored card.

To understand the sponsorship system, check out this article!

With AMEX's offers

American Express recently introduced “Amex’s offers” some of which earn membership rewards

offfers amex membership rewards en
Example of AMEX offer

By regularly monitoring your online account/on your app, you may be able to take advantage of an AMEX offer to earn points!

With additional holders

American Express regularly offers a reward in membership rewards to provide an additional cardholder to your account.

Offers can range from 1,000 to 5,000 membership rewards.

Lufthansa A350 LH475 classe affaires 05
Lufthansa A350 - Classe affaires

Earning points

Now that you know how to earn many American Express membership rewards let’s redeem them!

Let’s discover together all the possibilities of redeem:

For transfers to other programs

American Express membership rewards can be transferred to many hotel and airline partners.

This is one of the best redeems of membership rewards.

To hotel partners

All cards offering membership rewards allow you to transfer their points to 2 hotel partners:

Here are the transfer rates and duration:

amex bonvoy

1,000 membership rewards
=
1,200 Marriott Bonvoy points

5 working days

amex hilton

1,000 membership rewards
=
1,000 Hilton Honors Points

5 working days

the st regis bahia beach resort puerto rico 46
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico - Chambre

To airline partners

American Express Canada is a partner with 6 airline loyalty programs. Here are all of them, with the transfer rate and duration:

amex aeroplan logo

1,000 membership rewards
=
1,000 Aeroplan miles

30 minutes

amex ba

1,000 membership rewards
=
1,000 Avios miles

5 working days

amex delta

1,000 membership rewards
=
750 SkyMiles miles

30 minutes

amex alitalia

1,000 membership rewards
=
750 MilleMiglia miles

5 working days

amex asia

1,000 membership rewards
=
750 Asia miles

5 working days

amex etihad

1,000 membership rewards
=
750 Etihad Guest miles

3 working days

All cards offering membership rewards can transfer their points to these airline partners except for the American Express Cobalt™ Card (which can only transfer its points to hotel partners).

To find out how to transfer your membership rewards to Hotel Points, check out our tutorial!

DSC04049
First Class - A380 - Etihad Airways

For the purchase of airfares

American Express’ membership rewards program allows you to redeem membership rewards to book airfares with 2 travel programs:

  • fixed-points
  • flexible points

American Express' fixed points travel program

American Express’ fixed point travel program is a fare schedule for some economy class flights:

amex points fixes eco
Le programme de voyage à points fixes d'American Express - classe éco

And on some business class flights:

amex points fixes affaires
Le programme de voyage à points fixes d'American Express - classe affaires

To book this type of flight, you will have to go to the American Express Voyages portal.

Let’s take the example of a round trip from Montreal to New York.

amex fixes en 1
The fixed points travel program: Montreal - New York

In this example, the airfare is $462.87.

Here, with the fixed points travel program, it is possible to redeem 15,000 membership rewards and pay $162.87 in taxes.

Thus, 15,000 membership rewards save $300.

So 1,000 membership rewards = $20.

American Express' flexible points Travel Program

The point redemption option pf the flexible points travel allows you to redeem your membership rewards to pay the airfare all or part of it, including taxes, fees and carrier surcharges, based on a ratio that entitles you to a $10 account credit for every 1,000 points.

Let’s take the same round trip from Montreal to New York with the flexible points option.

amex flexibles en 1
Flexible Points Travel Program: Montreal - New York

In this example, the airfare is still $462.87.

Here, with the flexible point travel program, it is possible to redeem 46,287 membership rewards to cover the full ticket.

To compare with fixed points, 15,000 membership rewards save $150.

So 1,000 membership rewards = $10.

It will therefore be particularly recommended redeem the fixed points travel option when it is offered.

IMG 7622
Un court-vol vers New York avec les points-privilèges

For travel purchases

American Express membership rewards can be applied to the account for any travel purchase charged on the card.

travel purchases amex en 1
Membership rewards applied to travel purchases

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $10.

This is the easiest way to redeem your membership rewards. Especially since it saves money with companies that don’t have a loyalty program like Air Transat or airbnb…!

airbnb featured
Sur Airbnb

For all current purchases

American Express membership rewards can be applied to the account for any current purchase charged on the card.

other purchases amex en 1
Membership rewards applied to current purchases

Here, 1,000 membership rewards – $7.

We do not recommend this type of redeem.

Be aware, however, that American Express’s Business cards, American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card® or Business Platinum Card® from American Express allow you to redeem 1,000 membership rewards for $10 on ALL purchases (including currents and travel).

For the annual fee

A little-known option: apply your membership rewards to the annual fee.

For example, when renewing the American Express® Gold Rewards Card, you could redeem 15,000 membership rewards to pay the $150 contribution.

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $10.

For gift cards

American Express offers an online store to redeem membership rewards. The first option is gift cards. There are dozens of them.

gift cards amex en 1
Gift cards with American Express membership rewards

For example, an Air Canada gift card:

gift cards amex ac en 1
An Air Canada gift card with American Express membership rewards

You could redeem 13,000 membership rewards to get a $100 gift card.

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $7.70

If you’re interested in this membership rewards Exchange option, keep an eye on American Express’ online store on a regular basis. Promotions provide a better value for membership rewards.

For products

The second option on the American Express store is the products. Hundreds of them exist.

toaster amex en 1
A toaster with American Express membership rewards

This toaster costs $75 in stores.

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $5

We strongly advise against this option because you do not get the best value from your membership rewards.

To shop on Amazon

Another little-known option: redeem its membership rewards on Amazon.ca.

amazon amex en
Redeem your membership rewards on amazon

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $7.

For charitable donations

Finally, it is possible to give your membership rewards to support a good deed.

save children membership rewards 1
A donation with American Express membership rewards

Here, 1,000 membership rewards = $10.

Manage your points

Do you know how to earn and redeem your American Express membership rewards ?

Now let’s see how to manage them… every day!

The points value

As you may have seen above, there are many ways to redeem American Express membership rewards.

The value of 1 membership reward is estimated between 0.5 and 5.0 cents per point depending on the redeems (from the purchase of a toaster to the transfer to Aeroplan to travel in business class).

So we decided to rate the membership reward at 1.7 cents per dollar in order to be conservative.

This means that the welcome premium for the American Express® Gold Rewards Card is worth about $400.

The expiration of points

Membership rewards do not expire, as long as you keep a card active and in good standing.

It may be worth having a card like the American Express® Gold Rewards Card with the lowest contribution ($150) in order to maintain an active membership rewards account.

Combine membership rewards of multiple cards

It is possible to combine the membership rewards of several cards in one membership rewards account.

The condition: all cards must be in your name.

It is therefore impossible for a couple or friends to transfer membership rewards from one account to another.

To request a combination of membership rewards on a single account, you will need to contact American Express (by phone, secure messaging or chat).

The combination of membership rewards in a single account allows you to cancel a card while retaining the membership rewards on an active card such as the American Express® Gold Rewards Card advised above.

The distinction of membership rewards type

Pay attention to one thing: the membership rewards of the American Express Cobalt™ Card cannot be combined with the membership rewards account of the other 4 cards.

On the other hand, the opposite is possible but not recommended.

If you decide to combine membership rewards from other cards into a membership rewards account on your American Express Cobalt™ Card, you will lose the ability to transfer them to airline partners.

Conclusion

American Express membership rewards is the best loyalty program in Canada.

You can easily earn membership rewards with the many cards available and easily redeem them in multiple ways.

Here are the current offers for the 5 cards offering membership rewards:

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Leave a Reply