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American Express: up to 10,000 bonus points for booking flights

This post is also available in: FR

American Express just sent out a new promotional email to select Membership Rewards cardholders! They can earn up to 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for booking select flights! Full details.

Up to 10,000 bonus points for booking flights

Here are the main details of the offer:

  • Reservations must be made between April 1 and April 30, 2019
  • These must be new reservations
  • Fixed point travel program must be used for eligible round-trip flights

5000 bonus points 2019 flights 1

If these conditions are met, you will get:

  • 5,000 bonus points when you redeem between 15,000 and 50,000 points for flights
  • 10,000 bonus points when you redeem 50,001 points or more for flights (fixed point program)

5000 10000 amex 2019 flights

But… what is the fixed point travel program?

We have detailed this program in this article which has demonstrated the incredible value it can have for certain types of flights. Here is a video from American Express explaining the program:

Let’s take a few examples.

American Express Travel Program

American Express Travel allows you to book airline tickets in two ways:

  • or with the flexible points travel program: here you will use your points at a value of 10 000 points = 100$.
  • or with the fixed-point travel program: for certain destinations, a fare schedule applies and can be particularly interesting.

amex fixed or flexible points

Let’s detail the fixed-point travel program:

American Express Travel Fixed Points Program

The American Express Fixed Point Travel Program covers certain eligible“popular” air routes, from short-haul to long-haul. For example:

  • Montreal – New York
  • Toronto – Montreal
  • Toronto – New York

 

amex fixed points eco

For this type of “short-haul” flight, it will cost only 15,000 Membership Rewards points (+ taxes) up to a value of $300 (for the base price of the ticket… excluding taxes).

We do not recommend using Membership Rewards points via the fixed-point fare structure for long-haul flights: taxes and surcharges will often make it totally unattractive.

Let’s take an example of a short-haul flight between Montreal (YUL) and New York La Guardia (LGA) during a busy period: from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Real conditions for a weekend in the Big Apple.

amex fixed points

For example, American Express Travel offers this round trip on Air Canada for $509.41.

yul lga amex travel
YUL-LGA – American Express Travel

The American Express Fixed Points Travel Program allows you to pay for this short-haul ticket with 15,000 Membership Rewards points + $209.41. Here is the price breakdown:

yul lga amex travel price breakdown
YUL-LGA – American Express Travel – Price breakdown

We can see that the base price of the ticket is $360.97, plus taxes, fees and carrier surcharges of $148.44.

In this case, the 15,000 Membership Rewards points have a value of $300 … instead of $150 via the flexible points pricing structure! A great deal!

And as part of this promotion, you could even earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points. That means this flight would only cost you 10,000 points and $209.41 round trip!

The program is explained by American Express on this page.

Membership Rewards Cards

There are 5 Membership Rewards cards that can be used on the American Express Travel website:

Card Name Details
American Express® Gold Rewards Card It allows you to accumulate 2 points for every dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies in Canada as well as for travel purchases (airline tickets, accommodations, car rentals, cruises, etc.). Purchases made elsewhere earn 1 point per dollar.
new american express platinum card American Express Platinum Card® It earns 3 points per dollar for restaurants and bars, 2 points per dollar for travel and 1 point per dollar of purchases everywhere else
card gold pme company of american express American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card® It allows you to accumulate 1 point per dollar spent. In addition, it is possible to earn 2 points per dollar spent with 3 suppliers that you choose from a list provided by American Express (such as Petro-Canada, Best Buy, Plastiq.com…)
american express platinum corporate card Business Platinum Card® from American Express It earns 1.25 points for every dollar spent, regardless of the type of business.
american express cobalt card American Express Cobalt™ Card It allows you to earn between 1 and 5 select Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent. Please note: select Membership Rewards points cannot be transferred to airline loyalty programs (such as Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club). However, they can be transferred to hotel loyalty programs (Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors).

Bottom Line

This offer is particularly advantageous for short-haul flights such as Montreal – New York.

If you have multiple cards with Membership Rewards points, the best card to use for this type of transaction would be the American Express Cobaltᵐᶜ Card! In fact, of all of them it is the only one whose Membership Rewards points CANNOT be transferred directly into an airline loyalty program (like Aeroplan).

Here you can use your points wisely for airfare! Especially when they have been accumulated at the rate of 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar for certain purchases!

This post is also available in: FR

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Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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