On August 16, 2021, American Express updated the terms and conditions of the Membership Rewards program. This has resulted in significant changes, including changes to the points transfer partners and the ability to link Membership Rewards cards to a single points account.
Previously, American Express distinguished Membership Rewards Points and Membership Rewards Select Points.
Membership Rewards points were transferable to airline and hotel partners. While Membership Rewards Select points could only be transferred to hotel partners.
As of August 16, 2021, this distinction no longer exists. Both Membership Rewards points and Membership Rewards Select points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.
This means that all Membership Rewards/Membership Rewards Select cards have exactly the same transfer capacity (and at the same rate):
|Aeroplan||1 000 : 1 000|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||1 000 : 750|
|British Airways Executive Club||1 000 : 1 000|
|Delta SkyMiles||1 000 : 750|
|Alitalia Millemiglia||1 000 : 750|
|Asia Miles||1 000 : 750|
|Etihad Guest||1 000 : 750|
|Hilton Honors||1 000 : 1 000|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1 000 : 1 200|
However, the Membership Rewards Select Points designation is not disappearing.
Linking cards to a single Membership Rewards account
American Express has decided to maintain 3 Membership Rewards Points levels:
- Membership Rewards First Tier
- Membership Rewards Tier
- Membership Rewards Select Tier
While Membership Rewards First and Membership Rewards cards can be linked together into a single Membership Rewards account, Membership Rewards Select cards cannot:
The American Express Cobalt™ Card, the American Express® Green Card and the American Express Business Edge™ Card currently participate in the Membership Rewards Select Tier and may not be linked with cards in the other tiers.American Express Canada
This is a way for American Express to prevent the ability to “park” your Membership Rewards points on the only no-fee card in the program: the American Express® Green Card.
It is also a way to avoid loopholes like in 2020 during the 1,000 points = $20 promotion for Platinum Cardmembers. And possibly to run other offers like this in the future!
1,000 points = $10
Finally, a confirmation of a change announced a few weeks ago: it is now possible to use 1,000 points as a $10 statement credit for any purchase. And not just a travel purchase!
This means, for example, that the American Express Cobalt™ Card offers the equivalent of 5% cash back on grocery, restaurant, bar, convenience store, or food delivery purchases.
Being able to transfer points from an American Express CobaltTM Card, American Express® Green Card or American Express Business Edge™ Card to airline partners is great news!
Especially when it comes to the best 5x points credit card in Canada and it’s on promo right now!