You may recall that back in April during the height of the major shutdown American Express launched a promotion to provide more value out of Membership Rewards points for their non-travel Use Points for Purchases redemption option. Here’s an excerpt from our April blog post detailing the offer:
On April 17 American Express Canada started new promotions for
redeeming Membership Rewards points on non-travel purchases. In light of
the current global situation with COVID-19 American Express wanted to
continue to provide value to their cardmembers and with virtually no one
redeeming or being able to redeem for travel they came out with this
offer. The offer, which is a limited time one (we don’t know the end
date yet) sees the redemption of points for the Use Points for Purchases
boosted by nearly 43% to 1,000 points for a $10 statement credit for
Membership Rewards Select cards like the American Express Cobalt Card or as high as 1,000 points for a $20 statement credit for Membership Rewards cards like the Platinum Card.
And I just wanted to remind our readers that this offer is slated to come to a close at the end of this month and keep that in mind if you think you might want to use the non-travel Use Points for Purchases option.
If you are unfamiliar with Amex’s Use Points for Purchases, it is their
redemption option where you can redeem points for any eligible purchase
made on a card that earns Membership Rewards points or Membership
Rewards Select points. Typically the rate is 1,000 points for a $7
credit while the rate for travel was 1,000 points for a $10 credit. The
topic of being able to use points for any purchases, which is basically a
cash back redemption option, has been discussed frequently here on
Rewards Canada since early March due to the huge shift away from travel
in loyalty programs for the vast majority of Canadians. With families
out of work or working reduced hours many have seen their cash flows
severely hampered and have needed avenues to supplement what little income they
may have. That’s where the shift from travel to cash or cash
equivalents rewards comes in. I’m not going to into deep discussion on
it in this post since we have covered the topic previously, instead here
are the links to the articles should you want to research it further:
- Shifting your loyalty program strategy to help during these trying and tough financial times
- Guide to Credit Card Cash Back Liquidity
light of what’s going on in the world should you shift to a cash back
credit card instead of a travel card? Why not a card that has both?
Now back to this offer – as already mentioned Amex has increased the
redemption value of their points for any purchase you make on your
card. What this means is that on a card like the American Express Cobalt Card you
are receiving up to 5% cash back return as the card earns 5 points per
dollar on eats and drinks. While cards like The Platinum Card now peaks at up to a 3% cash back return.
Remember as well that you only need to have that 1,000 points to redeem
or in the case of the Cobalt Card as little as $200 in spending. Not
many cards have this low of minimum points requirement to redeem. You
could literally receive the Cobalt card on a Monday, spend $200 by
Wednesday and be able to redeem those 1,000 points for $10 by the
Here are the Amex cards that you can utilize this promotion with and the equivalent cash back rate of return:
- American Express Cobalt Card 1% to 5%
- American Express Gold Rewards Card 1% to 2% (to be confirmed)
- The Platinum Card 1% to 3%
To redeem the points for any purchase you simply have to log in to your
Amex account online and click on Use Points for Purchase or via the Amex
app and click on the transaction you would like to redeem points for. Here’s a screenshot from my Cobalt Card taken off the mobile app:
Personally I utilized this offer on my Platinum Card in July when that card had its Use Point for Purchases doubled so 1,000 points equaled a $20 and have also used it from my American Express Cobalt Card. The reason why I used my Cobalt is that my points balance is lower since the primary Cobalt card in our household is my wife’s card. So while she has a very healthy six figure points balance poised to be used once we are ready to travel again, my paltry four figure balance was and will be best used for this increased cash back reward as I will probably redeem once more just before the end of September when this promotion ends.
How about you? Have you or will you redeem your Membership Rewards points for some cash back credits? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via American Express
Check out all the available American Express Card offers here.