An offer that was heralded as one of the best during the first waves of the pandemic in 2020 and helped many Canadians out for over 5 months has returned! The big difference is that it isn’t for a limited time – this time it’s permanent!! That offer, which we can now say is a feature or benefit is the increased value in redeeming American Express Membership Rewards points for non-travel purchases. As of today when you utilize Amex’s Use Points for Purchases redemption option you’ll receive a $10 credit for every 1,000 points redeemed – whether its for travel purchase or any other eligible purchase for that matter!
What is Use Points for Purchases
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. Think of it as their cash back reward option. Typically the rate is 1,000 points for a $7
credit except when you redeem for travel which 1,000 points for a $10 credit.
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 for well over a year as there was a huge shift away from travel
in loyalty programs for the vast majority of Canadians due to the pandemic. Many people saw their cash flows
severely hampered and needed avenues to supplement their drop in income. That’s where these cash or cash
equivalents rewards came in handy and once again for a summer where travel will still be limited for many its nice to be able to get a better cash back return on your Membership Rewards cards.
Cash back return of up to 5%
With this increased redemption value it means a card like the American Express Cobalt Card provides cash back return of up to 5% as the card earns 5 points per
dollar on eats and drinks. That 5% matches the highest rate out there in the world of cash back cards that is now seen on the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard however the Cobalt Card has a much higher spending cap and covers more than just groceries.
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 Card1% to 2%
Platinum Card® 1% to 3%
- Choice Card from American Express™ 1%
- also the Centurion Card and the Green Card
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 on eats and drinks by
Wednesday and be able to redeem those 1,000 points for $10 by the
How to redeem points for statement credits
To redeem the points for any purchase simply 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 the online Amex account:
Here’s a screenshot from my Cobalt Card taken off the mobile app:
Wrapping it up
It’s great to see American Express bring back this increased value for Use Points for Purchases and make it permanent. They are making sure the cash back equivalency of their points is competitive to what other issuers are providing. Overall it’s another great customer-centric move to help provide the utmost on value for their cardmembers who still may not have travel in their sights and rather use their points for their everyday purchases. With this move those cardmembers will not lose out on value over utilizing points for travel. This is especially true for those who don’t make use of Amex’s Fixed Points for Travel or conversion options to airlines and hotels.
What do you think of American Express making this permanent change? Let us know below in