We’ve spoken a lot about how easy it is to earn American Express points for rewards and why it’s one of the best tools for discerning travellers. But what if travelling just doesn’t take your fancy right now? Well, American Express Membership Rewards® still has you covered.

With a wide range of partnerships, you can put your points towards gift cards, statement credits, experiences and even in-store purchases. We won’t beat around the bush – the value you’ll get for your points won’t be as high as if you were to transfer them to airlines and fly Business or First Class. But at least you’ve got options, right?

This guide is brought to you with support from American Express, a Point Hacks commercial partner. Please note that while American Express provided the factual information required for this article, all opinions expressed are solely those of Point Hacks.

Cash in with gift cards

American Express Membership Rewards has over 30 gift card partners in Australia, which you can browse here. Just about all types of retailers are covered, including Amazon, JB Hi-Fi, Hoyts, Myer, Ikea, Ticketmaster and more.

Gift cards are usually offered a value of 0.5 cents per point. That means you need at least 10,000 points for a $50 gift card, or 200,000 points to get $1,000 off your shopping for most redemptions. Do note that some gift cards may require more points to redeem.

Just some of the 39 gift card options with Membership Rewards in 2022.
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Use points with online retailers

Through unique partnerships, you can directly spend your Membership Rewards points with David Jones, Ticketmaster and many other retailers via PayPal and SafeKey.

With David Jones and Ticketmaster, you’ll have the option to use points at the checkout. Just choose how many points you want to use, up to the value of your basket. There’s a minimum of 2,000 points ($10) for Ticketmaster and 3,000 points ($15) for David Jones purchases.

When you link your Membership Rewards American Express Card to PayPal, you’ll also have the option to use at least 1,000 points ($5) off your next purchase at thousands of Australian-based retailers. And via SafeKey – American Express’ fraud protection system – you can use your Membership Rewards points to take cash off your next British Airways, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines flight.

In all cases, you’ll still get 0.5 cents per point. And the full purchase value will still be charged to your Card for record-keeping purposes, but the number of points you redeem will later show up as a statement credit to reduce your bill.

Use points for account credits

Don’t like paying account fees? Want to top up your spending limit? If you’re flush with Membership Rewards points, you can make that happen. You’re still getting the standard 0.5 cents per point worth of value, but you can turn your points into statement credits on your Account.

The minimum is 1,000 points for a $5 credit, all the way up to 1.6 million points for $8,000 off. That’s a hefty chunk of change.

Summing up

Membership Rewards is all about the flexibility. At Point Hacks, we still recommend you transfer your points to airline partners for maximum value. For example, 180,000 Membership Rewards points can fetch you up to $900 in gift cards, or you could transfer it to 90,000 Asia Miles which would be enough to fly Qatar Airways Business Class from Australia to Europe. We know what we’d pick!

Still, if travel isn’t high on your agenda right now, it’s great that you can put your points towards a wide range of alternatives. From gift cards to statement credits, you shouldn’t find it hard at all to spend your Membership Rewards balance. That’s the power of American Express.

American Express is a Point Hacks commercial partner. The earning and redemption of Membership Rewards points is subject to the terms and conditions of the American Express Membership Rewards program.

American Express Membership Rewards® unlocks more than just travel was last modified: June 20th, 2022 by Brandon Loo