Getting ready to fill your family’s Christmas stockings? You can now spend your American Express Membership Rewards points when shopping online with PayPal!

It’s a handy way to save your cash this holiday season, especially if you’re sitting on a large stack of rewards. Whether you’re making purchases large or small, here’s what you need to know about the new American Express/PayPal tie-up.

How to use American Express Membership Rewards points at PayPal

Spending your Membership Rewards points via PayPal is as easy as:

  1. Adding your Amex Membership Rewards card to your PayPal wallet, if it isn’t already linked up.
  2. Selecting that Amex card as your preferred method of payment when completing a PayPal transaction.
  3. Nominating whether to pay using dollars as normal, or to use Membership Rewards points.

Through PayPal, every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you spend gets a $5 statement credit. That’s the same as using ‘Pay with Points’ through the Amex website or mobile app. However, this request takes place at the point of purchase, which brings added convenience.

As people have travelled less due to restrictions on international and domestic travel, points balances have quickly added-up, and there’s no better time than the holiday season to put them to good use. By using PayPal with Points, our Card Members can use their points to treat themselves, or their loved ones, without having to dip into their cash savings.

– Liana Kohn-Gardner, Director of Partnerships & Loyalty for American Express Australia and New Zealand, 10 November 2021
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What happens when you use Membership Rewards points through PayPal?

Whether you pay with points or with dollars, your Amex card will still be charged as normal in the full dollar amount. However, if using points, a statement credit will shortly follow. This will offset the price of the purchase. Amex says to expect that credit within two to four days of your transaction.

American Express Membership Rewards + PayPal Australian partnership

You can use as few as 1,000 Membership Rewards points per PayPal transaction. This means any PayPal payment of $5 or more can become an avenue to spend Membership Rewards points.

This is the first time Australians are able to shop with PayPal using rewards points from a non-PayPal credit card, expanding the payment choice and flexibility we offer customers while maintaining the highly secure processes they know and trust.

– Andrew Toon, PayPal Australia General Manager – Payments, 10 November 2021

Of course, Membership Rewards cardholders can pay for the entire PayPal transaction using their points. But points can also be used to cover part of a purchase, with dollars paying the rest.

Just note, only Primary Card Members can spend points through PayPal – Additional Card Members cannot. Amex customers using other types of cards, such as Qantas or Velocity co-brand products, also can’t spend points directly through PayPal.

Which American Express cards offer Membership Rewards points?

Membership Rewards is American Express’ flexible points program. It’s a separate loyalty system to the ‘direct earning’ Qantas and Virgin Australia Velocity credit cards.

Membership Rewards allows you to first earn points with American Express, which can later be spent or converted as desired. Popular cards like the American Express Platinum Card, American Express Explorer Credit Card and the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card are all linked within Membership Rewards.

The same can be true of the David Jones American Express Platinum Card, and the David Jones American Express Card. Just choose to earn Membership Rewards points when you apply, rather than Qantas Points.

Happily, you don’t need to pay an annual fee to hold a Membership Rewards card! The $0/year American Express Essential Credit Card, for example, delivers up to 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases. These points can be spent via PayPal, among other ways.

Membership Rewards points can also be earned on selected American Express business and corporate cards. However, Business Ascent members aren’t able to spend Membership Rewards points at PayPal.

Summing up

It’s great to see American Express expanding its stable of Membership Rewards partners. Particularly as we approach the holiday season, the partnership with PayPal is sure to get a workout.

Of course, many cardholders prefer to save their Membership Rewards points for travel. This may still prove most appealing – especially when the goal is to fly Business Class, or perhaps even First Class. But transferring Membership Rewards points to the program’s airline partners is but one way to spend these rewards.

Particularly after the year that’s been, some may find themselves sitting on a large pile of unspent points. Being able to quickly and easily use some of these points for online shopping makes a great addition to the program.

* Featured and supplementary images courtesy of American Express.

You can now spend Amex Membership Rewards points with PayPal was last modified: August 14th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin