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How Amex Membership Rewards can give you shopping flexibility

This article is sponsored by American Express to promote the Pay with Points benefit of Membership Rewards

Here on Shopper Points we focus on earning and spending High Street loyalty points, primarily via Tesco’s Clubcard and Sainsbury’s Nectar card. Every now and then we discuss how to use credit and charge cards to help you maximise your points each month.

We’ve talked about the American Express Nectar credit card which lets you earn Nectar points when spending money on it and mentioned a couple other cards which you can find here.

In order to get more flexibility when it comes to spending points, one of the selected American Express cards which let you earn Membership Rewards points might be a better choice.

American Express Membership Rewards Cards offer the flexibility of earning and spending points exactly how you wish. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in a variety of ways and you can use your points to pay off the purchases made with your credit or charge card.

Which American Express cards let you earn MR points?

You can see a choice of cards which will let you earn Membership Rewards points here. (Change ‘All Rewards’ to ‘Membership Rewards’ on the landing page to filter the list.)

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card comes with a very generous sign-up offer worth 20,000 Membership Rewards points. This is triggered when you spend £2,000 within the first three months of card membership. 20,000 points are worth £90 if redeemed for statement credit as we will see below.

The card has no annual fee in year 1 and £140 thereafter. You can cancel at any point. Our full card review is here.

Representative example: APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee of £140 (free in the first year) based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit. Interest rate on purchases 22.9% APR variable.

American Express Reward credit card review

The American Express Rewards Credit Card offers 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £1,000 within the first three months of card membership. There is no annual fee.

Representative example: APR 22.9% variable, based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit. Interest rate on purchases 22.9% APR variable.

The Platinum Card has the highest sign up bonus. You will get 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 within the first three months of card membership. This card comes with a number of perks like travel insurance for the whole family, free lounge access, status in various hotels and Eurostar lounge access. However, the annual fee for this card is £450. The full review of this card is here.

Like most rewards credit cards, these cards are not suitable for you if you do not repay the entire balance at the end of the month to avoid paying interest. There are other cards on the market with substantially lower interest rates. Platinum is a charge card which means that you MUST clear your balance at the end of each month.

Note that any American Express welcome bonus is not available for customers who currently hold or have held a Membership Rewards Card in the last six months.

How to earn points

Aside from the sign-up offers, you will earn Membership Rewards across your spend, with the rate varying depending on the type of spend. It is quite easy to get your head around:

You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card

Foreign currency transactions and airline transactions earn 2 points per £1 (Preferred Rewards Gold only)

Travel bookings made with an American Express Gold card via the American Express Travel website, and paid for online, earn 3 points per £1 (all other cards earn 2 points per £1)

Where to spend your points

This is the fun bit as you can use your points for a variety of things.

You can for example transfer your Membership Rewards points to Nectar at a rate of 1:1. This means that Amex Gold is just as generous for Nectar as the American Express Nectar credit card but comes with many more redemption options.

If you want to convert your Membership Rewards points into shopping credit, there are a number of gift cards available on this Membership Rewards page including Amazon, IKEA and Topshop.

Use points to pay off your purchases

A great way of using your Membership Rewards points is the ‘Pay with Points’ option as it’s super flexible.

You can use your points to pay for almost anything simply by clicking on the transaction in your statement, and then selecting the “Use Points” option to have this amount applied as a statement credit. It’s easy and hassle free!

It’s totally up to you how you use your points – they could pay for your morning coffee, evening take-away or Saturday ride home; you could save up your points to pay off a special treat; or, simply redeem them every month to reduce your statement.

The Amex Membership Rewards website is here if you want to look for yourself at all the reward options that are available.

Disclaimer: Head for Points/Shopper Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.n>

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Do you earn Clubcard or Nectar points from your credit card?.  If not, you're missing out. We review the best options in this article.

Do you convert Clubcard points into Avios or Virgin Flying Club? If you do, visit our sister site, Head for Points, which is full of tips for maximising your frequent flyer miles.

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  1. Wouldn’t Pay with Points says

    This would be a great flexible option if the spend rate wasn’t so atrocious. 0.45p per point, never going to be interesting at that rate.

  2. Hi, would you still get the gold sign up bonus points if you have an Amex nectar card? Thanks

  3. Who would swap a MR point worth say 1p with Avios to one giving 0.5 p with Nectar? I have tens of thousands of Nectar points looking for a home worth more than that for a year now as I’m bored of eating Pizza Express & going to Amusement parks!

    • The double your value Christmas vouchers at Sainsbury’s are a great use of Nectar points

      • Thanks Steve. Thats true but it got me about 3 bottles of wine last Xmas I recall- and you could use it once, so still left with a big chunk of not a lot. Think I might just send them to Expedia at 0.5p anddirect serious collecting in future away from the underwhelming Nectar universe

  4. Hi, would you be eligible for the sign bonus of 10000 MR with the Amex Rewards credit card if you cancelled a Gold or Platinum within the last 6 months? Thanks.

  5. Doesn’t the nectar Amex earn 2 nectar points per £1? And if it’s 1:1 then Gold/Plat etc only earn 1 nectar point per £1…

  6. How can you convert 20,000 to a £90 statement credit?

  7. Jeff Booth says

    Can I convert Nectar points into Membership Reward points? I had a Nectar now I have an Amex Gold.

  8. Can I refer someone back to amex to get a referral bonus even its been less than 6 months from when he cancelled his last amex

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