Best way to use AmEx rewards?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Annette_C, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    My DH and I both have AmEx cards (we each had an account before we got married) so we have a nice amount of points.
    In the past, we've used them for JetBlue fares but, these days, JB is no longer an inexpensive airline and we'd need a LOT more points for free flights!
    Amazon asks me to use my points for cash every time I log in and I'm wondering if I should just convert the points for Amazon cash.
    How do you use your points? Thanks!
     
  2. verleniahall

    verleniahall DIS Veteran

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    my parents use the points on my amazon account - it works great
     
  3. supersnoop

    supersnoop What time is the three o'clock parade?

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    Amazon is a terrible conversion rate.
     
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  4. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    So, what do you think is best to use them on, supersnoop?
     
  5. TnTWalter

    TnTWalter DIS Veteran

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    i think cash seems like a good deal...you actually just get it deducted from your bill...
     
  6. calypso726

    calypso726 Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time

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    We try to get us much value out of our points and miles as we can. We prefer waiting until there is a really good transfer to airline bonus (30% - 50%) and then transfer to the airline. Last year British Airways had a 50% points to airline miles bonus transfer offer. We did transfer and used the points plus the BA companion pass we earned to book round trip flights to Italy in first class for this August. One first class ticket would have cost over $7,000. Now, I would never pay $7,000 for a flight but it is nice to know that my points were able to purchase that flight for me.

    The other option I've considered recently for using the points is the "pay with points" for air fare. If you have the Amex business platinum card you get 50% of your points back when you use them to pay for first or business class flights on any airline or economy flights on the same airline you choose to get your annual airline credit benefit with the card.

    Anyhow, for me it will always be to use my points for travel.
     
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  7. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    I'd suggest looking at Flyertalk forums.

    Membership Rewards are not always the best travel points program. I've used about a million over the last 10 years, but have been picky about using them. One trip 10 years ago, we used 300,000 for a 5 night stay at Peter Island, but that's not an option any longer.

    Hang on and do your homework. Even if it's not the "best use" for them, if something comes up and it benefits you, then go for it!
     
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  8. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much everyone!
     
  9. raytheyounger

    raytheyounger Earning My Ears

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    Have you looked at the different gift card options that are available?
     
  10. Ngwira

    Ngwira DIS Veteran

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    flights are the best value followed by hotel redemptions... travel normally gives you more value than cash back or gift cards.
     
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  11. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

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    there is a lot of talk at flyer talk about conversion -- however if I remember correct since amex changed a lot of the rules the best conversions will be international... There are few gift cards that are paid out at normal rates or 1 point is .01... some examples would be home depot, season 52 (olive garden or any Darden) and others... other than that the Amex reward program stinks for any type of cash, statement credit or many gift cards and most travel...mainly giving you .005 per point.... The card is not meant for rewards but mainly for people who spend a lot and do not want a spending limit and pay it off monthly they do however have some other options such as blue cash but same rules apply as above. Amex is also a great card in the case of disputes. If you looking for cash back look at Chase and similar banks.
     
  12. mitchwebb

    mitchwebb DIS Veteran

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    Keep a eye on amex transfer points for airlines. Amex will have special transfer offers from 10% to 20% extra points transferring every once in awhile. I caught a
    20% transfer to Virgin Atlantic and then caught a Virgin Atlantic sale using (can't remember by about 15%) less points to book flights. For under 70,000 points I was able to get five one way tickets to London for a New Years Week in Europe. If you are looking for trips to Orlando, Southwest is a good transfer option.

    You can also open a SPG Hotel account and transfer and use for nights at Swan or Dolphin. I miss the old days when Disney was a transfer partner and you could get tickets. You can still buy Warner Bro tickets with your points (1-day adult ticket is $11,750 points) but the best transfer $$ amount is Airlines.

    Gift cards run around 60,000 points for $500 card.

    Good luck it fun to have points to use no matter how you spend them.
     
  13. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    I don't think SW takes AmEx reward points' transfers...

    I looked at the GC options and I didn't see anything that we would use. In reality, we use Amazon a LOT and wish the transfer rate would be better.

    Thanks for all your replies. It has opened my eyes to AmEx!

    I think I will cancel one of the AmEx cards. We have the Disney Chase Visa, which has been earning us some good Disney bucks! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  14. mitchwebb

    mitchwebb DIS Veteran

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    Your right, It is Chase I use for southwest, Amex stopped back in 2010.
    There are so many ways to use Amex points and everyone has their favorites. Another option if you are looking for flights is transfer to British Airway Avios and book on
    their partner airline AA. I can get two round trip tickets from SF bay are to Orlando for the same 50,000 points.
     
  15. Ngwira

    Ngwira DIS Veteran

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    Amex transfers to Southwest?
     
  16. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    You can use AMEX points for Uber rides. Really good conversion rate too!
     
  17. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    Really?! I didn't know that! Thanks for the tip!
     
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  18. adisneyaunt

    adisneyaunt LTD

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    I usually wind up getting gift cards... then using them as add ons to Xmas gifts...
    I just used my old ones that I knew I'd not use ( delta) for lots of magazines... a treat and I'm glad they are finally gone!!
     
  19. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    Yep! Just add your AMEX as a payment method in your app. They even had a promotion last month for TWO free Uber rides to or from airports, up to $65/ride. Totally free. Too bad we didn't travel last month.

    The conversion rate is 100points= $1.00 on Uber
     
  20. Annette_C

    Annette_C Mouseketeer

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    Thanks again!!
     

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