5 Ways to Use Membership Rewards Points That You Might Not Know Exist

Aug 23, 2019

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Of all the different points currencies we value each and every month here at TPG UK, Membership Rewards (MR) points, the points currency of American Express UK, are valued at by far the highest.

Why? Because there are so many different ways to use them and their flexibility increases their value. You can ‘warehouse’ the points by keeping them in your Membership Rewards account until you decide how you would like to use them, and then redeem or transfer them in various different ways. You don’t need to use all your points in the same way — you can spread them across various uses at different times.

We have covered in detail the different airline transfer partner options, which is one of our favourite uses of Membership Rewards points. But there are plenty of other uses you may not be aware of to use this valuable currency.

1. Hotel Transfers

There are three great hotel programmes you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to. You have the choice between:

  • Hilton Honors, where each MR point will become 2 Hilton points
  • Marriott Bonvoy, where each MR point will become 1.5 Marriott points
  • Radisson Rewards, where each MR point will become 3 Radisson points

Across these three programmes there are dozens of different hotel brands and tens of thousands of properties in more than 100 countries to choose from. You can get great value for redemptions in basic properties if all you need is a clean bed to sleep in, through to incredible once-in-a-lifetime redemptions like overwater villas in The Maldives or French Polynesia.

If you’ve been planning a major event like a honeymoon or significant birthday trip, hotel points can allow you to experience incredible properties you might have thought you could never afford or be willing to pay for.

Hilton Tel Aviv. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

2. Amex Travel

Amex has its own in-house travel department for customers. These travel agents are experienced and can help you plan a simple journey through to something far more complex. They can book all major airlines with no blackout dates as well as the choice of more than 100,000 hotel rooms. They can book car hire and cruises, too.

You may already know you’ll earn bonus points on most American Express Cards for purchases through American Express Travel, but did you also known you can also redeem your MR points for the same travel purchases? You’ll receive 0.45p value for each MR point you apply to the balance of any purchases through Amex Travel, which can be great if you want to reduce your travel expenses across a range of airlines and/or hotels without transferring them to (and being tied to) one particular airline or hotel loyalty programme.

Large cruise ship Island Princess Glacier Bay Inside Passage Southeast Alaska USA. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Island Princess Glacier Bay Inside Passage Southeast Alaska USA. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

3. Amazon Gift Cards

You can use your Membership Rewards points to reduce the cost of your next Amazon purchase online, however, there’s a little trick to get a bit more value from the points. If you simply apply them to your purchase cost you’ll receive a value of 0.45p per point, however if you use them to purchase an Amazon gift card instead, you can receive 0.5p value which is around 10% more value.

You don’t have to use the entire gift card balance in one purchase — the balance can carry over to future purchases.

4. Statement Credits

If you would prefer to simply reduce your expenses rather than reward yourself with the likes of flights, hotel stays or gifts, then you can redeem your Membership Rewards points to reduce the cost of your statement each month.

The value of doing this is lower than for hotel transfers. Each Membership Rewards point will give you a 0.45p discount. But, we know that for businesses especially, that little bit of cashflow help might be more important than an upgrade to a premium class on your next flight.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

5. Club Eurostar Points

If you’re a regular traveller across the Channel to Brussels or Paris, then you may know Eurostar has its own points currency, Club Eurostar points. If you’re building a nice balance towards a free journey, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to Club Eurostar at a rate of 15:1.

Now while this sounds like an awful rate (1,500 MR points would become just 100 Club Eurostar points), remember that Eurostar points are worth much, much more than other points currencies like British Airways Avios or Marriott Bonvoy points. They’re worth around 10 times what these points are worth. So if discounted or free Eurostar journeys would be the most valuable for you this could be a great use.

Official Application Link: The Platinum Card from American Express UK — Earn 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you are approved and spend £4,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership.

Official Application Link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express UK — Earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you are approved and spend £6,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership.

Featured photo by Thierry Monasse / Getty Images.

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