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You Can Spend Amex Membership Rewards Points at Amazon, but Should You?

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You Can Spend Amex Membership Rewards Points at Amazon, but Should You?

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Amazon.com is a one-stop shop for just about every purchase you need to make. If you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, you can use your points to pay for your Amazon purchases. But it’s not the best redemption option. Read on to learn more about the Amazon Shop with Points program.

American Express Membership Rewards points redemption value

You can use your Membership Rewards points to buy stuff on Amazon, but this redemption option has a low value compared with other rewards — only 0.7 cents per point. This means that if you have 10,000 points, you can exchange them for $70 worth of Amazon merchandise. There’s no minimum redemption amount.

Yet, most Membership Rewards redemption options offer higher values. As a general rule, you should hold out for rewards with points values of 1 cent or more. Check out our American Express Membership Rewards overview for more information about the different redemption options and their values.

Better options for Amazon purchases

Frequent Amazon shoppers can get a better value with other cards like the Amazon Credit Card or Chase Freedom®.

The Amazon Credit Card offers 3% back on Amazon.com purchases; 2% at gas stations, restaurants, drugstores and office supply stores; and 1% back on everything else. You can redeem your rewards for Amazon purchases. Plus, an Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application. The card’s annual fee is $0.

The Chase Freedom® offers 5% back on rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 spent per quarter) and 1% back for all other spending. Here are the current bonus categories:

Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2017
Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls or Amtrak)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30)Grocery stores and drugstores
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)"Holiday" (details TBA)

In the past, the holiday shopping category in the fourth quarter has sometimes included Amazon.com purchases. Plus, you can redeem your rewards at Amazon at a 1-cent-per-point value, which is a decent redemption rate.

The Chase Freedom® has an annual fee of $0 and a 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.


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