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

March 17, 2015
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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 $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 2018
Q1 2018 (Jan. 1 - March 31)• Gas stations
• Internet, cable and phone service
• Purchases via Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay
Q2 2018 (April 1 - June 30)• Grocery stores
• PayPal, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
• Chase Pay, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
Q3 2018 (July 1 – Sept. 30)• Gas stations
• Lyft
• Walgreens
Q4 2018 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)• Chase Pay
• Wholesale clubs
• Department stores

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 16.99% - 25.74% 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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