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Rated: January 2013- The home page of Membership Rewards has a clean and uncomplicated layout. Links to join the program and log in to your account are located in the center of the page and at the bottom are brief descriptions of how you can earn points and what types of awards are available. There are also links to learn more about the different types of American Express cards and levels of Membership Rewards, not all of which allow members to convert their points into hotel points or airline miles. Membership Rewards Express members can redeem for travel with Pay with Points but cannot redeem for points in other loyalty programs. A menu bar at the top has links to Use Points, Earn Points, Points Summary, About the Program and a search box where you can enter a keyword or number of points to search for awards.
Members must have an eligible card to join the Membership Rewards program, such as an American Express Green or Gold card, but you don't need to be a member or log in to your account to search for awards and learn about the program. The About the Program link provides an overview of how the program works with information about earning and redeeming points. The Earn Points section explains there are only two basic ways to earn points, through making purchases with an eligible American Express card and for purchasing eligible travel at americanexpress.com/travel. But the website also offers suggestions to help you earn more points, such as through paying your recurring bills through American Express or by ordering additional cards for family members.
Click Use Points from the main menu and a dropdown menu appears with links to the different award categories: Travel, Shopping, Dining & Entertainment and Other Ways to Use Points. There are also subcategories, such as Gift Cards under the Shopping category so you can go to the exact type of award you want. Within each category, you can refine your search by setting a specific point range or brand.
American Express Membership Rewards partners with 19 airline programs and five hotel programs. Members can transfer points online by finding the loyalty program they'd like to convert points into and linking their loyalty program account to their Membership Rewards account. For conversions into an airline program, a popup box appears to inform members there is a fee of $0.0006 per point, up to $99. It can take a couple of weeks for a transfer to complete, depending on the program, and the transfer time is listed on the transfer points page for each program.
Under the Other Ways to Use Points category there is a Specials subcategory that will take you to all of the discounted awards, including merchandise and bonuses for transferring Membership Rewards points into hotel points or airline miles.
For frequent travelers who primarily transfer points into hotel and airline miles, being able to transfer points online is simple and convenient. Other awards can also be redeemed online and the website makes it easy to find awards.