Best ways to use Amex Reward points

What are your American Express points really worth?

Rather than cashback, a handful of Amex cards will give you points that can be used in a number of different ways. Here are our picks.

What are American Express Reward Points?

Very simply, every time you spend with certain Amex cards, you’ll earn Reward points. The rate is one point per £1, so if you spend £100, you’ll get 100 points. If you spend £10,000 a year then you’ll get 10,000 points.

But you can also get these via welcome bonuses, and it’s these that can be really lucrative.

Which cards earn Amex Reward points?

There are three main cards which earn these points:

  • American Express Platinum
  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
  • American Express Rewards

How much are Amex Reward points worth?

The rest of this article shares all the ways you can swap your points. Some have a very clear and fixed cash equivalent of either 0.45p or 0.5 p per point.

When you use these you’ll find:

  • 100 points are worth 45p or 50p
  • 1,000 points are worth £4.50 or £5
  • 10,000 points are worth £45 or £50
  • 100,000 points are worth £450 or £500

Other ways to swap points, mainly moving them to air mile schemes, could be more lucrative, but there are so many variables and restrictions it’s impossible to give a set figure.

Swap for credit on your bill

The easiest, but one of the lowest value options, is to just use your points to reduce the balance on your credit card statement.

But if you do this you’ll get the equivalent of 0.45p per point, meaning they’d have been worth 0.45% in cashback – far lower that what you’d have got with a better paying cashback card.

Spend with online shops

You’ll get the same conversion rate if you pay with points at participating retailers, so again I think it’s best avoided. If you don’t want to use this option, be careful here that you don’t accidentally choose to pay with points at the checkout.

Retailers include:

  • Aldi
  • Allbeauty
  • Amazon
  • AO
  • Argos
  • Asda
  • Boots
  • Brandalley
  • BA
  • Costco
  • Cotswold
  • Cult Beauty
  • Currys
  • Direct Line
  • Domino’s
  • Enterprise
  • Eurostar
  • Eurotunnel
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Halfords
  • Harvey Nicholls
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Homebase
  • Ikea
  • JD Sport
  • John Lewis
  • Kitbag
  • National Express
  • Next
  • O2
  • Ocado
  • Office
  • Parcel Force
  • Paypal
  • Prestige Flowers
  • River Island
  • Russell & Bromley
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Selfridges
  • Sigma Sports
  • Sports Direct
  • Superdrug
  • Swiss International
  • Three
  • TK Maxx
  • Travelodge
  • TravelUp
  • Travis Perkins
  • Uniqlo
  • Urban Massage
  • Vision Direct
  • Wiggle
  • Wine Direct

You can also donate your Amex Membership points to one of thousands of charities via Just Giving. it’s the same 0.45p rate per point.

Use on Amex Travel

The same rate of 0.45p applies to spending with Amex Reward points on American Express Travel bookings. Once more, I’d avoid doing this as you’ll be losing out.

Swap for gift cards

A little bit better is to swap them at 0.5p per point into gift cards, meaning you’ll get an extra 50p’s value for every 1,000 points. There are some big names here such as Amazon.

Each retailer has a different minimum number of points required to buy a gift card, starting at £5 (1,000 points) going up to £50 (10,000 points). So you may have to wait to swap points if you’re after one with a higher threshold such as AirBnb or Harrods

If you’re not sure which to go for, then it’s worth a look at the One 4 All cards as they can be used at multiple retailers, including some not listed such as John Lewis and Ikea.

Be careful with any gift card not to use too many points in one go unless you’re going to spend them in the following days. That’s because they’re not protected if you the gift cards expire, if you lose them or the company in question goes bust. I’ve written more about how and when to get gift cards.

  • Adidas – £5 min
  • AirBnb – £25 min
  • Amazon – £5 min
  • Asos – £5 min
  • Caffe Nero – £10 min
  • Currys – £5 min
  • Deliveroo – £10 min
  • Disneyland Paris – £5 min
  • Global hotels – £50 min
  • Go Ape – £10 min
  • H&M – £5 min
  • Harrods – £50 min
  • Harvey Nicholls – £10 min
  • Homesense – £5 min
  • Hotels .com – £10 min
  • Laithwaites – £10 min
  • M&S – £5 min
  • Naked wines – £25 min
  • National Trust – £5 min
  • Nike – £5 min
  • Nintendo estore – £25 min
  • Odeon – £5 min
  • One for All – £5 min (digital) / £25 min (physical)
  • Paul Smith – £25 min
  • Selfridges – £10 min
  • Sports Direct – £5 min
  • Spotify – £10 min
  • Superdry – £10 min
  • Theatre Tokens – £10 min
  • Ticketmaster – £5 min
  • TK Maxx – £5 min
  • Tui – £10 min
  • Waterstones – £10 min
  • The White Company – £5 min
  • XBox – £10 min

Swap for Nectar points

You’ll get the same rate if you swap them into Nectar points, so a value of 0.5p per point. If you do swap them to Nectar you can use in Sainsbury’s, eBay, Argos and Habitat.

You can also swap them via Nectar to Avios points, or to Nectar via Avios, but thanks to a rebalancing, you’ll now get the same conversion rate as going direct from Amex to either of those schemes.

SchemeRatioMinimum pointsTransfer time
Nectar1:114 working days

Swap for Eurostar

On to travel schemes now and you can change 15 Amex points into one Club Eurostar point. You can use your points to buy tickets, and since ticket prices vary massively so can the value of your points.

For example, a sale return journey to Paris that would require 2,000 or 3,000 Eurostar points, which works out as 30,000 or 45,000 Amex Reward points to buy a ticket.

If you managed to get a sale ticket (which are frequently available, albeit not always at peak times), you’d pay around £70. That means each Amex point is worth 0.35p or 0.23p.

But a late notice booking at peak time could easily pay five times that. Then each point is worth 1.75p or 1.15p.

So whether it’s worthwhile depends on how likely it is you’ll be able to book and travel on cheaper fares versus the more expensive options.

SchemeRatioMinimum pointsTransfer time
Club Eurostar15:11,5005 working days

Swap for airline points

Many people like points of all kinds so they can be used towards flights, and Amex Reward points are no different. In fact they are better in many ways than Avios or Virgin Atlantic cards as you’ve got a huge amount of flexibility which airline you transfer them too.

The swap ratio and minimum points needed varies per airline. Along with variations across destinations and flight class, it means it’s near impossible to give your Reward points a set value.

They can be worth considering for those who also have a companion voucher offering 2-4-1 seats or upgrade. But bear in mind you often need A LOT of points to pay for the fare in full AND you’ll need to pay for taxes and fees on top in cash.

However, when it comes to economy flights, and to those in popular destinations, you’re often better off waiting until there are sales which bring the price down, or shopping around with other budget airlines which might be cheaper still.

For example. fly from London to San Francisco will require 65000 Avios and £150 in taxes. With a direct flight in cash only costing £590, that means each point is worth 0.69p. Not bad. But if you shop around for sales and deals, it’s often possible to bring that down to £450, meaning a point would be worth 0.46p.

However, since the devaluation of Avios to Nectar, any points you already have or earn (at least in Avios) makes more sense than before.

Ultimately, you’ll need to do your research to decide if this is more beneficial to you than swapping for gift cards or Nectar points.

Airline / schemeRatioMinimumTransfer time
Asia Miles1:11,0003 working days
Avios1:11,0003 working days
Delta Sky Miles1:11,00030 minutes
Emirates Skywards1:11,0002 working days
Etihad Guest1:11,0005 working days
FinnAir Plus1:11,0003 working days
Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)1:15004 working days
Iberia Plus1:11,0004 working days
Quantas Frequent Flyer1:15003 working days
Qatar Airways Priviledge (Avios)1:1500Instant
SAS Euro Bonus1:11,0005 working days
Singapore KrisFly3:290015 working days
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:11,000Instant, but allow 48 hours

Swap to hotel schemes

It’s the same with hotel reward schemes. You can swap your Amex points over to redeem on rooms, and sometimes these programmes have their own additional ways to use points.

But unless you’re already earning lots of these points direct from the hotels, perhaps you have to go there for work, I’d personally rather shop around to find the best deals and use my Reward points elsewhere.

Hotel schemeRatioMinimum pointsTransfer time
Hilton Honors1:22005 working days
Marriot Bonvoy2:34001 working day
Radisson Rewards1:3310 working days


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.