AMEX points

“What do I do with my Amex points now?”

This question has been coming up alot lately and I am talking about Canadian Amex MR points specifically. (US points are similar but have different ratios and partners)

Let’s say you are like many of my friends and pick up the Amex Gold Rewards Card and spend the $1500 in 3 months to pick up a total bonus of 25,000 points plus the 1500 in spend(at least) for a total of 26,500 MR points.

Credit Walk Canada wrote a good article on this 2 years ago and it still holds true.

A more recent article by Prince of Travel is here.

Well, worse case scenario is $.01 per point or those points are worth a $265.00 credit on statement. It doesn’t have to be travel related anymore – just a credit or “erase” of purchase.

But you don’t want worse case! Worse case is easiest though and I know many people opt for this choice.

Actually, the gift cards for travel are actually worse case, so don’t fall for that one!

Where you get true value is converting those points to Hotel or Airline points.

So I ask my friends, “what would you rather have – free flights or free hotel nights?”

If the answer is “both, obviously” you better pick up a couple more travel credit cards.

This link is the “frequent travel participants” you get with Amex MR points.

But really as Canadians what it comes down to is converting to Avios, Aeroplan or SPG.

I have done years of research on this now and go ahead and google “best uses of Amex points Canada”

So, it comes down to this: (Lets say you manage to spend a bit more and get double points on gas/groceries etc. and you end up with an even 30,000 points)

  1. Convert 1:1 Amex points to either British Airways Avios or Aeroplan giving you 30,000 Avios or Aeroplan points worth roughly $.02 each or about $600 in flights.
  2. Convert 1:0.5 amex points to SPG points giving you 15,000 SPG points or 45,000 Marriott points. That can be worth anywhere from $300 to $1000 in hotel stays.

Well, what does that mean?

Well, what do you want?

It’s not really that many points but 30,000 Avios can get you 2 medium haul flights for just the taxes (usually about $14) Check our Avios page on that but a couple of examples are Detroit to NYC or Philadelphia or Charlotte or even as far as Dallas.

That’s pretty good.

It can also get you 2 short haul flights on Aeroplan plus the taxes (usually $100-$175)

I’ve never been a fan of Aeroplan just for that reason – taxes on their flights.

It can also get you anywhere from 1-5 free hotel nights in the SPG/Marriott chain – depending on the category of hotel.

So, when you start collecting these points give that some thought – “do I want flights/hotels or both?”

And always remember, you can refer people and pick up extra Amex points for yourself as well.

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