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You get sticker shock every time you fill up your car. Your home’s value, on the other hand, has been falling ever since you signed your closing papers. Your boss threatens to fire you every time you ask for a raise. And you’ve busted your monthly budget steadily for the last two years.
You, like so many other consumers, are struggling through the country’s challenging economic times.
If you happen to own an American Express card, though, you might have the opportunity to boost your savings through the company’s Membership Rewards program.
Maximizing Bonus Points with Membership Rewards
The Membership Rewards program is built into most American Express credit cards. Basically, you’ll one rewards point for every dollar that you charge. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn, and these points have no expiration date.
You can then turn these points into free airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, restaurant gift cards and store gift certificates. In other words, it’s a good way to earn free stuff, and in today’s challenging economy, “free” is more important than ever.
To see what you can purchase with your Membership Rewards points, American Express provides a site that lets you check based upon your card: Check the Value of Your Rewards Points.
Shopping With AmEx Offers
You can earn points and save money by logging on to your account and checking out the AmEx Offers & Benefits tailored for you. This is a great way to find coupons and savings at the stores you normally shop, including Apple, restaurants, and more.
Earn More Point Through the Membership Rewards Portal
You can earn more points when you log onto the AmEx Membership Rewards portal to do your shopping. This Web site, run by American Express, has links to a wide variety of retailers, merchants who sell everything from apparel, beauty supplies, books and computers to flowers, home-and-garden supplies, office supplies, travel offers, electronics and financial services.
Each of the retailers on this site boast an “accelerator.” That’s American Express’ way of telling you that you’ll earn more rewards points when you shop at these merchants through the company’s online store.
As of today, these are the top accelerators for 2016:
1-800 Flowers: Earn 10 Points Per Dollar
As an example, if you log onto MembershipRewards.com to buy flowers this Mother’s Day through 1-800 Flowers, you’ll earn 10 rewards points for every dollar that you charge with a participating American Express credit card.
Best Buy: Earn 3 Points Per Dollar
And that’s just the start of the accelerated points that you can earn. If you log onto the site to buy a new DVD player from Best Buy, you’ll earn three rewards points for every dollar your charge. If you use the site and your American Express card to rent a car from Alama, you’ll earn two rewards points for every dollar that you charge.
Apple Store: Earn 3 Points Per Dollar
Maybe you want to buy a new iPod? Log onto MembershipRewards.com and click on the Apple Store link. You’ll earn three points for every dollar that you charge. And if you’re in the market for some new books, the on-site Borders link will also reward you with three points for every dollar that you charge.
Fidelity Investments: 25,000 Bonus Points
If you open a new Fidelity Investments non-retirement brokerage account with a minimum of $50,000, you’ll earn 25,000 rewards points.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: 25,000 Bonus Points
If you’ve long dreamed of taking a cruise, you can earn 25,000 rewards points by using your American Express card to book a cruise through Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Fairmont Hotels: 1,000 Bonus Points
You’ll earn 1,000 rewards points if you register and stay at a Fairmont hotel between now and Dec. 31.
Maximizing your credit card rewards is a way to make your everyday spending pay you back. If you have the ability to earn anything that comes free, you need to take advantage. If you’re an American Express card holder, check to see if your card entitles you to free enrollment in Membership Rewards. If it does, you can quickly start saving some significant dollars.