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American Express is justly famous for its online shopping mall, Membership Rewards. Here, cardholders can redeem their rewards points for a wide variety of merchandise.
They can book flights on major airlines and reserve stays in high-end hotels across the globe. They can book ski trips at the most exclusive resorts and order fine wines to be delivered directly to their door.
For instance, on a recent scan of the Membership Rewards online mall, CreditShout found that card members could ride along with auto-racing legend Richard Petty for just 10,000 points or book a Smithsonian train trip for just 25,000 points.
But the key to nabbing the best American Express rewards is to earn the most possible points. Doing this requires a bit of research on your end.
Editor’s Note: American Express discontinued the Bonus Points Mall.
American Express offers an online BonusPoints Mall at which you can also redeem your rewards points. This is important because whenever you make a purchase at this mall, you’ll earn three rewards points for every dollar that you spend. This is a quick way to earn extra rewards points, and get closer to having enough points for the most exclusive items offered at the Membership Rewards online mall.
Shop With the Right Partners
American Express has formed partnerships with several retailers, electronics companies, financial services firms and travel services. Whenever you use your American Express rewards card to purchase items from these select merchants, you’ll earn additional rewards points. Some partners will earn you as much as 10 rewards points for every dollar that you charge.
For instance, if you use your rewards card to purchase an item at Target.com, you’ll earn three points for every dollar that you charge. If you use it to make a purchase from FragranceNet.com, you’ll earn five points for every dollar. And if you make a card purchase with SparkEnergy, you’ll earn up to 10 rewards points for every dollar that you charge.
You can find a list of these partners by clicking on the “Earn Points” tab at the online Membership Rewards center.
Use Your Card Properly
The most effective way to maximize your rewards points is to use your American Express rewards card properly. Certain rewards cards offer you more points per dollar charged when you use them to purchase certain items.
For instance, the Premier Rewards Gold Card gives you two rewards points for every dollar you charge for gasoline and grocery purchases and three points for every dollar you charge on airfare. The American Express Gold Card provides you with two rewards points for every dollar that you charge at the American Express Travel Web site.
However, the American Express Platinum card rewards you with two points for every dollar that you charge at the travel Web site and two to 10 points for every dollar that you charge with select American Express partners.
American Express cards usually aren’t free. Most come with sizable annual fees. It’s important, then, to maximize the benefits you receive from then, including rewards points.
Make sure, then, to do your research when making purchases with your American Express rewards cards. It just might help you land that all-inclusive stay at a seaside resort a few months earlier.