Got an American Express card that participates in the Subscription Rewards program? Did you know that when you don’t quite have sufficient charge card rewards points to redeem that device, present card or trip, you can really purchase indicate comprise the distinction? We reveal you the best ways to determine when it deserves doing it.

When Buying Amex Rewards Points Is Worth That Trip You’ve Been Waiting For

American Express enables consumers with certain cards, that take part in the Membership Rewards program, to acquire points when they want to redeem something, however lack the points to make it occur. Example of eligible cards include the brand-new American Express EveryDay cards, the American Express Gold Card and Platinum Card.

The points can be gotten in 1,000-point increments at a rate of 2.5 cents per point, or $25 per 1,000 points. Relying on exactly what card you have, you undergo maximum points purchase of 100,000 points or 500,000 points annually. Check the complete list of American Express cards that are qualified to get Subscription Benefits points and their purchase limitations.

(You’re only permitted to purchase Subscription Benefits points only when you’re in the procedure of redeeming a reward – not to just pad your rewards balance.)

At $25 per 1,000 points, it doesn’t appear affordable to purchase Subscription Rewards points.

Let us take, for example, a $100 present card from The Home Depot, which costs 10,000 points to redeem. If you acquired all the points needed, you would’ve spent $250.

If you were simply 1,000 points except redeeming the $100 present card, you are paying 25 percent of the present card’s shop value for 10 percent of the present card’s points evaluation.

Instead, you ‘d be better off redeeming 5,000 points for a $50 gift card and another 2,500 points for a $25 gift card. Then utilize the $25 – that you were going to use to get points – to buy another $25 present card. So, you ‘d have $100 worth of The Home Depot present cards with 1,500 Membership Benefits points sitting in your account, rather than having a $100 The House Depot present card, absolutely no points left in your account and $25 less in your wallet.

You mustn’t be buying points if you are handling present cards – it’s simply not worth it.

Better with travel

The finest need to get Subscription Rewards would be travel, which has the tendency to be a much larger redemption as compared to present cards and merchandise rewards – especially when it includes points-transfers to the frequent travel programs at 17 getting involved airlines and 4 partnered hotel chains.

We will make use of Delta, one of the participating airline companies, as an example.

Delta Airlines’ SkyMiles program enables members to purchase miles at the rate of $70 per 2,000 miles, which is 3.5 cents per point. Rather, it would be smarter to purchase Subscription Rewards at the lower rate of $25 per 1,000 points and move them over to the SkyMiles program (Subscription Rewards points transfer to the SkyMiles program at a rate of 1,000 miles per 1,000 miles.)

On a roundtrip economy-class flight from New york city City to L.a that’d usually cost $650, the miles needed to book that same flight is 40,000. If you bought 1,000 Membership Benefits for $25 and transferred those indicate the SkyMiles program, you would’ve paid 3.8 percent of the flight’s dollar value for 2.5 percent of the air travel’s miles evaluation.

As you can see, the value disparity is much lower with this example when compared with the gift-card example.

(Note: Because we can not access the American Express online booking portal, we can not assess the value of purchased points when used for redeem travel at It requires a cardmember account to the Subscription Benefits program.)

The deciding factor

When you are trying to decide if it deserves getting Membership Rewards (no matter the sort of benefits that you are attempting to redeem), right here’s exactly what you must do:

  1. Divide the purchase cost of points by the reward’s dollar value.
  2. Divide the points bought by the benefit’s points value.
  3. The closer the 2 percentages, the higher the cost-efficiency of those acquired points.

In the case of present cards, the 15 percent difference is far too significant to make points-purchases worthwhile.

The bought points are likely to get better value with travel, specifically with the air travels that’d be rather costly when paid with cash money.

Occasionally, there are transfer benefits for restricted time frames. When they’re offered, it becomes much more cost-efficient to buy Subscription Benefits points and have them transferred to a travel partner’s program.

If you’ve actually bought Subscription Rewards points before, please share your rationale for buying points and let’s understand if you felt deserved it.