Should you use your American Express Membership Rewards points with Expedia?

American Express has partnered with Expedia, giving you another way to easily use your Membership Rewards points. You can simply use points to pay for all or part of your Expedia purchase at check-out.

Convenience aside, is this a good use of your points? Let’s take a closer look.

How this option works

To be eligible to use your American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points at Expedia, you must:

  • Have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points. These include the American Express Platinum, the EveryDay cards, the Premier Rewards Gold, some American Express Business cards and more.
  • Have at least 2 Membership Rewards points in your account.
  • Have an Expedia account.
  • Link your MR-earning card of choice to your Expedia account. To do so, you’ll need to add MR points as a payment method by logging in to your Expedia Account (which you can do by clicking on “Account” and then “Payment Methods”). If you have multiple MR-earning cards, note that you can link only one.
  • Make an eligible purchase on Expedia. You can use MR points toward prepaid lodging and airfare bookings only — NOT toward bundled vacation packages.

Once you’ve linked your card to your Expedia account, you’ll be able to pay for eligible purchases with your points. You’ll simply select “American Express Membership Rewards” as your payment method. Your available MR balance will be shown, as well as its dollar value. Then, enter how much of your MR balance you’d like to apply toward your purchase. You can use your MR points to pay for just part of the purchase if you want. You’re also allowed to use MR points in combination with other coupons and discounts.

If you’re an additional cardmember on an AmEx account, the basic cardmember must authorize you to use points if you want to use points on Expedia.

Need to cancel your Expedia booking? The dollar value of your MR points will be refunded as a statement credit to your American Express card.

How much are Membership Rewards points worth with Expedia?

Your MR points will be worth 0.7 cents each when cashed in for Expedia purchases. In other words, if you have 10,000 MR points, they’re worth $70 toward an Expedia booking, according to the Membership rewards site:

It’s the same value you get when you use points for Airbnb bookings and on Amazon. And it’s a little better than the 0.6-cent-per-point value you get for cash-back statement credits.

A good use of points?

What’s “a good use of points” for you depends on your needs. But there are ways to get more value out of your points.

Remember — with Expedia, your points are worth 0.7 cents each. Your points could be worth more if you redeem in the following ways:

  • Gift cards: Up to 1 cent/point.
  • Airfare via the AmEx Travel portal: 1 cent/point. If you have the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN, you can get a value of 1.35 cents/point when you book airfare on your qualifying selected airline (an airline you select each year).
  • Uber rides: 1 cent/point
  • Transfers to airline and hotel partners: The MR program partners with several airline and hotel loyalty programs. And these transfer programs give you lots of maximization potential for your points. If, say, you use 25,000 transferred points to book a $500 flight, you’ve gotten yourself a value of 2 cents per point. You may get less, but, even if you get 1 cent per point, you’re still doing better than you would by booking with Expedia.

That said, rewards are personal and so is travel. If you use Expedia frequently and aren’t interested in using any of the above options, the AmEx-Expedia partnership gives you another option. It may also be an advantageous option if you have a small MR balance you just need to use (perhaps you’re cancelling the card, for example). Because you’re allowed to use MR points for just part of an Expedia purchase, you could use, say 5,000 MR points to get a $35 discount on an Expedia booking. That’s better than letting 5,000 points sit around.

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