Executive Summary -
Since the reward program of this card is the Membership Rewards, you can transfer points to frequent flyer partners as well as book your own travel through Amex portal. This section looks at the various aspects of using points for travel with this card.
As the reward program of this card is the regular Membership Rewards, it means that the points that you earn can be transferred to airline partners. The screen shot below shows the airline partners that are part of the MR program.
Some of the more popular transfer partners are Delta, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic. Another partner to take note of is Singapore's Airline KrisFlyer Miles because they do not have a US based credit card. One of the nice things about the points to miles transfer system is that it is instantaneous and once or twice a year, there will be some promotions that give you extra bonus miles when you transfer your points.
Aside from transferring points to airline partners, you can also book your airline tickets and travel (like hotel, car rentals and cruises) with American Express Travel Portal (it is just like booking through Expedia or Travelocity). You can either choose to pay with points or with cash (with your Amex card). If you choose to pay with cash, then you will earn double points. If you use your points, then 1,000 points will be equal to $10 worth in travel rewards. The decision of whether to transfer points or to book directly with points will depend on how many points you have and which one gives you the best bang for the buck. With this card, you have the flexibility to use both methods.
Another use of the MR points is that you can transfer them to hotel partners of the MR program as well. The screen shot below shows the partners. Like the airline travel mentioned above, you could also use Amex travel portal to book your hotels.
Airport Lounges - One of the most common questions readers ask me is whether this card gives you access to airport lounges like American Airline's Admiral Lounge. The answer is no it does not. The Platinum version gives you access to various lounges as well as a complimentary membership to Priority Pass. Hence if airport lounge access is important to you, that is the card to consider. If not, being an elite member of some frequent flyer program also gives you access to their lounges.
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