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American Express® Gold Card and Membership Rewards

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Editor's Rating:
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N.A. None For 1st Year, Then $125 Good
Executive Summary - Many folks ask us questions about the American Express Gold Card Membership Reward points and what they can be redeemed for. In this section of our review, we look at what you can do with your points.

One of the most frequently asked questions about this card is what sort of rewards are available for the points that you have earned. We have just gone through how you can use points for airline travel and exchanging them for frequent flyer miles. In this section, we will look at the other rewards that are available to card members.

Like other reward programs, you can use points to redeem for things like gift cards, merchandise, experiential rewards and even donate your points to charities. Let's start by looking at the gift card rewards.

Over the years, MR has added more gift card partners and the number of points required to redeem for a partner merchant varies. In most cases, the return you get is 1%. That means for example you may need 5,000 points to get a $50 gift card. Below are a couple of examples to illustrate this. In the example below, you need 2,500 points to redeem for a Groupon Gift Card.

Let's look at another merchant partner Wynn. In this case, you require different number of points to redeem for different types of rooms. Since room prices could vary by season, the return that you get from using your points with this partner. The screen shot below shows you the point requirements.

You can also exchange points for merchandise. We cannot go through all the products that are available in the program. But let's just say that there are plenty. But for the most part, you are better off not using points for merchandise because you get less than 1% return from the points that you use.

Another way you can use your Membership Reward points for this Gold Card is to use use them at shopamex.com. ShopAmex.com is a shopping comparison site where you could buy a product paying cash (or rather using your Amex card), or using points or paying part cash and part points for a purchase. Below is a screen shot I took for an Apple iPod. You can see the prices at different stores and the points required.

Another way to use Membership Reward points is to link your MR account with Amazon.com and you can pay by points when you purchase things from amazon.com. The value of 1,000 MR points is $7 (a little under 1%, in fact one point is worth 0.7% when you use it at amazon).

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