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American Express Membership Rewards Gets a Major Upgrade

June 11, 2021
2 mins
A man and a woman lounge on a couch and online shop together

Eligible cards now have the option to use fewer points for purchases. The new redemption rate is 1,000 Membership Rewards® points for a $10 statement credit toward any eligible purchase charged to the card, up from a $7 value prior to May 31, 2021. That is a $3 increase per 1,000 points.

Use points for purchases (statement credits)

Membership Rewards® points

New redemption value (0.1)

Former redemption value (0.07)

1,000

$10

$7

2,000

$20

$14

3,000

$30

$21

4,000

$40

$28

5,000

$50

$35

Typically, rewards programs that offer travel provide the best redemption value for travel-related purchases, as was the case for Membership Rewards. This is still true for programs like Scotia Rewards, BMO Rewards and CIBC Rewards. However, eligible American Express cardholders can get the same redemption rate when redeeming points toward any eligible purchase on the card, travel or otherwise, thanks to this upgrade.

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Changes affect the following American Express cards:

Cardholders can redeem their Membership Rewards® points online or through the American Express® App once they have a minimum of 1,000 points.

Use your points your way

American Express credit cards are already well-equipped with high earn rates for everyday spending and feature top-of-the-line insurance coverage and perks. The American Express CobaltTM Credit Card, for example, provides one of the best first-year values according to the RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology, at an estimated $1,560.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$362
+ Annual rewards
$1155
- Annual fee
$156
Total first year value
$1361
American Express Cobalt® Credit Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$362
AMEX Rewards points
Annual rewards
$1155
AMEX Rewards points
Annual fees:
$156
Interest rates:
21.99% on purchases • 21.99% on cash advances
2024 Winner – Best Overall Rewards Credit Card, Best Credit Card for Young Professionals, and Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points and Best American Express Credit Card.
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$362
Annual rewards
$1155
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$362
+ Annual rewards
$1155
- Annual fee
$156
Total first year value
$1361
Annual fees:
$156
Interest rates:
21.99% on purchases
21.99 on cash advances
2024 Winner – Best Overall Rewards Credit Card, Best Credit Card for Young Professionals, and Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points and Best American Express Credit Card.
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details

Currently, new card members can earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year. This offer is subject to change at any time without notice.

If a person were to earn the complete welcome offer of 30,000 Membership Rewards® points, they would have a $300 value to spend on travel or statement credits: one of the most flexible and valuable options available today.

Rates, product information and reward estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. This post was not sponsored. RATESDOTCA may receive a referral fee from our partners or affiliate links featured on the site; however, our editorial choices are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed in this article are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, the credit card issuers and partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. Please visit the associated website for complete and current terms and conditions on any product or service mentioned. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, June 11, 2021. Read our full disclaimer.

Hayley Osmond

Hayley Osmond is an editor and writer in the personal finance space, where she uses her eight years of media and marketing experience to bring content to life. She specializes in money products, including mortgages, home and auto insurance, and credit cards. Hayley holds a Broadcast Journalism diploma from Sheridan College and was awarded the Shaw Media Journalism and Media Award for graduating at the top of her class. Her work has appeared in Global News and diverse digital corporate training materials behind the scenes.

Hayley is passionate about making complex subjects, such as home buying and financial literacy, concise and intriguing. Her work has garnered media coverage from The Globe and Mail, blogTO, Yahoo! News, and CityNews 680 and has been syndicated across other publications.

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