If you have a Membership Rewards-linked card and are in the market for a hotel booking, it’s probably at least worth checking the price through Amex Travel. The hotels included in the offer are fairly broad in terms of region and budget.
This post goes over the why and how of when using American Express Travel can be a useful way to get discounts and earn more Membership Rewards points.
Guide to American Express Travel as a way to earn more Membership Rewards points
If you hold an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards, American Express Travel is a useful travel booking option to have in your back pocket when doing your travel booking research.
Every time you make a booking for hotels, car hire or experiences, Membership Rewards cardholders will earn an earn an additional bonus point per $ spent.
While the promo is said to finish at the end of 2018, in practice it gets renewed annually.
Using American Express Travel for hotel bookings
I mostly find this useful for hotel bookings, where I’m not particularly wedded to a specific hotel chain (in terms of retaining or earning hotel status – I just don’t stay in hotels enough). By booking through American Express Travel, you can bump up your Membership Rewards points balance instead.
I’ve also found Amex Travel to sometimes offer extra-competitive rates on certain hotels – for example, when I booked a stay at the Andaz Tokyo, pictured above, just before New Year’s Eve I was looking at a rate of around $700 on the Hyatt website.
Most hotels in Tokyo at this time were expensive, and I couldn’t justify that kind of money, but Amex Travel came up trumps.
They had a rate of $480 for essentially the same room as from Hyatt directly, which was just within my price threshold. I also found lower rates at the Park Hyatt Tokyo than were available directly through Hyatt for that time too (but still too expensive for me).
You’ll find that most hotels won’t then offer you points in their own program with your stay, but given I’ve earned with Amex instead, that’s OK.
Using American Express travel for flight bookings
If you are sitting on a wealth of Membership Rewards points, you can also use American Express Travel to redeem them for paid flights and hotels at a rate of 0.7c per point, which is better than you’ll get from cashing them out for gift cards, or even for transfers to Airpoints.
You’ll also earn points and status on airline tickets booked using Membership Rewards points, given that it’s a paid fare you are purchasing. This is worth bearing in mind if you are points rich and want to redeem points while still earning Air New Zealand, Qantas, or Virgin status credits.
You can’t, unfortunately, earn Membership Rewards points on flight bookings through Amex Travel either, which would be a great points-earn opportunity.
If you hold a Membership Rewards-linked American Express card and are in the midst of a hotel or car hire search, don’t forget about the Amex Travel site as well as your usual booking channels, as you could pick up some extra points with this promo (and a potentially lower price.)