American Express Membership Rewards Fixed Redemption Promotion
Until May 31st, 2016, American Express Canada is offering fixed round-trip redemptions to over 50 locations. Your Amex membership rewards points will cover your base ticket price – excluding taxes and fees.
Fixed point redemptions are similar to RBC Avion or CIBC Aventura in that you redeem a defined number of points up to a maximum ticket price then pay for taxes and fees with your card or points.
The program can be an excellent opportunity for Amex members to increase the value of their points by 50% to 100%. It’s an especially good opportunity for last minute bookings. Eligible cardmembers include:
- American Express Gold Rewards Card
- American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
- American Express Platinum Card
- American Express Business Platinum Card
When cardmembers redeem their Amex points (as opposed to transfer to Aeroplan or Avios), each point is worth 1 cent. The current promotion allows members to redeem for various destination at the following levels and values:
|Destination||Sample Routes||Required Points||Maximum Redemption Rate||Value Per Point|
|Short-Haul||Tor-NYC, Mtl-TOr, Van-L.A.||20,000||$300||1.5 cents|
|Florida||Mtl-Fort Lauderdale, Tor-Fort Lauderdale, Tor-Orlando||35,000||$550||1.57 cents|
|Long-Haul||Tor-Van, Mtl-Van, Tor-San Fran, Tor-L.A.||40,000||$700||1.75 cents|
|Sun||Tor-Honolulu, Mtl-Cancun, Tor-Honolul||50,000||$800||1.6 cents|
|Europe||Calg-Lon, Mtl-Par, Tor-Rome||50,000||$800||1.6 cents|
|International||Tor-Beijing, Tor-Hong Kong, Tor-Tel Aviv||100,000||$2,000||2 cents|
You can find detailed breakouts of point requirements per destination here.
Value Sweet Spots
There are two ways to evaluate the value of the fixed points redemption promotion compared to your other options. First, when comparing it to standard Membership Rewards redemption rates when redeeming through TripFlex. Second, comparing it to the value of transferring Membership Rewards points to Avios or Aeroplan miles.
Fixed Points Redemption versus TripFlex
When redeeming through TripFlex, a standard point can be redeemed for 1 cent. Using the Fixed Point Redemption Promotion, you can redeem for anywhere between 1.5 cents to 2 cents.
However, that is only true if you redeem for airfare (before taxes & fees) at the maximum cap value. If however, you redeem for a ticket below the maximum cap value, the difference between the two might be less, or it might even be beneficial to book through TripFlex. It pays to check.
As an example, if you’re flying Toronto-New York, it may only cost $176.99 for return fare, plus $129.74 in taxes and fees. If you redeemed 20,000 points through the fixed redemption promo, each point would only have been valued at .88 cents, less than the if you just redeemed through TripFlex at 1 cent per point.
However, fly Toronto-Montreal without book far in advance and airfare alone might cost $462. In that case you’d be able to redeem 20,000 points, up to $300 in value, getting 1.5 cents per point through th fixed redemption option, as opposed to 1 cent per point through TripFlex – increasing your value per point by 50%!
As long as you’re getting over 1 cent per point in value through fixed redemption, it’s the option to choose. Because you can book any flight at any time through the fixed redemption, you’ll get exceptionally good value on flights booked at the last minute – so get that vacation in if you need it!
Fixed Points Redemption verus Aeroplan-Avios
Amex allows you to transfer your Membership Rewards Aeroplan or Avios on a 1:1 basis without any fees. The logic here isn’t any different. Compare the value per point you’d receive by redeeming your points through Aeroplan or Avios, versus redeeming through the Fixed Point Redemption promotion. Choose the option which gives you more value per point.
In general, it’s very difficult to book last minute deals through Aeroplan and get the flight or route you want. Moreover, we typically see Aeroplan miles valued in the 1.3 cents per range. That means you should be able to get great value at 1.5 to 2 cent value per point through the Fixed Point Redemption Program – especially for last minute trips booked through the end of May.
This is a great opportunity to increase the value of your Membership Rewards beyond its standard 1 cent per point. It will probably work exceptionally well for flights booked at the last minute, where standard fares are more expensive, and availability through Aeroplan might be challenging.
We also want to point out how much value you might be getting through your American Express credit card. If you have the Amex Gold Rewards card for example, you earn 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, drugstore and travel spend, plus 1 point per dollar elsewhere. If you end up redeeming at max value through the fixed redemption option, you’ll be getting 1.5 to 2 cents per point. That would be the equivalent of 3% to 4% value per dollar spent on gas, groceries, drug and travel spend – which is phenomenal.