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So you’re thinking about picking up an American Express card with a 50,000 point bonus or maybe you already earned a good 50,000 points from a card like the Gold Card.
Either way, you likely are wondering how much 50,000 Amex points are worth. In this article, I will break down how much you can expect to receive in value from 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards and give you some real world examples of redemptions.
How much are 50,000 Amex points worth?
50,000 Amex points may be worth anywhere from $300 to over $7,000 depending on the type of redemption you pursue. I’ll give you some examples of the different ways to redeem your points and the different valuations that will go along with those redemptions.
Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!
Let’s say that you wanted to redeem your points for cashback.
When you redeem Membership Rewards for cashback, your redemption rate is only .6 cents per point. This means that 50,000 points would equal $300 in cashback.
Ask anybody who knows anything about points and you will quickly find out that this is one of the worst ways to redeem American Express points so I would not recommend you go this route.
Many other bank programs allow you to redeem points at a rate of one cent per point for cashback. For example, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards at one cent per point for a statement credit.
So not only is redeeming your points for cashback not a good option compared to other ways to use your Amex points, but it’s also not competitive with other transferable points programs.
Gift cards will present a much better value proposition than redeeming for cashback. But the amount of value that you get for your gift card redemption will not always be the same.
For example, some gift cards will allow you to redeem at a rate of one cent per point. So 50,000 points would get you $500 worth of gift cards. In my opinion, I would try to stick to getting at least one cent per point with gift cards so that you don’t sacrifice too much value.
But let’s say you wanted to redeem your points for a gift card from Apple for the App Store and iTunes. In that case, you would only get .85 cents per point for your redemption. 50,000 points at a valuation of point $.85 per point would come out to $425. Not the worst value but you can definitely do better. So when shopping for gift cards with American Express, always be aware that the value may not be the same for different cards.
Amazon is a very tempting redemption option for American Express points.
Simply by linking your Membership Rewards earning card to your Amazon account, you can use your points to check out in a super convenient fashion. But the redemption rate is not that great.
If you go this route, you’ll be redeeming points at a rate of 0.7 cents per point. That would provide you with $350 worth of value for 50,000 points. So it’s not as bad as the cashback route but not as good as many gift cards.
So if you’re thinking about going this route take a look at the stores and products you’re thinking about purchasing from because if you can redeem gift cards for those stores then you can get much more value from your points.
If you choose to use your points through the Amex Travel Portal, you’ll be redeeming them at a rate of one cent per point for airfare. This isn’t the worst type of redemption but again it is quite limited at only one cent per point.
It also is far below what you can get with other competitor programs. For example, if you had the Chase Sapphire Reserve and redeemed your Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Travel Portal your redemption rate would be 1.5 cents per point which is much, much better.
It is worth mentioning that if you hold certain Amex business cards, you can get a rebate when you use Pay with Points for certain eligible flights:
The eligible business cards and rebates are the following:
- Amex Business Centurion Card: 50% rebate
- The Business Platinum Card: 35% rebate (up to 500,000 points per calendar year)
- American Express Business Gold Card: 25% rebate (up to 250,000 points per calendar year)
If you have the Business Platinum card, that 35% rebate amounts to a valuation of 1.54 cents per point. That means that your 50,000 points would be worth $770.
If you’re redeeming your points for hotels then your evaluation will likely be about .7 cents per point, which comes out to $350 for 50,000 points. I would generally advise against using your points for hotels because it is not great value and you also could miss out on elite status perks.
American Express airline partners
If you choose to transfer your points out to some of the travel partners, you will be able to capture significant additional value.
I’ll talk about some specific redemption examples below, but you can check out the full chart of airline partners to get a sense of your options.
|Airline Program||Ratio (MR to airline)||Transfer wait time|
|Cathay Pacific||1:1||48 Hours|
|Iberia||1:1||24 to 72 hours|
|Singapore Airlines||1:1||24 to 72 hours|
Air Canada on EVA business class
I booked EVA business class with Air Canada Aeroplan miles that I transferred from my American Express Memberships Rewards account.
From IAH to TPE, the booking required 75,000 miles, and I only paid $7.50 CAD or about $5.60 in fees. I found this flight for $3,292 in cash, so that’s about 4.4 cents per point for my Membership Rewards. So going with a 4.4 cent valuation, 50,000 points would be worth $2,200.
That’s obviously a huge disparity with the cashback value. But the value can get even sweeter.
Virgin Atlantic upper class
I once used 85,000 Delta SkyMiles to book a one-way Virgin Atlantic Upper Class ticket and paid only $5.60 in fees. This was close to an $8,000 flight so we received close to 10 cents per point. That would put the value of 50,000 points close to $5,000!
SAS business class
On another occasion I used 110,000 Aeroplan miles to fly to Scandinavia to check out the northern lights. The total fees for this trip came out to $24, so only $12 per person and according to Google Flights, that would have been a $15,210 flight for two people. So we got 14 cents per point in value!
With this valuation, 50,000 Membership Rewards would have been worth $7,000!
Keep in mind that sometimes you can find a special promotional bonus when you transfer your points. In the past, there were targeted bonus of 10 to 20% when transferring to Aeroplan. So it’s very possible to get even more value than what is listed here if you catch the right promotion.
Using a WalletFlo valuation of 1.75 cents per point, 50,000 points will come out to $875. WalletFlo valuations are based on published averages from other leading blogs and the valuation accounts for the premium of having a flexible currency as well as the redemption potential for premium cabins.
As you can see, the value of 50,000 Amex points can range from $300 to $7,000. It all depends on how you utilize your points and whether or not you choose to use your points on travel. In the end, don’t get too hung up on the valuations since it is far more important that you use points in the way you desire to do so.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.