Point of clarity: American Express Membership Rewards (MR) Point refers to the points earned by the American Express Gold and American Express Platinum cards (and their business equivalents). The American Express Cobalt and American Express Business Edge instead earn Membership Rewards Select (MR-s) Points which are identical except that they are unable to transfer to Aeroplan.
American Express Membership Points are one of the most versatile credit card point systems. They not only feature the standard redeeming for flights, travel rewards, merchandise and gift cards, but they also have 8 transfer partners: Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Aeroplan, and 5 Other International Airline Partners. For our value determination, we will focus on the redemptions that produce the most value for Canadians: flight rewards, travel rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Aeroplan. When transferred to Aeroplan, we consider the value of an American Express Membership Points to be 2 cents per point.
Transfer to Aeroplan
Value: 2 Cents Per Point
Membership Rewards transfers to Aeroplan at a 1:1 rate. We value Aeroplan Miles at 2 cents per Mile. Depending on how you redeem your Aeroplan Miles this may be the way to get the most value from your MR Points.
Value: 1.5 Cents Per Point
Membership Rewards flight redemptions operate on a fixed-points flight chart, the economy version of which can be seen below. Since the maximum base ticket price is not always reached, we estimate the value of each point to sit at about 1.5 cents per point on average.
Transfer to Marriott Bonvoy
Value: 1.08 Cents Per Point
We value Marriott Bonvoy Points to be worth about 0.9 cents per point. Membership Rewards Points transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 rate. Hence, we value this transfer to produce 1.08 cents per point.
Travel Statement Credit
Value: 1 Cent Per Point
Membership Rewards can be applied directly as a statement credit to any travel expense. When this is done it always produces a 1 cent per point value.
Transfer to Hilton Honors
Value: 0.7 Cents Per Point
We value Hilton Honors points to be worth 0.7 cents per point. Membership Rewards Points only transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:1 rate. Overall we consider this to be a lousy redemption, but interestingly this is the only way to earn Hilton Honors from a credit card in Canada.