Amazon’s Sneaky Trick to Get You to Pay With Points & How to Avoid It
American Express Membership Rewards points are very versatile and can be redeemed in a number of ways. The best value will be when redeeming them for travel or transferring to travel partners, but there’s also other options. One of them is Amazon. You can use Membership Rewards points to pay for your Amazon purchases. The reason that you don’t hear much about it is that the redemption value is terrible, only 0.7 cents per Membership Rewards point.
Nobody should ever use Membership Rewards points at that value, unless you only have a few points left and want to use them up. But apparently Amazon and I’m sure American Express as well, are trying to trick you into using them this way. I came across a post from Mommy Points today describing an issue which I’ve noticed in the past. When you select a Membership Rewards earning credit card as payment on Amazon, it automatically defaults to using Membership Rewards to pay the whole balance. If you’re not careful that could wipe out a good chunk of your points on a large Amazon purchase.
There is a solution. You can go here and turn OFF this “Apply by Default” option. You have to do it for each enrolled credit card separately. I would suggest doing it now, before you forget, so you avoid any problems in the future.
Using American Express Membership Rewards points at Amazon is a bad idea. So make sure you’re careful when checking out, or just turn off the option of applying points automatically. I would still keep the Membership Rewards earning cards enrolled for promotions such as this one, where you just need to use one Membership Rewards point.
Have you unknowingly used Membership Rewards or any other currency at terrible value? Let us know.