American Express cards are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, in large part due to the growing list of Amex-accepting retailers. And most Amex cards earn points, in one form or another. The majority of Amex card types earn American Express Membership Rewards Points (Amex MR).
Today, I’ll be sharing what you can get with 1000 Amex points.
What Cards Earn Amercian Express Points?
There are currently 8 Amex Point-earning cards available in the UK:
The Platinum Card: £575 Annual Fee - Charge Card - Earn 1 point per pound spent
Preferred Rewards Gold - £140 Annual Fee (Free in Year 1) - 57.6% APR Var. - Earn 1 point per point on most transactions, 2 points per pound on airlines/foreign currency and 3 points per pound on Amex Travel
American Express Card: £60 Annual Fee - Charge Card - Earn 1 point per pound spent
Platinum Business Card: £595 Annual Fee - Charge Card - Earn 1 point per pound spent
American Express Business Gold Card: £125 annual fee (Free in 1st year) - Earn 1 point per pound spent
American Express Rewards Low Rate: No annual fee - 9.9% APR Var. - Earn 1 point per pound spent
American Express Rewards Purchases: No annual fee - 22.9% APR Var. - Earn 1 point per pound spent
American Express Rewards: No annual fee - 22.9% APR - Earn 1 point per pound spent
Who Accepts American Express In The UK?
The list of retailers accepting American Express in the UK is constantly growing. Things are much better now than they were even 5 years ago.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive and does not include independent, non-chain retailers. Here are 35 Amex-accepting retailers:
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
You can find a full list of Amex-accepting retailers in the UK, search the index here.
How To Check Your Amex Points Balance
Make sure you’ve signed up for American Express online services on your account. You can then check your Amex points balance on your account home page.
Alternatively, download the Amex UK app and sign in. Your Amex points balance will be displayed on the ‘Home’ tab.
When Are Your Amex Points Updated?
Once your transaction has appeared on your account, your Amex points will be added within 24-48 hours.
1,000 Amex Points Equals
The value of 1,000 American Express Reward Points depends on how the points are redeemed.
1,000 Amex Points tends to be worth around £5 in most circumstances.
However, there are ways you can maximise your Amex point redemptions. Read on for more info.
In the case of an iTunes eCode voucher (starting at 2,000 points), an Amazon voucher (starting at 5,000 points) or a Waterstones voucher (starting at 2,000 points), you’ll be getting a value of £5 per 1,000 Amex points.
Points For Purchases
You can actually use your Amex points to pay off some of the purchases you made using your American Express card. In this case, you’ll be getting a value of £4.50 per 1,000 Amex points.
Select purchases made using your American Express card may be eligible for a ‘Select and Pay’ offer, where you’ll get some extra value. For example, between 8 August and 8 October 2019, the Amex Dining offer granted a 20% boost when paying off select restaurant purchases. The gave a value of £5.41 per 1,000 Amex points.
SafeKey allows you to redeem some of your Amex points at the online checkout of select retailers. Whilst your starting redemption value is lower than usual (redeem as little as 200 Amex points), the value tends to be lower. £4.50 per 1000 Amex points.
Pay Monthly Subscriptions
You can set your Amex account to automatically pay for your Netflix, Spotify or Naked Wines subscription. Whilst this automates some of your point savings, you’ll be getting a lower than average value of £4.50 per 1,000 Amex points.
British Airways Avios
British Airways can be one of the best Amex point redemptions if you’re living in the UK. Currently 1,000 Amex points = 1,000 BA Avios. Of course, the value you get is hugely dependent on how efficient you are with your Avios. Stay with me on this one.
An Inefficient BA Avios Redemption: Imagine a couple living in Scotland who want to purchase two short haul European economy tickets. Since all international BA flights fly out of London, a connecting flight will be required from Scotland. The couple will also have to pay taxes on their flight. In this scenario, 1,000 BA Avios (1,000 Amex points) would likely be valued at less than £5.
An Efficient BA Avios Redemption: Imagine someone living in London who wants to purchase a European Club World (business class) ticket. In this scenario, 1,000 BA Avios (1,000 Amex points) could be valued at £10.
A Highly Efficient BA Avios Redemption: During our trip to Venice, we booked Club World tickets from Glasgow to Venice, connecting through Heathrow, granting us access to the BA Lounges in Glasgow and Heathrow. In this scenario, 1,000 BA Avios (1,000 Amex points) granted us around £34 worth of value.
The Cost Of 1000 Amex Points
In order to earn 1,000 Amex points, in most cases, you will have to spend £1,000, since you’ll normally earn 1 point per whole pound spent.
This is true for all Amex MR point-earning cards. However, this doesn’t take into account some boosts and sign-up bonuses.
Preferred Rewards Gold Boosted Points Earning
With the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold credit card, you’ll earn 2 points per £1 spent on airlines and foreign currency. Plus, 3 points per £1 spent at Amex Travel. With all of your other purchases on the card, you’ll earn the regular 1 point per £1.
Some Membership Rewards cards offer a sign-up bonus for new cardmembers. You’ll have to reach a minimum spend requirement (but you’ll earn Amex points on all of those purchases too).
Taking into account the sign-up bonus, annual fees, and spending requirements, this is how much you’ll be spending in order to earn 1,000 points:
Remember, you’ll normally have to spend £1,000 to earn earn 1,000 Amex points.
Amex Rewards Low Rate: 2,500 points - Spend £1,000 in 1st 3 months (no fee) - Effectively spend £265 to earn 1,000 points
Amex Rewards: 5,000 points - Spent £2,000 in 1st 3 months (no fee) - Effectively spend £285 to earn 1,000 points
Earn a boosted 6,000 points by signing up through my referral link - Effectively spend £250 to earn 1,000 points
Preferred Rewards Gold: 10,000 points - Spend £3,000 in 1st 3 months (no fee) - Effectively spend £230 to earn 1,000 points
Platinum Business: 40,000 points - Spend £6,000 in 1st 3 months + £595 annual fee - Effectively spend £143 to earn 1,000 points
The Platinum Card: 30,000 points - Spend £4,000 in 1st 3 months + £575 annual fee - Effectively spend £134 to earn 1,000 points
Business Gold Card: 20,000 points - Spend £3,000 in 1st 3 months (no fee 1st year) - Effectively spend £130 to earn 1,000 points
Keep Track Of Your Credit Cards And Points
There’s no doubt about it, if you want to be efficient with your credit cards, keeping track is incredibly important.
I’ve been using spreadsheets for years to keep on top of my credit cards. The one I use includes a credit card tracker, where you can keep on top of your card details, your credit score essentials, annual fees, sign-up bonuses and point account balances.
You can make your own personal to you or just use the very one I use so the hard work is all done for you. Available for Excel or Apple Numbers and 10% of all my shop profits go to charitable causes.
Always pay off your credit card, in full, every month.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold: Representative 57.6% APR variable
American Express Rewards Credit Card: Representative 22.9% APR Variable
American Express Rewards Purchases Credit Card: Representative 22.9% APR Variable
American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card: Representative 9.9% APR Variable