While I’ve always been a fan of cash back credit cards, reward points can be nearly as good if: (1) they’re worth at least the same amount as their cash brethren, and (2) you can figure out a way to use them like cash. In the past I’ve done things like cashing in my Citi ThankYou points for Home Depot gift cards on a $0.01/point basis.
Well… I recently received an e-mail tipping me off to that fact that you can now spend your American Express Membership Rewards points at Amazon. On the surface, this is great news. Amazon has a huge selection backed by competitive prices. But what about the exchange rate?
The details weren’t listed in the announcement, which is usually a bad sign. Instead, you apparently have to link up your account to find out. Since I don’t actually have a Membership Rewards account (I use the Blue Cash Everyday Card® from American Express instead), I can’t do this myself. Thus, I turned to Google.
From the reports that I’ve found thus far, it appears that the conversion rate is 140 points = $1, or 0.7 cents per point. Obviously, this isn’t a great deal, as a plain vanilla cash back credit card will pay at least 1% reward.
So… Should you cash in your points at Amazon? I guess that really depends on whether or not you can find a better use for your points. If they were converting points at $0.01/each, it would be a no-brainer. But at this reduced rate, you should carefully consider your options.
If you’re intrigued, go here for details.