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Why You Should Hold an Amex Membership Rewards Card (Even One with No Annual Fee!)

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Are you having Amex Offer FOMO? That’s understandable, given the great Amex Offers — especially for bonus Membership Rewards points — we’ve seen during the past few weeks.

But if you don’t have a Membership Rewards card, you’re missing out on some promotions that could easily score you a bunch of points that’ll help accelerate your travel goals. And, yes, there are even a couple of no-annual-fee American Express Membership Rewards cards.

Why Membership Rewards?

I prefer Membership Rewards over loyalty program points (i.e. Delta SkyMiles) because they’re more flexible redemption-wise. You can transfer them to a number of Membership Rewards travel partners and then book an award trip.

Or you can use them at a rate of one cent each when booking travel through AmexTravel.com. Because Amex is the one paying the airline, you’ll earn points and elite qualifications for those flights.

Which Cards Earn MRs?

There are eight American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card from American Express.Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Business Platinum cardBusiness Platinum Card from American Express

The American Express Gold CardAmerican Express Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold Card.American Express Business Gold Card

The American Express Green CardAmerican Express Green Card

American Express Business Green CardAmerican Express Green Business Card

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express (No annual fee)

Amex EveryDay Credit Card (No annual fee)

Membership Rewards Cards-Only Amex Offers

A few recent Amex Offers were targeted only to people who carry Membership Rewards-earning cards.

For example this Amazon Amex Offer awards (at least) 9X points per dollar to cardholders. Meanwhile, this Uber Eats offer was available only to MR members, too.

I’m no math whiz, but 9X for Amazon purchases made with the no-annual-fee Amex EveryDay Credit Card is a heck of a lot better than 1X with a Delta Reserve card.

But Other American Express Cards Have Amex Offers

True. They usually offer statement credit or loyalty points bonuses (as opposed to Membership Rewards points).

So it depends on your budget and travel goals. But it’s nice to have the option.

Consider also that the two offers above are different. So you could add both to your account and take advantage of them. (Charging $1,000 and ending up paying $900 while earning 10,000 Membership Rewards points is certainly better than a kick to the head.)

Which MR Cards Have No Annual Fees?

Two American Express cards earn Membership Rewards but don’t carry an annual fee.

Neither The Amex EveryDay Credit Card nor Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express charges an annual fee.

These are also good options if you want to cancel other Membership Rewards cards that carry high annual fees. Holding one of these cards before you cancel the products ensures your Membership Rewards points aren’t killed along with your other card.

My Favorite Membership Rewards Card: The American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is, hands down, the card I use most often for dining purchases and at grocery stores. (It earns 4X in both these categories!) Plus, it’s getting Uber/Uber Eats cash deposits next year (similar to the Platinum Card from American Express’ Uber benefit).

Final Approach

Many people think that you need a flashy, high-end Membership Rewards card to score a bunch of points. Not true! There are a couple of sold no-annual-fee options available that also get you into the wonderful world of earning Membership Rewards points through Amex Offers.

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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