Soon you’ll be able to buy a Happy Meal with your American Express Membership Rewards and contribute to charity at the same time, thanks to a new partnership between McDonald’s and American Express.
Customers will be able to purchase any item on the McDonald’s menu with their Membership Rewards points, as long as they use their American Express card to pay. No codes or registration are needed to participate.
Every time someone pays for their fast food order using Membership Rewards points, American Express will donate one dollar to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which helps fund programs geared toward children’s health. The donations are part of the program’s launch, but there is no indication whether that part of the program will be continued indefinitely.
The partnership is being rolled out to select McDonald’s restaurants over the next couple of months, and all locations are expected to be fully participating by December 2014.
How it works
When diners use an American Express card with Membership Rewards to pay for their McDonald’s purchases at the counter, they will see an option on the payment screen indicating the number of points required to pay for the order. All they have to do is touch the green “yes” button on the screen and the points will be deducted from their Membership Rewards balance and applied toward their Big Macs, Happy Meals, or whatever they’ve ordered. A confirmation will appear showing that the points were successfully used to pay.
Drive-up customers can use points to pay for their orders after the fact if they use the American Express Mobile app on their smartphone, or they can go online to their account page at americanexpress.com. Points can be applied to the purchases retroactively, as long as the card was used for the purchase.
Membership Rewards not offered on all American Express cards
Before getting too excited about using all those Membership Rewards points to buy milkshakes and French fries and donate to RMHC, folks should check to make sure their American Express card participates in the Membership Rewards program. Not all cards issued by American Express are eligible for Membership Rewards.
Prepaid cards don’tearn Membership Rewards, and neither do some types of consumer and business cards. Some American Express cards offer the option to enroll in the Membership Rewards program for an additional fee (between $40 and $90 annually, depending on the card). Other cards are automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards program at no extra cost.
To find out if a particular card is eligible for Membership Rewards, go to membershiprewards.com/terms or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276).