Imagine you are late getting your plane ticket home for Christmas. This happened to a close friend of mine. He called to redeem his points and the customer service representative found seats on a plane that appeared full. The representative was also pleased to find the last two seats together for my friend and his girlfriend.
While the picture just painted sounds warm and fuzzy, my friend seemed to be reeled in. He was told he did not have enough points but that he could put the rest on his AmEx card. That was so generous of them, right? After all, Americanexpress.com does have a section titled “Don’t let your points balance hold you back.” It’s great to know that AmEx has our best interest at heart.
Maybe you are not fond of flying? How about a “Bar-B-Que Apron With Stainless Steel BBQ Set” for 5,000 points? Perhaps your little one might in enjoy a “Retro Rocket – Radio Flyer” for 39,100 points? Gadgets are another popular way to redeem the AmEx points. Points make it sound like they are playing a game. The problem is that the customer may end up being the one who is played instead.
However, the customer seems to be played by the points more on Amazon than other places. Amazon encourages customers to link their AmEx card to their website and redeem points there. Sounds like a good deal. Most people thought it was nice to be able to use their points in a different place, that is, until they did a little math. Some customers have complained that it takes about 142 points to equal a dollar, making the points worth $0.007, which is nearly equal to “nul points.” On the AmEx website points are worth almost a third more than on Amazon. A few customers have advised sticking with points earned through Chase Amazon card for Amazon.
Make sure to get the best bang for your points. If points are something you like to use through AmEx, the best deal is to redeem them through AmEx and not to transfer them to Amazon to use. We should be wary to never let any company entice us with points that might make us spend more. It is much like what I call the “gift card problem.” You can never spend exactly what is on the card. You will almost always spend more.