Do American Express Membership Rewards Points Expire?

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American Express Membership Rewards do not expire, however, there are conditions where your points may be forfeited.

While this is great news for Amex cardholders, since most other reward points do have an expiry date, generally from 1 to 3 years, you can still lose your points if you are not careful through forfeiture. Full terms and conditions can be found at MembershipRewards.com/terms.

American Express Membership Rewards

What Are The Ways To Forfeit American Express Membership Rewards?

There are 3 scenarios where you can forfeit your Membership Rewards:

  1. Returning Items Purchased With Your Card – You buy something and no longer want it. You receive a statement credit, and the points you earned are then debited from your Membership Rewards account.
  2. Making Late Payments – If you want to receive rewards, you've got to make your payments on time. You must pay the amount due on your Linked Account statement by the closing date of the next billing period. If you don't, you'll forfeit all the points that you earned during the period covered by the statement.
  3. If Your Card Account is Cancelled – There are several scenarios where a card account could be canceled, both voluntarily or involuntarily. The terms fully cover these scenarios including the loss of points upon your death; although since the value of the points in the account can be quite large, American Express has a procedure for one of your family members or beneficiaries to take over your account, and have the points balance restored.

Our Favorite Way to Keep a Membership Rewards Account Active

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express carries no annual fee and is one of the easiest ways to earn Membership Rewards while keeping your account active — just pay your bills on time.

Remember, American Express ultimately controls your Membership Rewards account and the use of that account is dictated by their terms of service. American Express Membership Rewards is one of the best reward programs out there, with great transfer partners and some excellent options for maximizing the value from your points. While you do need a good credit score to get a Premium card from American Express, they provide excellent value, and as long as your account is in good standing you won't have to worry about those points going away.

Do American Express Membership Rewards Points Expire?
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Comments

  • I’m assuming that if one MR card is cancelled involuntarily, all other MR cards will be cancelled as well?

  • I hear there are special Promos for US-Cards – is something similar planned for Germany?

  • When you have multiple AmEx cards that earn MR points, and you close one of them, can you move the MR points from the closed account to another one that’s open?

    • Short answer, Yes (sorta)

      Longer answer:

      When you open up a Membership Rewards earning card you either get a new Membership Rewards account # or Amex simply links it to an existing one. As long as you have an eligible Membership Rewards earning credit card linked to a Membership Rewards account, if you have another card you can cancel that one and your points will stick around and obtain the value associated with the card you currently have.

  • I <3 Amex rewards. If I could direct transfer points to AA I would be over the moon.

  • Binita Patel says:

    Good to know about the late payments related forfeiture!

  • My points have no risk of expiry, they’re so useful I can’t earn and burn them fast enough! Good to know the policies though.

  • Alice Chen says:

    Is there any info how the AMEX rewards system compares to Chase?

    • The programs at a high level are relatively similar. The ability to transfer points to airline/hotel partners and the ability to book travel directly through their website/online travel agency. The real differences come with the nuances of each program, mainly which transfer partners exist and who/how you transfer.

  • Indeed, expiring transferable points would greatly undermine the whole *point* of earning such currencies, which are most useful as hedged stores of value until one is ready to redeem/transfer them.

  • mr rewards are great now that you get 50% point discount on tickets if you have the platinum business card

  • it will be there as long as u keep a card that can accumulate MR points right

  • Adam Parsons says:

    Looks like mainly human error will only make your points expire with amex TBH.

  • I want to close my Amex card and so need to cash out 150k Amex MRs.

    Already have enough Avios, don’t really fancy the exchange rate to AA miles, was wondering about SQ Krisflyer miles …

    Anyone care to list their favourite Amex MR > Airline miles exchanges?

  • Good reason to have AMEX Everyday Card so you have a no annual fee version to keep stockpiling points

  • I have been looking into the American Express but places I visit often do not take American Express and I have the Delta Amex anyway. It is very tempting to get a new Amex with membership rewards though! But I really, really, really love the Chase Sapphire I just got! I’ve found it’s SO useful and accepted everywhere I go.

  • more reason to get the amex everyday card to keep points active.

  • The_Bouncer says:

    Can points be transferred between countries? I want to move my Amex account from Germany to Austria. Should I transfer all my points to miles first?

  • Can you transfer your points to another persons account that is a spouse or in the same household like Chase?

    • You cannot transfer Membership Rewards to someone else but you can convert Membership Rewards to someone else’s loyalty account (such as Delta or British Airways) if they’re an authorized user on the card account.

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