Do American Express Membership Rewards Points Expire?

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American Express Membership Rewards do not expire. However, in certain circumstances, you can forfeit your points.

The lack of an expiration policy is excellent news for Amex cardholders as most other reward points have an expiry date (generally from 1 to 3 years). However, you can still lose your points through forfeiture if you are not careful. Full terms and conditions can be found at MembershipRewards.com/terms.

American Express Membership Rewards don't expire

How to Earn American Express Membership Rewards

You earn American Express Membership Rewards with the following consumer credit cards:

 You can earn American Express Membership Rewards with the following small business cards:

Ways You Can Forfeit American Express Membership Rewards

While Membership Rewards points never expire, there are several ways in which you can forfeit your Membership Rewards:

  1. Closing your Membership Rewards account: If you cancel your Membership Rewards earning card, your points will last 30 days before being forfeited.
  2. Cancelling your card account: 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. Since the value of the points in the account can be significant, American Express has a procedure for one of your family members or beneficiaries to take over your account and restore the points balance.
  3. Making late payments: you must make timely payments of the amount due on your account statement. Late payments may result in the forfeiture of all points earned during that period.
  4. Returning items purchased with your card: You buy something and no longer want it. You receive a statement credit, and Amex will debit the points you earned from your Membership Rewards account.
  5. If you engage in or attempt to abuse, misuse, or game Membership Rewards: Abusing your account can result in your account closure and forfeiture of all of your points.
  6. Suspension of your corporate card: If your Membership Rewards card is a corporate card and it's suspended, you will lose the ability to earn and use the points in your account.

Our Favorite Way to Keep Ensure Membership Rewards Don't Expire

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express carries an annual fee of $0 and is one of the easiest ways to earn Membership Rewards while keeping your account active. All you need to do is pay your bill on time!

Our Take

American Express Membership Rewards is one of the best reward programs out there. It offers fantastic transfer partners, providing excellent options for maximizing the value from your points. While you need a good credit score to get a premium card from American Express, Membership Rewards provide exceptional value.

Ultimately, American Express controls your Membership Rewards account. The terms of service dictate the use of that account. As long as your account is in good standing, you won't have to worry about those points going away as Membership Rewards don't expire.

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Comments

  • Tengo entendido que en Argentina no vencen

  • I didn’t know American Express has a special procedure to restore the points balance in case of account holder’s death.

    Very important to keep the family informed about it.

  • Whilst some other regions probably have a wider range of partners, there are still some good partners in the UK including BA, Qantas, Emirates, Hilton, Marriott etc.

  • Are corporate card included in this programm?
    thank you!

  • Points that do not expire, this is why Amex is my favourite

  • I love earning MR points. I don’t believe I would be doing anything to lose access to them. Quite easy to earn. I get mine through the everyday card and Rakuten right now and later I will be getting the Plat card with Amex.

  • wow, they’re so sneaky with this.
    Thanks for making this clear for folks like me
    🙂

  • Good news is points don’t expire. Just pay on time and use your points before you cancel your account.

  • I like Amex MR but here in U.K. the number of partners is very limited

  • Good to know not to do those naughty things that might lose us our points!

  • Get a blue business preferred card which you can use to hold onto your MR.

  • Its speadsheet time again, tough to keek all these numbers in my head.

  • I’ve accumulated a ton of points but haven’t figured out the best way to use them yet, I feel I get better award deals from the airlines and hotels directly.

  • A friend of mine got sloppy with handling her finances and failed to make her credit card payments or minimum payments and incurred all of the penalties and fees associated from Amex associated that type of mistake. Then when she paid off her account in full, Amex immediately closed her account and she lost over 120,000 points. I think of that as a reminder to use your points and not collect them indefinitely.

  • Martin Marcelo Varcaro says:

    Perfect! Time to change to an american express account!

  • This is probably my favorite rewards program. I get excellent value from using my points for business class flights, particularly as I get 35% of the points back. I know that transferring to an airline program gets even better value but I also want to earn status through my flights. I have the Blue Business plus card that I will never cancel so I will never have to worry about the points expiring, even if I do get rid of the business Platinum card.

  • 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.

  • 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?

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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?

  • Adam Parsons says:

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Binita Patel says:

    Good to know about the late payments related forfeiture!

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

  • 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.

      • This blog post is very timely.

        I got an Everyday card against the possibility that I would not renew my Amex Plat, the likelihood of which is now pretty high given the combination of AFs being raised and lounge benefits being reduced. How can I confirm that they are both attached to the same MR number?

        And do the MR redemption benefits change if I drop the Amex Plat?

        Thanks

        • As long as both of your cards are part of your same Amex login, they should be combined for Membership Rewards points.
          You lose a few redemption options when redeeming points through the Everyday card vs. Amex Platinum – like using points to book Fine Hotels & Resorts. You can see all of the redemption options and rates for any Amex card by using the Rewards Points Calculator: https://global.americanexpress.com/rewards/calculator

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

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

    • I cannot confirm that the assumption you have made is correct and I would not assume that to be the case. Perhaps you were delinquent on a single account but not on others; that could be a different scenario where they wouldn’t cancel all.

    • That is not always true.

    • ellliot siegel says:

      The answer to your question is no. Cancelling one card will not get your membership rewards shut as long as you have other cards that are under the same membership rewards account number.