All American Express Membership Rewards Cards Have a New Category Bonus

I wrote earlier about Uber’s new points earning and redemption tie-up with American Express.

Users with an iPhone (who update their app) can now toggle between redeeming American Express points for Uber rides (at one cent per point in value, not a good deal) or earning 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on Uber.

I wasn’t sure how this would work. The iPhone app will be required for the option to redeem points instantly for rides. But the release made it sound like this was necessary for earning, too. And if that was the case it might operate like a shopping portal with 2 extra points per dollar regardless of credit card used to pay for the ride.

That’s not the case at all. Bonus points earning with American Express Membership Rewards operates as a category bonus.

As an American Express spokesperson explained to me, “All US cards with [Membership Rewards] are eligible. You have to use your [Membership Rewards-earning] card” to earn the bonus.

So all Membership Rewards cards have a new 2x category — Uber.

You earn 2 points per dollar spent with Uber when you pay using an American Express Membership Rewards points-earning card.

And if yo have the Amex Everday Preferred Card and make 30 transactions on it in a month, the 50% bonus on points-earning applies. So that card would yield 3 points per dollar spent.

I’ve also confirmed that this new points-earning category isn’t capped. (For what it’s worth, for all of you that will look for ways to buy Uber gift cards and turn those back into cash — heh).

Ultimately this makes American Express competitive but not paying for Uber rides. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns double points on travel, including Uber.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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