How to Use Amex Points for Air Travel (All You Need to Know!)

how to use amex points for air travel

Do you know how to use American Express points for air travel? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

One of the great benefits of credit cards like American Express is the points you can rack up on everyday purchases. But, like most people, you’re probably interested in using your points for airline tickets and vacation expenses! If you’re planning your next vacation, you may be wondering how to use Amex points for air travel. 

You can use your American Express rewards points for air travel on the American Express Travel portal, booking with American Express partner airlines, and outside airline ticket purchases. Points can be redeemed through the American Express mobile app after making an eligible purchase or directly through American Express travel partners.

So what are the steps you need to go through to redeem these points and book your flights? With multiple methods of using American Express rewards points for air travel, do some offer a greater value than others?

If you’re curious about the ins and outs of rewards points, keep reading! 

How do I redeem American Express rewards points on airline tickets?

As I stated above, there are multiple ways to use your American Express rewards points to grab great deals on airline tickets: through the American Express app (where you can redeem points for other purchases as well) and through American Express travel partners.

Check out the differences to find which one is right for you! Of course, it will depend on the airline you choose, so deciding to go with a travel partner airline ahead of time may save you some money!

Read also >> How To Get Free Stuff At Disney World (Freebies + More)

Redeeming points through the American Express app

As an American Express cardholder, you’re undoubtedly familiar with using their mobile app. But did you know you can also redeem your points for travel expenses?

First, you’ll have to purchase your airline ticket. An airline ticket from any airline is considered an eligible purchase to redeem your American Express rewards points, so you’re good to go! 

Once you’ve made the purchase using your American Express card, locate the charge on the app. From there, you can choose to pay with points!

The purchase price will be refunded to you and the appropriate points balance deducted from your account.

Through American Express travel partners

If you book through a travel partner, your American Express rewards points can be directly redeemed. So instead of having to make an airline ticket purchase and then redeem points, you can instead convert your points to respective airline points and purchase tickets this way!

Booking with American Express travel partners is easy and offers several other benefits I’ll discuss below! 

What are the benefits of booking with American Express travel partners?

American Express has an offering of travel partners on their website, but what exactly does that mean? Well, American Express travel partners allow you to skip a few things. For example, you can use your American Express rewards points directly with their travel partners instead of buying the tickets and then paying with points afterward!

Why is this a benefit? Well, the point cost and the dollar cost of the airline tickets can differ.

This means that you can often snag excellent deals with American Express rewards points directly, using points to pay for a ticket that would have cost you a lot more! It really pays to stick with those travel partners! 

Most airlines offer a 1:1 ratio for exchanging points. Other travel bookings, such as hotels, cruises, and rental cars, typically offer different ratios.

When using your American Express rewards points to book travel, you’ll almost always get the best deals on airfare, so keep your points for those plane tickets! 

Which airlines are partnered with American Express?

A list of all American Express travel partners is located on their website here.

It includes airlines such as Delta, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines. Worldwide travel is accessible and cost-effective with American Express partners!

Even if you don’t use a partnered airline, it’s still possible to redeem American Express rewards points through the accompanying mobile app when you purchase airfare with your American Express card. 

Can I upgrade my airline tickets with American Express rewards points?

Yes! American Express had an upgrade bidding system where you can use your American Express rewards points to upgrade your ticket.

For example, if there are unoccupied first-class seats on your flight, eligible travelers can bid on those seats, and the winning bid will get an upgrade.

If your points bid is successful, American Express will email you the updated information about your ticket.

Bidding is managed through a third-party company that American Express is partnered with, so it’s easy to bid across multiple airlines with the same service. 

Can I book flights through American Express?

Yes! American Express offers its own online travel agency service: the American Express Travel Portal.

You can book flights, hotels, cruises, and entire vacation packages through this portal. Of course, you can use your American Express rewards points for a seamless experience! 

Can I book other travel expenses through American Express?

Absolutely! The American Express Travel Portal offers hotel, rental car, and cruise bookings in addition to airfare. 

Is it more beneficial to book airline tickets or hotels using reward points?

You’ll get the best bang for your buck by booking airline tickets. This is due to the points ratio American Express uses on these expenses.

While points towards airline tickets are typically at a 1:1 ratio (or better!), points for travel expenses can be set at around 0.7 Amex points per travel point. 

Can I redeem points on other travel expenses?

Of course! Like airline tickets from airlines that aren’t partnered with American Express, you can still redeem American Express rewards points on travel expenses you haven’t booked through the Amex Travel Portal. 

All you need to do to be eligible to cover these travel expenses with American Express rewards points is to make the purchase on your American Express card.

Once that’s done, follow the above instructions regarding regular point redemption for purchases made on your American Express card using the mobile app. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!