American Express offering enhanced Pay with Points rate at selected merchants for 2021

AMEX cardholders can redeem Membership Rewards points at an enhanced rate of 1,000 points= S$6 throughout 2021, at selected merchants. Is it worth it?

American Express has launched an enhanced Pay with Points program, aptly called Pay with Points + (or PWP+ for short). This scheme, set to run for the whole of 2021, allows cardholders to redeem Membership Rewards points at an enhanced rate for selected merchants.

American Express Pay with Points +

American Express cardholders can normally redeem points at a rate of 1,000 MR points= S$4.80 credit. PWP+ upsizes this to S$6.00 (25% more) at selected merchants, for redemptions made between 15 December 2020 to 31 December 2021. 

1,000 MR pointsS$4.80
S$6.00

The following merchants are participating:

CategoryMerchants
💗 CharityGiving.sg
Red Cross Singapore
🍴 DiningCrowne Plaza Changi Airport
(Azur, Bar’ 75, Lobby Lounge)
Grand Cru
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
(Atrium Restaurant, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant)
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
(Lobby Lounge & Bar, Tandoor, Window on the Park)
Huggs coffee
InterContinental Singapore
(Ash & Elm, Man Fu Yuan)
InterContinental Robertson Quay
(Marcello, Publico Ristorante)
Regent Singapore
(Basilico, Dolcetto by Basilico, Summer Palace, Manhattan, Tea Lounge)
Song Fa 
🛒 GrocerySwiss Butchery
Taste Gourmet Market
🧳 LifestyleAudi
Cathay Pacific
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
InterContinental Singapore
mc.2
🛍️ RetailBee Cheng Hiang
BoConcept
Breitling 
Challenger
Harvey Norman
Lee Hwa Jewelry
Niessing
Okamura
OSIM
SUITSUPPLY
The Hour Glass

Whether or not this is worth it boils down to how you value a MR point. We can use miles as a proxy:

  • For Platinum Charge/Centurion members, 1 MR point= 0.625 miles
  • For all other AMEX card members, 1 MR point= 0.556 miles

By electing for PWP+, you’re accepting an implicit value of :

  • For Platinum Charge/Centurion members, 1 mile= 0.96 cents
  • For all other AMEX card members, 1 mile=1.08 cents

Neither is what I’d call life-changing. 

When it comes to Cathay Pacific, it’s possible to do another sort of comparison. Let’s say you wanted to fly from Singapore to San Francisco in Business Class. This would cost you 170,000 Asia Miles, or 272,000 MR points (306,000 MR points if you’re not a Platinum Charge/Centurion member). 

The cash price of a ticket is ~S$6,247, so if you bought the ticket and redeemed it with PWP+, you’d be looking at a whopping 1,041,100 MR points. I’d say that’s probably not worth it either. 

How do I redeem points?

Assuming you nonetheless wish to go ahead, there are two ways to redeem your MR points under PWP+

  1. Redeeming at the time of payment
  2. Redeeming after payment has been made

(1) is available for online transactions. When prompted for your OTP, select “view pay with points options”, select the number of points you want to use, and click “use points”. 

(2) is available for any sort of transaction. Login to your online banking and click “use points for charges”. You’ll then be able to select and offset whichever transactions you wish. 

Conclusion

I remember fondly when American Express offered an enhanced rate of 1,000 points= S$9.60 during the April to July period. Now this was something I could get on board with, and indeed I cashed out a good-sized chunk of points, using it to fund my staycation reviews.

The PWP+ rate is a lot more marginal, and unless you’re rocking a seven digit MR points balance, I don’t think it’s worth your time. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Ben

Thanks – I have some orphan MR points slightly above 1k mark! so maybe, i’ll get rid this way.

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