American Express Travel rewards help travelers, families save for airfare, hotel

Posted October 14, 2015


My family of four took a trip from Miami to New Orleans this past summer for a week, spending only $400.

We were not charged for four round-trip flight tickets that should have cost more than $1,500, the six-night stay at a four star hotel in the French Quarter that cost $230 a night, and the $380 rental of a SUV that comfortably fit five people.

All we had to pay for was food and any tour we decided to go on as a family. As many people try to wrap their minds around this, let me share how my family did it— through American Express Travel.

“I still can’t believe I saved so much money,” my father, Albert Fernandez-Bravo said. “American Express gives such huge benefits and this is part of the reason why I opened up an account with them.”

Though many people are hesitant with creating a membership and using the American Express card, travelers get huge benefits that definitely out-way the small costs— especially now with their Membership Rewards Points, their point transfer program, their gift cards, and other new limited time offers. With every purchase made with an American Express card, you receive Membership Rewards Points and these points, which value at a point per dollar, can go towards almost any aspect of a trip.

Depending on the specific kinds of charges American Express card users put on their card, such as plane tickets or prepaid hotel costs, card users can also receive Double Membership Rewards Points, which value at two points per dollar. Nevertheless, once you have accumulated at least 5,000 points, these points can pay for your airfare, prepaid hotel costs and other travel related things.

Even though there is a membership fee for using American Express, depending in what kind of card travelers get, this fee can be as low as $95 a year. Another aspect some people may not enjoy about the American Express card is that card users have to pay their credit card bill fully every month. If they don’t, there is a minimum late payment fee of $38 or 2.99 percent of the past due amount.

Another great benefit of having these points for traveling, one of which many travelers do not know of, is having the ability to apply points to any previous travel charges that travelers have made in the past. So if card users didn’t use their Rewards Points when originally paying for airfare, hotel, car rental, or even food, they can still apply their Rewards Points to any of the previous charges made on their American Express Card.

“Sometimes I have to book a quick trip for a weekend,” American Express card user Kiara Rodriguez said. “I don’t have time to go through my points and costs of everything when I book these trips, so it’s nice that once I come back home, I can apply my points to the charges hassle free and save some money.”

After speaking to Membership Rewards customer representatives, one can learn that many people do not know about some of the numerous offers that American Express has for travelers – one of them being the Point Transfer into Sky Miles program. Once a traveler (or anyone in general) opens an account with an airline of his or her choosing, this program makes buying airfare easier and cheaper because it allows American Express members to transfer their points into the airline account hassle free.

Another offer that many travelers do not know about is that when they book with hotels that partner with American Express, American Express gives the traveler gift cards towards these hotels, therefore reducing the traveler’s cost of the trip as a whole.

American Express Public Relations/Customer Service representative Rosie Del Llano said much money can be saved.

“A lot of our members and people who don’t have American Express cards don’t realize how using these benefits make traveling so much easier and cheaper. Travelers are shocked at how they end up saving close to or over $1,000 when booking trips through us because they usually don’t know about all of the programs and benefits we offer,” she explained.

A new limited time offer that American Express has for travelers is the Destination Family Benefit. This benefit allows for families to save 50 percent off a connecting or adjoining room, receive resort credit, and receive a free night stay. Best of all, kids eat and stay for free depending on their age and there are discounts offered for each person in the family depending on the trip the family decides to go on. This benefit ends in December 2015.

Other widely known offers American Express has for their travelers are the Preferred Seating Offers, Travel Insiders, American Express Mariner Club, and the Hotel Collection. All of these programs, benefits, and offers are available to almost every American Express card owner and known for making trips a lot more easier to book,

cheaper to do, and luxurious to experience. These benefits can be looked into through the American Express Travel website.

Besides these two aspects, American Express offers so many programs and benefits that make traveling easier and cheaper unlike other debit and credit card companies.

My family’s experience from booking a trip through them saved us more than $4,000 and after learning about all of the programs and limited time offers, it is easy to see why. Just wait and see how much time and money card users will save once users take advantage of American Express’ opportunities. If American Express still isn’t a preferable option, there are numerous cards and travel companies that offer numerous discounts, promotions, and benefits.

All it takes is to do the research.