20,000 Amex Points – Gold Preferred Rewards Credit Card
If you’re new to reward points, or researching your first American Express card because you’ve got nothing better to do during the Covid-19 lockdown(!), then it’s likely you’re wondering what 20,000 Amex reward points is worth, and what you’ll get for it. This is because, for a limited time (until 29th June 2020), this is the welcome bonus for new American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card holders. This is the most attractive bonus for a while as new members currently receive double the usual 10,000 points bonus and have 6 (rather than the normal 3) months to spend the required £3,000 on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card. The card is already a popular first Amex card, due to it’s travel benefits and welcome bonus.
Tip: You can increase the Gold Card bonus to 22,000 points using our referral link (here) and also bag 3,000 extra points by adding a free supplementary cardholder once you have the card. In addition, you’ll earn 1 point per £ spent, which means another 3,000 points on the £3,000 spend = total 28,000 points.
Read my personal Gold Card review here. Note that this is an amateur, personal blog and this review is based on my experience of using the card. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances, and that you access the full and up to date information.
What these points are worth will depend entirely on how you redeem them. Usually the best value will be achieved by transferring the points to a travel partner loyalty scheme, such as British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors, and using them to redeem reward flights or stays. Below are some examples of what you can expect to achieve with 20,000 points.
Amex Points Value UK
American Express Points can be transferred to a range of partners, the best redemption value can usually be found for travel, but there are also shopping and subscription options. Below is a handy table with an average value for some key partners. It is possible to find opportunities to get much higher (or lower!) value, as explained below.
|Transfer Rate||Value||Total Value 20,000 Amex|
|Flights||BA Avios||1:1||Approx 1p||£200+|
You can use American Express points to book flights with a number of different travel partners (12 flight schemes in total). Partner airline schemes include: British Airways Executive Club (Avios), Emirates, Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Avios is one of the most popular points schemes in the UK, and BA Executive Club even has a handy calculator to work out the cost of reward saver flights. Reward saver seats have a fixed Avios points price based on which ‘zone’ you’re travelling to. Once travel is back up and running, if you manage to book a reward saver seat on a high demand route (for example a ski route during a February half term), potentially you can get fantastic value out of 20,000 points. However, be aware that British Airways only allocate a limited number of reward saver seats per flight, the minimum is normally 6, although the total can vary. So for peak dates you need to be quick! Once you have a British Airways Executive Club account, you use your BA account number to link it to your American Express account via the ‘Use my Points’ option and if you transfer 20,000 Amex points at 1:1, this could get you:
2 Economy Reward Saver Return Flight from London to 50 different ‘Zone 1’ destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Copenhagen and Milan (off peak 8,000 points/peak 9,000 points + £35 taxes per person).
1 Business Class Reward Saver Return Flight from London to 50 different ‘Zone 1’ destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Copenhagen and Milan (18,500 Avios + £35 taxes per person).
Avios points are typically valued at about 1p per point, which means 20,000 points is worth around £200. However, as reward saver seats have a set price, if you book one during a high demand time, this could end up being worth significantly more. Last year I booked a return flight in school holidays for 9,000 Avios, which was priced at over £1,000. To get these seats you need to be ready to book early, and quickly, see my post: here.
Converting Amex points to Avios via British Airways Executive Club, and using for reward saver flights tends to be a very good use of Amex points.
The hotel partners mainly use dynamic, rather than fixed, points pricing, which means achieving significant increases in value isn’t always possible. However, it’s not always exact science and there can still be significant difference in point value between hotels, so it’s always worth dividing the cash price by the points cost.
Redeeming with Hilton, 20,000 Amex points (=40,000 Hilton) will generally get you a standard room priced at around £140, but there could be options worth anywhere in the £100-200 range. For example the fantastic Hilton Vilamoura (below) can be booked for 40,000 points per night in Spring 2021, or around 180 Euros. Alternatively Hilton Garden Inn, Bristol can be book for 20,000 points per night or £70. It’s always worth looking around and comparing options to find the best value for your points. The same process applies for transferring points, once you open a Hilton Honors account you can use your account number to link to your Amex via ‘Use my Points’.
Similar situations will apply with Marriott and Radisson, but in each case 20,000 Amex points should get you a decent free one night hotel stay somewhere or two nights somewhere nicer.
Shopping and Subscriptions
These have a standard set credit value if you use Amex points, so will always be the easiest and quickest, but poorest value redemption options. If you want to get value from your points, then I’d recommend avoiding these – you’re better off hanging on to the points for future travel than making a quick Amazon redemption.
The best way to get good value if you’re applying for an American Express Card is firstly to maximise your bonus points, using a referral and applying for a free supplementary card (plus earning points on your £3,000 spend) to get 28,000, rather than 10,000 points – and then to find the best value redemptions for your points, which include converting to Avios and booking BA Reward Saver flights, or finding well priced hotel rooms.
This could be the difference between gaining £90 to spend on Amazon, or £200+, or in some cases £100’s, on travel.
Gold Card Details
– The gold card comes with two free airport lounge passes (generally worth about £20 each) – wait for your next flight in comfort, with food & drink included!
– The bonus for a £3,000 spend in 6 months is currently 20,000 points.
-There is another 10,000 points bonus if you spend over £15,000 in a year.
-Plus you get all the benefits of being an American Express member, such as targeted offers and access to reserved tickets for gigs and events.
(Note the whopping 56.7% representative APR though – this is definitely to be used only as a rewards card, i.e. you’ll want to pay your statement in full each month)
You can increase the welcome bonus to 22,000 points if you use this referral link
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