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If you missed the previous Amazon promotion that was offering 20% off to targeted American Express card members, you’re in luck. Amazon is continuing the love with an even better offer. So if you weren’t eligible during the last go-around — or even if you were — now might be your chance to save even more money at Amazon.
Many American Express travel cards earn Membership Rewards points that are generally best used for amazing travel opportunities. But another lesser-known use for these points is to redeem them for purchases at Amazon. And right now, Amazon is offering not one, but two terrific promotions that allow you to save money by using your Amex points this way, and even earn extra points at the same time.
First, targeted Amex card members can get either 30% or 40% back on many Amazon purchases when they use Amex points to pay for at least a portion of their purchase at checkout. While this is a single promotion, there are two different variations. If you’re targeted for the 30% discount, you’re capped at a $30 savings. But if you’re lucky enough to score the 40% offer, you can get up to $50 in savings.
You also have a nice chunk of time to take advantage of either offer, as neither expires until June 30, 2020.
There are several steps to this promotion, and you’ll need to follow them all to get the discount. But we’ll take you through it step-by-step to help you save some money if you’re eligible.
How to save up to 40% at Amazon with your American Express card
To start, you must have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points. Amex cards that earn other types of rewards, such as cash back or airline miles, won’t work. But there are plenty of Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards points — a small sampling of them is at the end of this story.
Next, link your Amazon and American Express accounts. Add your American Express card as a payment method in your Amazon account if you haven’t already. Then look for the option to enroll in “Shop with Points” under the “Your Account” tab, and click the “Enroll” button for the Amex card you just added.
Once your accounts are linked, you’ll need to activate the offer by clicking on this link. Remember, this is a targeted promotion, so not everyone will be eligible for it. When you click on the link, if you see a message that you’re not eligible, then you’re unfortunately not targeted for this particular promotion.
Also, note that if you just enrolled in “Shop with Points,” you may need to wait 24 hours for Amazon’s records to refresh before being able to activate the offer.
However, if you’re eligible, then activate the offer — the enrollment page will indicate whether you’re getting a 30% or 40% discount. You can then shop at Amazon as you normally would, though only products sold and shipped by Amazon are eligible for the discount. Additionally, Amazon gift cards are excluded, though other third-party gift cards sold by Amazon are eligible.
When you’re ready to check out, you’ll want to make sure to select your linked American Express card as your payment method. Then you’ll need to use at least 1 point to pay for your purchase for the discount to apply.
When paying with Amex Membership Rewards points at Amazon, 1 point equals 0.7 cents. That’s not the best value you can get for Amex points. CNN Underscored’s partner The Points Guy values Membership Rewards points as high as 2 cents per point when redeemed for travel.
However, it’s important to note that you don’t have to pay for your entire Amazon purchase with points to get the discount. In fact, you can use just 1 point and pay for the rest in cash, and you’ll still see the 30% or 40% discount applied to your order.
To pay with the minimum number of points required, enter $0.01 in the points section, which will apply just 1 point to your payment, You can use any number of points you want, but if you don’t make this change, Amazon may automatically apply the maximum number of points to cover the entire purchase, so you’ll want to make sure to update the amount before you place the order.
Once you’ve applied at least 1 point to your payment, you’ll notice the 30% or 40% discount added to your order. The discount will apply on every order you place through June 30 until you hit a total of $30 in maximum savings on the 30% offer, or the $50 maximum on the 40% offer
Earn 5 extra points for every dollar you spend at Amazon as well
American Express is also currently offering another Amazon promotion, which lets targeted card members earn an extra 5 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent at Amazon from now through July 22. Even better, this promo will “stack” with the Amazon discount, so you can actually get both 30% or 40% off and earn 5 bonus points per dollar if you’re targeted for both promotions.
Here’s how to find out whether you’re targeted for this 5x offer. Sign into your American Express account online at americanexpress.com, then scroll down to the section marked “Amex Offers & Benefits” and look for an offer to “Get +5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent” at Amazon. If you don’t see it, try clicking the blue “View All” button at the bottom of the section to see more offers.
If you have the offer, it’s important to activate it by clicking the “Add to Card” button next to the offer before you make your Amazon purchases, or you won’t get any bonus points. But once you add it to your card, you can charge your Amazon purchases to your Amex card just like usual and you’ll see the bonus points show up after you pay your statement.
This lucrative 5x promotion is capped at 2,000 bonus points, meaning on up to $400 in Amazon purchases. But you don’t have to spend that all at once — you can use it over multiple Amazon trips and each one will get 5x bonus points, up to $400 in total purchases.
The best part is these extra points come on top of any points you normally earn on your American Express card. So if you have a card like The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which already earns 2 points for every dollar you spend up to $50,000 per year (1x thereafter), you’d earn a crazy total of 7 points per dollar on your Amazon shopping if you’re targeted for this promotion.
Get up to 40% off and 5x points on some great Amazon products
Let’s look at a few examples of how this discount works along with the 5x bonus points. Since the 30% discount seems to be slightly more common among targeted Amex customers than the 40% version, we used that discount when demonstrating the potential savings on some popular items.
With cooking being a primary activity these days, having quality pots and pans is important. And in our recent CNN Underscored roundup of the best nonstick pans of 2020, we chose the T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Inch Fry Pan with Lid as our best overall pan.
But you can get at least $12 off that 10” fry pan with this Amex promotion, lowering the cost from the current $40.28 to roughly $28, and you’ll earn an extra 140 Amex points on top of your normal credit card rewards with the 5x bonus points.
Or, if you’re looking to enhance your in-home office with some of our picks for the best-selling light therapy lamps, an extra 30% discount can make a big difference on the Northern Light Technologies Boxelite 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Light Box, and earning 800 additional Amex points isn’t bad either.
You can even pair these promotions nicely with many of Amazon’s daily deals or any of their other money-saving offers. And of course, if you’re eligible for the 40% discount, you’ll see even higher savings.
Up to 40% off third-party gift cards too
While the discount offers don’t apply to Amazon gift cards, they do apply to many other third-party gift cards that Amazon sells. And Amazon literally has hundreds of options, including retailers that might be useful right now such as Netflix, DoorDash, Safeway and more.
So even if you don’t have anything you need at Amazon at the moment, you can buy a gift card for yourself using the discount and bank the savings for later.
Which American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points?
If you’re not targeted for either of these Amex promotions, the discount typically re-surfaces many times throughout the year, but it’s usually capped at 20%, so this is quite a special offer. But hopefully we will continue to see other offers throughout the year.
You might also find that even if you aren’t eligible now, you could magically become targeted in a few weeks, so keep on checking the promotional link to see if you’ve been granted access. And if you don’t currently have an eligible Amex card, here are several options you might consider:
Also, make sure you check out our guide on the best credit card for Amazon purchases to be sure you’re using the best card you have available when you buy things at Amazon.
Find out which items CNN Underscored chose as our best selling Amazon products from 2019.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.