American Express Points Don't Expire, but You Can Lose Them!

Although American Express points don't expire, you can lose your points if your card is inactive.


Sep. 11 2020, Updated 10:59 a.m. ET

do american express points expire
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If you want to wait to redeem American Express points for the "big prize" or you don't use your card often, you might be concerned about your points. Do American Express points expire?

By early 2020, American Express had about 115 million active credit cards with an average of $19,000 each annually. Half of the active cards were in the U.S. One of the biggest appeals with certain American Express cards is the ability to accumulate membership rewards and offers, otherwise known as "points."

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american express card
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When you use your American Express card, you earn a certain amount of points per dollar spent. You can redeem the points for specific perks within the membership program.

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How to accumulate American Express points

Not every American Express card offers membership perks and not every purchase will earn points. So, the best way to start accumulating points is by upgrading to an American Express card that does earn points. 

There are a few ways to acquire and accumulate American Express membership points pretty quickly.

sign up for an american express card
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Sign up for an American Express card or upgrade your card

Every card in the American Express catalog has a different introductory offer on membership points. You can earn between 15,000 and 75,000 points. However, you only get the bonus once.

Technically, you can sign up for a different American Express card to receive the points again on the new card. Otherwise, you will receive points when you upgrade to a platinum card from a gold card.

Still, there's a catch. You have to spend money on your card because the points aren't "free." For example, you can earn 75,000 points during the first three months with a Business Platinum Card, but you have to spend $15,000.

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How American Express uses targeted bonuses

American Express has targeted bonuses for a specific group of users. For example, there's a 50 percent bonus for card match users. Always keep an eye out for vendor promotions and bonuses.

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What are referral bonuses with American Express?

Another way that American Express users can accumulate points is by referring friends to open their own American Express cards. For each verified referral, you can get up to an extra 25,000 points.

However, there's a limit to how many points you can accumulate this way. The maximum amount is 225,000 points for a Business Platinum card or nine referrals.

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American Express points don't expire

American Express points don’t expire, which makes an American Express cards appealing.

However, if you don't use the card, you will lose the points. If all of your cards are inactive, you will lose the membership points. To avoid this, just keep one of your cards open.

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If you are waiting to redeem your points because you don’t know how to redeem them, here are a few of the most popular suggestions:

  • Redeem the points for airline tickets.
  • Use the points to make online purchases.
  • Redeem your membership points for gift cards.

While you have already spent the money to earn points, don't get caught up in the points. You have to spend to receive, so you will eventually have to pay back what you have spent. If you aren’t careful, the bill could be quite a shock.


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