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AMEX is increasing point values on statement credits by 42%

With travel on hold for the indefinite future, many points collectors face the following dilemma: wait to redeem until travel is back on the agenda, or cash in now for gift cards or statement credits and get slightly less value out of each point.

For cardholders of American Express travel credit cards – like the American Express Cobalt – that decision has just become a whole lot easier.

Until September 30, 2020, American Express is increasing the value of American Express Membership Rewards points when redeeming for statement credits by 42%.

The temporary increase means you’ll now get more value when using AMEX Membership Rewards points to pay down your card’s balance, as follows:

Points values for statement credits


  • 1,000 Membership Rewards Points = $7 in Statement Credits 
  • 1 point = 0.7%

Until September 30, 2020: 

  • 1,000 Membership Rewards Points = $10 in Statement Credits
  • 1 point = 1%

Relevant cards:

  • American Express Cobaltand American Express Gold Rewards Card

That’s a solid return on points you could previously only get on travel redemptions like flights and hotel stays. It also effectively turns some of the best travel credit cards in Canada – the AMEX Cobalt Cardand AMEX Gold Rewards Card – into cash back credit cards for the next five months. 

In our opinion, these changes are particularly exciting when looking at the American Express Cobalt. The Cobalt earns 5 points per dollar on groceries and restaurants (including delivery services), which now essentially works out to 5% in statement credits – an earn rate no other cash back card can beat when not factoring in welcome offers. Plus, they're now also offering 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada and the ability to transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.


4.5 Ratehub rated

Best for Groceries & dining

First year reward

based on spending $2,200/mo after $156 annual fee

Earn rewards

1pt – 5pts / dollar earn rate

Welcome bonus

15,000 bonus points (a $150 value)

Annual fee


It’s also worth noting that if you do choose to hold on to your points until booking travel is an option again, you could still reap more value from points on travel by strategically using AMEX’s Fixed Points redemption chart or transferring points to other loyalty programs. But if you want to keep things simple, avoid thinking about redemption tables, and save now, this new change is by far the best way to go.


Statement credits for other major rewards programs

Do you not collect AMEX Membership Rewards points? Wondering how your credit card points program compares? Here’s a breakdown of point values for some of Canada’s major rewards programs:

Download infographic here


Rewards programs adapting to COVID-19

These moves by American Express are a positive sign that rewards credit cards issuers are making adjustments during these unprecedented times. And, while American Express has made the most impactful change, they haven’t been alone. Aeroplan recently announced changes that makes it easier for members to achieve elite Air Canada Altitude status while Scotiabank held off on a modification to the Scotia Rewards Program planned for May that would slightly lower the value of points on certain non-travel redemptions like statement credits and gift cards.

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