CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value. We may receive a commission through The Points Guy affiliate network if you apply and are approved for a card, but our reporting is always independent and objective.
Many American Express 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 the online retailer recently extended one of its most lucrative points-related promotions. If you’re targeted for this offer, you can get up to 40% off your Amazon purchases when you use at least one Amex point to pay.
Targeted American Express card members can get this offer for 30% off at Amazon for up to $30 in savings, or even 40% off for up to $50 in savings.
This offer is currently set to end on Sept. 30, so if you’re targeted, you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of it between now and then. But only certain American Express cards are eligible, and since it’s a little complicated, we’re going to take you through it step-by-step to make sure you’re getting as much of a discount as possible when you’re shopping at Amazon right now.
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, you’ll need to 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.
You need to enroll your eligible Amex card in Amazon’s “Shop with Points” program.
Once your accounts are connected, you’ll need to activate the offer by clicking on this link. While this is a single promotion, there are two variations: If you’re targeted for a 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.
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 that particular promotion. (Though if you just enrolled in “Shop with Points,” you may need to wait 24 hours for Amazon’s records to refresh before knowing if you’re targeted, so check back in a day or two.)
However, if you’re eligible, then activate the offer — the enrollment page will indicate your particular discount. You can then shop at Amazon as you normally would, though only products sold and shipped by Amazon are eligible for these discounts. Additionally, Amazon gift cards are excluded, though other third-party gift cards sold by Amazon are eligible.
But wait! There’s one more step. 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 each 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 either of these discounts. In fact, you can use just 1 point and pay for the rest with your Amex card, and you’ll still see the 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.
You can use any number of Amex points you want to get the discount.
Once you’ve applied at least 1 point to your payment, you’ll see the discount added to your order, which will apply to every order you place between now and Sept. 30 until you hit a total of $30 in maximum savings on the 30% offer, or the $50 maximum on the 40% offer.
Let’s look at a few examples of how these discounts work. Since the 30% discount seems to be slightly more common among targeted Amex customers, we used that offer when demonstrating the potential savings on some popular items.
With people working from home more often nowadays, getting the day started with a good cup of coffee is important. And in our recent CNN Underscored roundup of the best drip coffee makers of 2020, we chose the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker as our best overall drip coffee maker.
As of this writing, the Braun is pricing at $79.95 on Amazon. But you can get roughly $24 off that price with the 30% off Amex discount, lowering the cost to about $56 before taxes and shipping.
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.
The price of the Northern Light Technologies Boxelite 10,000 LUX Therapy Box drops as low as $159.99 with $30 off.
You can even pair these discounts nicely with many of Amazon’s daily deals or any of the retailer’s other money-saving offers, like buying two books and getting 50% off the second one. And of course, if you’re eligible for the 40% discount, you’ll see even higher savings.
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.
Get 30% off your grocery bill by buying a Whole Foods gift card at Amazon with this promotion.
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.
Even if you’re not targeted for this particular Amex promotion, offers like this typically resurface many times throughout the year, so keep on checking back. Amazon is also currently running similar promotions for Discover credit card holders, Citibank credit card holders and Chase credit card holders, so check out all of CNN Underscored’s guides for the details.
You might also find that even if you aren’t eligible now for one of these offers, you could magically become targeted even in these last few days, so keep on checking the link to see if you’ve been granted access.
Amazon has been eagerly offering some lucrative promotions throughout 2020 — some of the best we’ve ever seen — so keep your eyes peeled for any other savings that may come your way. And if you’re targeted for this offer, make sure you use it before it expires.
If you don’t currently have an eligible Amex card, here are several options you might consider:
Also, make sure you read our guide to the best credit cards for Amazon purchases to be sure you’re using the best card you have available when you buy at Amazon.
Check out which items CNN Underscored chose as our best selling Amazon products.
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.