The Amex Membership Rewards program is one among our favourite rewards packages on the market.
With loads of redemption choices, together with transferring to Airline packages (if in case you have the correct card), transferring factors to Marriott Bonvoy, and redeeming for any journey costs to your card, there’s quite a bit to like.
To not point out the three improbable bank cards which are a part of this system as nicely.
That being stated, there’s one journey redemption possibility that wants extra dialogue – the Amex Fastened Factors Journey program. It provides nice worth in your factors when used proper, however in case you're not cautious, it might price you factors as nicely.
Right here’s every thing it is advisable to know concerning the Fastened Factors Journey program, the way it compares to Aeroplan, and the bank cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards factors.
Amex Fastened Factors Journey – Defined
So how does this system work?
It may be used for ANY flight yow will discover at American Specific Journey.
Principally, once you fly to a zone as outlined on the chart, you’ll use a set quantity of factors to cowl the bottom airfare of a spherical journey flight. Simply observe that it must be a spherical journey, you’ll be able to't e-book 2 separate one-way flights. You additionally need to pay any taxes, charges, and service surcharges.
Let's go over these main factors about this system.
American Specific Fastened Factors Journey chart
Let's begin with crucial half – the chart.
So what does the chart appear like? There are 2 variations, economic system and enterprise class, and we'll go over each (you’ll be able to view them in additional element right here, in addition to phrases and situations for this system).
Economic system class
First up, the economic system class chart:
For some choose short-haul flights, you should use as little as 15,000 factors, all the best way as much as 100,000 factors for a flight anyplace on the earth. If the bottom airfare of your flight is over the utmost ticket worth coated, you’ll be able to merely pay the overage once you go to e-book.
So what sort of worth are you able to get? When you can maximize this chart, right here’s what you will get for worth out of your Membership Rewards factors:
|Flight Class||Worth Of One Level|
|Canada / U.S. Brief Haul (Choose Routes)||2 cents|
|Canada / U.S. Brief haul||1.5 cents|
|Canada / U.S Lengthy Haul||1.75 cents|
|Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii or Mexico||1.6 cents|
On the choose short-haul routes, you’ll be able to rise up to 2 cents per level – which is an incredible worth. However since there are a restricted variety of routes, for most individuals the perfect worth are the lengthy haul flights, with a price of as much as 1.75 cents every.
On the entire, in case you can maximize your worth, you're anyplace between 1.5 to 2 cents per level.
There's additionally a enterprise class chart, which requires extra factors but in addition has larger base airfare limits:
The zones are the identical, besides the choose short-haul routes usually are not right here.
And the worth is sort of comparable as nicely:
|Flight Class||Worth Of One Level|
|Canada / U.S. Brief haul||1.6 cents|
|Canada / U.S Lengthy Haul||1.eight cents|
|Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii or Mexico||1.75 cents|
Regardless that the worth is comparable, many of the most quantities wouldn’t be sufficient to cowl the total base airfare. You'll nonetheless be paying fairly a bit out of pocket for these flights (and these quantities aren't anyplace close to sufficient to redeem for a visit like this).
To maximise each your worth and the usefulness of this system, we'll give attention to the economic system class chart on this article.
Paying taxes, charges, and service surcharges
One a part of the flight it’s a must to pay for are taxes, charges, and service surcharges – they're not coated by the chart.
So how are you going to examine how a lot you'd need to pay for any given flight?
Head to the Amex journey website and begin making a reserving. You don’t even need to sign-in to examine flight costs out (and for these first screenshots, we didn’t).
Right here’s an instance of a WestJet and Air Canada possibility from Toronto to Winnipeg:
We’ve got 2 flights which have comparable costs, however check out the value breakdown for every.
Right here’s the WestJet possibility:
When you're curious, this journey would want 20,000 factors, giving a degree worth of 1.47 cents.
Now let’s see what the fees are for the Air Canada flight:
Going with Air Canada goes to save lots of you $ 50 in taxes and charges on this case.
Nevertheless, for this flight the bottom airfare is $ 18 greater than the chart permits and also you’ll need to pay further. However, you'll nonetheless find yourself paying much less for the flight out of your pocket. And also you get most worth for a short-haul flight of 1.5 cents.
One factor to notice – you can use your factors to pay for taxes, charges, and costs utilizing the Versatile Journey Program, the place every level is price 1 cent. You’ll need to pay for them utilizing your bank card, then redeem the factors afterwards if you want.
And that brings up one final level – at all times be sure to're getting a price of not less than 1 cent per level, If not, you're throwing away factors, and would simply be higher to pay for it utilizing your card and redeeming the factors afterwards.
Per tip: A straightforward technique to examine is to take away the final 2 zeroes from the variety of factors you want. If this quantity is lower than the bottom airfare of the flight, use the Versatile Factors Program as an alternative.
For some recommendations on lowering your taxes, charges, and surcharges invoice, this text has some issues to consider, simply observe that not all of them will work with the Fastened Factors journey program.
Your step-by-step information on the way it works
So now that we all know the way it works, let’s undergo the steps (and some examples) of reserving a flight utilizing the Fastened Factors Journey Program.
Step 1 – login to your account
First, head to the Amex residence web page and login to your American Specific account.
Step 2 – Head to the Amex journey web page
Subsequent, head to the Amex journey web page and start looking for flights. Right here’s the primary one’ll have a look at:
Click on search and begin reviewing your choices.
Step 3 – assessment your choices
You probably have sufficient factors to make use of the Fastened Factors Journey Program, you'll see the corresponding variety of factors wanted to redeem for a flight. If not, you’ll solely be proven the Versatile Factors Program as an alternative.
You possibly can inform by wanting on the prime of the search outcomes. You probably have sufficient factors, it is best to see one thing like this:
For our search, right here’s the primary outcome:
Click on on the value breakdown, and see how a lot you’ll need to pay in taxes and charges:
On this case, the bottom airfare is greater than what the Fastened Factors Journey Program covers, so we’ve got to pay the overage (on this case, $ 22). The taxes and charges invoice is $ 111.80.
This flight is a superb use of the Fastened Factors Journey program, and also you get most worth in your factors (1.75 cents per level).
Right here’s one other instance. On this case, every thing’s the identical, besides our departing airport is Calgary as an alternative of Vancouver.
This flight prices fairly a bit much less. Let's take a look at the value breakdown:
This flight provides you barely decrease taxes and charges to pay, however the worth of the flight can also be quite a bit much less general – solely $ 326. Collectively, this offers you a degree worth of 0.eight cents.
On this case, because it's giving a price of lower than 1 cent per level, you'd be higher off utilizing the Versatile Factors Journey program, which suggests charging your flight to your card and overlaying it along with your factors afterwards.
And also you're accomplished
And that's all there may be to reserving a flight with the Fastened Factors Journey Program. It's easy however also can present nice worth in your factors.
And there’s no worrying about seat availability or loopy schedules. If a flight could be booked via American Specific, and you’ve got sufficient factors, you’ll be able to e-book utilizing the Fastened Factors Journey program.
The one limitation is on the airways provided and what Amex journey has in its flight stock.
Associated: American Specific Fastened Factors Journey Program Bonus
Plus as much as 4% money again.
Ends January 31, 2020.
Amex Fastened Factors Journey vs. Aeroplan
Now that we all know how the Amex Fastened Factors Journey Program works, how does it evaluate to Aeroplan Fastened Mileage flights?
On the floor it might look like they're comparable. Each packages require you to make use of a set variety of factors for a flight to a set zone.
Right here’s what the chart appears to be like like for Aeroplan for flights departing from Canada and the Continental U.S. (you’ll be able to view the total chart right here):
On the entire, you'll want much less miles to redeem for a flight.
For instance, our Toronto – Winnipeg flight would have wanted 5,000 fewer miles, and our 2 lengthy haul journeys between Vancouver / Calgary – Montreal would have wanted 15,000 fewer miles.
Nevertheless, the taxes and charges for each flights via Aeroplan would have been way more – round $ 170 for these flights.
So when you want fewer miles, the precise price to you is larger,
And that's the place the similarities finish. Fact be instructed, there’s a whole lot of variations between these packages.
The largest one is which airways you’ll be able to fly with,
Aeroplan Fastened Mileage flights are solely out there on Air Canada and Star Alliance flights, and the variety of seats out there to be booked on any flight are restricted.
The Amex program alternatively, lets you redeem for any flight, on any airline, so long as Amex Journey carries the flight on their website.
That is the most important frustration with Aeroplan. When you're not reserving far upfront, it may be tough to search out availability, otherwise you'll see schedules with lengthy layovers and a number of stops. And whereas there are Market Fare Aeroplan flights, the place you’ll be able to e-book any seat on any Air Canada flight, they often require extra miles to redeem (you’ll be able to view the variations between Fastened Mileage and Market Fare flights right here).
Fortunately, on Aeroplan our Toronto to Winnipeg had been out there at Fastened Mileage ranges, nonetheless our different 2 flights had stopovers to get to your vacation spot.
The following distinction is in the bounds to how a lot your factors can cowl,
The Amex Program does have an higher restrict for the bottom airfare of your flight. Aeroplan alternatively has no such restrict. If yow will discover a seat and have the miles, you don’t have to fret about how a lot the bottom airfare is – all it’s a must to do is pay the taxes and charges.
That is the place Aeroplan could be higher, particularly if you wish to redeem for enterprise or top quality seats. Since there’s no restrict to how a lot you’ll be able to redeem your factors for, you received’t have to fret about any further invoice to pay.
Let's have a look at our Vancouver – Montreal flight once more, however booked as a enterprise class seat.
Right here’s the value breakdown:
The Amex Fastened Factors Chart (which would want 100,000 factors) solely covers a base airfare of $ 1,800, that means you’ll nonetheless need to pay a further $ 626 to redeem for this flight, on prime of the taxes and charges.
Aeroplan alternatively would solely require 50,000 miles plus comparable taxes and charges. A a lot better worth, and financial savings for you.
Associated: Which Canadian Rewards Program Is Value The Most?
Abstract of which program is best
To recap, right here’s when the Amex Fastened Factors Journey program is best:
- reserving on shorter discover,
- reserving airways apart from Air Canada and the Star Alliance,
- have particular flights you wish to e-book, and
- not versatile in your journey dates.
And right here’s when Aeroplan is best:
- can e-book far upfront,
- are okay solely flying on Air Canada and their companions,
- wish to e-book enterprise class seats,
- have versatile dates, and
- aren’t fussy concerning the flights you e-book.
Amassing your Amex Membership Rewards
If you wish to accumulate Amex Membership Rewards there’s just one approach – with a bank card.
Amex provides Three private and three enterprise bank cards you should use for this system. Right here’s an outline of every one.
Associated: Greatest Journey Credit score Playing cards In Canada
Amex bank cards
|Bank card||Welcome bonus||Earn price||Annual charge||Apply Now|
|American Specific Cobalt||As much as 30,000 factors (phrases)||* 5 factors per $ 1 on groceries & eating places|
* 2 factors per $ 1 on fuel, transit, and journey
* 1 level per $ 1 on all different purchases
|$ 120 (charged out as $ 10 per thirty days)||Apply Now|
|American Specific Gold Rewards||25,000 factors (phrases)||* 2 factors per $ 1 on fuel, groceries, drugstores, and journey|
* 1 level per $ 1 spent on all different purchases
|$ 150||Apply Now|
|American Specific Platinum||50,000 factors (phrases)||* Three factors per $ 1 on eating|
* 2 factors per $ 1 on journey
* 1 level per $ 1 on all different purchases
|$ 699||Apply Now|
|American Specific Enterprise Gold||30,000 factors (phrases)||* 2 factors per $ 1 at chosen retailers|
* 1 level per $ 1 all different purchases
|$ 250||Apply Now|
|American Specific Enterprise Platinum||40,000 factors (phrases)||* 1.25 factors per $ 1 on all purchases||$ 499||Apply Now|
|American Specific Enterprise Edge Card||As much as 42,000 factors (phrases)||* Three factors per $ 1 on workplace provides, electronics, fuel, and eating places|
* 1 level per $ 1 all different purchases
|$ 99||Apply Now|
To earn probably the most factors within the Membership Rewards program, the
It has the best earn charges of any Membership Rewards card:
- 5 factors per $ 1 spent on groceries and eating places,
- 2 factors per $ 1 spent on fuel, journey, and transit, and
- 1 level per $ 1 spent on every thing else.
It additionally comes with a welcome bonus of as much as 30,000 factors. Each month within the first yr you spend $ 500, you'll earn 2,500 bonus factors.
Plus, as an alternative of the same old annual charge you pay as soon as per yr, this card costs it out as $ 10 per thirty days.
To not point out it’s our prime card in Canada for a number of years working.
Don't wish to have to decide on between Aeroplan or the Fastened Factors Journey Program? The
You possibly can switch your factors to six airline packages, together with Aeroplan at a 1: 1 ratio. This fashion, you’ll be able to see if Aeroplan has any redemptions to your liking. And if not? You possibly can fall again on the Fastened Factors program, and all the opposite methods you should use your Membership Rewards factors.
Is there a catch to this superb setup? Sadly there may be. You’ll earn factors at decrease charges:
- 2 factors per $ 1 spent on fuel, groceries, drugstores, and journey, and
- 1 level per $ 1 spent in every single place else.
The welcome bonus is somewhat decrease, though simpler to earn. Earn 25,000 factors after spending $ 1,500 within the first Three months.
With all this stated, it's our # 1 rated Aeroplan card.
Associated: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Vs. American Specific Gold Rewards Card: What's the Greatest Aeroplan Card?
Need extra out of your bank card past the same old rewards? Then say hey to the
First, the welcome bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 factors after spending $ 3,000 within the first Three months.
Subsequent, the earn charges:
- Three factors per $ 1 on eating places,
- 2 factors per $ 1 on journey, and
- 1 level per $ 1 on all different purchases.
It's really the bottom earn charges among the many group, however greater than makes up for it with superb perks.
right here's only a style of what it provides:
- free and limitless airport lounge entry at precedence go lounges,
- $ 200 annual journey credit score,
- entry to the worldwide airline program, which incorporates reductions, upgrades, and companion fares on choose airways all over the world,
- complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite standing, in addition to superior standing in Three different resort packages, and
- VIP remedy at Toronto-Pearson airport, together with precedence safety screening.
And that's simply the highlights.
It does have a excessive annual charge of $ 699, however in case you can deal with it you'll get VIP remedy when you're flying.
Associated: American Specific Platinum Card Canada Overview: A Uncommon Metallic Card With Premium Perks
Enterprise bank cards
In search of a enterprise card? Listed here are the three enterprise playing cards that accumulate Membership Rewards factors:
(this card doesn’t enable transfers to airline packages)
Extra free flights and price range journey
Need extra articles on free flights and price range journey? Listed here are some to assist get your journey on:
The Amex Fastened Factors Journey program provides a good way to get a number of worth in your factors, on any flight yow will discover.
And if the worth isn't there, you’ll be able to at all times fall again to the Versatile Factors Program as an alternative.
What are your ideas on the Fastened Factors Program? Any experiences you wish to share?
Tell us within the feedback under.