Update: As mentioned by Deals We Like, some people are reporting being eligible for this offer now, even though they weren’t previously, and some are also reporting being eligible a second time. So I recommend checking to see if you’re eligible once again.
Earlier this year Amazon had a ridiculously generous promotion that I know many of you took advantage of, and it looks like it’s back again. Essentially you can save 20% off virtually any Amazon purchase of up to $500 when you redeem at least one Membership Rewards point.
This is super easy to take advantage of, so if you’re eligible this should be a no brainer. The deal gets even better when you consider how many things are on sale over the coming days.
Redeeming points on Amazon
It’s possible to redeem several rewards points currencies for purchases on Amazon. The catch is that it’s almost never a good deal, since the value they give you per point is extremely low. For example, you can redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for Amazon purchases, but you get less than a penny per point, while I value the points at 1.7 cents each.
The one time it can make sense to redeem points for Amazon purchases is when there’s a great promotion, as we’re seeing right now.
The basics of this promotion
Amazon is offering 20% off when you use American Express Membership Rewards points to pay for at least part of your purchase. Note that it’s possible not everyone will be eligible — you’ll have to check at the registration link.
The maximum discount is $100, meaning this is valid for a purchase of up to $500. The promotion is valid through December 23, 2018, or “when Amazon elects to end this promotion,” so I’d recommend not just registering ASAP, but also making the purchase ASAP.
The process of taking advantage of this is easy:
- You first have to activate the offer by clicking the “Click to activate” button on this page (most people report being eligible for the offer, though some may not be)
- Then add eligible items to your shopping cart, which includes virtually anything that is sold and shipped by Amazon
- At check-out use at least one Membership Rewards point for your purchase (and that’s exactly what I’d do — I recommend redeeming exactly one point)
For example, I added $500 in Starbucks gift cards to my cart. Since I have an Amex card earning Membership Rewards points linked to my account, I was asked to select how many points I wanted to redeem. I selected the equivalent of $0.01 worth of points, which is one Membership Rewards point. As you’ll see, the total due is $399.99 — that accounts for the $100 discount, plus the one cent for which you’re redeeming points.
Make sure you don’t actually pay for your entire purchase with points, or else you’ll be getting a really bad deal.
In addition to being able to buy just about anything on Amazon, third party gift cards seem to be triggering the discount as well, so you can buy cards from popular companies like Starbucks, Uber, Southwest Airlines, Airbnb, Hotels.com, Whole Foods, and more. If you’d spend money with these companies anyway, you might as well score 20% off. Just make sure you see the discount reflected when you finalize the purchase.
20% off an Amazon purchase is basically like free money, given that they sell just about everything. Hopefully many of you can take advantage of this offer.