Certain American Express cards offer membership rewards for cash back, travel experiences, shopping excursions, gift cards and tickets, according to the company's website. As of 2015, the standard reward is one point or one percent cash back for each dollar spent on an eligible purchase using the card.
For example, some American Express customers who use their cards to book flights, hotels and cruises pay all or part of the costs with their reward points, according to the company website. Customers can purchase car rentals, Amtrak gift certificates and gasoline with reward points. Certain theme parks, movie theaters, ski centers and golf courses also participate in the program.
Gift cards are available with reward points, as American Express explains. Gift cards are offered for many travel experiences as well as national clothing, media and personal care retailers, fast food and other chain restaurants, and online stores. Customers also have the option to buy American Express gift cards.
As customers use their American Express cards to pay for goods and services, they accumulate reward points, as the company's website explains. However, some uses do not collect points, such as balance transfers, cash advances, traveler’s check purchases and prepaid gift cards. Certain American Express cards also allow customers to collect extra bonus points when used at many locations, including specific drug stores, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and department stores.