Many travel blogs will tell you that one of the best ways to use American Express credit card points is to create a points strategy that includes fare sales, points transfers, and frequent flyer numbers at as many airlines as possible. For your next vacation or overseas flight, this advice is golden.
However, in business travel, most of the time we are looking at a specific need within a specific timeframe (i.e. round trip airfare from Los Angeles to San Francisco tomorrow). One of the major needs small businesses face is offsetting travel costs. These unconventional methods of using Amex points reduce travel costs in surprisingly effective ways.
Save on flights through Amex Travel Portal
Using points for booking flights is still incredibly smart. One way to increase the value of your points is by booking through the Amex Travel Portal. The competitive pricing keeps flight costs down and best of all you can still earn miles with your air alliance of choice.
Cut transportation costs with Uber
There are two great options with Uber. You can earn 2x the Amex points with each Uber ride. However, if you are looking to truly offset those business costs, pay for your next uber ride with points instead of dollars. Simply connect a qualifying Amex card to your Uber account to activate this way to pay.
Get accommodations on the cheap with Airbnb gift cards
If you haven’t tried Airbnb, now is the time and Amex is making it easier. It’s often more lucrative to find a good Airbnb in an area where employees are traveling than to pay for an expensive hotel. Amex allows you to buy Airbnb gift cards with your points and with a 25% bonus on gift card purchases until March 31st it’s like getting a night free for every 4 you book.
Order free office supplies using points on Amazon
From business supplies to replacing lost chargers, businesses are constantly swiping their cards at Amazon. A recent discovery revealed that with a few simple clicks, qualifying Amex cards can be linked with Amazon accounts and points can be used at checkout.
Dine without breaking the bank using OpenTable
Networking is one of the best and most expensive parts of any good business. Moving a meeting from a stuffy conference room to one that’s over a juicy steak will likely work in your favor. With the option to purchase OpenTable gift cards using Amex points, you now have the option to pick the nicer restaurant (you know, the one that requires a reservation), treating your guest to the best without the strain on your limited funds.