American Express Announces Upgrade With Points Program

Travelers can now upgrade their flights with over 20 participating airlines through American Express’s Upgrade with Points program, a partnership with Plusgrade.

Plusgrade is a technology platform that lets travelers bid on upgraded seats that would otherwise be empty. By filling these empty seats, airlines that use Plusgrade technology would receive more revenue.

Plusgrade works with 21 airlines to allow upgrades to first class, business class, and premium economy seats within travel reservations. Travelers who want to upgrade their seat reservations with Upgrade with Points can use the following steps to guide them through the process:

  1. Visit the Upgrade with American Express Points section of membershiprewards.com
  2. Select your airline
    1. Customers will select an eligible partner airline. Partners include Aerolíneas Argentina, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air China, Air Mauritius, Avianca, Caribbean Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, FIJI Airways, Gulf Air, Icelandair, Kenya Airways, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Norwegian, Qantas, SAS, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines, and TAP Air Portugal
  3. Enter your reservation details to see if your itinerary is eligible to upgrade
  4. If eligible, use Memberships Rewards points to place an offer towards an upgrade

If the airline accepts your upgrade offer, you will find out via an email from American Express within five days of your flight. Travelers whose bids are declined will also be notified via email.

But what does this mean?

Plusgrade technology stands behind many opportunities to upgrade flight reservations with cash. Now, Plusgrade and American Express are marketing the new system, Upgrade with Points, to create a new way for travelers to spend points. But is this the best way to spend your points?

In answering that question, opinions may vary. However, when taking into consideration the fact that there is a set minimum number of points to bid, the process could seem less appealing to our Pointsters that hold their points in high regards.

To determine if you’re getting the best value for your American Express points, always remember the Pointster rule of thumb, “a penny a point.” For more information on this concept, take a look at our guide to exploring the value of your points and miles.

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