How I would use 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points (and enter to win a $100 Amex gift card!)


Thank you to everyone who left comments on my first American Express Membership Rewards post! You all had wonderful suggestions for spending 25,000 points, from airline tickets to gift cards to kitchenware to Swarovski crystals to every kind of electronic gadget possible. I'm amazed at the number of rewards you can redeem for just 25,000 points!

So what are my Top Five Finds under 25k? I have to admit, the thought of taking all 25,000 points and redeeming them for an airline ticket to New York so I can watch a Broadway show and get away from the kids is really tempting :) But I'm a practical sort of gal, and if I had 25,000 points I don't think I'd blow it all on a single purchase. Darn it, I have my husband and kids to think of, so I guess I would share the love (and the points). After all, it's about the experiences you enjoy and the memories you make.

So here are the top 5 ways I would redeem 25,000 Membership Rewards points:


1) Go shopping
In general, gift cards are one of the best ways to redeem Membership Rewards points. First of all, you can start redeeming gift cards at just 1,000 points. Second, almost every gift card will give you a penny per point conversion (i.e. 100 points will get you $1 worth of merchandise, or 1% cash back). Almost none of the products will (which is pretty standard for any loyalty rewards program), so if you're treating your points like cash, go with gift cards.

The Membership Rewards program lets you redeem gift cards to hundreds of popular retailers -- Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Land's End, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Zappos, Victoria's Secret and REI, to name a few -- so you can give them as presents to friends and family, or you can use them to buy things that you would buy anyway.


2) Go out for dinner
I always feel like it's such a splurge to take the kids out to a restaurant with real silverware, napkins and waiters! But with the Membership Rewards program you can redeem points for a restaurant gift card and treat the family to a nice dinner out. Gift cards to restaurants are also great because they give you $1 worth of dining dollars for every 100 points.

The Membership Rewards catalog has a wide choice of restaurants, from upscale places like Roy's or Smith and Wollensky, to family-friendly eats like The Olive Garden, The Cheesecake Factory or California Pizza Kitchen (our favorite!) , so you can always find a great place to eat.


3) See a movie I love going to see movies at the cinema, so redeeming 10,000 points for 10 Cinemark movie tickets is a no-brainer. You get to see any movie you want (note: the theatre may charge extra for 3D movies or special attractions), any time, for 1,000 points per ticket. In my area of the world, movie tickets go for $10.75, so I'm getting $10.75 worth of services for 1,000 points -- what a great deal!


4) Visit an amusement park
Great news for parents saving up for a theme park vacation in LA: a single-day ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood is only 8,500 points in the Membership Rewards catalog, so you can take the whole family out for the day and enjoy all the rides and shows in the park! I love this reward because now that my kids are bigger, they can go on almost any ride in any theme park. Even better, they love all the drops, twists and loops of all the "scariest" coasters, so Alfie and I no longer have to do parent switches on all the best rides -- and we get to enjoy more of the park as a family.


5) Give to charity
I really love that the Membership Rewards program lets cardholders donate their points to the causes that mean the most to them, via the Members Give project. Right now they are featuring Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief, but you can choose from over 1 million nonprofit organizations. If you've ever felt like you don't have the budget to make charitable donations, donating points is a great way to support a cause and help make a difference without subtracting from your bank balance. Again, you can donate as few as 1,000 points ($10), and again, you are maximizing that points-per-dollar ratio. Your donations are even tax-deductible!


Win a $100 American Express Gift Card!

American Express is giving away a $100 American Express Gift Card to one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! Required Entry
Browse the American Express Membership Rewards catalog at http://www.membershiprewards.com/ , then leave a comment on this post telling me which reward(s) you would choose if you had 50,000 Membership Rewards points. This entry must be completed before you can complete any of the extra entries below.

Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following (maximum of 4 extra entries for this post). Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).


1) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).


2) Grab my blog button and post it up on your blog (1 entry).


3) Share the link to this post (http://ow.ly/4sWa4) on your Facebook page wall, along with the following text (1 entry):
If you had 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, what would *you* redeem them for? Share your answer with Bonggamom for a chance to win a $100 Amex gift card!



4) Tweet this (1 entry):
What would you do with 50k Amex rewards points? Tell @bonggafinds for a chance to win a $100 Amex gift card! http://ow.ly/4sWa4 #giveaways



For more entries to this giveaway, check out last week's AmEx post. You can gain even more entries by commenting on AmEx post #3, coming up next week.




The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on April 14, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on April 15 from all valid entries on my AmEx posts on March 28, April 4 and April 11. Winner will be announced on my April 18 AmEx post. Due to time constraints, winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email, otherwise I will draw an alternate winner. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!



Disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in American Express' Membership Rewards Program via complimentary Membership Rewards Points. Thanks to American Express for providing the $100 American Express Gift Card giveaway prize. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

74 Comments, Leave yours here:

Shelly on April 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM said...

I would use my points for an American Express gift card to buy lots and lots of diapers, formula and wipes.

donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

Shelly on April 4, 2011 at 9:58 AM said...

tweet: http://twitter.com/atticgirl76/status/54950844050849792

JC on April 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

Canon PowerShot 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom and 2GB SD Memory Card would be great to have.

JC on April 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs @tcarolinep JessieKatie S

JC on April 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

button.http://tcarolinep.blogspot.com/

JC on April 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

shared on FB.http://www.facebook.com/#!/tcarolinep/posts/165819816804632

JC on April 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/54989921382965249

Mami2jcn on April 4, 2011 at 5:31 PM said...

If I had 50,000 points I'd get the Canon PowerShot 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom and 2GB SD Memory Card.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn on April 4, 2011 at 5:31 PM said...

I follow you on networked blogs (Mary Happymommy)

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn on April 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM said...

tweet:

http://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/55065213304700928

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Tamara B. on April 4, 2011 at 7:44 PM said...

I would use them to book a nice condo on the beach for the us when they are out on spring beak. We have never had the opportunity to ever take a family vacation and before I know it they will graduating high school.
tamben7996(at)aol(dot)com

Tamara B. on April 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM said...

I posted on my Facebook wall.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/tamara.bennington

tamben7996(at)aol(dot)com

slehan on April 4, 2011 at 8:27 PM said...

I'd use it for Amazon credit and whittle down my wish list there.
Thanks for the contest.

hmb on April 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM said...

I'd get an Economy Class Ticket from New York (JFK) to Vancouver, Canada on Cathay Airlines

hmb@fortaj.com

hmb on April 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM said...

Cujo follows on Networked Blogs

hmb@fortaj.com

hmb on April 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM said...

shared on Fb:
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=177173682335600&id=100001107597416

hmb@fortaj.com

hmb on April 4, 2011 at 8:33 PM said...

hmb99 follows on twitter

tweet -http://twitter.com/#!/HMB99/status/55110712749596672

hmb@fortaj.com

slehan on April 4, 2011 at 8:39 PM said...

networked blogs: Slehan

slehan on April 4, 2011 at 8:43 PM said...

Have your button on my blog: http://slehan.blogspot.com/

slehan on April 4, 2011 at 8:45 PM said...

http://twitter.com/slehan/status/55113773354196992

slehan on April 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM said...

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=206602216024100&id=100000229693838

Nad on April 4, 2011 at 9:19 PM said...

I would get the Anolon® Advanced Bronze 10-Piece Cookware Set, for 44,800 points.

treflea4 at gmail dot com

Lois on April 5, 2011 at 6:50 AM said...

Hi and Happy Tuesday! :) Ooh, I could link the AMEX account with amazon.... would go nuts there!!! :)

Lois
OV_099@yahoo.com

BethElderton on April 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM said...

I would choose two Bose Companion 3 Series II Multimedia Systems--normally 26,160 point each, now 24,160 points each. That would clinch my position as hotest gift-giver come birthdays!
bethelderton59 at gmail dot com

BethElderton on April 5, 2011 at 1:34 PM said...

tweet:
http://twitter.com/#!/mbm218/status/55367453819146240
bethelderton59 at gmail dot com

bikeohio on April 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM said...

Swiss Army Men's Chrono Classic Watch
Victorinox Swiss Army for 49,200 pts!

bikeohio on April 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM said...

I follow you on Networked Blogs.

bikeohio on April 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM said...

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=174809492568483&id=100000195939837 Posted on my FB wall.

bikeohio on April 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM said...

http://twitter.com/bikeohio/status/55689039906480128 tweeted!

Jennifer T. on April 6, 2011 at 3:14 PM said...

I'd use the points to get a One Night Stay in a Tower Suite Room at Wynn Las Vegas.
jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer T. on April 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM said...

I follow through Networked Blogs under username Jennie Tilson.
jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

jenmalonee on April 6, 2011 at 7:24 PM said...

If I had 50,000 points I would use it for Amazon credit-oh the possibilites!

If I felt really nice that day....I would give my mother the Amazon credit she too would have a blast and I would feel great knowing I made her happy!

jenmalonee on April 6, 2011 at 7:26 PM said...

I follow you via networked blogs!

jennifer marie

lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

jenmalonee on April 6, 2011 at 7:32 PM said...

posted to facebook

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=137714579634800&id=661240371

Jennifer Marie

lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

Tina on April 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM said...

I'd use the points to get restaurant gift cards
merleandtina@Yahoo.com

Tina on April 7, 2011 at 9:01 AM said...

follow you on network blogs
merleandtina@Yahoo.com

coriwestphal on April 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM said...

If I had 50k points to spend, I could get a ton! I'd either get my kids a DS Lite or myself an 8gb iPod touch!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal on April 7, 2011 at 11:08 AM said...

I follow via FB Networked Blogs: Cori Eckstrom Westphal

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal on April 7, 2011 at 11:08 AM said...

I have your main button: http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com/2009/09/sahm-looking-for-deals-favorite-blogs.html (it's alphabetical)

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal on April 7, 2011 at 11:08 AM said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/56055783548403712

coriwestphal at msn dot com

abitnerdy on April 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moushka on April 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM said...

I would get the Bose Wave Music System.

moushka on April 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM said...

Follow with NW Blogs!

abitnerdy on April 10, 2011 at 6:37 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abitnerdy on April 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cinderella10383 on April 10, 2011 at 10:42 PM said...

I would do the Richard Petty driving experience for my hubby
Jamie Brigham
cinderella10383 @ aol dot com

Cinderella10383 on April 10, 2011 at 10:42 PM said...

Following you on network blogs-
Jamie Brigham
cinderella10383 @ aol dot com

Cinderella10383 on April 10, 2011 at 10:43 PM said...

shared on facebook-http://www.facebook.com/jamie.brigham/posts/207679949251368
Jamie Brigham
cinderella10383 @ aol dot com

Cinderella10383 on April 10, 2011 at 10:44 PM said...

Tweeted on twitter about giveaway
@cinderella10383
http://twitter.com/#!/Cinderella10383/status/57317982287835137
Jamie Brigham
cinderella10383 @ aol dot com

bdiane34 on April 11, 2011 at 2:15 AM said...

I would use my points for the Amazon credits
sweokgrl@gmail.com

bdiane34 on April 11, 2011 at 2:16 AM said...

I follow via Networked blogs (Becky Horn)
sweokgrl@gmail.com

bdiane34 on April 11, 2011 at 2:19 AM said...

I shared on FB
sweokgrl@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=107196802699032&id=100000894830549

bdiane34 on April 11, 2011 at 2:20 AM said...

I tweeted
sweokgrl@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/bdiane34/status/57372241779900416

fostertam on April 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM said...

Can you believe I don't have a slow cooker?? Well if I had 50,000 points I could get this one:
Calphalon Electrics 7-qt. Digital Slow Cooker

fostertam on April 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fostertam on April 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM said...

fostertam follows on networked blogs
fostertam22 (at) yahoo (dot) com

fostertam on April 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM said...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/lisa.s.foster/posts/10150160043803270

FB entry

fostertam on April 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM said...

http://twitter.com/#!/fostertam/status/57921708467818496

JoeyfromSC on April 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM said...

I would have to use the rewards points for Delta skymiles so I could finally fly to see my brothers out in Hollywood, CA!

Thank you for the chance to win!

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

JoeyfromSC on April 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM said...

I have your button on my blog:

http://www.joebloe1116.blogspot.com

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

JoeyfromSC on April 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM said...

Following you via Networked Blogs
as JoeyfromSC

Joey J.

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

*Thank you for the chance to win!

abitnerdy on April 12, 2011 at 5:18 PM said...

with 50K amex poiints I'd love to get this swimm's bike for the significant other :) he's be thrilleeedddd!

http://www.membershiprewards.com/catalog/productdetail/?result_id=HLX1407&sortKey=Points&sortDir=DESC&aid=68787

abitnerdygirl @ gmail dot com

abitnerdy on April 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM said...

I follow bonggamomfinds on networked blogs :)

abitnerdygirl at gmail dot com

abitnerdy on April 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM said...

i shared the link and msg on Facebook :)

abitnerdy on April 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM said...

I tweeted about the promo!

linkyloo tweeteroo http://twitter.com/abitnerdy/status/57958117861883904

Crystal said...

i would like to get American Express Gift Cards..Amazon would be fun too:)

cyclona66 at aol dot com

katychick on April 13, 2011 at 12:04 PM said...

i would use them for hotels
tcogbill at live dot com

Membership card printing on April 13, 2011 at 10:42 PM said...

Gift certificate has become increasingly popular because they relieve the donor to choose a specific gift.

Anne on April 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM said...

I'd pick the Panasonic 33mm Wide-angle Lens Camcorder with Advanced Optical 78X Zoom with OIS- Black
eagjolly at gmail dot com

Anne on April 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/status/58560214739337216

Matty and Sarabeth on April 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM said...

I would get the Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery 21pc Set
Calphalon

mattyandsarabeth(at)gmail(dot)com

Matty and Sarabeth on April 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM said...

following on networked blogs (Matty N' Sarabeth)

mattyandsarabeth(at)gmail(dot)com

Matty and Sarabeth on April 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/MattyNSarabeth/status/58653403135492096


mattyandsarabeth(at)gmail(dot)com

Bonggamom on May 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM said...

Thanks to everyone for entering! Congratulations to the winner: #248 from post #1, cmacaran!

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