Amex Business Checking Cash Out
Normally, redeeming Membership Rewards points for cash is a bad option. The standard redemption rate is $0.006 per point as a statement credit on your account. That is a pretty horrible value, but there are ways to get a better cash redemption rate. The most popular option is the Charles Schwab Platinum card that allows you to “cash out” your Membership Rewards at $0.011 each. That is almost double the standard rate. Access to the Platinum card a small part of why we say the Charles Schwab debit card is the one card every traveler should get. Another option is to redeem your points to your Amex Business Checking account if you are also a Business Platinum card holder. When you have this one two punch you can redeem points at $0.01 per point. You get that rate for your first one million points per calendar year. Since the program's inception you could process the Amex Business checking cash out online. That was the case, until now at least.
Issues With Online Amex Business Checking Cash Outs
While you will almost always get a better rate than one cent per point transferring your points to travel partners, there are times where your earn may outpace your burn. Or, you could be in a financial pinch where you can use points to help cover some costs etc.
In the past it was pretty easy to redeem your Membership Rewards points online (here is the landing page for it) with your Amex Business Platinum and Business Checking account. It was one of the options that appear when you go to your business checking account and click on your Membership Rewards points balance. You could select how many points you wanted to redeem, hit submit and the cash would be in your business checking account in seconds.
That changed some time recently. For reasons unknown to me, American Express is blocking Amex Business checking cash out redemptions online. If you go to select this you will get an error screen. The error tells you to call the number on the back of your card.
This Could Be A Temporary Problem
Having I.T. issues is nothing new for American Express. They also have issues with the Charles Schwab cash out online portal at times too. They will block access to that option from time to time, but it usually comes back in a few days. I don't know if the issues with Amex Business Checking cash out redemptions online are a short term problem or a longer term change. When I spoke with a rep they would only say this is the way it is for the time being.
I had each ToP team member try to do an online redemption just to be sure the agent was correct. Each team member received the same error message as I show above.
You Can Still Redeem Membership Rewards Over The Phone
I guess the good news is that they are not blocking Membership Rewards business checking cash outs all together. It is just an issue online. If you call the number on the back of your Business Platinum card you can still process a redemption. Once you get transferred to the proper department, the agent will verify your information and then ask how many points you would like to redeem at one cent a piece.
The agent will tell you it could take up to 48 hours for the balance to reflect in your American Express Business Checking account. The points will be removed from your Membership Rewards account immediately though. I did a test transfer to see how doing a Amex Business Checking cash out over the phone would work. The money showed up in my Amex Business Checking account pretty much immediately. The experience seemed to be the same as redeeming the points online in that respect.
Redeeming Membership Rewards For Cash: ToP Thoughts
While it is annoying that Amex Business Checking cash out redemptions are not available online for the time being, it is good we still have an option to do it. The phone call will likely take you 5 – 10 minutes to process the redemption. It is not as good as a few seconds to do it online, but it is better than nothing. Hopefully this is just a short term glitch that American Express will update soon.
If you notice the online redemption come back online please let us know in the ToP Facebook Group so that we can let everyone know.