Membership Rewards Redemptions = Horrible in Singapore

The Membership Rewards program from American Express is pretty good in the US. In Singapore, it’s been less than stellar. There are far fewer airlines that you can transfer points to, and although you supposedly can redeem online it gave me an error every time i tried, which meant i had to call in to customer service.

The worst part, as i discovered, is that you don’t actually get store vouchers (or gift cards) when you redeem your MR points. What you get are Amex-branded paper certificates. These require the basic card holder to show his/her Amex credit card and IC for identification, plus a signature on each sheet. Depending on the vendor, there are different terms & conditions. It also shocked me that certificates (Issued: 30 Nov 2012) expired within 2 months (Use by: 31 Jan 2013). How ridiculous!

To avoid this problem i went to the vendor and bought store-branded vouchers using the Amex certificates, which are usually valid for 1-year. This did not work at Haagen Dazs though, so just be aware that you can only buy products i.e., ice cream / cakes, and not their “gold” vouchers or other promotional items.