Tired Of Saving Those American Express Rewards Points For A Trip? Spend Them At McDonald’s Instead

No one wants to wait months to accumulate enough American Express rewards points to purchase a blender when you can get instant gratification at McDonald’s. That’s right, the fast-food chain now accepts your hard-earned AmEx points in exchange for Big Mac, Quarter Pounders and other fare.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that earlier this week McDonald’s locations in New York and Chicago began the pay-with-points service that exchanges 100 points for every $1 worth of food purchased.

To use points customers simply swipe their credit card and chose the “pay with reward points” options. The screen will then display how many points it would take to purchase the meal. If customers are okay with the cost, they approve the transaction.

Customers using the drive-thru don’t have the option of seeing the screen detailing the number of points used. Instead patrons will have to use the American Express app or go online to redeem points later, Businessweek reports.

Officials with American Express tell Businessweek they hope the new payment option at McDonald’s makes consumers “think about using their American Express card in places they haven’t thought about before.”

Leslie Berland, vice president for digital partnerships and development at American Express, goes on to say that customers should consider the pay-with-points system as a way to reward themselves every day with French fries, shakes, and burgers (because we should all really count fast food as a reward).

According to American Express’ Reward Program webpage, consumers receive two to 20 points for every $1.60 they spend, depending on their card of choice.

So that means while it likely won’t take as long to earn the 700 points to pay for a $7 McDonald’s lunch as it would to earn the 25,000 points it takes to be eligible for a GoPro camera, consumers will still have to spend a pretty penny for their fast food meals.

Still, Berland says she expected customers to visit McDonald’s restaurants more frequently and spend more money there as a result of the new payment arrangement.

The payment option is expected to begin in Phoenix and San Francisco next week and in McDonald’s across the country by December.

McDonald’s Now Takes Cash, Credit, and American Express Rewards Points [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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