An interesting development for fans of the Golden Arches. Beginning this week, you'll be able to redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points at the register at participating McDonad's restaurants in New York and Chicago, with San Francisco and Phoenix joining in next week. The plan is to roll this program out to all 14,000 US locations by December, which will include the ability to use your Amex card at the drive-thru and apply points later either online or via mobile app.
When you swipe your card at the register inside the store, you'll see the option to pay with points, along with the number of points required. The redemption value will be 1 cent-per-point (CPP), which equates to 100 points per dollar. So a $5 meal would cost 500 points, for example.
Amex already offers many ways to redeem points online for merchandise and gift certificates, and rolled-out a program with Uber earlier this year with a similar payment option. It'll be interesting to see how this trend catches on in the industry.
Anyone craving a Big Mac?