American Express lets you use your Membership Rewards points to book travel, transfer to travel partners, shop at eligible merchants, gift cards and even credit card charges. The latter is probably the worst use of these points. You need to use a minimum of 1,000 points and every 1,000 MR points are worth only $6. That’s a value of just 0.6 cents per point, less than half of what you can get through travel partners.
However, right now they have a promotion that makes the option of using the points for charges less terrible. You can save 20% when you use points to pay your eligible American Express Card® charges now through 4/30/18. That means that you can use 8,000 points for $60 for example. That’s a value of 0.75 cents per points. The offer is targeted so just go into your Membership Rewards account and see if you have it.
This promotion makes it less painful to redeem Membership Rewards points for credit card charges, but I would still advise against it. It could make sense for those who have a few thousand points left and don’t plan to use them for travel.