NEW: How to keep your Membership Rewards points when cancelling Amex Gold or Platinum

One of the downsides of cancelling an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum charge card is that you are required to empty out your Membership Rewards points account.

The Preferred Rewards Gold card is free in year 1 and comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points (read my Preferred Rewards Gold review here).  Platinum comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points (read my Platinum charge card review here).  These convert 1:1 into Avios, Virgin or many other airline schemes or at up to 1:3 into various hotel schemes.

Having to close your Membership Rewards points account can lead to a dilemma over when to cancel.  You will be paying £11.66 per month after the free first year to keep an Amex Gold active and £37.50 for a Platinum.  However, this allows you to keep your Membership Rewards points where they are.  If you are forced to transfer them because you close the account, you may regret it later.  Because Amex points can be transferred to many different airline and hotel partners, they are more valuable than airline or hotel points.

There is now a solution that:

lets you keep your Membership Rewards points account open, and

allows you to stop paying an annual fee for either the Gold or Platinum charge card

This is the answer:

American Express Gold credit card review

You can now apply for the Amex Rewards Credit Card.

This card has NO ANNUAL FEE.

You will not find this card on the main American Express website as it is currently being offered exclusively via

What is the Amex Rewards Credit Card?

It is a standard Amex-branded credit card.  It has no annual fee and no benefits, except for the ability to collect Membership Rewards points on your spending.

There are three versions of the card available:

5,000 Membership Rewards points bonus and a representative APR of 9.9% variable (click here)


10,000 Membership Rewards points bonus and a representative APR of 22.9% variable (click here)


NO sign-up bonus but 0% APR on purchases for 18 months and a representative APR of 22.9% variable beyond that (click here)

The first two cards require a £500 (5,000 points version) or £1,000 (10,000 points version)  spend within three months to trigger the bonus.

It is unlikely that many Head for Points readers will qualify for the bonus because you cannot have held any Membership Rewards cards in the previous six months.

Don’t worry about that.  You may still want to get this card even though you won’t get a bonus.

If you currently have an Amex Gold or Platinum charge card and want to cancel it to avoid paying the fee but do not want to cash in your Membership Rewards points, this is your answer.

Apply for the Amex Rewards Credit Card.  Once it is active, you can cancel your Gold charge card or Platinum charge card safe in the knowledge that your Membership Rewards balance is safe.

The only ‘snag’ is that you will not have reset the six month clock on being able to reapply for Gold charge or Platinum charge and receive another sign-up bonus.  In order to do that you need to close down your Membership Rewards account entirely.

For a lot of people, though, being able to keep their existing Membership Rewards balance alive will be more important.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending financial products on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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  1. Clarence says:

    I cancelled my gold card 7 months ago and am going to get the platinum card. When i cancelled it does that also close the MR account automatically

  2. Giovanni says:

    An interesting question for Amex Gold (the one that gives 20k sign-up bonus)

    If I reach 2k one the first month that I have the card and it triggers the 20k bonus, what will happen if there is a refund within these three months and the initial spend goes to -say- £1980? Will 20k be taken from my account and re-given once I spend these extra £20 or points will stay on the account either way?

    • It is taken away, it happened to a friend of mine.

      • one good trick here is to buy refundable plane fares to hit your spend targets on welcome bonuses, then cancel your flight for full refund. close your amex account the day you receive the refund, and as long as you have cleared out your MR/avios/spg balances, no mechanism of amex getting back the points. tidy little earner.

        • Johnnycl says:

          Surely this is more likely to irritate Amex to the point of taking a closer look at churned applications in the future though; seems a bit short-term to me if you’re in it for the points over the long-term.

          • Even I don’t do that. I do do a bit of MS sometimes to hit targets but nothing that requires a refund into the Amex account. Hopefully Amex will continue our (profitable for me) relationship…

        • sounds like dishonesty to me

      • Yup, to me too. But I just called and they reinstated bonus points without much fuss.

  3. When you cancel the Amex Gold charge card after paying the annual fee, do you get a refund for the remaining timescale?

  4. While we are on the Amex Gold – if you spend the 15K needed, how quickly do the 10K Bonus points post? Presumably you have to pay the fee for the period of time you keep the card waiting for them to post?

  5. Very interesting. I currently hold the Amex Gold charge and credit card, and both cards are linked to the same MR account. This goes back a few years, but if I recall correctly, when I got the card the account was separate and I had to call in order to get it merged.

    If I am to benefit from this, am I supposed to cancel the gold credit card and apply through the fresh links? Do I have to wait 6 months?

    • Some people find they can cancel Gold charge and keep the ‘sister’ Gold credit. As the card is now available separately it might not be a problem.

  6. Timothy Arnold says:

    OT: how long does it normally take to get your bonus 10k MR after your first year 10k spend on Amex Gold? I would like to churn and just waiting for the points… :-)

  7. Hi im looking for a flight on the 30th December from New York to Las Vegas one way for 2 adults using My miles ,

    I just looking for some help on which would be the best program to use ,

    I.e to transfer from amex to Elevate or Skymiles or if anyone knows of any better choices

    Elevate is showing 19,000 points one way

    Delta Skymiles 25,000 Points one way

    Thanks in advance

  8. I see I cant send To Elevate direct from Amex is there a workaround ?

    • pointsarb says:

      If you have SPG Miles then Elevate is a transfer partner. If you don’t then maybe get Raffles to refer you for the SPG Amex and bag the sign up bonus then transfer across to Elevate to help you on your way?

      Can also use Avios internally in the US and this is well regarded as one of the best uses of them

  9. so far the easiest way seems to use Skymiles and just transfer from amex , As Im looking to offload airmiles rather than cash .

  10. Just a question re: resetting the 6 months clock for offers in same currency, I’ve just joined a company that uses a Corp Amex with an active MR account, I doubt I’ll use it enough to generate a significant balance, but is this likely to cause an issue re timelines of holding a personal MR account?

  11. I don’t know if this is new, but I was able to transfer MR points to someone else when cancelling my amex platinum on Friday, which I thought they had a policy of not allowing despite the T&C’s.

  12. Was the Amex Gold available a year ago? I’m sure I didn’t see it when I was shopping around for an Amex to transfer my Australia Platinum Edge to a UK card. The only viable option I found was Amex SPG. The Gold one is a great deal at the moment.

  13. I have the free BA amex, which means that I should be eligible for this right? Had the Gold charge card about more than a year ago.