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:
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 moneysupermarket.com.
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:
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.
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.
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.