500 free American Express Membership Rewards points!

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If you have an Amex Membership Rewards account, and are opted in to emails (and if not, you should be), you should have received an email yesterday which looks, on the face of it, like a piece of junk.  It was called ‘Glittering festive gift ideas from Membership Rewards’, an invitation to hit the Delete key if ever there was one!

However, this email contains a very attractive promotion:

Redeem online between 1 October and 31 December 2012 and receive a bonus of 500 Membership Rewards points on your first redemption

Amex has run this promotion every year for the last 3-4 years and the bonus points always post.  Note, though, that you won’t get your 500 bonus points until close to the back-stop date of 10 February 2013.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, you should try to do the smallest possible redemption that you can!  Why bother moving 1,000 points to Avios?  If there is a 100% bonus on Avios transfers next year, you will actually be worse off if you move 1,000 points now that you don’t need!  At the same time, you should obviously do a transfer to a programme where you can use the points.

What do I suggest?  Club Carlson has a minimum transfer requirement of 3 points!  Jumeirah Sirius is 15 points.  BA / Virgin / BMI all need 1,000, so I would ignore those.  The winner, I think is Nectar (assuming you have an active Nectar card) where the minimum transfer is just 1 point!  That leaves you 499 points up!

Personally, I will probably do Club Carlson (although I will need to ring them to change the card number linked to my MR account).  If I can’t be bothered, I will move 15 into my dormant Jumeirah account – although as we are at one of their properties in December, it won’t be dormant for long.

(PS.  Even if you didn’t get this email, I would still do a small transfer into a programme you use.  You have very little to lose and 500 points to gain.)

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  1. I can’t see Priority Club listed on the travel rewards “Hotel Partners” section. Only SPG, HH CC and Jumeriah?

  2. I didn’t get the email but do we have a direct link at all please

    • There is no link, it was just stated in the text of the email (along with the pretty image that I copied into the post!)

  3. How have you gone on changing your Club Carlson number? My previous Goldpoints number (which is the same except for a few extra digits at the start) wouldn’t work in Membership Rewards anymore, so I called Amex to change it, and had to leave it with them. They still only have Goldpoints on their system and the rep I was speaking too was busy explaining that they can’t transfer to Club Carlson! Having pointed out that we’re the same thing, I left it with them and await a call back.

    • **UPDATE** Received call back, they have managed to change the number, but it will now take 14 days to ‘verify’ before I can transfer points!

    • Rang yesterday, agent was able to take my CC number but gave me the usual stuff about taking 14 days to verify. It now shows online if I do a dummy redemption, marked as ‘Pending’. Still listed under Goldpoints Plus, of course!

      • Hmm – I’ve got my last 10 digits in but it still won’t let me transfer online. Went back and forward by email about the problem a few months back (not helped by them not realising it was a minimum of 3 points, in increments of 3) – eventually I gave up, but they turned my last email into a formal complaint (as they often do) and ended up coming back saying it was a technical error and giving me a £75 statement credit to apologise!!

        Has anyone managed to do an online transfer to CC or have you always had to do it over the phone?

        I’ve now registered my Nectar card, but note you sould only enter the last 11 digits – it just gives an error if you enter the whole card number.

        Overall the transfer system seems pretty flakey!

        • Worth noting that the rules of the 500 point bonus say it must be an ONLINE transfer, so don’t call Amex and do a Carlson redemption by phone.

        • Definitely – hence why I’ve registered my Nectar card to do an online transfer, but worth highlighting the point, Raffles 😀

  4. Quick Q: we’ve been given a corporate amex for work and expenses… I’l likely only use it for flights as I’ve got approval to use my personal BA Amex for other expenses, however I’ve noted that I can personally receive the MR from the green work amex if I pay them £30 a year…. question is, at what level of work spend does that then become effective for my outlay? thx!

    • You don’t need to pay the fee if you have a personal Membership Rewards account already. I recommend you get an Amex Gold (fee free for first year, 22k MR for signing up if referred, 20k MR if not referred) which will get you a personal MR account with no need to pay any fee. You can then have the MR points from the corporate card diverted into that MR account as well, saving £30. (I did this for years with my corporate Amex.) After the free Amex Gold year, reassess whether to keep the Gold (£125 per year) or pay the £30. Happy to refer to Amex Gold if required!

      • This doesn’t work (at least now). I had asked Amex to do the same thing (i.e. link my Corp card to the Gold-linked MR account) and they still asked for the fee which was around £35 IIRC. I double checked if I need to pay the fee despite having a MR account already, and they confirmed back that I had to pay the fee.

        • Really? That is relatively new, then, because I never had to do that (albeit we later swapped to BA Amex Corporate Cards instead). Apologies for the false info earlier.

          • I have both my corp and gold cards linked to the same online account. After signing in, if I try to enroll the corp card into MR, get the same message of a charge (even if I was logged into both card account and MR accounts, as that acts falkey at times). Finally messaged Amex and got the same response.

            Perhaps Amex wants to keep a way to earn additional revenue on corp cards as they can be heavy spenders..

  5. Strange …. when I look at the “Register a new partner” on the “transfer my points” page in MR – Club Carlson isn’t listed and I can’t see any way to transfer points.

  6. It’s called Radisson GoldPoints Plus on the register link. It only changed Mar 2011, so you need to give Amex a bit of time to recognise this and update their site.

    That said, I tried to register mine and it failed, I had to call.

  7. Thanks – I’d previously tried the Radisson GoldPoints but it was the number length which floored it. The last 10 digit number tip has become “pending” so all is hopeful. Thanks for the pointers.

  8. gagravarr says:

    I didn’t get the email, but the post has just arrived including a “Bright ideas to make your Christmas sparkle” brouchure from Amex. The letter with that had the 500 points offer there, same details as the email. So, if you didn’t get the email, keep an eye out for it coming by post instead!

  9. traveler says:

    A quick question for those who transferred to Nectar points – when you register, do you need enter the entire card number (starting 9826…) or just the second part of it?

    • Just the 2nd part – see my other post on this page, it doesn’t work with the whole thing.

  10. When it says “redemption”, does this not technically exclude the MR points transfers to BAEC etc though? I’m puzzled by the wording as I thought the redemptions were only for the gift cards and Trunkis and the like? I don’t want to do a transfer if I won’t get the extra 500 points in case there’ll be a more lucrative transfer offer in the future…

    • In previous years it has worked fine. I did 15 points to Jumeirah last year and 1 to Nectar the previous year and got the bonuses OK. Send 1 point to Nectar or 3 to Club Carlson if you’re concerned, but on past treatment you shouldn’t be.

      • Thank you Raffles, I’ll certainly give it a go then. Absolutely addicted to your blog by the way!

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