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New ‘secret’ Amex card launched!

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Reader John emailed Amex last week to cancel his Platinum charge card.

When they responded, Amex tried to persuade him not to cancel but to downgrade to a new ‘secret’ card – Gold Rewards Plus.

This appears to be a hybrid of the Platinum and Preferred Rewards Gold cards:

  • It comes with the same travel insurance package as the Platinum card (to be confirmed – the email implies it is the same but I haven’t seen the documentation)
  • It comes with permanent double Membership Rewards points on travel and overseas purchases (as per Preferred Rewards Gold)
  • It comes with 1 year of double points on supermarket and petrol spend (as per Preferred Rewards Gold)
  • It offers 7,500 MR points each year when you renew, subject to spending £15,000 (as per Preferred Rewards Gold)
  • It offers four airport lounge passes (Preferred Rewards Gold offers two)

The annual fee for this card is £285.

This is, frankly, a shockingly bad deal.

Basically, it is the Preferred Rewards Gold card plus travel insurance.

Yet, Preferred Rewards Gold comes with a 20,000 point sign-up bonus, no fee for Year 1 and £125 thereafter.

Gold Rewards Plus has NO sign-up bonus and is £285 per year from Day 1!

Interestingly, the ONLY way to get this card is to downgrade from Platinum.  John was told that if he didn’t accept the deal now, it would not be available to him later (lucky him, I think!).

It seems pretty clear that this is a knee-jerk reaction to try to keep some money from people who are cancelling Platinum to avoid the new £450 fee.

Amex couldn’t even be bothered to create a new card design.  They will just send you a bog-standard Gold card with a different cover letter and throw in some travel insurance, whilst charging you £285!

Must try harder …..

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

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 credit cards 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.

Comments (3)

  • MAN-FF says:

    Not entirely new, Raffles; I got offered this when I threatened to cancel last August.

    I entirely agree that it is a terrible deal. The £285 fee is clearly there to target those cardmembers who balked at the rise to £450 for the Platinum card.


  • John says:

    Do you know if it lets you keep the BA Premium plus card for £30 a year/free for members who joined the scheme ages ago?