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New ‘secret’ American Express 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? – September 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 offers:

American Express Business Platinum

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

American Express Business Gold

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (3)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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.

    MAN-FF

  • 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?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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