UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2023: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above. Thank you.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
American Express is currently running a ‘best ever’ sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points plus a £200 Amex Travel credit when you take out The Platinum Card.
This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards. The £200 of Amex Travel credit will also come in handy. Even better, you qualify for the bonus even if you have a British Airways American Express card as long as you meet the other criteria.
We have also looked at:
Today I want to look at how you can keep your 60,000 Membership Rewards points bonus intact even if you choose to cancel The Platinum Card.
You can apply for The Platinum Card here.
The Platinum Card comes with a lot of impressive benefits, as well as (for a limited period), 60,000 Membership Rewards points and £200 to spend at American Express Travel in return for spending £6,000 in six months.
The benefits include:
- travel insurance for you and your family, plus your supplementary cardholder and their family
- car hire insurance
- 2 x Priority Pass airport lounge access cards, each of which allows a free guest on each visit (so a family of four is covered)
- mid-tier status in Hilton Honors (Gold), Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold) and MeliaRewards (Gold)
- £100 per year of Harvey Nichols credit, valid instore or online
- £150 per year to spend in 150+ UK restaurants
- £150 per year to spend in 1,400+ international restaurants
- Eurostar lounge access
…… and lots of other bits and bobs.
But there’s a snag …..
Paying almost £50 per month for these benefits works out well for many readers. However, once you have spent £6,000 to trigger the 60,000 bonus points and your £200 of travel credit, you may find that you are not justifying the fee, especially if your travel has not picked up.
The good news is that, if you cancel The Platinum Card, you receive a pro-rata fee refund.
(One caveat: if you cancel, you will have no travel insurance if you have no other cover. If you have non-refundable trips booked for the future, ensure you buy alternative coverage as soon as you cancel as, of course, you could fall ill at any time.)
The only risk is losing your Membership Rewards points
The only short-term downside of cancelling your American Express Platinum charge card is that you are required to empty out your Membership Rewards points account.
Because Amex points can be transferred to many different airline and hotel partners, they are more valuable than airline or hotel points. You shouldn’t convert them until you need them. The flexibility is worth having.
If you are forced to transfer them because you close your card down, you may regret it later. American Express isn’t going bankrupt or devaluing its points any time soon. The safest place for your points, and the place that gives you the most flexibility in the future, is with American Express.
Since late 2017, there has been 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 card
We very rarely write about it on HfP so I thought I would run through it again today. This card is the answer:
You can apply for the little-known American Express Rewards Credit Card. Full details are here.
This card has NO ANNUAL FEE and lets you collect Membership Rewards points. If you apply for this card before you cancel The Platinum Card, it will allow you to keep your 60,000+ Membership Rewards points with no pressure to transfer them.
For simplicity, I will occasionally refer to this card as ARCC as ‘American Express Rewards Credit Card’ is a bit of a mouthful.
What is the American Express Rewards Credit Card?
ARCC is a standard Amex-branded credit card. It has no annual fee and no substantial benefits, except for the ability to collect Membership Rewards points at 1 point per £1 spent.
ARCC has a 10,000 Membership Rewards points bonus and a representative APR of 26.0% variable (click here) effective from 24th August 2022. You need to spend £2,000 within three months to receive the bonus.
It is unlikely that many (any?!) Head for Points readers will qualify for the bonus because you cannot have held any personal American Express card in the previous 24 months. That’s not why you’re applying though.
Once your American Express Rewards Credit Card is active, you can cancel your Platinum card in the knowledge that your Membership Rewards points balance is safe.
You will be saving roughly £50 per month on your Platinum card. If you find that your travelling starts to pick up, you can re-apply for The Platinum Card and start getting all the insurance, lounge, dining, Harvey Nichols and status benefits again.
You can apply for the free American Express Rewards Credit Card here.
If you want to learn more about the 60,000 points and £200 travel credit bonus on The Platinum Card, our core article on the deal is here. You can apply for The Platinum Card here.
PS. If you are thinking of cancelling your Platinum card, get the timing right. On 1st January each year, for example, your £300 of annual dining credit and your £50 per half-year of Harvey Nichols credit will reset. Cancelling close to Christmas makes little sense. You should also consider when you will need the travel insurance and airport lounge access.
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.