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For existing Amex Gold cardholders, what changed yesterday?

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We ran an article yesterday about the increased sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card.

Big changes to the Amex Gold benefits package also kicked in yesterday.

I have run this second article to highlight, for existing cardholders, all of the changes. It was easiest to separate this from the main article as, for new cardholders, it doesn’t really make any difference knowing what has just been added to the package.

There is one additional improvement from the original announcement in June.

I should remind you before we go on that the representative APR is 69.2% variable, based on an annual fee of £140 and a notional £1,200 credit limit. The respresentative APR on purchases and for the free first year is 26.6% variable.

What changed yesterday for Amex Gold cardholders?

‘Quite a bit’ is the answer.

The net result is hugely positive for those in their first free year. It is positive for most people who pay the fee for Year 2 onwards too, although it depends on what you spend and how you use the benefits.

Let’s look at what has changed.

The annual fee from Year 2 has gone up from £140 to £160

I wanted to mention this first so you can judge the other changes in context.

You receive FOUR free airport lounge visits per year, up from two

Amex Gold customers previously received two free visits per year to any airport lounge in the Priority Pass network.

This increased to four from yesterday. Existing cardholders should have had an extra two lounge passes added to their entitlement for the current year.

The lounge passes cover 1,300 lounges globally, including the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5. Most UK airports which have a lounge will have at least one which is in Priority Pass.

The problem, of course, is access. Getting access to Priority Pass lounges was tricky before covid and – with many lounges closing for good during the pandemic – it has got worse since. If you are travelling at a peak time your chance of getting into a Priority Pass lounge at a major UK airport is low.

(No1 Lounges and Club Aspire get around this problem by letting you pay £6 to guarantee a slot in advance via this page of their website. This only helps if you are travelling from Gatwick, Heathrow Terminal 3, Heathrow Terminal 5 or Birmingham.)

If you can use the passes, and it is usually far easier to get into lounges outside the UK, then the extra two passes easily justify the £20 increase in annual fee.

The annual bonus has changed

You previously received an annual bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points – worth 10,000 Avios for example – when you spent £15,000 in your card year.

Irrespective of how quickly you spend £15,000, you didn’t receive the 10,000 bonus points until 30 days after your renewal date. This was annoying if you were planning on cancelling the card.

This has now changed. Instead of a flat bonus, it will be tiered:

  • 2,500 points when you hit £5,000 of annual spend
  • 2,500 points when you hit £10,000 of annual spend (5,000 points cumulative)
  • 2,500 points when you hit £15,000 of annual spend (7,500 points cumulative)
  • 2,500 points when you hit £20,000 of annual spend (10,000 points cumulative)
  • 2,500 points when you hit £25,000 of annual spend (12,500 points cumulative)

Importantly, the bonus is now paid as soon as you hit each tier threshold. You do not have to wait until the end of your card year.

What happens during this transitional year?

Very soon (to be honest, I expected it yesterday but it didn’t happen) all existing Amex Gold cardmembers will receive a bonus based on their spend to date in their current membership year.

It is important to note that, for this transitional year, no-one will be worse off. Amex has committed that anyone who spends £15,000 in their current membership year will be guaranteed 10,000 bonus points, with an additional 2,500 if they hit £25,000 of spend.

Who wins and who loses here?

Do you spend under £15,000 per year on your Amex Gold? You’re a winner, because you previously received no annual bonus. You will now receive something, as long as you spend at least £5,000.

Do you spend exactly £15,000 per year on your Amex Gold at present, and then swap to other cards once you’ve guaranteed your 10,000 points? You will be worse off, because £15,000 of spend will now only get you 7,500 points.

Do you spend £25,000 or more per year on your Amex Gold? You’re a winner, because your annual bonus will now be 12,500 points instead of the current 10,000 points.

The only people who are worse off as of yesterday are those who currently spend between £15,001 and £19,999 per year. Your annual bonus drops from 10,000 points to 7,500 points, although once you hit £20,000 you are back up at 10,000 points.

You will receive Avis Preferred Plus car rental status

I don’t put much value on car rental status, if only because it is offered via many different routes and few people rent enough to find it worthwhile.

Avis Preferred Plus offers a complimentary upgrade when available, as well as a dedicated phone number for reservations and customer support.

You can access the Amex Experiences app for the first time

This is something which was not in the original announcement back in June.

Amex Gold cardholders can now download and access the Amex Experiences app for the first time. It will feature “exclusive Gold Cardmember events, offers, competitions” apparently.

All other Amex Gold benefits remain

Nothing is being taken away from the Gold package. Your £120 of Deliveroo credit, Hertz car rental benefits and hotel benefits via The Hotel Collection will continue.

Conclusion

Existing Amex Gold cardholders should come out on top from these changes, I think.

  • Existing cardholders who use the lounge passes will win – they get two more passes each year for an extra £20 fee
  • …. and you have just received an extra two lounge passes, to use in your current membership year, without paying anything extra
  • Existing cardholders who spend under £15,000 or over £20,000 win – they will get a higher annual bonus than they did previously

Virtually no-one loses out, except those who spend between £15,001 and £19,999 and who don’t use the lounge passes. Those people can adapt, however, by either pushing more spend onto Amex Gold or moving some away.

You can find out more, and apply if you are not already a cardholder, on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold site here.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 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.

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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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

10,500 points bonus – 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 (42)

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

  • Morts says:

    I asked this in the forums too however, since this article has added info I thought I would add it here too, to see if anyone could help me out?

    I recently took out a new Gold CC Amex and it came with a Priority Pass membership with two complimentary lounge visits each year (from the day I took our the Amex card). I went through Heathrow a few days ago on my way to the states and I was told by the lady at Aspire that I do not hold any complimentary visits. I was rather baffled by this as I have had PP in the past and always been able to check in the app how many comp visits I have banked. the app does not show this option any more…

    Am I being thick as a brick or is it simply a matter of a delay between Amex and PP?

    Thank you in advance

    Morts

  • Ruralite says:

    I’m due 10k bonus so far but I wonder if they’ll post as the monthly statement is processed, in my case it will be some time overnight tonight?

  • Dominic says:

    Is there a written confirmation on existing card holders getting 2 additional passes? Travelling tomorrow (and my membership year ends in a few weeks), so this would be very useful!

    • Rob says:

      I have in writing from the Amex press office, but I doubt you can rely on that unfortunately.

      • Dominic says:

        Thanks, Rob. As a data point:
        1) Messaged Amex, they told me to speak to PP
        2) Spoke to PP who stated, as of now, the additional passes are not reflecting on my account (though they acknowledged that the Gold Card will “now include 4 passes”)

        So not sure if there is a delay, or whether existing card holders won’t receive the additional passes.

        • Morts says:

          sorry to butt in here.. Where are you able to see your remaining passes? in the App? as per above I hit a bit of a wall when trying to use one of mine the other week. I ended up having to pay for entry

  • Gary_Dexter says:

    If I have both the Gold and Platinum cards, with the Platinum Card already registered in the Experiences App – how do I add the Gold card? I don’t see an option to add another card.

    • Rob says:

      Not sure you can – I think it is one or the other.

      • Gary_Dexter says:

        I installed the app on my work phone – selected Gold Card as the card type, and there’s hardly any offers there. 30 seconds I’ll never get back 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    I had hit the spend target for the 10k bonus (which would otherwise have been payable in February) but have been credited with only 7,500… have I misunderstood or should I have got the 10k now?

    • Rob says:

      If you’ve spent £15k you should get 10k as Amex has guaranteed this. Give them a few days.

      • Hannah says:

        Thanks Rob – it hit in stages, the additional 2,500 came in overnight.

  • poole.ben says:

    Thought I’d chime in – I contacted Amex earlier regarding not receiving my 10k MP Bonus (having spent nearly £30k since Feb-Mar). I was advised that they would hit my account following my Anniversary Date in Feb.

    Having emailed Rob directly, this information appears to be incorrect. For anyone else in the same boat, it’d be worth waiting a few days for them to post.

    This evening I’ve had two Rewards As You Go MP Bonus posted, one for 7,5k and another for 2,5k.

    • Rob says:

      My wife has had 12,500 post. It’s not clear yet if this is for spending £20k or £25k as I don’t have the number to hand.

      • TJ says:

        That’s interesting as I’ve spent just over £21k YTD but have received the full 12500 points too. Is it an IT glitch or is Amex being generous in the transitional year?

        • Rob says:

          It COULD be correct.

          *10k for hitting £15k (honoring the old rate)
          *2.5k for hitting £20k

          I think this is what we’ve done – I doubt my wife has done £25k.

          • poole.ben says:

            If this is correct, I should be waiting on an additional 2,5k MP (totalling 12.5k MP) for hitting £25k, let alone £20k.

  • BajiNahid says:

    I am about to hit £15K, my anniversary is in Feb. Would I still get the 10K or was I supposed to hit the £15K spend before October 12.

    The way I read the post is that I would get the 10K points if I hit the £15K spend before my card anniversary (FEB 23).

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

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