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Cancelling Amex Gold or Amex Plat this week? Here’s how to save your points

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This article looks at the American Express Rewards Credit Card. This is a little known member of the Amex family which, in one scenario, can prove incredibly useful..

You may be thinking of cancelling your American Express Preferred Rewards Gold or The Platinum Card before the pro-rata fee refund option ends on 1st October.

One downside of this is that you are required to empty out your Membership Rewards points account. If you don’t, your points will be lost if you have no other Membership Rewards cards.

Thinking of cancelling your American Express Gold or Platinum card?

However ….. is there a free way to keep your Membership Rewards points alive when cancelling an American Express Gold or Platinum card?

Yes.  (OK, you probably guessed I was going to say that!)

You shouldn’t transfer Membership Rewards points until you are about to book a flight or hotel

Having to close your Membership Rewards points account can lead to a dilemma over when to cancel your Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum card.  

You will be paying £160 per year after the free first year to keep an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card active and £575 for The Platinum Card.  However, this allows you to keep your Membership Rewards points where they are.  If you are forced to transfer them because you close the account, you may regret it later.

Because American Express Membership Rewards 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.

Can you keep your Membership Rewards points when cancelling an American Express card?

There is a solution that:

  • lets you keep your Membership Rewards points account open, and
  • allows you to cancel your Gold or Platinum card this week before pro-rata fee refunds end on 1st October

This card is the answer:

American Express Rewards Credit Card

You can apply for the little-known American Express Rewards Credit CardFull details are on the American Express website here.

This card has NO ANNUAL FEE and lets you collect Membership Rewards points.

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.

The representative APR is 31.0% variable.

It has no annual fee and no substantial benefits, except for the ability to collect Membership Rewards points at 1 point per £1 spent.

It is unlikely that many Head for Points readers will qualify for the 10,000 points sign-up bonus because you cannot have held any Membership Rewards cards in the previous 24 months.  That will exclude anyone who has, or has recently had, a Gold or Platinum Amex card.

Don’t worry about that.  You may still want to get this card even though you won’t get a bonus.

Get the ARCC card if you are planning to cancel Amex Gold or Platinum this week

If you have an Amex Gold or Platinum card and want to cancel this week whilst you can still get a pro-rata fee refund, but do not want to cash in your Membership Rewards points, this card is your answer.

Apply for the Amex Rewards Credit Card.  Once you are accepted, you can cancel your Preferred Rewards Gold card or The Platinum Card safe in the knowledge that your Membership Rewards points are safe.

(You get a window between cancelling your Membership Rewards cards and losing your points, so don’t worry about not receiving your new ARCC card before the 1st October cancellation deadline. As long as you’ve been accepted you’ll be fine, as long as you make sure your ARCC card is linked to your existing Membership Rewards account and not a brand new one.)

The only ‘snag’ is that you will not have reset the 24 month clock on being able to reapply for a new Gold or Platinum card and receive another sign-up bonus.  In order to do that you need to close down your Membership Rewards account entirely.

For a lot of people, though, being able to keep your existing Membership Rewards balance alive will be more important.

You can apply for the FREE American Express Rewards Credit Card here.

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. 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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (49)

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

  • PJJ says:

    Rather than applying for the ARCC card, could you not downgrade from Platinum to Gold, combining the MR points and get the first year free ?
    That would give you 12 months thinking time.
    Even if you kept the Gold card for the second year it would average out at £80 per year which is covered by the Lounge Passes (providing you can use them)

    • Rob says:

      Downgrades don’t get first year free.

      • rob keane says:

        Isn’tt it entirely obvious that you don’t downgrade, you cancel plat and apply for gold.

      • Vit says:

        Rob, that’s what I have been told too when downgraded to Gold earlier this year. But then pro-rata Plat annual fees refunded and the new £160 Gold annual fee has not been charged yet. Will this be charged later? I am a bit not sure and cannot find any answer on this too. I looked back at my old statement but cannot see anything (£160) being charged. Not that I am complaining just try to understand. 😀

      • DTR says:

        Rob – I downgraded and got the first year free. I was at pains to confirm this with the CS and they told me I’d be charged in 1 years time if I didn’t cancel first. I’m two months in and the fee hasn’t landed. If I does though I have screenshots of the chat and would be complaining…

        • Myles says:

          I can’t seem to downgrade. Called today and was told it wasn’t possible and that I had to apply for a gold and cancel platinum. Gold application was then rejected as my platinum credit limit was high and they didn’t want to give me further credit. Pulling my hair out on this.

      • Ben says:

        I also downgraded at the beginning of the year and got the first year free

    • rob keane says:

      exactly this

  • Panda Mick says:

    Am I right in understanding that if you have the corporate green AMEX, you can cancel all amx cards whilst maintaining your balance, AND be able to be eligible for sign up bonus in two years?

  • Novice says:

    @Rob, if I’ve bought flights and hotels on an amex and cancel it. Will there be an issue? I’m asking this because card is mum’s. That’s another thing I need to know. When I check in for flights then the card used is under different first name; will they want some kind of proof mum bought me flights? Online everywhere it says I need letter and her passport copy.

    • Rob says:

      Very unlikely to be an issue. Remember that probably 2-4% of credit cards expire naturally between flight booking and travel.

    • Dubious says:

      Depending on the airline, you may well need to present the original card used for payment at check-in. I know this is a policy used by Sri Lankan airlines for instance, to mitigate some fraud.
      Whether you need your mum to be present with the card as well I am not sure. Some airlines ask for some paper wavier to be signed at their office. All a bit of a hassle really.

      It does depend on the airline though. You are best asking the airline directly.

  • Georges Pharand says:

    Thanks for the tip-off. I’ve just applied for the credit card and been accepted. However, they say I have to wait 7 days for the card to arrive before I can register online. How can I make sure it is linked to my MR account before cancelling the Rewards Gold Card. Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Doesn’t matter. You get a few weeks grace to close your MR account (the exact period will be in your card T&C) so you’ll be fine. As long as you register it under the same Amex log-in as your current card the MR accounts should automatically merge.

  • Jag says:

    I’ve downgraded to the Gold via a call to customer services. They confirmed that the first 12 months is fee free.

  • Iain says:

    Am I correct that UK Corporate Amex Plats are not losing the pro rata refund?

  • Michael says:

    I still have £150 dining credit I was going to use Sat 30th. Do you know if it will still get credited in time? Or just let it go ?

    • Rob says:

      Very tight unless you go tonight.

    • Ben says:

      The Platinum dining credit (abroad, not UK) stayed on my card for nearly a month after I downgraded to Gold. So why not downgrade and not cancel? If you get lucky you’ll get Gold free for a year, and at worst you’re only a couple of dozen quid down.

  • Ben says:

    Just tried to apply for this for my wife who has the gold card and she was declined for the ARCC. Could they be getting wise to this? Will look into the option to downgrade with CS tomorrow

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

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