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..
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.
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:
You can apply for the little-known American Express Rewards Credit Card. Full 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.
(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:
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.