American Express is currently running a ‘best ever’ sign-up bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you take out The Platinum Card.
This would convert into 100,000 Avios (!) or lots of other great travel rewards. 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.
Our introductory article on the ‘100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points’ offer is here. Remember that you can get a pro-rata refund on the annual fee until at least 29th February 2024, and it may be available for longer.
We have also looked at:
Today I want to look at how you can keep your 100,000 Membership Rewards points bonus intact even if you choose to cancel The Platinum Card.
You can apply for The Platinum Card here. The 100,000 points offer ends on 9th January 2024.
The Platinum Card comes with a lot of impressive benefits, as well as (for a limited period):
- 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £10,000 within six months
- 25,000 Membership Rewards points if you keep the card for 15 months and make a single purchase in month 15
The card 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 (Premium) 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.
The representative APR is 704.6% variable, including the annual fee. The representative APR on purchases is 31.0% variable.
But there’s a snag …..
Paying almost £55 per month for these benefits works out well for many readers. However, after your first year with the huge bonus, you may find that you cannot justify the fee and decide to cancel when your renewal comes up.
The only risk is losing your Membership Rewards points
The only short-term downside of cancelling your American Express Platinum 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.
There is 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 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 75,000+ Membership Rewards points at the end of your first year 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.
The representative APR is 31.0% variable.
ARCC has a 10,000 Membership Rewards points bonus. You need to spend £2,000 within three months to qualify.
However, 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 £55 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 100,000 points 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 before the end of pro-rata refunds (guaranteed not to happen before 29th February and could be later), the timing is now excellent.
On 1st January each year, your £300 of annual dining credit and your £50 per half-year of Harvey Nichols credit will reset. Your Harvey Nichols credit also resets for H2 on 1st July. If you apply now you may be able to claim some or all of these benefits before 31st December 2023 and again soon after 1st January 2024.
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.