Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Payment cards American Express Anyone changing their Amex strategy?

  • executiveclubber 307 posts

    Just realised I’d be spending almost £1000 on card fees alone if I keep Plat & BAPP given recent changes, so I’m thinking of cancelling Platinum and switching to Gold alongside my BAPP.

    I want to know – is anyone else making similar moves based on the potent Amex cocktail they’re serving us of increased BAPP spend + no pro-rata refund + low or no retention bonuses + poor customer service?

    lonflyer02 8 posts

    This might be the kick I need… currently both Plat and BAPP (and a packaged bank account).

    I probably break even on Plat, managing to use the dining credit and Harvey Nic vouchers (but in reality I would probably choose to spend the £400 elsewhere). Nice to have the priority pass but only use 2x a year when on easyjet. FHR also nice but could switch to Virtuso where needed. And the status is ok but doesn’t get lounge access. And even cancelling now I will keep status for a year. Platinum doesn’t feel like a no brainer and don’t want to feel like I am giving money away…

    I have thought about Gold but struggle to see the value in £195 annual fee. Instead I will probably take out the free ARCC to keep my membership rewards alive until I cash out to BA or Virgin depending on availability at time.

    Spend will continue to be in BAPP. I was also considering a second BAPP for P2, but still considering if we are likely to use. Also as we are young family of 4, we would all want to be on same flight during school holiday, which could be struggle to book with vouchers in two accounts.

    Good to know what others are thinking!

    NigelHamilton 228 posts

    So with Platinum and 2*BAPP, that’ll be £1250 a year at the new rates. Plus a Barclays avios. Not got to pay another fee till September, so we will ditch at least one of the BAPPs (less value in having two now the kids are less inclined to go on holiday with us). Also started a small side business (travel agency) last year so I’m going to look into the economics of either switching to a BA or Business platinum and putting it through the business – I tend to get free upgrades higher than gold or even diamond would get, or even free stays now, but I have found the value from the platinum worthwhile over the years, probably £1500-£2000 over the course of a year. So need to do a side-by-side comparison of benefits.
    To be honest, probably the kick I needed to look again at spending on card fees.

    NigelHamilton 228 posts

    @lonflyer2 – you can definitely book 4 seats with 2 vouchers in different accounts – you can even do one online whilst booking on the phone with the other. Done this for our family of 5 (paid one cash ticket) several times!

    lonflyer02 8 posts

    @lonflyer2 – you can definitely book 4 seats with 2 vouchers in different accounts – you can even do one online whilst booking on the phone with the other. Done this for our family of 5 (paid one cash ticket) several times!

    Good to know – having had the experience of 1am trying to book CW with 2 vouchers in 1 account during Easter holidays, the thought of trying to do across 2 accounts was too much! May reconsider…

    BBbetter 773 posts

    I’ll probably keep plat until Melia Gold is available.

    Btw, why do those selling lounge passes ignore the children in a family? hsbc premier, natwest black, halifax WE – none will allow you to take a kid.

    fedemenni 47 posts

    Just realised I’d be spending almost £1000 on card fees alone if I keep Plat & BAPP given recent changes, so I’m thinking of cancelling Platinum and switching to Gold alongside my BAPP.

    I want to know – is anyone else making similar moves based on the potent Amex cocktail they’re serving us of increased BAPP spend + no pro-rata refund + low or no retention bonuses + poor customer service?

    I have just paid my BAPP fee so i will keep it for now + platinum got in December so I am fine. I used to be gold with BA and not anymore so I kinda need unlimited access to lounges which if I fly at least once per month is valued at £20 at least per visit = £40 monthly x 12 = £480, plus the £150 dining offers (abroad and in the UK) + other statues which haven’t used yet + insurance = I make a gain over the £650 annual fee. I also invite at least one friend per year which means more points.

    I might struggle to keep the BAPP but I value the upgrade voucher so much which I think I will keep it anyway, I was even thinking to upgrade my barclaycard to premium just to increase the earning points per £ and hit the target quicker- which it might be needed now due to the higher target for the BAPP. pretty much once i hit all the targets i go back and use the platinum just for better options in exchange to other programmes.

    I wouldn’t completely lose access to amex due to their customer service + help with fraud and chargebacks. Barclaycard customer service is even worse so that wouldn’t be my sole card even if they gave me money to make it happen… I am lucky that I can pay my rent and council tax on the barclaycard.

    So to answer your question, the strategy is very based on your needs and what benefits you use… if you still make a gain after the fee with the benefits you would pay normally then keep it, if you don’t then close it. Valuing the BAPP is very difficult because it is all based on how you use the voucher (for example i used mine to fly business to Japan which saved me ££££s)

    NorthernLass 8,260 posts

    Well the hotel offers which have dropped over the past couple of days more than cancel out the fee increase, and that’s before Marriott and Hyatt have shown up!

    CJD 74 posts

    I’ll probably downgrade to the free BA card once my card year is up, or possibly before then. I’m within £1,000 of triggering the voucher, and plan to apply for the Barclaycard Avios card for another sign-up bonus.

    Plan is to use Avios balance and voucher for a J or F redemption to Mexico in a couple of years time, but I don’t see a realistic scenario where retaining the BAPP long term is worth it as I won’t earn enough Avios on a yearly basis to do long haul redemptions every year. I’m right in thinking that once I trigger the voucher on the BAPP, if I downgrade the card to the free version that voucher is safe and my J/F plan to Mexico is still a goer?

    Short haul economy is likely to be fine for a city break redemption, although given I live in Glasgow we’ll see how attractive hauling ourselves down to London for a short flight when easyJet and Ryanair have pretty decent coverage of most destinations from Glasgow and Edinburgh really is.

    The timing is pretty annoying – I think the Gold card is the best card in the Amex stable from a points earning perspective, and I cancelled mine on Monday and opted not to downgrade to the free version because my free year was up and I didn’t fancy paying £195 plus £20 a month for however long I have the paid Barclaycard. In hindsight I probably should have kept the free card, although it does reset the clock in the unlikely event I want to take out the Platinum card in the future.

    CarpalTravel 375 posts

    Well the hotel offers which have dropped over the past couple of days more than cancel out the fee increase, and that’s before Marriott and Hyatt have shown up!

    That’s a good way of looking at it, but they also are on my free cashback Amex so think the BAPP still needs to work harder to justify itself now.

    Rui N. 855 posts

    Indeed. Those offers are on the free Amexs too, so not a benefit of the fees.
    And they could also be false savings since you could pay equivalent hotels for cheaper elsewhere.

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    No retention offer on plat a couple of weeks before anniversary. Northern, so hard to make good use of the benefits. Got the Lloyds World Elite card so get “full fat” Priority Pass for self + second cardholder elsewhere. The points aren’t worth more than Avios to me as I almost always find Airbnb more use than hotels, so spend never “naturally” falls to Amex rather than Lloyds or Barclays.

    Very frustrated by offers not crediting/paying correctly or small print on them (“must be billed in Sterling” etc – it’s not my fault my bloody $household_name_service is billed in USD, I’ve had it since they were a tin-pot startup)

    Cancelled it.

    Maples 230 posts

    I was meant to get the BAPP some time this year but will no longer get it. Will keep the Platinum card and see how that fares. Might downgrade to the free Rewards card and pair that with Barclaycard Avios if they’re going to give me a good credit limit, and the Lloyds World Elite.

    Might even see what Chase bring out. It might just be a cashback card since I think they’re bringing out just one?

    NorthernLass 8,260 posts

    Indeed. Those offers are on the free Amexs too, so not a benefit of the fees.
    And they could also be false savings since you could pay equivalent hotels for cheaper elsewhere.

    I didn’t say there were a benefit of the fee, I consider them a way of recouping it!

    I wouldn’t have the free card because of the companion voucher limitations so it’s not a valid comparison for me.

    bennymoon 52 posts

    I currently have BAPP, but even before yesterday’s news I was planning to change to something else. Essentially it’s the difference between ‘savings’ and ‘cost avoidance’ – I have avoided paying some huge sums for the two trips in Business but I’m still spending a lot more than I otherwise would have if I didn’t have the card.

    So now I’m trying to decide between one of three options:

    1) downgrade BAPP to free card. Not sure about this as I already have the free Avios Barclaycard, although not with a great credit limit so I think if I kept to one earning card I would have to get this increased. Also I’d lose the offers that you get from AMEX.

    2) go for the Gold Rewards card for the free first year

    3) go for the Cashback card (which will actually give me some savings each year)

    Anyone got any thoughts?

    Sudz74 51 posts

    Re Amex offers: We only have free blue BA Amex at the moment and still get most of the offers talked about. Got all the hotel ones mentioned in the past day or two except Marriott and assume that’s the algorithms working as we used 2 x £100 off vouchers in November…

    vzzbuckz 31 posts

    So I got the 50K MR points as my fee is due soon but, controversially, I may use this as a statement credit just to reduce the impact of the fee – reducing the £650 fee to £425, which I’ve calculated makes the card pay for itself.

    CJD 74 posts

    I currently have BAPP, but even before yesterday’s news I was planning to change to something else. Essentially it’s the difference between ‘savings’ and ‘cost avoidance’ – I have avoided paying some huge sums for the two trips in Business but I’m still spending a lot more than I otherwise would have if I didn’t have the card.

    This paragraph resonates a lot with me, particularly the part about spending more.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m irritated about my timing cancelling my Gold card (did it on Monday), in hindsight I really should have taken up the offer to downgrade to the free MR card for the flexibility of MR points vs Avios.

    In your case you might find the Gold card to be a great card for the free year at least – I think it’s the best card in the Amex stable if you’re just looking to earn points. And without a sign up bonus to hit and with no reward to earn for hitting a certain annual spend, psychologically it might help you spend less over the course of the year.

    Harrier25 892 posts

    I so agree with this. The nice thing about holding the Green Charge Card is that I’m not constantly chasing bonus spends anymore just slowly building my MR balance and I no longer get frustrated when I can’t pay with Amex and am happily mixing up my spend between Amex and Hilton Barclaycard, with the free Virgin Atlantic card for euro spend. Happy to continue paying Amex £60 per year for the extended one year warranty on a number of white and brown goods…£60 that I easily recoup back in offers over the year. What’s more, because the Green card is now a closed product there’s little chance of an increase to the £60 annual fee…hopefully.

    Reney 791 posts

    I currently have BAPP, but even before yesterday’s news I was planning to change to something else. Essentially it’s the difference between ‘savings’ and ‘cost avoidance’ – I have avoided paying some huge sums for the two trips in Business but I’m still spending a lot more than I otherwise would have if I didn’t have the card.

    This paragraph resonates a lot with me, particularly the part about spending more.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m irritated about my timing cancelling my Gold card (did it on Monday), in hindsight I really should have taken up the offer to downgrade to the free MR card for the flexibility of MR points vs Avios.

    In your case you might find the Gold card to be a great card for the free year at least – I think it’s the best card in the Amex stable if you’re just looking to earn points. And without a sign up bonus to hit and with no reward to earn for hitting a certain annual spend, psychologically it might help you spend less over the course of the year.

    I don’t understand why you are annoyed about not taking the gold downgrade offer? You can just go and apply for the free card – and net someone a referral offer. Unless you mind the hit on your credit rating or you were not happy about being forced to convert your existing pool of points into something when cancelling.

    CJD 74 posts

    It means another credit card application and I’ve applied for the Barclaycard this week.

    dagrmc 2 posts

    I currently have held a BAPP for the past 6 years
    I have never had an Amex that awards membership rewards points (rather than Avios)
    I will apply for the Platinum card when a large bonus comes back similar to 100k like earlier this year.

    I have just started my loyalty journey with Marriott and I am aiming to achieve Platinum Elite by end of 2024.
    I am considering applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Amex for the 15 elite night credits it provides.

    I have two questions which I hope someone can help with, I was unable to work this out from this article

    1) Will I be eligible for the signup bonus for the Marriott Amex? (I am not too bothered about this – this would just be a bonus)
    2) Will applying for the Marriott Amex jeopardise my ability to get the Amex Platinum sign up bonus? Would I need to cancel and then wait two years before being eligible for this bonus? Or need to cancel my BAPP?

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,302 posts

    1. No, if you’ve had a BA Amex in the last 24 months (in fact, any Amex at all)

    2. No, you still get the Platinum bonus even if you hold the Bonvoy card and the BAPP card

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.