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 30.7% 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.