Travel rewards cards have been all the rage in recent years, as the world finally started learning how to use points. Or at least, that points can be useful, worth earning!
As competition blossomed in the premium credit card space so too did annual fees, and now that we’re living in a world without travel, that’s created a bit of an elephant in the room between card issuers and beloved customers paying up to $550 in annual fees, on a single card.
Reports on Flyertalk, and Reddit suggest American Express is recognizing the issue, giving agents discretion to offer some serious rewards to keep your premium travel rewards card open. What’s considered a premium travel card? Certainly Amex Platinum, or Amex Gold, but also any card from the co-branded portfolio including Delta, Hilton, Marriott and more.
On the flagship Amex Platinum Card, reports suggest customers are being offered between 20,000 to 50,000 points to keep their cards open during the travel slowdown. Some users report spending requirements attached to the offers, or that the offers have been made for statement credits rather than points.
The same data points suggest flexibility where Amex is happy to convert a 20,000 point offer into $200, or vice versa, so it’s absolutely worth having an open conversation with the Amex Platinum team by phone, using the number on the back of your card. Similar offers are being noted for the Amex Gold Card, though with a much lower fee you can’t quite expect the same level of retention.
This is a positive move from American Express, just days after Chase began offering $100 statement credits on the Sapphire Reserve card. The bank is giving phone agents an array of solid options to offer Amex cardmembers, based on a variety of factors like years with the card, annual spend levels and other factors. To borrow from Forrest Gump, “you never know what you’re going to get”.
Regardless of what travel rewards credit card you hold from Amex, it’s probably worth giving them a call in the near future, if you feel you won’t get the same level of benefit once enjoyed, or that the annual fee just can’t be justified this year.
Amex was also the first bank to proactively offer support to those affected by furlough and other issues surrounding this unprecedented global struggle and this is yet another customer friendly move to keep business flowing as usual, or as close to.
Beyond travel benefits, earning rates on cards can very much help justify annual fees, so even ordering take-out during the crisis with the Amex Gold (4x points) can help, if you’re spending a lot. Think it over, but it may be worth giving American Express a call, because points may await…