We’ll spare you the song and dance about the unprecedented, scary and ever changing times we’re living in. We’re all pretty aware by now, right? Instead, let’s focus on what it means for your Amex credit and charge cards, because particularly for those with a travel rewards card – it can mean a lot.

American Express is expected to announce major “refresh” across the brand, and rumors are also buzzing, with a bit of data behind them, that suggest a new ultra premium card may be coming too.

American Express Lobby CaptureAmex May 2020 Card Refresh

There’s been an elephant in the room in the last month, as cardholders facing annual fee renewals began to question why exactly they were holding onto a travel card, in a world without travel. Amex took an excellent approach to retention bonuses, but the card issuer appears to be rolling out a new suite of perks more in line with current needs.

Details are scarce, but Amex has announced plans for an early May refresh across many personal and business cards. Think: Green, Gold, Platinum, Blue, and even co-branded cards from airlines and hotels.

Offers such as increased spending bonuses on categories people can use from home are proving popular, so this is expected to be an area of exploration for American Express.

Who wouldn’t love 5X points on their streaming service, or food delivery, or more points on Amazon? With key travel benefits meaningless for the next few months at the very least, expect to see a huge pivot to online shopping benefits.

In the UK and Canada, Amex has initiated double points earning and double the redemption value for holders of the Platinum Card when you cash in points, so it would be interesting to see if they take this tact in the USA as well. The benefits are limited time, but are proving very popular.

amex gold cardsAmex Titanium Card?

It’s long been rumored that American Express was eyeing a “Titanium Card”, not just in build, but in name too. The card is said to be positioned in between the elusive Amex “Black” Centurion and the Amex Platinum.

But that’s not all, there’s talk of separating out the Amex Black Card from the Centurion, creating even more heirarchy. The news of a refesh kicked this rumor up again, and as usual, Redditors did some excellent digging.

The logic, established from a since deleted Amex internal PDF, suggest further that Titanium, previously referred to in recent rumors as Optio, will be a card in between the $5000 annual fee Amex Centurion and the $550 Platinum Card. Expect higher elite status travel benefits, more personalized service, better table access and a bunch of other things.

Being that we are living in strange times, it’s not an ideal market to launch a premium card, but it’s expected to be by invitation only initially, and realistically, those who are eligible are unlikely to be as effected by current times as many others.

In other words, there’s still a huge luxury market, in a world with more than 46 million-millionaires. When travel does return, having perks which help with extra space, legroom or lounge access will be even more valuable, so it could be game on…


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