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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Why The AMEX Membership Rewards Family Of Cards Is Vital In One's Vacation Plans

Read the story below the pics that have the links embedded to apply.
American Express® Gold Rewards Card
25,000 Membership Rewards with the link above after hitting the spending threshold (only $500 in 3 months)
THE PLATINUM CARD®
Limited Time Offer: 75,000 Membership Rewards (instead of 50,000) ONLY with the link above after hitting the spending threshold (ONLY $1K in 3 months)

40,000 not 30,000 Membership Rewards with the link above after spending $5K in 3 months.
The Business Platinum CardTM from American Express®
Limited Time Offer: 75,000 instead of 40,0000 Membership Rewards ONLY with the link above after spending $5K in 3 months.
During a conversation with an AMEX rep, I learned some interesting inside information about changes coming to AMEX Canada.  Anyone who travels in the US or online to US websites can see that AMEX is accepted pretty much everywhere in the States, but everyone here in Canada knows it’s a washout.  After losing 8% of their profits when Costco divorced AMEX when Capital One offered them a better deal, not charging a per transaction fee, only the regular 2% (or so)  Mastercard charges.
Well, in the States, AMEX will now be accepted at Sam’s Club Warehouses–not exclusively like they had with Costco, but nonetheless, it will help them stay competitive, but what about here in Canada?
Apparently, over the next few months, AMEX will be changing how it offers the card to its merchants.  Somehow, they will offer merchants something that amounts to a lower percentage so that small businesses can afford to offer the AMEX card at about the same levels of charges as Mastercard and Visa, without compromising on its profit like it.  As it was explained to me, it will allow merchants to be non-official merchants, so that they can offer AMEX without the higher fees that AMEX normally charges merchants.  It’s confusing and unclear but these changes are coming over the next few months.
What that means for us is a more competitive card!  Whether it’s the AMEX Gold or Platinum Rewards Personal or Business card, they will be accepted at a LOT more places–and with AMEX Membership Rewards points, you’re much better off at switching the points to Aeroplan (instantly) or to Avios (within about 2 days).  That way, you can decide, based on availability and where the routing will cost you the least in fuel surcharges, which point system you wish to switch your points into.  Back in March, AMEX was offering a 25% bonus when switching your points to British Airways Avios, part of the One World Alliance, which includes many different airlines around the world, with lower taxes on tickets (if not actually flying on British Airways but on an Alliance member flight such as US Airways), cancellation fees that are more flexible than Aeroplan (24 hours notice as opposed to 33 days).
Now just might be the time to get an AMEX card!  If you have a business card with AMEX, you can put pressure on AMEX to truly bring these changes to fruition.  By cancelling your AMEX Business Gold and telling them why (not accepted at Costco and too many other merchants), they may offer you 7K Membership Rewards (MR) points or more to stay and pay the annual fee when it comes up, but you’d be better off cancelling the card, and if the changes go through, reapplying using the link above, and getting the welcome bonus of 40K Membership Rewards points after spending $5K in 3 months.  That can be transferred into 40K Aeroplan points or Avios points–and if you have MR points, don't be surprised if AMEX once again offers a conversion to Avios deal, likely again to be a 25% bonus when switching your points from MR to Avios.
They’ll also waive the annual fee the first year.  A little known fact is that the welcome bonus is STILL available but only for the AMEX Business cards and a personal gold or platinum if you've never gotten the welcome bonus before.  Remember, you can apply for the card if you have ANY business–self-proprietors without a tax number are accepted, even if you have a business that is on the side–you include ALL your income when answering the question about your business.
Go over the  benefits carefully.  Remember, the Platinum Business has a $399 annual fee while the personal version has a $699 fee, but the benefits, especially for the personal card, are what you’re paying for, especially if you travel a lot.  And the $699 is cushioned by a $200 travel credit that you get each year, so for the first year of your AMEX Platinum person account, you'll get $400 cashback on travel, making the cost for 75K points (this limited time deal) costing you only $299, plus all the lounge access and concierge treatment you'll get with the card.  For example, access to lounges including free lounge access to the AMEX Centurion lounges, including the one at Pearson.
Get the card for yourself and your spouse and you'll get 75K, you can refer him/her and get 25K for the referral and s/he will get 75K as well--that's 175K AMEX points which will take you and your spouse far--80K Aeroplan x 2 to go to Israel, 7 return trip tickets across the US/Canada are two examples of what these points will give you!
For more info, search through the search box on my website for more info on the different cards!

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