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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Want 25 Free Movie Passes? $250+/$450+ in Travel Spending? 25K Avios or Aeroplan Points? What To Do With AMEX Points-Free When Approved AND INFO ON GLITCHES

American Express® Gold Rewards Card                       American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card
25K+ AMEX Points For Free (Personal Gold)!                              40K+ with my link (not 30K) Points For Free (Biz Gold))! 
Annual Fee waived the first year. Click above to apply!                 Annual Fee waived the first year. Click above to apply!

Scroll down below to see what I recommend is good value for the points.

AMEX has two cards that are excellent for getting welcome bonus points, that can be used for so many things, depending on your needs.  When being approved for the personal Gold Rewards card or Gold Business Card, you get points after you meet the spending threshold ($1500 in 3 months on the personal, $5K on the business).
Currently, you can earn at least 26.5K Membership Rewards (MR) points with a personal card application approval and at least 45K with the business card (including points for meeting the spending threshold).  AMEX, despite its claims, that they are no longer offering welcome bonus points on personal cards more than once in a lifetime per card type, IS still offering them, at least for now.  You may have to wait 8-10 weeks for the points to post, but from what my sources tell me, it WILL happen.
If you have the card and wish to take advantage of the welcome bonus once again, you'll need to cancel and wait, safely, 6 months, before reapplying and getting approved again.  Some people have waited only 3 months, but it's chancing an inquiry on your account for nothing.  Paid for the annual fee already?  Within 60 days of being charged, they'll refund you the annual fee.  After that, they'll pro-rate your refund (though in the States, they're changing the rule on this).
With the personal gold, you can 2 points for every dollar spent at gas, grocery, and pharmacies.  With the business gold, you can to choose 3 businesses from a list (including Lowes and Petro-Canada) to get bonus points for when using your AMEX there.

Here's some ideas of what you can do with the points.

Membership Reward points can be used for gift cards:

If you love to go out to movies (staycation), you can order Cineplex Admit One movie passes for 1K MR each.  The "Great Escape" movie passes from Cineplex will Admit two, get you 2 free drinks and 1 popcorn but it's a bit of a rip at 3K points unless you MUST have your drinks and popcorn. In that case, your welcome bonus for the personal will get you 8 of these (for two). Only thing that stinks about these passes (which are the same ones sold at Costco and (but you have to now wait at least 48 hours before is allowed to send you an email to print them up) is that you MUST walk into a Cineplex to redeem them.  I go hours or even days earlier to get my tickets, especially if I want to pay to upgrade the ticket to 3D or DBox (both ripoffs and NOT worth it in my opinion), but it IS an inconvenience as opposed to buying the tickets on and printing off my tickets at home, as well as choosing my seats ahead of time (Ultra-AVX seats--these are WORTH the extra money).  BTW, AMEX charges nothing to ship out gift cards.

Itunes Gift Cards, AMEX gift cards (like cash) and many other gift cards--your welcome bonus on the personal plus the spending you do on the card to meet the spending threshold of $1500 will get you $200 worth, the business gold, $300 worth--while I'm not a fan of using it for gift cards, it can make for a great gift.

Use to convert to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, regularly at 1:1 (sometimes at a bonus--I'll blog about it when it's better than 1:1).  THIS I've written about on previous blogs.  I LOVE how I can instantaneously see the points transferred into my Aeroplan account.  Also, there's a glitch in the system that allows you to switch the points to ANYONE'S account in Canada so you COULD help a friend get enough points for a flight if s/he is a few thousand short.  Apparently in the Canadian system, the names of the account holder with Aeroplan does not have to match with the AMEX cardholder name.  With Avios, you may need to wait between 1-2 business days before the points post, which is a hassle, in case the seats are available when you convert the points, but then disappear after the points post to your Avios account.  Despite what Aeroplan says, the points CAN be transferred back to your AMEX account, in case something like what I just wrote about (for Avios) happens--sometimes seats appear on Aeroplan, and when you try to complete the transaction, an error occurs, and in fact, the seats are NOT there.

Use for the taxes on travel.  I spoke to an agent in MR who was happy to try to help me use my points towards travel by making a travel purchase on the card and using the online system to have my points used in lieu of the cash (NOT the best use at the equivalent of 1% cashback unless "Flex, but it's better than for gift cards) which makes it worth $265 on the personal and $450 on the business (after spending thresholds have been achieved).  I spoke to the agent as I wasn't sure if Air B&B stays would qualify as a travel-related transaction and he was willing to make it happen, even if the online system wouldn't. You can even use your AMEX to purchase a travel-related item and then have it count towards meeting your spending threshold!  For example, Use your points to pay for the taxes on an Aeroplan rewards ticket.  While Aeroplan offers this option using extra Aeroplan points, the poor ratio doesn't make it worth doing.  Better off using AMEX points after it shows up on your AMEX online account.

Use for charitable donations.

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