Click the above pic to get to the application page for the 75K (as opposed to 60K) Membership Rewards bonus (plus I get a referral--thanks :) )
SOOOO many reasons...
If you can manage to spend $5K in 3 months on the card, and I`ll explain how it isn`t that hard to do, you will earn a threshold bonus of 75K Membership Rewards points, that is worth:
75K Aeroplan points plus the over 6250 points you earn for spending the minimum $5K, is enough for 1 return trip ticket to Tel Aviv. Of course, you wouldn`t use Air Canada for that as you`d get hit with fuel surcharges, but with 1 stop in Newark on United, Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, or other fuel surcharge-free options, it`s a great way to spend your points.
75K British Airways Avios points (or more if AMEX is having a conversion bonus, which they do every year). Lately, these points, I have found to be useless personally, but I have set routes that I look for and they involve airlines that Avios has very limited options with, including American Airlines.
37.5K SPG Points--the most lucrative hotel points program around, that can be converted to one of over 40 airline point systems.
From SPG, convert instantly in your SPG account (after linking it to your Marriott account) to 112.5K Marriott points. That`s more than enough for a 5 night stay at a Category 5 hotel.
$750 worth of points that you could use towards any transaction you have made on the card. This is NOT the best use of the points. You are better off selling them to someone who will buy them, for as much as 1.3 cents to the point, so a $399 annual fee, IF you cannot write it off for business, will cost you 30K of your 75K points to avoid having to have paid for that annual fee out of your own pocket.
You don`t need to have a big business--even being a self-proprietor for a starting business will suffice. Selling things on Amazon or EBay and charging the card for the shipping of items is legit enough. Your company name IS your name.
The card comes with terrific benefits such as:
- Starwood Gold Status. This means Marriott Gold Status as well. All of this means upgrades that naturally occur when you arrive at the hotel. For those with families, it is totally worth calling or emailing the front desk manager or general manager and letting them know you`re staying on points and have a family that would have a hard time fitting in a studio suite, which is what you booked on points, and would like them to consider upgrading you ahead of time so you will be rest assured that there will be room for your whole family when you arrive. MANY managers will do this, except in Florida, where if it is during peak season, they will NOT do it as they will sell those rooms with cash. You could get Gold status by spending 50 nights at Marriott properties over a year, or by spending $30K on the AMEX SPG card, but this is the easiest way to get it.
- A concierge service to get them to make dinner reservations, find you a horse to buy it Europe, a swing that has a cover and the seats go down--you name it, they will find it for you--even give them your budget.
- Free membership in the Hertz Number One Club Gold, with a free car class complimentary upgrade and preferred car rental courtesies at over 590 worldwide locations.
- Either 50% a business class ticket when flying when buying two or only pay the taxes on the second one, depending on the airline. You have to call them at 1-866-801-4302 to take advantage of this, but that`s only if you fly business is it worth it AND if there is two of you flying.
- Access to lounges for FREE! Plaza Premium lounges around the world with any boarding pass for the day, Admirals Club American Airlines and Delta lounges for you, your spouse, and 2 children or more (depending on the lounge and how flexible they are for more than 2) with a boarding pass for that day with one of their airlines. They also pay for your coveted Priority Pass Lounge basic membership, but that bites, as you will still pay for that lounge--$27 per visit per person. So that one is not a great option--and no-no access to the AMEX Centurion lounges--not unless you have a US platinum business card or a personal card (crazy high fee without the benefits that can justify it in Canada)
Typical benefits that premium cards have, this one has too, including:
- Doubling your warranty
- 90 day protection in case of loss, theft or damage
- Trip interruption insurance, trip cancellation insurance, emergency medical up to 15 days on each trip if you`re under 65
- $500K Travel Accident Insurance
- Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
- Lost or Stolen Buggage Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Hotel or Motel Burglary Insurance
How do you spend $5K on an AMEX--well it`s not that easy unless you do a lot of business on the road or you buy things from national businesses--or buy gift cards for groceries
Grocery gift cards through Yesodei Hatorah accept AMEX, and they will send it to your home.
All the hardware stores--Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
Most national pharmacies such as Shoppers and Rexall
Any travel related business--car rentals, hotels, etc.
Many dentist`s offices, if you push them--they don`t like to accept it as they lose a bit more on the merchant fee, but you can give them or choice of AMEX or you could look for another dentist that WILL accept AMEX.
Retirement homes. If you could get mom to send you a cheque while you pay for her stay at a retirement home, you`ll reap the benefits and in return, maybe pick up the phone once in a while?