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Bye Bye Platinum…
About two years ago I applied for the American Express Business Platinum card during a really good increased sign up offer. It was the highest offer we’ve seen and despite the high annual fee I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I was able to offset the cost of the annual fee with the $200 airline incidental credit (which I was able to get twice within the first year of card membership) and the $100 Global Entry reimbursement. I then kept the card another year, because on top of the normal $200 airline incidental credit, I was given another $135 incidental credit due to them getting rid of many lounge partnerships.
I am now approaching my third year with the card and see I am not using the perks nearly enough to make the annual fee worth it. You can read more about the main perks of the card here, but here is a quick breakdown:
- $200 airline incidental fees – If I take this off of the annual fee cost, it still leaves me a decent of pocket fee.
- Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program – I personally have not used this program so it is no value to me. However, I know many folks do and have saved a ton of money.
- Complimentary airline lounge access – I am not flying nearly as much as I used to and most of my flights are on Southwest, so no lounge access options.
- Global entry fee reimbursement – I already took advantage of this perk and the membership lasts 5 years, so I am good there.
- Starwood Gold status – I already have Platinum status, so no value for me there.
- Purchase and return protection – I use my Starwood American Express credit card (which gives me the same protection), so no need to use the Platinum card.
- No foreign transaction fees – I already have many other credit cards that come with no foreign transaction fees.
- American Express Offers opportunities – This for me is a big one actually. With this particular card I’ve receive $90 back in statement credits over the past 12 months. So if I take this off of the annual fee, I am still left paying $160 for the card.
With my math, many would say the end cost of Platinum card is not so bad, but quite honestly, I am paying way to much in annual fees and trying to reduce my yearly cost. I also do not think I will get the value over the next year. So with that, I am looking to cancel my card. But, the main problem is I have about 175,000 Membership Reward points in my account and I do not have an immediate need to transfer them over to a participating loyalty program. And I do not want to transfer them over speculatively. I also like transferring them during a bonus transfer offer. For those not aware, once you cancel your American Express credit card that is tied to your Membership Rewards account, your points need to be used within 30 days. This is assuming you only have one American Express Membership Rewards points earning card. If you have another card that you are not canceling, then you are good to go. You can read more about canceling an Amex Membership Reward credit card and keeping the points in this prior blog post.
Since my American Express Business Platinum card is currently my only Membership Rewards earning card and I want to keep my account active, I need to look for another Amex Membership Rewards earning card. I went ahead and applied for the The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express as it has no annual fee and earns full Membership Reward points. There are other no annual fee Amex cards out there but you earn limited Membership Reward points which means you cannot transfer your points to a party loyalty member. With the Amex EveryDay you are given the exact same redemption options as the Platinum card.
Since there is no annual fee I will be able to always keep an active Membership Rewards account and never have to calculate if the annual fee is worth it or not. With this card you also earn 2x points when you shop at U.S. Supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1x) and 1x points on all other purchases. Additionally, if you use your card 20 or more times on purchases in any billing period (less returns and credits) you will get a 20% bonus on all points earned for that statement. That means your grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets can give you up to 2.4x points and all other purchases 1.2x points. Additionally, the current sign up bonus gives you 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Now remember, there is also a Preferred version of the card, but it comes with an annual fee of $95 a year. The perks of having the card are the same, but the amount of points you earn on purchases is a little higher. With the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card, you’ll earn 3x points when you shop at U.S. Supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1x), 2x points when you shop at U.S. gas stations, and 1x points on all other purchases. You’ll also get a 50% bonus on all points earned if you make 30 or more purchases in any billing period. So this means your grocery purchases can give you up to 4.5x points, gas 3x points, and all other purchases 1.5x points. This card also has a sign up bonus that gives you 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 on the card within the first 3 months of card membership.
When comparing the Amex EveryDay to the Amex EveryDay Preferred, I personally think you need to spend over $3,000 at a U.S. Supermarket over the course of the year to make the annual fee worth it. I will write another post within the next week detailing out the spend required to help you figure out which card is best for you based on your annual spend.
The great thing about these two cards is I will still get some of the same benefits I received with my Platinum card. With this card I’ll still be able to take advantage of the numerous American Express Offers and I will still have the purchase and return protection with this card. You can read more about the Amex EveryDay and Amex EveryDay Preferred card here.
Overall, I think these are two great cards for a variety of reasons mentioned above. I actually might go as far to say that they are currently the best cards right now for earning American Express Membership Reward points. You can read more about the pro’s and con’s on the Membership Rewards program here.
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 10,000 points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. No annual fee. *Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees.
- The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express: Earn 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of card membership. $95/year fee. *Terms Apply.