American Express announced recently the release of four new charge cards, each specifically tailored to meet the needs of the points and miles crowd.
The Rewards Green card, Preferred Rewards Green card, Rewards Gold card and Preferred Rewards Gold card each come with the Membership Rewards program “built-in.” In other words, no enrollment is necessary.
In addition to the usual American Express features, including purchase protection, buyer’s assurance, return protection, car rental loss and damage insurance, global assist hotline, travel accident insurance, and year-end summaries, the cards will allow cardholders to earn two points for almost all purchases at stand-alone grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, home improvement stores, and post offices, as well as payments on wireless phone bills. All other purchases net one point per dollar. (Don’t expect to rack up points when buying 30-gallon drums of soy sauce at your local Mega-Mart, though; superstores and warehouse clubs are not included.)
American Express is calling these cards a “travel aid,” largely because of their beefed-up travel assistance features. Cardholders can expect free roadside assistance, passport assistance, card cancellation and emergency card replacement, translation and interpretation assistance, and baggage insurance.
Both the Green and Gold Rewards cards are targeted toward those consumers focused on points and retail rewards; while points may be transferred to airline miles, the ratio is 2:1. The Preferred Rewards cards (Green and Gold) offer a straight 1:1 value.
Annual fees for the Green card, Preferred Rewards Green card, Rewards Gold card and Preferred Rewards Gold card are $65, $110, $90 and $130, respectively.