Newbie Question: What is the ranking order of Amex cards?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by Aktchi, May 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

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    This is my first foray into Amex territory, so I need some orientation regarding a dizzying variety of names I encounter. I mean, in most schemes I can guess that gold is higher than silver, but that doesn't tell me about where centurian fits. :) Hence my basic question: What is the hierarchy amongst Amex cards, and which ones are particularly good for frequent flyer purposes?

    My general goals will be to open two accounts (wife and myself), get as many bonuses as often as possible, be able to move points between the two accounts, and convert to airline tickets or hotel stays when needed.

    Another basic question:
    Do you convert Amex points to airline miles and then buy award at the airline? OR,
    Does Amex buy/reimburse you for the ticket?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The basic individual and business charge cards go as follows: green gold platinum centurion

    Affinity cards are something else: DL or SPG Plat is not the same at all as regular Plat, and they have lower annual fees. These are generally credit cards (as are the Optima AmEx cards). DL AmEx Reserve tends to get the same customer service as regular AmEx Plat and they have similar fees.
     
  3. Clocktower
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    Clocktower Silver Member

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    I would expand that to (Personal): Zinc - Green - Gold - Gold PR - Platinum - Centurion

    The Gold and Gold PR differ mostly in that PR offers greater points-earning (1X general 2X gas and grocery 3X airfare) vs 1X for everything on the regular Gold. Naturally this comes at a price, the Gold PR is $175 per year, vs $125 per year for the Gold.

    There is also the mythical "AMEX Invisible" card, if you've watched 30 Rock. :)
     
  4. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    To add further.... always transfer your points to airline partners, not booking through the amex travel site.
     
  5. To add some more info... You cannot transfer points between your wife's account and your own, Amex does not allow this.

    You can transfer points to an airline's program(if they are a partner) and book an award or you can use pay with points, the former is usually the much better deal. If using pay with points you get 1 cent a point or 1.25 cpp if you have a Plat/Cent card. Pay With Points can make sense if, its a cheap ticket/have specific dates and only high awards left, or if you desire the RDM and EQM from the flight.
     

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