Platinum - end of first year - cancel?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by Arcade99, Oct 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Arcade99

    Arcade99 Active Member

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    Like many out there, I signed up for the 100K Platinum offer in January. I used many of the services during the year, but do not see myself traveling as much next year. I most likely will use the $200 airline reimbursement but that's about it.

    So, I am thinking about canceling the card due to the high annual fee. I do like the flexibility that membership rewards offers in terms of transferability. Is there another AMEX card that I should get? Can I still sign up for one of those cards while I hold the Platinum card?
     
  2. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    You should be able to get another AmEx card that works with Membership Rewards - but you almost certainly won't be allowed a signup bonus. AmEx has really cracked down hard on giving current cardholders new card bonuses, even if they are signing up for a card they've never held before. (Which, while extremely irritating, isn't a big problem if you want the card for what it offers apart from the big signup bonus.)

    If you want the lowest possible annual fee, look at a basic AmEx Green Card. If you'd prefer to spend a bit more to get some useful category bonuses and access to a travel helpline, loo at the AmEx Premier Rewards Gold. It offers 3x points for airline ticket purchases and and 2x for purchases at gas stations and grocery stores. If I were you, I'd ask AmEx about converting my current Platinum to a Premier Rewards Gold.
     
  3. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I noticed that you have posted this in multiple places on this board and I am not sure where you got this information because its patently incorrect.
    Did Amex tell you this ? Or is it just speculation/hearsay/or more to the point just a wild guess?????:rolleyes:
     
  4. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Yes, AmEx told me that, back in August when I was contemplating signing up to receive the SPG card during the once-a-year 30,000 signup point promotion. Current AmEx card holders were NOT eligible for the full 30,000 points, according to AmEx (although from what I've read at FlyerTalk, some did manage to snag the bonus by using various browser tricks). And if you read the small print on most of their Membership Rewards card offers, they state that the sign-up offer for the various Green/Gold/Platinum cards is only valid for people who haven't held any AmEx card earning Membership Rewards points within the past 3 months. Here's the exact quote from the AmEx website:

    "If you are identified as a current American Express® Cardmember, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card or Platinum Card® account within the last 90 days."

    If you click through and the website identifies you as a current/recent AmEx customer, you're offered a much smaller bonus (if any). (Last time I checked, for the Premier Rewards Gold, the website was offering me a mere 10,000 points, which is a far cry from the 25,000 the website initially promotes.) If you read over at FlyerTalk, you'll see lot of people who've had problems getting part or all of their promised bonuses from AmEx because they are current cardholders.

    So if the OP really wants a nice signup bonus, his best bet is to cancel his current Platinum Card and wait at least three months before applying for another card in the Membership Rewards family. Otherwise he's rolling the dice.
     
  5. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well I am forced to contradict your experience but here's mine: (well...ours:))

    I currently have had the Amex SPG, Hilton Honors Surpass and a Amex Open Platinum card earning Membership rewards points ( I have been a Amex " member" since 1983)
    About six weeks ago I received an e-mail offering me both a Business Delta Skymiles Amex and/or a regular Delta Skymiles Amex both with a sign up bonus of
    50k miles. I applied for the Business version, did the $1000 required spend and the miles has posted to my Delta account.

    My wife had the SPG Amex and the HH Surpass and she received a similar e-mail offering a 35k Skymiles bonus (for the same $1000 spend).
    She applied for the regular version and the miles has also posted to her Delta account.

    Both of us never had the Skymiles Amex before. I however have had the HH regular Amex, a regular Membership rewards and a Amex Optima cards (remember them??)
    in the past received the bonuses available at the time.

    From my perspective I have no problem with Amex or any other card restricting churning... but your comment along the lines of Chase " eating Amex" lunch because they
    are ridiculously lax about churning is pretty misguided. I put to you that perhaps Amex has in place a more sustainable business practice by restricting their offers to reduce
    the number of freeloaders. Seems to me that targeted offers are the wave of the future.

    Surely you cannot possibly think that Chase is even breaking even with applicants who cancel at minimum spend and the day after the bonus has posted?:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  6. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Count your blessings. From my personal experience and from what I've been reading recently both on FlyerTalk and in the comments sections of many of the points and miles blogs that were pushing the recent SPG promotion, you and your wife got lucky. Many others (including myself) have had different experiences.

    But that's the thing - AmEx's current policies are actually ENCOURAGING churning! Consider my case - I've NEVER held the AmEx SPG card, I've never received any sort of points bonus from AmEx, and I've done business with AmEx continuously for over 25 years (got my Green Card in 1987). I was excited by the annual 30,000 point SPG signup bonus this past August; when I was told I wouldn't get it if I applied, I was quite unhappy and decided not to go through with the application then. Right now the ONLY reason I haven't cancelled my Green Card is that it is by far the oldest card in my wallet. If it wasn't, I'd cancel it immediately and then wait until until next summer to apply for the SPG card as then I'd be a "new" customer by AmEx's rules and they'd give me the entire 30,000 Starwood points. Ditto the OP: if he signs up for the Premier Rewards Gold Card now, he'll miss out on the advertised 25,000 bonus and have to settle for a much smaller 10,000 point bonus at best, but if he cancels his current Platinum card first and waits a few months, then he'll qualify for the full 25,000 points. That's the very definition of card churning, and AmEx's current policy is promoting it.

    (And FYI, right now you can't churn Chase cards at all. Chase will give current card holders the full bonus if they sign up for a new and different card, but it's the only bonus for that card they'll ever get. Canceling the card and then reapplying a few years later nets you nothing. That seems a better way to discourage card churning than AmEx's approach, which only punishes their loyal customers but does nothing to stop churners at all.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

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