Wife and I have too many Platinum Cards... Help!

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by funtrainsf, Jan 11, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. funtrainsf

    funtrainsf Silver Member

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    I'm sure there are others in this situation, so I'm hoping to be enlightened.

    I recently applied (and was approved) for the Amex Platinum card when they had the 100K AR sign up earlier this week. I have received the card and activated it. No issues there.

    PRIOR to this week, I possessed an Amex Platinum as an additional user on my wife's primary account.

    So now, she is a primary account holder of a Platinum and now I am also a separate primary account holder of a Platinum. In addition, I am an additional user on HER account. As far as fees, this would mean $450+$450+$175.

    Now, I'm not stupid and I know I have to eventually cancel EITHER my additional card on her account or my primary account. We had never anticipated me getting a Platinum card, but 100K sign up was a no-brainer.

    The fees on HER account will come up due in March. I will incur MY primary account fee here shortly since I just got the card.

    So, I ask, what should I cancel and when? If I cancel my primary Platinum (prior to the next annual fee date), do I lose AR points (my only other Amex right now is Starwood)? Should I cancel my additional user access on her account for a year and return upon cancellation of my primary account? To we just stay with 2 primary accounts? So many options.

    We BOTH would like a card (whichever way) since we fly a lot and use the lounge access and $200 credit every year.

    Thanks!
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Your additional user card presumably feeds into our wife's MR account. Your new card will be tied to your own (new) MR account. As I understand it, you have to have an active card in the MR program to retain our MR account, so if you just close your primary account, you'd lose it. But there are cheaper cards that you could get (or downgrade to?) before the next fee is due.
     
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  3. funtrainsf

    funtrainsf Silver Member

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    Cool.. that answer my question in regard to losing my AR. I do plan on a few app-o-ramas this year that will include other amex cards that feed my AR balance. So I doubt that would be an issue in the end. I'll just make sure that one of the Amex apps is an AR card prior to next January.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Yep. Look at the AMEX Blue for Business. It's a no-fee MR-earning card, so it's a good MR "anchor" to keep your MR points alive while doing whatever you do with your other cards.
     
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  5. funtrainsf

    funtrainsf Silver Member

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    Thanks for the card recommendation. I am having my wife cancel my "additional user" card from her account for now (no point in paying that $175 fee for now). At the end of this year, prior to my Amex renewal, I'll cancel my Plat card and become an additional user on her account again. However, prior to doing all that I'll make sure to have an MR-earning Amex to keep my balance (like the Blue or other).
     
  6. robmac

    robmac Silver Member

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    Quick note when you get the MR points "holding" card. Some change your Membership Rewards program to others with less value. The Blue cards for example (MR Express), don't let you redeem points to air miles and are worth half the standard MR program point. This is arguably even a bigger drop when you come from the Platinum's (MR First) points program, which is worth about 1.25 points of a regular MR point.
     
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  7. funtrainsf

    funtrainsf Silver Member

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    Good call. I'll make sure I take that into consideration prior to "holding" if it comes to that.
     
  8. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    That's absolutely true, but I was only attempting to address the loss-of-points problem. I neglected to go into more detail because the whole "all of your points are the same but how you're allowed to spend them is different according to which card you have" is tough to put into words more gracefully than that. Having the Blue for Business keeps the MR points "safe" if/while you have no other MR cards. Obviously you'd want to get yourself another one of the "first" cards before you redeemed them.

    In case that's still unclear, here's a made-up example: Let's say I start with the AMEX Plat and I have 50,000 MR points. Let's also say that I'm not going to need my MR points until a trip I'm taking in 18 months, so I want to cancel the Plat to avoid the annual fee. I would:
    1. Apply for AMEX Blue for Business. Wait for it to come. Activate it.
    2. Cancel the Plat. My 50,000 MR points are still there, but my redemption options are limited (for now).
    3. Time passes ... [insert Jeopardy theme]
    4. A month or so before I want to redeem, apply for another AMEX Plat (personal, business, or MB), or the Gold for that matter. Wait for it to come. Activate it.
    5. My 50,000 MR points can now be redeemed for "the good stuff" again.
    The points don't change, only the redemption options.
    Clear as mud?
     
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  9. funtrainsf

    funtrainsf Silver Member

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    I'm totally clear on that.

    Ultimately, I was planning on going for the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card anyways since I have heavy airfare spend annually. The card is in the plan for my Q3 AOR in 2013.
     
  10. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think getting a Blue card may require a credit inquiry, which you may not want to use. I downgraded from my PRG to a Zync card as a temp holding card for MR points. It has a fee, but it's pretty small and worth it for me. Changing to the Zync card did not incur an inquiry. The Zync is also an MR Express card, but for me it was just for holding onto my points rather than redeeming/transferring them at that time.
     
  11. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    It does take an inquiry.
     

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