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As recently as yesterday, we were singing the praises of the American Express Gold Card. In addition to being free for the first year, it offers one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses out there, with the points readily convertible into a range of hotel points, air miles and more.
American Express have just made the position for Amex Gold holders substantially more interesting, with the launch of an American Express Platinum upgrade promo, offering them 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if they upgrade to Platinum and spend £1,000 on the card in the first three months of holding it.
Now there is a catch, but a workaround, but then a catch to this. Bear with me…
The initial catch
The American Express Platinum Card comes with a fairly hefty £450 annual fee. While the benefits of card membership are substantial (including free lounge access), that understandably puts many people off, particularly given the relative cost of the Gold card (free for year 1, £140 p.a. thereafter).
The obvious workaround to this is to upgrade to the Platinum Card, bag the 20k bonus, then downgrade to the Gold card again.
You will receive a pro rata refund of the £450 fee when you downgrade.
The second catch
The key issue – and here’s the catch – whether you were in the first year of your Gold card or not, it appears you will then be charged the £140 annual fee for the Gold card.
As such, if you are well within the first year of your American Express Gold card membership, you should probably treat this with caution. However, if you are coming to the end of that year, or are already paying £140 annually for the Amex Gold card, then you should give this offer some serious thought. £1,000 in spending in three months is a reasonably relaxed target (relatively speaking), and you can of course return to the £140 a year card as soon as you have done that and the points have arrived.
So not one for everyone, but potentially for many. You can read why we like the Gold card so much here.