Amex churning question

Discussion in 'Miles & points via credit cards' started by johnbrowell, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell New Member

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    I'm very late to the Amex party, but reading as much as I can before applying for one of their cards, via a referral link when the time comes. Just wanted to ask what happens when you close a card account, with the plan or re-applying in 6 months for another sign-up bonus. I'd expect your whole Amex account to close, so points to be lost, and therefore expect you experts just transfer them to your preferred scheme before closing. But I thought I should ask for confirmation.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    Hey John!
    when you close the account you HAVE to wait 6 months before you can sign up again and get the bonus points...best to wait a couple days after the 6 month period to make sure - your information is still kept on the AMEX database so you can call up to see when the earliest you can sign up for the card again.
    However, when you close your account your points will go with it if you haven't transferred them - you can take out a normal rewards card to maintain the points in your account but you wont then be able to sign up for another gold/platinum card again...BA cards are separate from this.

    My advice is to transfer to a scheme you will use in the future.

    If you need a referral..please use my links below for either the Gold or BA premium :)

    BA Premium AMEX; extra 2,000 avios to reach the required avios amount for their companion ticket;
    You will get;
    - 26,000 avios instead of 24,000
    - a brand spanking new AMEX card
    - 1.5 avios per £1 spent, 3 avios per £1 is spent directly on BA
    - BA Companion ticket once spending has reached £10,000 in the year
    - an extra 3,000 avios if a supplementary card is taken out

    http://amex.co.uk/refer/darreetxeo?XLINK=MYCP


    AMEX Gold Credit Card..
    You will get;
    - 22,000 amex points instead of 20,000 points which can be transferred to loads of different point schemes
    - a brand new shiny gold AMEX card
    - 2 Lounge passes for airport use (one for you and one for the Mrs/Mr)
    - Discounted restaurants in the UK via Amex Taste Invites, 20% off
    - 1 point earned per £1 spent, 1.5 points for every £1 spent abroad
    - an extra bonus 10,000 points if spent £15,000 within one year
    - an extra 3,000 amex points if a supplementary card is taken out


    http://amex.co.uk/refer/darreenhde?XLINK=MYCP
     
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  3. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Hi John,

    Yep - that's exactly right! Just make sure you transfer out all your Points before closing the account.

    If you've got any more questions at all, just let us know (and if you need a referral link, just say the word ;) )
     
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  4. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell New Member

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    Thanks gents. Just need to run a quick eligibility check and then I'll sort it. As Darren offered his first I should use his link.
    I have an related question that you might be able to help with. This is a long term plan to start saving points to use for a long haul trip in maybe 10 years - when kids are grown up and wife has her 50th !
    That's enough time to amass enough points for "free" business class and planing to have a companion voucher as well.
    No specific idea of destination, but maybe Maldives or Mauritius or similar, so was planning to move the Amex points to either BA, or Virgin, or Emirates - any opinions or suggestions, given our vague destination plans ?
    Quick edit - I realise that BA may be the only one to offer a companion voucher, from the limited research so far today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  5. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    Thanks John - much appreciated!
    If you're planning on using a companion voucher - transfer to BA, when you're using that you have to pay for the whole flight using Avios and then paying cash for the taxes (no part avios payment).
    If the plan is to amass loads of points then i'd suggest going for both the gold and premium and keep churning them now and again - but make sure you're able to do the min spend (or made a fully refundable expedia vegas hotel booking and refund later on ;) )

    Let me add that the gold is free for the first year and the ba premium is fully refundable pro-rata by month, so you could cancel once you've got the bonus points
     
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  6. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    that's right, the companion ticket lasts 2 years when you reach the £10k spend.

    If you get your wife to take out a supplementary card you get an extra 3000 avios and you'll reach the £10k spend in no time!
     
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  7. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Quite right! - I hadn't updated the page for a while so didn't see Darren's post.

    I would certainly recommend (pretty much anyone) collects points/miles - but I wouldn't recommend saving them up specifically towards a trip in 10 years time.

    The essential problem is that the various loyalty programmes can't be trusted over that amount of time (Hilton just devalued literally overnight, with no warning whatsoever, for example), so the general advice is to 'earn and burn'.

    There's 2 bits of good news though:

    1) You could use your points to pay for (or towards) smaller, sooner, trips you'd otherwise be spending cash on, and could put the money saved into a special savings account designed for your big trip. You could also, for example, then even use the cash to buy more 'exotic' Miles (like Alaska, American, etc), depending on which programme offers the best value way for you to reach your chosen destination in style.

    2) Once you get the hang of things, you'll realise that with a small amount of effort and a bit of reading to keep on top of the latest deals, you can earn more points/miles than you would ever need for the sort of trip you're talking about in 2-3 years max, rather than 10. If you really caught the points/miles bug, you could probably do it in about a year!
     
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  8. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell New Member

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    Darren, I thought the T&C section said a supplementary card carried an additional fee, of £40 ? Being from Yorkshire I was looking to try an avoid that.
    My initial thoughts on that are along these lines :
    1. get my card, and get my wife to use my referral link for her own card
    2. add her membership points to mine, by transferring them into my airline scheme.

    But then I just read an article which suggests that a card holder can only do that for an "authorised user" on their account, which suggests it would have to be a secondary card holder and therefore incur the fee anyway.
    So, before I research it, would there be a way to transfer AVIOS or virgin miles between 2 separate avois or virgin accounts ?
     
  9. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    nope, a supplementary card is free on the BA Premium card
    https://icm.aexp-static.com/Interne...premium-plus-credit-card/BAPremiumPlusTCs.pdf - page 2, you get the 3000 avios with that.

    I wouldn't get the supplementary card with the gold, rather you get the gold and then refer your wife so you then get an extra 9000 points...make a household BA account and everyone is happy as its a win win!

    Regarding the transfer of avios and virgin to different accounts, its only possible if you a) pay to transfer (not worth it) or b) are a BA gold member and you can transfer for free. or c) make a household account on BA.
     
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  10. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell New Member

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    Thanks Darren, my mistake. I was only looking at the Gold card for now, but I understand what you said. I had not yet discovered BA household accounts but will research it now, thanks.
     
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  11. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Yep - BA allows household accounts (basically, you each have a separate British Airways Executive CLub account, but the Avios go into a joint pile), which is extremely useful - particularly if you're thinking about a big 241 voucher redemption
     
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  12. Sdon

    Sdon New Member

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    Also relatively new to Amex and this forum. I thought I read recently that Amex is not allowing you to churn cards anymore and that you are only eligible for the sign-up bonus once in your lifetime. Did I misunderstand? Is this a future plan of theirs.

    Also, I have a Gold card & BA premium card. I have received the sign-up bonus on both pretty quickly. I'm holding off triggering the BA in order to prolong the companion voucher. However, I on the gold I have triggered the 10K points bonus after £15k spend it says the bonus points will go into my account 60 days after renewal.

    What are my options? If I transfer my points to a scheme and cancel the card and reapply in 6 months will I lose the 10k bonus? Or will i be able to keep the 10k points if I upgrade to Plat reach the min spend to trigger upgrade bonus then downgrade because the benefits do not outweigh the fee for me currently but you get it refunded pro rata and just keep the card for the year then cancel it was the 10k bonus hits my account.
     
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  13. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    Hey Sdon,
    Re the churning, AMEX haven't confirmed that as of yet - still up in the air and no one knows when they'll actually implement that here in the UK.

    To keep the points you'd need to have a points AMEX card...whether you upgrade to the plat or free version... but you said you're using the BA card and companion ticket...best to transfer to avios regardless then?
     
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  14. Sdon

    Sdon New Member

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    Hi Darren,
    Thanks. Yes, I have the BA plat card but have been holding off triggering the companion voucher to give it a longer expiry date not sure when I plan to use it. Once I trigger it I will downgrade to the free version as I also have a llyods duo.

    I would transfer to Avios but already have 250k Avios. I was hoping to transfer my Amex to another scheme to be able to try out a different airlines biz class as I have travel CW quite a bit. Should I upgrade to Plat trigger the upgrade bonus then go back to Gold and just keep the gold? Then would I get the 10k bonus from the gold 15k spend plus the bonus for the upgrade to plat min spend?
     
  15. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    I've also got the lloyds duos but going to bin that shortly as the points earned has reduced a lot! and the amex card is being discontinued - not worth having IMO.

    again up to you...you could upgrade to plat to get gold status on the hotels, you now get breakfast for free if youre a gold hilton member :) (and then downgrade shortly after)

    the only problem is that if you transfer to another airline you have to dedicate adding to that to get enough for business/first for a round trip which can be quite a lot... you could still book qatar and cathay through BA tho?
     
  16. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sdon - welcome to InsideFlyer!

    Any travel/points/miles questions/thoughts/etc whatsoever - just ask away here on the forums!

    Re the 10k gold bonus, as far as I know, you need to keep the card post renewal as per the terms to get that (though I might be wrong, so could be worth getting confirmation from amex directly).

    As regards upgrading the gold, whether you can technically upgrade or not depends on whether it's the old charge card version or the new credit card version - I wrote about this in more detail recently here: https://insideflyer.co.uk/2018/09/b...entially-much-more-generous-offers-available/

    Basically, if your gold is a credit card rather than a charge card, these days it seems like you just apply for a new plat (and get the full sign up bonus - let me know if you need a referral ;) ) rather than upgrade or cancel the gold. That's the theory anyway, according to what Amex told me, but I'm still waiting to confirm it in practice myself (should be a few days).

    That way, you'd be able to keep the gold open until you get the 10k bonus, then cancel for a pro rata refund, meanwhile doing whatever you want with the platinum re cancelling.
     
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  17. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    You do need to wait until the renewal to get the 10k in points (if you've spent the £15k in the year)
     
  18. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    With 250k Avios already banked (and a 241 whenever you want it), I'd be looking to diversify into other programmes too.

    Darren is right, of course, that learning about new programmes and getting enough miles in them for a meaningful redemption can be a bit of an effort, but there's plenty of value out there in the world away from Avios. Given the rise of long haul low cost carriers over the last few years (which offer good one way fares), you only really need enough miles for a one way in Biz/First, if you don't mind paying for a cheap Economy flight in the other direction.

    I like to transfer my Amex MR Points to Singapore KrisFlyer - excellent bargains still on the award chart, like Istanbul or Capetown to/from Singapore (or most of SE Asia actually) Business Class for 45k Miles, and no surcharges. There is a 3 year 'hard' expiry though, so it's not a place to send points without a plan for using them.

    You could also consider transferring to Marriott, and then to pretty much any airline programme. 40k Amex Points gets you 60k Marriott Points, which can be transferred into 25k Miles with almost any programme. That might not sound like great value, but there are sometimes airline transfer bonuses (like Aeroplan at the moment, American AAdvantage a few months ago, etc), which help - and it all depends on how many miles the different airline programmes charge. For example, Alaska charges 42.5k miles one way for Cathay Pacific Business Class from Europe to Hong Kong - whereas BA charges 90,000 Avios...
     
  19. tcz8127

    tcz8127 New Member

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    In the churning scenario - what are the best schemes for letting you transfer any loose points? By that I mean - we have a few Amex accounts where we transferred to schemes which had to be in multiples of 200 I think, so we have like 115 left on one, 187 on another, etc. Not worth much, but seems a waste to lose them if there's a scheme which accepts exact amounts.
     
  20. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Radisson Rewards (formerly Club Carlson) has a minimum transfer of just 3 Amex Points, so is a nice way to clear out an account.
     

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