Amex Membership Rewards Once Gold Card is closed

Discussion in 'Miles & points via credit cards' started by johnbrowell, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell Member

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    My current Amex Gold Credit card reaches it's anniversary in early Jan 2020. Assuming I stick to my plan of cancelling it to avoid the £140 annual fee after the first year, that means I have no way of earning Membership Rewards. I'll be transferring my existing MR balance before closure.

    Not a huge issue as I now have the BA Premium Plus card to collect as many Avios as possible on all our spending, and while I'm building the Avios pot that's not a problem. But I know many of you experts value the Membership Rewards due to their versatility.

    So, I wanted to ask what other people do. Indeed do you try to earn some MR as well as Avios and Virgin MIles ? If so how ? And why ?
     
  2. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    My strategy so far (post the amex sign up changes) has been to ignore the sign up bonuses completely - because I'm not going to wait 2 years between MR earning cards. Between a few referrals and normal spend, I still end up earning more points than if I waited to be eligible for sign up bonuses again. I also value the Plat benefits quite highly when I've got a busy travel period, so will probably get and cancel that 1 or 2 times a year, while keeping my gold when it's free and cancelling during one of the periods when I've got a Plat (and then replacing it).

    The thing is, Avios and Virgin Miles are great (or at least can be), but there are other ways to earn them - and I tend to value things like Singapore Miles quite a bit more.

    Focusing on 1 or 2 types of miles isn't a bad strategy at all though for most people (particularly if you're getting started, and given the amex changes), so I think I'd stick with your current plan.
     
  3. JamieB

    JamieB New Member

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    Old thread but might be useful for some people.

    If you want to keep your membership reward points but close your UK Amex MR cards in order to reset the 'bonus' time period, you can open an american express international dollar card (IDC). This is run completely separately to all the other Amex cards but -does- have the facility to store/earn/redeem MR points.

    There is a small annual fee, but once open you can phone Amex UK and request a points transfer once a year from your UK MR account to your IDC account. Interestingly enough as the IDC account is in dollars, you will also get a markup on your MR points depending on the current exchange rate (i.e. currently 1 GBP is approx 1.3 USD - therefore if you transfer 10,000 MR points you will receive 13,000 MR points in your IDC MR account). Some of the airline/transfer partners available in the IDC MR programme do have less favourable transfer rates compared to the UK scheme however, although some of the airlines still allow transfer of points 1:1.

    Basically you can use this is as a 'store' for your MR points whilst waiting for the 2 year bonus period to elapse, as holding an IDC account won't affect you eligibility for the bonus.
     
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  4. Hermans

    Hermans New Member

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    Same issue here as my Gold card reaches first year anniversary at the end of the month.
    After reading I guess the whole forum, I am still unsure what to do.

    This is my 1st year with a Gold card. Got the welcome offer in MR, spend 15k this year to reach the 10k MR bonus and have now a total of 75k MR. I will spend these in the future on a flight probably. So I will have to park or continue gathering MR, but I am not keen on paying the 140 Pound annual fee for next year.
    My partner never had a AMEX so I can refer him, and myself for a BA card to get some sign up bonuses. I am not sure if I value Avios as much as MR, or am I wrong here? We will be able to hit the 4k spend offer in the first 3 months for the Platinum card, so cancel afterwards.
    I am eligible to take out a 1 year fee free Dutch card and park my MR there.

    Ergo: Which option is best to prevent losing the MR and to get the most out of referral bonuses.
    I am orientating as well to park the MR points and go for a Platinum Cashback card or a Nectar Card, as the MR have probably a higher value than the 1% Cashback but I will probably not spend the MR points within now and 3 years, and the MR points aren't transferable between me and my partner.
     
  5. JamieB

    JamieB New Member

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    I personally find MR points more valuable than avios but that's purely based on the reward partners I tend to find most useful.

    If you want to maintain your MR balance (and reset the 'timer' on the UK card sign up bonuses) then I suspect your best option is either to open an international currency card as above, or in your case probably take out the fee free dutch card. You'd get a markup on your MR balance based on the current Euro exchange rate at the time of transfer too. Bear in mind that if you intent to utilise your MR points directly from your dutch or international card MR account, the transfer partners may have different redemption rates.

    Remember also that the annual fee for amex cards is refundable pro-rata, so even if you end up waiting a while to make a decision / open a new account, when you cancel, the remaining portion of your £140 amex gold yearly fee will be refunded.
     
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  6. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Great advice - couldn't have put it better myself! :)
     

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