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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beat the Changes to AMEX Platinum Reserve Points

I received a letter on Monday that announced changes to the Membership Rewards program for the Platinum Reserve (and Charge) cards (Note: this is not affecting the AMEX Platinum Edge cards). Cardholders will no longer receive 1.5 points per dollar spent.

 Starting from 1 October 2012, you will earn

  • 3 points per $1 spent at restaurants in Australia listed here
  • 2 points per $1 spent on: Airlines, accommodation, major cruises and tour operators paid directly or through travel agents listed here and spend in foreign currency when overseas or online. 
  • 0.5 points per $1 spent on utilities, insurance (except insurances offered by American Express), telecommunications providers and government bodies in Australia 
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
Once you earn 150,000 membership points in a year, your earn rate drops to 0.5 per $1 spent.

If you are a Platinum Reserve or Charge card holder, here are some thoughts about what to do if you want to maximise your points. 
  1. See how many points you earned this year to see how you may be affected by the 150,000 points cap. 
  2. Check your direct debits. If you are paying utilities with AMEX, its probably wise to pay with something else, especially when they charge you for using the AMEX card. In WA, Synergy charges 0.6% for using credit cards, I think regardless of what card. When you are earning 0.5 points, you might as well pay using bank direct debit. 
  3. See what restaurants are covered in the 3 points per $1 spent in your area. 
  4. Remember that you get a free return flight on Virgin every year so think about how much that is worth to you. If it is not that important...
  5. Look for a better card or call up American Express to let them know that you are not happy with these changes.
Got any other ideas? Leave a comment

Other AMEX posts

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