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I was redeeming my free flight reserve today and the guy on the phone told me that there will be mandatory conversion of the free flight/night to a $400 travel credit from a set date. However, Amex will give people notice (which they are in the process of preparing) so if your anniversary falls before the effective date then you still get the free flight/night, otherwise you get the $400 credit.
They are also in the process of trying to get the system to pool the travel credit together as some people have 3 to 4 travel credit and it is an administrative nightmare for their back end trying to manage it.
The pooling of travel credits is an interesting potential development.
Being able to pool travel credits is a great idea. Compulsorily replacing free flights with travel credits - not good ;-(
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A flight to nz is worth over $500. They should be replacing the flight with the equivalent flight value. American express is really starting to annoy me with the cuts in value for the cards. You would think now that they lost Costco that they would have learnt that having customer in their daily thinking will increase profits not cutting benefits. The executive team at amex really need to get their act together. I can barely use my card at places even though surcharging is allowed. Out of 5 stores i went to last week i got to use the card once. Time to start looking for other cards i think.
This will be a significant reduction in value which will need to be considered when my Platinum Charge annual fee comes around next year.
If the change for the Reserve is going to be mandatory then I would guess that the change for the Edge will also be mandatory at some stage in the future.
I hope they 1) combine the travel credits and 2) make it such that you can spend part of it. Currently you have to use the travel credit in one go.
Just got off the phone of an unrelated matter with Amex. Said that all existing Edge customers will move to $200 credit (just like for new customers currently) in march. Didn't get a chance to ask about what was happening with Reserve. I'm considering cancelling one to make way for Explorer. He suggested the Edge. I like the Edge but re thinking my choice after this call.
I'm planning an Explorer application. Was going to give up Reserve (can't hold >2 Amex issued cards at the same time) but might cancel Edge instead now. Its main benefit is the 3x supermarket category bonus. Explorer - esp if linked to Ascent is 2x on all categories (except government) so a worthwhile trade off.
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