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Amex Rewards Maximiser - Increase in annual fee

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Maca44

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
1,260
Just received a letter from American Express Memership Rewards dated 10 March 2006, which states:

Dear Mr Maca44

"I am writing to inform you of an important change to your American Express Credit Card. On your next renewal anniversary you will notice that your annual fee has changed to $192 p.a. In assessing this adjustment, we have focused on ensurng that we continue to offer competitive products to our Cardmembers. We have done this by adding great new benefits to the Membership Rewards program.

We have also made some amendments to the Membership Rewardes Terms and Conditions, details of which are enclosed.

With the addition of yet more enhancements to the program, Membership Rewards continues to offer the best value in the market for our Cardmembers. Our Commitment to you is that we offer the best earn rate - 1.5 points for every $1 spent, with no caps on points earned and no expiry of points. In fact, we've acted on what you've asked us for in a premium program - and continually striving to ensure we remain the best rewards program."

The letter continues with the benefits of TravelKey, Virgin Atlantic, Membership Rewards Guarantee, Rewards Concierge (if you have a balance over 100K points), Qantas Frequent Flyer Guarantee and Best Value on Vouchers.

I only have one card namely the Rewards Maximiser Credit Card. The Amex website still indicates that the Annual Card Fee is FREE for the first year then $144 p.a. including automatic enrolment into Ascent. There is nothing there about the increase of the annual fee to $195 after my next renewal anniversary.

When you read the additional benefits the card is supposed to provide I don't think those benefits are worth an extra $50 p.a. I think Amex is simply sucks you in with the $144 p.a. to get you to apply for the card, and after 6 months they send you a letter that they intend to increase the annual fee.

There is nothing on the Amex website concerning the increase so has any other Amex RM card member received a similar letter.

EDIT: Also received "Notice of Changes to your Memership Rewards Terms and Conditions" which, in part, states: "If you account is overdue (we do not receive your payment within 40 days of Card Account Statement date), your Points accrued in the Program Account will be forfeited. Refer to Section 12.1. Provided the Card Account and Program Account have not been cancelled, you may request reinstatement of your forfeited Points. A $20 Points Reinstatement fee will apply.

I doubt this would apply to many, if any, posters on this thread as they pay their account when received, but it is food for thought for those who rack up the points and might forget a payment.
 

Sheriff

Member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
167
There is nothing on the Amex website concerning the increase so has any other Amex RM card member received a similar letter.
No, I haven’t received any correspondence from Amex advising me of the increase in the Rewards Maximser annual fee. However, a marketing representative of American Express from CPM-The Customer Acquisition Specialists advised me orally on the 9th of March that the Rewards Maximser annual fee will increase to $192 shortly.

Regards
Sheriff
 

netaddict

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
166
I'm guessing this increase is inline with the membership rewards fee increasing.

Give it a week and everyone will have got the letter.
 

Sheriff

Member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
167
has any other Amex RM card member received a similar letter.
Just received the letter dated 10 March 2006 informing of the increase in the annual fee of the Rewards Maximiser to $192.

Sheriff
 

danielh

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
352
I got the letter as well. I intend to do a few things about it. My anniversary date is August so in JUNE I will do a few things:

1. Pay up completely on any amounts and not use at all.
2. Wait until all my points are pushed into the AmEx card and then transfer it all to Qantas.
3. Confirm the transfer from AmEx
4. Call AmEx to let them know I will be cancelling the card (do this at least 5 weeks before anniversary date) and let them know that it is because of the increased fees.

Usually you will get the call center dude offering you incentives to stay such as another free year. This is dependent on how much you spend of course.

If you cannot get them to waive this fee then simply cancel the card. You have already taken out all your points so you are not going to lose out on anything.

Regards
Daniel
 

JohnK

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
41,098
Maca44 said:
I only have one card namely the Rewards Maximiser Credit Card. The Amex website still indicates that the Annual Card Fee is FREE for the first year then $144 p.a. including automatic enrolment into Ascent. There is nothing there about the increase of the annual fee to $195 after my next renewal anniversary.

...There is nothing on the Amex website concerning the increase so has any other Amex RM card member received a similar letter.
Nothing that I can see concerning an increase to the Rewards Maximiser but it does mention 1st year free and then $192 p.a including automatic enrolment into membership Rewards Ascent.

Amex Rewards Maximiser
 

Maca44

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
1,260
JohnK said:
Maca44 said:
I only have one card namely the Rewards Maximiser Credit Card. The Amex website still indicates that the Annual Card Fee is FREE for the first year then $144 p.a. including automatic enrolment into Ascent. There is nothing there about the increase of the annual fee to $195 after my next renewal anniversary.

...There is nothing on the Amex website concerning the increase so has any other Amex RM card member received a similar letter.
Nothing that I can see concerning an increase to the Rewards Maximiser but it does mention 1st year free and then $192 p.a including automatic enrolment into membership Rewards Ascent.

Amex Rewards Maximiser
It wasn't there a couple of days ago, so they have only recently updated their webpage to $192. For slightly more annual outlay it may be better value to get the Plat card and get a flight with it.
 

netaddict

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
166
Maca44 said:
It wasn't there a couple of days ago, so they have only recently updated their webpage to $192. For slightly more annual outlay it may be better value to get the Plat card and get a flight with it.
I'd agree; especially if your annual spend on the card is less then $100K as after that ammount points are 1 for 1 on the plat card.
 

svstrider

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
30
Watch Amex that they don't charge monthly fees from the star

Four months after I received my Amex Maximiser I have noticed that they began charging me the $12 card fee in the second month. I rang them and was told that the monthly fee applied. I told them that I had the application info I obtained at the airport when I applied. I had to fax them their own brochure!

After a week, they wrote to say that the fee would be reversed each month following the charge as there computer system would not allow them NOT to charge the fee every month!

So check your bills to make sure you don't suddenly start incurring a monthly fee.
 

Deeruck

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
20
Re: Watch Amex that they don't charge monthly fees from the

svstrider said:
Four months after I received my Amex Maximiser I have noticed that they began charging me the $12 card fee in the second month. I rang them and was told that the monthly fee applied. I told them that I had the application info I obtained at the airport when I applied. I had to fax them their own brochure!
Seems to happen to most. Quite an unimpressive and deceptive procedure, IMO. When I rang, I had to direct the guy on the phone to the website to show him it still showed first year free, after he told me it was a special offer that didn't apply to me.
 

albatross710

AFF Supporter
Joined
May 15, 2004
Messages
3,011
Re: Watch Amex that they don't charge monthly fees from the star

I put up with seeing the $12 charge, -$12 credit for the 11 months that I held onto the Maximiser and in a strange way was looking forward to cancelling the card and seeing how they would handle the $12 credit in the month that there was no $12 fee.

I cancelled the card and eventually received a cheque for the $12.

Like other posters I think it is a scam for the unwary. It is embarassing that Amex are allowed to get away with it. Would writing to the financial regulator help?

Anyway I switched to companion Amex card that Westpac offered. Comes all on a single bill for the month along with my Visa statement. Just one payment to Westpac pays both cards.

The earning rate I had with Amex Maximiser was 1.5:1, the Altitude Amex is 2:1. I notice that Westpac now have a platinum amex card at 3:1
 

Dons83

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
26
Re: Watch Amex that they don't charge monthly fees from the star

gilkatho01 said:
The earning rate I had with Amex Maximiser was 1.5:1, the Altitude Amex is 2:1. I notice that Westpac now have a platinum amex card at 3:1
Apples and Oranges...

From Altitude rewards terms and conditions:
http://www.westpac.net.au/manage/pdf.nsf/B1EE55D37846E0C5CA2570D90003ECBE/$File/AltitudeTandC0161104.pdf?OpenElement

For Altitude points earned on or after 9 March 2004, 1 Altitude point converts to 0.5 frequent flyer points in the frequent flyer programs of Qantas and Malaysia Airlines

The higher annual fee gets you basically the same thing. Hence, Maximiser > Altitude
 
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