Reduced AMEX earn rates from April 2019

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andye

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It is interesting that we all comments about AMEX on this page, there are all the pop up advertisements for AMEX. Maybe the owners of this website should stop displaying the adverts for AMEX and disassociate themselves from a company such as AMEX which is ripping off members by reducing the value of the MR points. It is time for Australian Frequent Flyer to make a moral stand.

I'm pretty sure AFF doesn't get to choose the adverts

In any case, its a bit of a long bow to bring morality into it.

Amex is a company which makes business decisions.

Devaluation is a risk in all reward schemes.

They have given everyone 5 months to cash in their MR points at a good (though less flexible) rate

They have chosen to reward a group of (on average) higher-spending customers with preserving points balance value.
(There may be a way of preserving balance for other customers by taking out the Charge with its associated fees)

The post-April earn rate may or may not be acceptable to customers in which case they can take their business elsewhere

That's not to say, customers can't lobby Amex for revision of the deal. Amex may decide that its better for them to change their tack. There is a good case (see trippin_the_rift's post) to say that would be in Amex's interest

Its not morality just business.
 
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Chicken

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The best use of this strategy was to use these discounted GCs to buy other GCs

Don't forget that your can buy Woolworths e gift card at 5% off and still earn 3 SQ miles now / 1.5 SQ miles post April, and the Woolworths e gift card can be used for petrol and Opal card.

If ULP 91 is 120.9 c/L , 5% off would be 6c off per L.

If you top up your Opal card at Woolworths, you get 5% off Opal card top up, then you get 4c off fuel as well, so that becomes:

120.9c - 4 c = 116.9c
116.9c - 5% = 111.1c

That is 9.8c off fuel.
 

Chicken

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Maybe the owners of this website should stop displaying the adverts for AMEX and disassociate themselves from a company such as AMEX which is ripping off members

Knee jerk reaction much?

Even post April:
- Edge earns 1.5 SQ miles at supermarkets and petrol stations, 0.5 everywhere else.
- Reserve earns 1 SQ mile everywhere else except 0.5 for government.

You find me a card which earns me more SQ miles than these.
 

fkcn

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Remember , according to all the call centre reps, when you call up to complain ,
All of these changes are positive!

I called up today - Edge/Explorer combo - and thankfully didn’t get the enhancement double speak - maybe they got the message.

I expressed disappointment that, as a long-term customer, I hadn’t been offered point doubling in my letters, resulting in a halving of value. Was told that these were generic letters and not all point doubling letters had yet been sent, so to call back if nothing received by mid-Dec. I asked if this meant accounts were still being reviewed to assess point doubling, and was told yes, that was the case.

I’m a bit dubious, as no-one else has mentioned anything similar. But maybe some hope - till mid-Dec at least, then may be back on phone.
 

theblank

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Definitely not suggesting people try this and I definitely won't! Like I said, it's my job and this just hit me this morning. I wonder if they've thought about this...

well Amex certainly know about it now.
 

rakeman

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You find me a card which earns me more SQ miles than these.

You are correct and its why I'll probably keep the card, when you think about it the card was actually to good compared to the competition.
 

andye

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But it would be nice if the $200 pa Edge card continued to earn more on everyday spend than the $0 pa cards.
The bonus categories were always the point of difference for me. Fee is offset first by flight then travel credit
 

cs_jacky

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But it would be nice if the $200 pa Edge card continued to earn more on everyday spend than the $0 pa cards.

Customers of Edge card pay $195 p.a. and get $200 travel credits. They "earn" $5 here.

There are 2 AMEX cards that earn more on everyday spends after 15th April and it is called AMEX Platinum Charge Card and Centurion Card.

As a customer, it is always nice and good to have as much benefits as I desire. However, the reality is AMEX, as a business, needs profits to stay alive.

Unfortunately, (I believe) there are no free lunch in the world.
 

Chicken

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But it would be nice if the $200 pa Edge card continued to earn more on everyday spend than the $0 pa cards.

Which $0 card earn more than the $200 Edge card?

If you are talking about Essential card, post April is 0.625 SQ miles or 0.5 for government.

The Edge still earns 0.5 for everything which is effectively the same as Essential card, and 1.5 at supermarket and petrol, which is the purpose of this card (use this to get Woolworths e gift card then pay for petrol and Opal card, or use this card at 7-11 to top up your Myki / Go card)

Then of course there are Visa and MasterCards

St George 0.5 SQ mile is the basic Amplify at $79 per year
Cheapest ANZ 0.5 SQ mile is Platinum at $95 per year
 

Mr_Orange

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Customers of Edge card pay $195 p.a. and get $200 travel credits. They "earn" $5 here.

Except that using the travel credit is not that easy. Amex's online travel site is absolutely awful, I do mean awful. You don't get to see all the room types, the descriptions very often don't match the hotel's and don't get me started on booking a hire car through Amex.
 

daft009

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TC or not I always use the Amex travel site for domestic flights and car hire. Never tried international.

Qantas and virgin both charge surcharges for Amex
 

Chicken

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TC or not I always use the Amex travel site for domestic flights and car hire. Never tried international.

Qantas and virgin both charge surcharges for Amex

It is pretty good for straight forward / simple / common bookings, and no surcharge ; but hopeless for open jaw or requiring connections.
 

daft009

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They used to give an extra 1ppd for the explorer as well but that finished a while ago
 

michael65

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Customers of Edge card pay $195 p.a. and get $200 travel credits. They "earn" $5 here.

There are 2 AMEX cards that earn more on everyday spends after 15th April and it is called AMEX Platinum Charge Card and Centurion Card.

As a customer, it is always nice and good to have as much benefits as I desire. However, the reality is AMEX, as a business, needs profits to stay alive.

Unfortunately, (I believe) there are no free lunch in the world.
I accept that AMEX may need to reduce the effective FF earn rate, but am very disappointed in that the current MR point balance gets devalued by 50% except for Platinum Charge card holders. Those points were earned when AMEX charged higher merchant fees. They really should have just reduced the earning rate by 50% from mid April and left the value for accumulated points as is now. It is a bit like you putting money into a bank account and they announce that from mid April your deposit is worth 50% less.
 

bits

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Got my notification letter re Amex Platinum Charge program change. The letter included the double points offer, with the paragraph reading:

"As a valued American Express Platinum Card member and in recognition of the redemption rate changes, we will protect the value of your existing points by automatically crediting your account with the same amount of Membership Rewards points that you have at 1:00am AEST on 15 April 2019 (3). For example, if your balance is 100,000 points we will credit an additional 100,000 points. The additional points will be added into your account by 15 June 2019. There's no need to call us or enrol."

T&C (3) reads:
"Only valid for the recipient of this letter who holds an American Express Platinum Card as at 19 November 2018....Your account(s) must not be overdue as of 15 April 2019."
 

Chicken

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They really should have just reduced the earning rate by 50% from mid April and left the value for accumulated points as is now.

I think this is the biggest annoyance with most people.

It is a bit like you putting money into a bank account and they announce that from mid April your deposit is worth 50% less.

I would not put it that way.

It would be more like, you bought something, you got a cash back, but you are not claiming your cashback immediately, you just want to let it sit for the next 10 years.

Companies hate that, and accountants hate that 100%, because provisions affect your balance sheet and P/L, it is just annoying, anyone who works in finance would use words like "just claim it or write it off FFS".

My guess here is, AmEx decided that they have had enough, it is time to force everyone to spring clean their provisions. Think about it, by the time we are forced to clean out our points in April, they can give themselves 3 months to tidy up, maybe re-adjust their MR claim provision, then ready for the end of FY in 2019 Dec.
 

potm

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The other reason for doing it this way is points inflation. It sounds better to give 2-3 points per dollar, sells the card better. The average punter fails to do the maths to figure out the effective earn rate.
Amex had a campaign not too long ago to point out that their points are worth more and take you further than the bank programs.
I guess it's a case of if you can't beat them, join them.
 

cs_jacky

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Except that using the travel credit is not that easy. Amex's online travel site is absolutely awful, I do mean awful. You don't get to see all the room types, the descriptions very often don't match the hotel's and don't get me started on booking a hire car through Amex.

I used the travel credits to book my flights and hotel in November.

I found that the flight ticket price on AMEX Travel is the same as the one from the airlines. I checked Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Virgin.

The hotel price may be higher than booking directly with the hotel (the one I booked is cheaper on AMEX travel).

At the end, they are still can be used to offset your travel expense. They are not real money and limited by AMEX rules but it reduces your expense if you really need travel.

We may need to do some homework to maximise the value of the travel credits just like what we did to maximise the earning of points in our spendings (e.g., I will use my Edge card not my charge card in Coles; buying Uber gift cards from Woolworths with the Edge card).

If information are not clear, customers can call them. I did call on a few questions and issues in my bookings. The people in AMEX travel are friendly and professional.

AMEX put the offers and it is the customer to choose the right product for themselves.

BTW, I am not a fanboy of AMEX. I do agree with many people here they should keep the value of the points earned before 15th April no matter what type of accounts the customer is holding.
 
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