Last weekend, the much-anticipated changes to Amex Membership Rewards took effect. The rate at which you’ll earn points on your Amex credit card has now changed, and in most cases, existing Amex Membership Rewards points are also now worth less.
The Amex credit card devaluation has led to many AFF members reconsidering their credit card points earning strategies. Some have already cancelled their Amex credit cards, but others will be sticking with Amex.
In an AFF member poll, only 13% of respondents said they will cancel their Amex card/s as a result of these changes. 7% won’t immediately cancel their Amex cards, but will redirect their spend to a Visa or MasterCard. Meanwhile, 44% of members say they will now use a combination of Amex and another card, where it makes sense to do so. A third of participants will continue to use their Amex card as they did before, despite (or in some lucky cases, because of) the new earning rates.
Ultimately, Amex cards are still relatively competitive in the Australian market. The earning rates on most cards are now a little lower, but there are exceptions. The effective everyday earn rate on the Amex Platinum card, for example, has increased from 1 to 1.125 airline miles per dollar. And some Amex cards continue to offer double or even triple points on certain types of spend, such as purchases from supermarkets or petrol stations.
Many Amex cards also continue to offer perks such as flight vouchers and lounge passes. These have not changed.
Wondering how the earn rates on Amex cards now stack up in the Australian credit card market? We’ve updated our articles on the best credit cards for earning Qantas points, Velocity points, KrisFlyer miles and Asia Miles after the April 15 changes to Amex. Click on any of the below links to see the new rankings for yourself:
- Best Credit Cards for Earning Qantas Points in 2019
- Best Credit Cards for Earning Velocity Points in 2019
- Best Credit Cards to Earn KrisFlyer Miles in 2019
- Australia’s Best-Earning Asia Miles Credit Cards in 2019
Some AFF members will continue to benefit from the bonus points offered for spend at supermarkets on certain Amex credit cards. One member says:
I have the Reserve, where earn rate is really staying the same after D Day, so no difference. My Edge still earns slightly more for Woolworths, so it is still good for Opal card top up. Hence I’m not changing.
Another member will redirect their spend and cancel one of their three Amex credit cards…
I have Platinum Charge, Platinum Reserve and Explorer, with points from all cards going into Ascent Premium and I have been putting most spend on the Explorer at 2 ppd. I will now put all spend on the Charge card with effective return of 1.125 ppd. There is no reason to keep the Explorer once I finish transferring all direct debits to the Charge since the Reserve seems to have the same benefits as the Explorer and the Charge gives slightly more points anyhow.
But with the new lower earning rates for most Amex cards, some AFF members believe the real value nowadays is in credit card sign-up bonuses. Some members have therefore decided to cancel all of their Amex cards and wait 18 months to become eligible to receive a new sign-up bonus. Existing cardholders or anyone that had an Amex-issued credit card in the past 18 months are excluded from Amex sign-up bonus point offers.
Amex for supermarket (including gift vouchers for others, particularly when a bonus/discount applies), plus petrol spend. But I may cancel my Amex when due so I can get another signon bonus. I think the value is in signon bonueses, not ongoing spend these days.
Meanwhile, services such as RewardPay and B2Bpay have been forced to reduce their fees as a result of this week’s Amex changes. But this may not be enough to compensate for the loss of points offered nowadays on Amex credit cards.
What’s your credit card strategy following the Amex changes of April 2019?
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: After D-Day, Whats your new strategy?