Support the Quebec breast cancer Foundation and Get $150 Cash Back!
air miles shell amex

Changes to come on the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card

To the point American Express Canada today announced upcoming changes to the AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card on November 4, 2019. Find out in this post all the details!

The good news

Let’s start with the good news. American Express has decided to improve the competitiveness of the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card against BMO’s offers.

Thus, two important changes:

  • New AIR MILES mileage accumulation rates
  • An annual travel credit exchange with AIR MILES

New accumulation rates

1 mile per $5 of purchases on specific categories

Previously, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offered an improved accumulation rate of 1 mile per $10 of purchases:

  • through AIR MILES sponsors
  • in gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies

Starting November 4, 2019, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card will offer an improved accumulation rate of 1 mile per $5 of purchases:

  • on food and beverage purchases (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, coffee)
  • on gas station purchases
  • on public transport purchases (including taxis, or services such as Uber)

All this with a limit of $30,000 per year (which means a maximum of 6,000 AIR MILES miles for these current purchases).

Here, American Express is trying to replicate the success achieved with the American Express Cobalt™ Card which offers 5 membership rewards per dollar for most of these types of purchases.

restaurant addition

So it’s a great improvement, making the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Cardthe AIR MILES-affiliated card that allow you to earn the most AIR MILES for all these everyday expenses.

There are two ways to estimate the AIR MILES miles value:

  • CASH rewards have a fixed value of 10.5 cents/mile. During some promotions,it is possible to get 11 to 12 cents/mile.
  • DREAM miles have a variable value depending on your usage. It is not uncommon to withdraw around 20 cents/mile.

With this new accumulation rate of 1 mile per $5 of the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card,this means a return of between 2.1% and 4% on this type of purchase!

Want to master the AIR MILES program? Browse our ultimate travel hacking guide on AIR MILES!

1 mile per $10 of purchases everywhere else

Previously, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offered an improved accumulation rate of 1 mile per $15 for all other purchases.

Starting November 4, 2019, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card will offer an improved accumulation rate of 1 mile per $10 for all other purchases.

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card is now comparable to the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, which also offers this accumulation rate.

In my opinion, the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* keeps the advantage with its accumulation rate at 1 AIR MILES mile per dollar of purchases because it is accepted at Costco – being a Mastercard card.

cartes cadeaux disney chantal
L'échange de milles ARGENT pour des cartes-cadeaux Disney

Annual credit exchange for your travel with AIR MILES

American Express will introduce a new advantage for the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card:once a year, when you book a trip with your AIR MILES DREAM miles (flight reward or all-inclusive package), you will get a return of 25% of the DREAM miles used (up to a limit of 750 miles).

To maximize this benefit, your first annual trip with your DREAM miles will have to be worth 3,000 miles or more (which would allow you to reach the 750 miles limit)!

You will have to be strategic in your bookings: if you book a flight reward of 1,500 miles, you will only receive 375 miles for example.

walt disney world 239144 1920
Disney World avec AIR MILES

This is an interesting benefit when opposite, BMO, offers an exclusive discount of 15% on all flight rewards in North America with the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* And from time to time, offers a promotion including a companion ticket.

The bad news

Let’s move on to the less good news. In fact, there is only one: the increase in the annual credit card fee of American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum.

Increase in annual fees

American Express has decided to almost double its annual membership fee from $65 to $120.

Whereas in the past it was a card with a very low fee, American Express decided to align it with the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* (while the latter offers 2 airport lounges accesses, and excellent travel insurance).

Apply for BEFORE or AFTER November 4th?

Of course, the question is: should we apply for BEFORE or AFTER November 4, 2019?

There is no real answer to this!

I might as well tell you right now: I don’t have the answer to that question.

As is often said:”A bird in hand is worth two in the bush ” (better to opt for something that you can get immediately rather than something more valuable but that you are not sure to get later)!

Conclusion

American Express has therefore decided to reformulate its offer for the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card.

It will be interesting to see if BMO will get something out of its hat, knowing that the offer on its BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* is already very interesting (including the first year free and 3,000 miles AIR MILES miles as a bonus welcome).

HSBC Canada Credit Cards

Leave a Reply

Suggested Reading