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AIR MILES: The end of American Express co-branded credit cards

To the point Following BMO's acquisition of AIR MILES, American Express co-branded AIR MILES credit cards are now discontinued.

As of mid-April, American Express AIR MILES co-branded cards are no longer available for purchase. Today, American Express confirmed in a press release the discontinuation of these cards, which will be transferred to other products on September 30, 2023 linked to their main loyalty program, Membership Rewards.

This news follows on naturally from the events of recent months concerning AIR MILES: the bankruptcy of Loyalty Ventures, the company which owned AIR MILES, and the confirmed acquisition of AIR MILES by BMO.

Several changes and events in recent months have led to this important shift, which has raised many questions among AIR MILES Collectors. The good news is that all AIR MILES Collectors will keep their mileage balances.

With BMO’s acquisition of AIR MILES, we couldn’t help but wonder about the future of co-branded cards with American Express, a competing financial institution.

What about American Express co-branded cards?

The following AIR MILES credit cards issued by American Express are discontinued:

  • American Express® Prestige AIR MILES® Credit Card‡
  • American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Credit Card‡
  • American Express® AIR MILES® Credit Card‡

And the business cards:

  • American Express® AIR MILES®* for Business Card
  • American Express® AIR MILES®* Gold Business Card

Current American Express Co-branded Cardholders

Do you have one of these cards? As of September 30, 2023, your card will be transferred to another American Express product, a card where you can earn Membership Rewards points.

Details of the product transfers were not announced in the official American Express announcement. If you are a co-branded cardholder, keep an eye on your communications from American Express (by mail or electronically) as you should soon receive more details depending on the card you are currently using.

What are the alternatives to American Express co-branded cards?

If you’ve been meaning to sign up for an AIR MILES credit card, there are still many options available to you at BMO. Here they are:

This may be a good time to sign up for the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* MasterCard as an alternative. Here are the details of this credit card:

With this exclusive offer for the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite Mastercard®*, you earn 3,000 Miles after $3,000 in card purchases, that’s a $315 cash value.

Besides, the annual fee is waived in the first year!

With this card, you earn 3 miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners. Then, earn 2 miles for every $12 in purchases at any eligible grocery store and wholesale club (warehouse like Costco) or alcohol retailer (SAQ, LCBO, etc.). Everywhere else, you’ll earn 1 AIR MILES mile for every $12 in purchases, including Walmart.

And it’s the only AIR MILES credit card in Canada to offer a 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight redemption during the calendar year

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* card also offers:

  • Premium insurance for your travels or purchases
  • Double the miles for car rentals with National or Alamo
  • Concierge services

Bottom line

The disappearance of AIR MILES co-branded American Express cards was expected, following the announcement of the acquisition by BMO. AIR MILES Collectors will keep the miles they earn on their American Express co-branded credit cards, but these will soon be transferred to other cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Membership Rewards, an excellent loyalty program offering flexible points for travel rewards. Depending on your spending habits, you may also want to consider Scene+ credit cards, since it’s now possible to earn points at grocery stores, such as Sobeys and IGA, which previously had AIR MILES.

In any case, take the opportunity to review your strategy with these rewards programs!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
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Marie-Ève Leclerc
Travelling is a way of life for Marie-Ève, who spends almost six months a year abroad. She's always looking for waves to surf, great coffee and the best strategies to travel longer. You'll probably find her in a coworking space with other digital nomads, or by the sea watching the sunsets.

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