Wednesday, March 6, 2013

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

I recently applied for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card as there was a rather hefty bonus of 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending just $1000 in the first 3 months. Unfortunately, the offer seems to have been pulled and currently only the 25,000 MR points offer is available. If you should see it return, at any point, I would advise getting in on the deal.

Membership Rewards is the flexible points currency program offered by American Express on a number of cards including the Platinum Card and the Zync card. It partners with 10+ airline partners most of whom transfer points to miles on a 1:1 basis (including British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles, ANA Mileage Club, Air Canada Aeroplan, Singapore Krisflyer, Delta Skymiles etc) and also allows for transfers to various hotel programs and gift cards as its most valuable transfer options IMHO.

American Express often runs promos where you can transfer to British Airways for 30-50% bonus and various other promos to Delta Skymiles and Starwood Preferred Guest making MR points rather valuable. Given this, and the fact that the first year annual fee of $175 is waived, a 50,000 MR point offer is a no-brainer as it can potentially transfer to 70,000-75,000 BA Avios (during the promos) which is more than sufficient for a redemption from the US to Asia or Europe.  Transfers to programs with specific mileage chart sweet spots such as ANA and Singapore may also be worth looking into.

To summarize the current offer:
  • 25,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points after spending $2000 in 3 months
  • Another 15,000 MR Points after spending $30k in a calendar year
  • 3 MR Points per $1 on airline purchases (only airfare)
  • 2 MR Points per $1 on gas and grocery purchases at standalone supermarkets/gas stations
  • MR Points per $1 on everything else
  • Annual fee of $175 (currently first year is waived)
Additionally, the generous point bonus categories of airline/gas and grocery purchases makes this an ideal card to have for spending in the bonus categories. However, you may want to evaluate whether you want to keep this card for the long term as the annual fee of $175 is quite heavy and doesn't offer anything like the 7% annual bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

The regular offer of 25,000 MR points is located here in case you are still interested.

Disclaimer: This card is only available to US residents.  Also, I am not paid by American Express to endorse their products.

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