Big Changes to American Express Cards that Could Affect You

Sometime in May this year, American Express made an announcement that somehow slipped under the radar but is worth revisiting. They relaxed their rules on bankruptcy to allow customers who have a bankruptcy record that’s more than 2 years old to apply for a credit card with them. Previously, you couldn’t qualify for a card if you had a bankruptcy record less than 7 years old.

The good news doesn’t end there for customers; Amex also scrapped their minimum income requirement. Previously a card like the American Express Gold Rewards Card required you to have an annual income of $20,000; now all that has changed. If you read through the fine print on the application landing page, there’s no mention of a minimum income requirement. Here’s what they now say:

No Pre-Set Spending Limit on purchases does not mean unlimited spending. Your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including your credit history, account history, and personal resources. Proof of resources and security may be required.

You can now redeem your reward points even if your Amex card is cancelled.

Amex also reviewed their policy on reward points for cards that are cancelled. Previously, cancellation of your card meant you would lose all your points, but Amex are now allowing cardholders to redeem their Membership Rewards points for up to 90 days after cancellation – provided they are in good standing at the time the card is cancelled.

Amex Aeroplan co-branded cards may be discontinued.

There’s a rumour going round that Amex Aeroplan co-branded cards may be discontinued in the not too distant future. Being a marketer for the two cards, I usually come by such information, and felt it was only right to give my readers a heads-up on this.

My advice on this is that until it’s proven otherwise, avoid getting an Amex/Aeroplan co-branded card and instead go for a card like the American Express Gold Rewards Card, which comes with a great sign up bonus of 30,000 points, or the The American Express Platinum Card with an awesome welcome bonus of 60,000 membership rewards points.

If you read my Step by Step Beginners Guide to Travel Hacking post, then you must know that these two cards hold the key to successfully embarking on your travel hacking journey that can see you accumulate up to 90,000 points (when you sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card from American Express as well).

Meanwhile keep reading my posts to catch up on any new developments on these and other credit cards. 

The American Gold Rewards Card

 American Express® Gold Rewards Card The American Express Gold Rewards Card offers a 30,000 Membership Rewards point sign-up bonus with no fee for the first year, making it the #1 Best & Most Flexible Travel Credit Card.

  • The 30,000 points comprise a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points and an additional 5,000 Membership Rewards points for one approved supplementary card. 
  • That’s enough points to redeem for two round-trip short-haul flights, or one round-trip flight rewards to anywhere in North America.
  • No annual fee for the first year, including for the approved supplementary card. Thereafter you pay an annual fee of $150 and $50 for the supplementary card.

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