The Different Flavors of American Express Charge Cards

Today, American Express offers a wide range of cards that are intended to appeal to all types of consumers. Their consumer credit business started back in 1958 with the original American Express card, which became the Green card. In 1966, the Gold card was introduced and eventually, the Platinum card joined the family in 1984.

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In the last 35 years, the only other American Express charge card introduced is the Centurion (Black) card. Since that one is exclusive and only open by invitation, for this comparison I’m going to stick to the cards anyone can apply to get.

It’s true that American Express offers many other cards (sixteen others if my counting is correct), but those cards are credit cards while the original cards are still, essentially, charge cards.

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked!

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Here’s A Totally Legal Way To Transfer Membership Rewards To A Family Members Airline Or Hotel Account

When it comes to using credit cards to pay for travel, the earning of the points is the easy part. Booking the award travel is where the process gets complicated. This post is about a specific situation that I imagine more than just a few people have found themselves in. It involves the transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to an airline frequent flyer program to make an award booking.

Using flexible points in this manner is the best way to get oversized value for your points and the basis for all for posts from people flying in Business and First class seats to locations all around the globe. For this example, I’ll use the flights I booked with ANA for my dad and his wife to fly to Bali. Without them knowing, I went ahead and booked them on the EVA Airways Hello Kitty plane 🙂 Continue reading “Here’s A Totally Legal Way To Transfer Membership Rewards To A Family Members Airline Or Hotel Account”

Beware the Amazon Trap Designed To Drain Membership Rewards And Citi ThankYou Points Accounts

Amazon.com has “enhanced” their website making it easier for you to pay for your Amazon purchases with the flexible points from your credit cards. If you’re not careful, the points you were saving for a trip to Hawaii might end up paying for that 18 foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman you’ve been wanting to buy. I mean, it’s awesome but not a great use of your Membership Rewards points.

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Flexible Points

Flexible Point currencies like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points are useful because of the various ways you can redeem your points. Some redemptions are great values, like when you’re able to transfer points to travel partners and make once in a lifetime trips. Other redemptions are average, such as using the points to book travel through the designated booking portal where you’re typically get 1 to 1.5 cents of value per point. These bookings are good when you need a reservation where transferring points is undesirable or unavailable, Still other redemptions are terrible, like redeeming for merchandise, magazines or even TSA Precheck memberships. You’ll often get less than 1 cent of value per point (and the merchandise is also overpriced to begin with).

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Save 20% Or Earn 20 Points Per Dollar On Airfare With This AMEX Offer

The AMEX Offers program by American Express provides targeted discounts or bonus point earning opportunities to cardholders when they’re logged into their account. These offers are great because the savings you earn offset the annual fees that American Express charges for many of their points earning credit cards. While looking at my account this month, I found a new AMEX offer that’s really appealing. We received this offer on several different cards and the offer was different depending on the card it was offered on. Since you can only attach an AMEX Offer to a single card (once you select it for one card, it disappears on all your other cards), it’s important to check all of your card accounts before selecting your offer.

Here’s the offers we received for charges from JetBlue:

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Citi Double Cash Offers $150 Sign Up Bonus and 2% Back On Everything

UPDATE : The $150 sign up bonus offer has ended. You can apply for the card without the sign up bonus at this link.

I love to use the Citi Double Cash card as a standard to compare all other credit cards against. For no annual fee, it earns 2% cash back on all purchases. If you’re not getting this much value from another card, you’d be better off using the Double Cash Card.

Citi has now increased the sign up bonus on the Double Cash card to $150 so if this is a good card for you to get, there’s no time like the present.

Here’s more about it… Continue reading “Citi Double Cash Offers $150 Sign Up Bonus and 2% Back On Everything”