Amex making card churning harder

I know there are some people here who do this, so thought this might interest some on this forum:


That. Is. Devastating :sob:

So, you’d now have to weigh up the benefits of churning to save on the product fee (mainly applies to the Gold card which is free for the first year), vs paying the fee for 1 year and then churning.

I think that’s probably the better option… I’ll have to work it out!

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American Express has no choice it will soon have caps on fees placed on it, it has to do something to ensure it can operate in Europe and make a profit.

This won’t be the last change Amex will make in the next few months.


Step 2

I’m quite happy about this. Hopefully this will mean they don’t have to reduce rewards for ongoing spend in order to pay for people who just want to game the system. I say that mostly because I could never be bothered trying too hard to game the system.

The bonuses still seem pretty decent for genuine new customers.


All I can say is…thank God that I got my first Amex two months ago so I still have the 20,000 points reward.
However it’s definitely going to be my last.

And it looks like they are finally issuing metal cards in the UK:

I still don’t get why people want metal cards, but I must say that this appears to be the 1st half decent looking amex card I’ve ever seen.


Well everyone knows my fettish for metal cards… Might be time to upgrade the BA Premium Plus to Platinum finally


It’s only about £600 pa for a metal card. Why not?


Slightly disappointed at this. It’s been obvious for a while that there was going to be a metal card, fee hike, and increase in benefits. I had hoped that the increase in benefits would be a little more than they’re offering…


The £120 per year towards Addison Lee brings it down to where it was prior to the hike and I would definitely use that

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I guess, for me, the whole thing seems unattractive, as I wouldn’t use any of the benefits. But there must be a market for it …

I guess all we’re seeing is the result of the fee cap legislation. At some point Amex had to pass it to the consumer or do what the banks did and close the loyalty programs.

Since Amex is one big loyalty scheme (at least on the consumer side) their only option was pass the cost on or pull out of Europe completely.


I have an Amex Costco card for the really good cashback rates - it replaced my Platinum Everyday Cashback card. I’m going to the States next month and was planning to get a Gold card. Would have paid for the flights with it and would have used the two lounge passes. As I’m not entitled to the points sign-up bonus I’m not going to bother now.

Disappointing - I would agree that if you’ve had a rewards points bonus before then you shouldn’t be eligible for another. As I’ve never had an Amex card that earns rewards points then it seems harsh that I can’t get the bonus.

To be honest, though, Amex probably wouldn’t have wanted you to sign up anyway. If you signed up, got your points bonus, used the lounge passes, then cancelled before paying the annual fee, then you would have lost them a lot of money.

I think your intended use case is exactly what Amex are trying to discourage (no offence to you intended.)


I agree.

Two of my friends are serial card churners and between them I feel like they get at least 5 new cards a year just for the bonus

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I agree and can completely see why Amex wouldn’t want me doing that. I still think it would be fairer if they didn’t exclude people who hadn’t previously had a sign-up bonus.

Under the new rules, I could cancel all of my Amex cards then be eligible for a sign-up offer in a year’s time. I understand what they’re trying to prevent but it could also lead to losing custom.


It’s actually 2 years now, but otherwise your point stands :slight_smile:


This card isn’t affected by the legislation. Amex have been paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to a British blogger who pushes these points cards to people who are not exactly ‘typical Amex’ customers - they are low / negative profit making. The number of card acceptances looks fantastic, and has been propping up a business which has been suffering in the US - but this hit to Amex’s bottom line has been too big, and a change in management has said enough is enough.

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This article suggests they are

Specifically this bit (unless there have been subsequent rulings on the matter)

But this week’s European-wide ruling has judged that in cases when a card is co-branded, such as with an airline, this counts as a fourth party and thus fees charged to retailers must be capped. This is likely to mean the generous rewards offered by these cards will become financially unsustainable.


To be fair I was speaking generally about Amex and not just the Platinum card. I figure they’re probably using one part of the card business to prop up the other. So the fact the Amex Platinum is 3 parties and thus exempt is still affected because the non-exempt cards like BA and Starwood cards now cost them more and they are spreading the increased costs over all their customers