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American Express Canada application and reward strategies (2017)

American Express Canada application and reward strategies (2017)

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Old Sep 28, 17, 7:17 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: mia
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Referrals and self-referrals are an important part of maximizing rewards from Canadian-issued American Express cards. It is appropriate to discuss how the referral process works in this thread. However, please do not offer or request referrals here. Use only this thread, and do read the Wikipost carefully before posting: Referral Offers (post only in this thread, no referral links, read Wiki post first).

This thread is a continuation of: Churning Amex in Canada (2016). All the listed offers below are still valid as of January 2017.

Jerry: Aug 2017 latest update, all-in-one summary



New as of Mar 23, 2017, minimum spend up to $3000 now
AMEX Platinum Rewards - $699/year, 60K MR (via referral) after $3000 spending in 3 months vs. 50K non-referral

New as of March 23 2016.
AMEX Business Platinum Rewards - $399/year, 75K MR (via referral) after $5000 spending in 3 months vs. 40K non-referral

Updated as of July 21, 2017
AMEX Gold Rewards - $150/year, FYF, 25K MR after $1500 spending + $50/$60 cashback from GCR. New as of Jan 15, 2017, on a referred signup: and an additional 5,000 Membership Rewards points for one approved Supplementary Card added to your account at time of online application. That’s a total of 30,000 Membership Rewards points.
  • July 11, 2017, Amex Gold MR will no longer earn referral points.
  • July 21, 2017, no other Amex MR card can refer to Gold MR

AMEX Business Gold Rewards - $250/year, FYF, 30K MR after $5000 spending (or 40K via referral)

AMEX Air Miles Platinum - $65/year, 2000 Air Miles after $1500 spending + $30 GCR cashback

July 18-Oct 18, 2017 - welcome offer increased 5K to 25K.
Sep 28, 2017 - Personal and Business SPG bonus drops from 10K to 5K per approved referral.
AMEX SPG - $120/year, 25K SPG after $1500 spending + $30 GCR cashback
- if you applied recently for the SPG card at the 20K welcome level, try contacting Amex by Secured Message to ask if they can match the current 25K offer. Several successful datapoints have surfaced with manual addition of 5K at next statement. YMMV.

New as of July 2016
AMEX Aeroplan Plus Platinum - $499/year, 50K Aeroplans after $1000 spending in 3 months (or 51K via referral). The 50K/51K, extra 10K promo expired on April 01, 2016, but started up again July - Sep 30th, 2016.

New card as of Sep 25 2017
AMEX Cobalt CREDIT card - $10/month ($120 annually)
Apply through GCR for $50 Rebate https://www.greatcanadianrebates.ca/...s/Amex-Cobalt/
  • Earn 2,500 Membership Tiered Rewards points for each month where you spend $500 (up to 30,000/year).
  • Limited Time Offer: Apply by Jan 30, 2018 and you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3K in 3 months.
  • See discussion thread for more details: 2017 American Express Cobalt (Canada)

This is not an all-inclusive list, only the "good" offers, so feel free to add new offers.

Referral Difference Between Cards:
Please note there is a maximum annual referral bonus you can make per card.

AMEX Platinum Rewards
- Earn 15K MR for each referral you make
(Note: from Mar 23 - Jun 29 the bonuses were 75K welcome and 25K referral points)
AMEX Business Platinum Rewards
- Earn 25K MR for each referral you make
AMEX Gold Rewards
  • July 11, 2017, Amex Gold MR will no longer earn referral points.
  • July 21, 2017, no other Amex MR card can refer to Gold MR
  • mid-May 2016, increased from $500 to $1500 required spending.
  • Jan 11 to mid-May 2016, the Gold card earned 0 referral points.
AMEX Business Gold Rewards
- Earn 10k MR for each referal you make.
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Closed Thread

Old Apr 2, 17, 5:57 pm
  #466  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: YYZ, YVR, PEK, LHR
Programs: A3*G
Posts: 386
Make sure to cancel before the $699 fee posts to avoid a clawback of the second $200 credit.
flyer05 is offline  
Old Apr 2, 17, 7:38 pm
  #467  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: YYZish
Posts: 202
Originally Posted by alc View Post
Ontario AMEX Cardholders

Foodland is running a 150 Air Miles Bonus for $150 Foodland Gift are purchase this week. Up to 5 bonus per Air Miles account. And why post here, because they take AMEX Also while I knew Foodland and Sobeys are the same where I expect I can use it at my local Sobeys vs. driving 20min for the Foodland, but I never realized that I can use it at FreshCo, even though the FreshCo cashier screen look just like the one you see at Sobeys/Foodland. Last I recall the local FreshCo near my home doesn't take AMEX.

Hope this help some of you.
My store in the Ottawa area lets me buy GCs with GCs. It's been awhile since the last promo so I only have two cards left. But I intend to rotate two or three sets of five this week.

Unlike many here, I'm a huge fan of AirMiles. I find I get great value out of my efforts.
NotJustDreaming is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 10:51 am
  #468  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ-ish
Programs: *void
Posts: 2,213
Personal Gold churning datapoint.

  • Jul 2015 - Amex introduced new footnotes to Personal cards about one-time welcome bonuses
  • Feb 2016 - opened Amex Gold, first-time cardholder, 25K after $500 spending
  • Nov 2016 - cancelled card (kept open for 9 months)
  • Jan 2017 - re-applied/churned for Amex Gold (2 months after cancelling)
  • Feb 2017 - exceeded $1500 spending within 3 weeks, but did not get 25K welcome points
  • Apr 2017 - 25K welcome points appeared (12 weeks after approval, 8 weeks after minimum spending)
JJonahJ is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 11:56 am
  #469  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by NotJustDreaming View Post
Bump...
Unless I missed it, no one replied to this.

Now I have two friends telling me they used my referral from my Amex Biz Platinum. Both were for the Amex Gold Personal (where I used the shortcut by preselecting the card for them).
The referral points have not posted yet. IME they post the day after approval.

Does anyone have a datapoint on the 'select a different card' route? I looked at the URL and don't really see anything associated to me specifically.

Thanks much!
My hubby referred me on Mar. 29 - he has Personal Gold and I chose a different card to apply for (Biz Gold) - I could only choose from 3. I used his referral link. His referral points of 5K posted the day after approval - on Mar. 30 - as you said you typically experience.
pokee is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 11:59 am
  #470  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by JJonahJ View Post
Personal Gold churning datapoint.

  • Jul 2015 - Amex introduced new footnotes to Personal cards about one-time welcome bonuses
  • Feb 2016 - opened Amex Gold, first-time cardholder, 25K after $500 spending
  • Nov 2016 - cancelled card (kept open for 9 months)
  • Jan 2017 - re-applied/churned for Amex Gold (2 months after cancelling)
  • Feb 2017 - exceeded $1500 spending within 3 weeks, but did not get 25K welcome points
  • Apr 2017 - 25K welcome points appeared (12 weeks after approval, 8 weeks after minimum spending)

Interesting....I am cancelling my Personal Gold shortly....and may try again next year, for shiz and giggles, providing there is still no AF. We can at least get another 5K bonus for my hubby referring me, anyway!
pokee is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 12:04 pm
  #471  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by JJonahJ View Post
Quite bluntly, Mr.NJD = me, pre-churn days. At least he didn't sign up for a Bay or Zellers department store credit card. *ahem* (they still haven't fallen off our credit file listing).

Besides, if it helps the back of Mr.NJD's head (and the palm of your hand), let it be widely known that even Good Ol' DumboJJJ has opened the BMO Airmiles MC, and not once, but TWICE! First one was on a whim. Then I saw a promo for the SAME card a couple of months later with a slightly different signage as a WWF-edition, so I opened it again! So you see, there may hope for Mr.NJD if a moron like me fell into that hole twice and managed to climb out of it.

Send him my regards. I'll see him at the next monthly meeting of the 'minds'.
Haha - I've done this a few times...until BMO restricted the bonus to first time cardholders. But not because I love airmiles, but because my BMO credit account has been open for over 20 years, so I cannot cancel it. I'm at a loss as far as what type of points card to transfer it to for some benefit. I think I've held them all at some point now. BMO really needs a new rewards program......
pokee is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 12:08 pm
  #472  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
I applied for the SPG Business Amex on Feb 27 and got the "unable to give you instant decision at this time...".

Called on Mar 1 and was approved after answering some security questions.

Called again on Mar 17 since I hadn't received the card yet. Was told it must be lost and they would send another.

Called again on Mar 27. Still no card, but I did get my bill for $150 AF (billing period Feb 21 - Mar 20). This time was told there were some problems at Amex and card was being sent out via Priority Post.

Received the card on Mar 29. Hallelujah!

Since I have 3 months to hit my minimum spend, is that starting on Feb 21? Am I paying $150 for a card that will be valid for less than 11 months? Maybe I should ask for a pro-rated amount.
Oh - thanks for this info...I have an Biz Gold on its way, so I'll stay on top of it if there's a delay. I have to charge $5K in 3 months to get my 40K bonus, so I need to start spending right away!!!
pokee is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 1:45 pm
  #473  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ-ish
Programs: *void
Posts: 2,213
Originally Posted by pokee View Post
Interesting....I am cancelling my Personal Gold shortly....and may try again next year, for shiz and giggles, providing there is still no AF. We can at least get another 5K bonus for my hubby referring me, anyway!
If he has a Biz Gold, then he should get 10K for referring you to the Personal Gold. If not, then use your own new Biz Gold to self-refer for 10K. Only use a Personal Gold to refer to another Personal Gold, if you don't have a better (higher rewarded) referring MR card within your family.
JJonahJ is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 4:13 pm
  #474  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by JJonahJ View Post
If he has a Biz Gold, then he should get 10K for referring you to the Personal Gold. If not, then use your own new Biz Gold to self-refer for 10K. Only use a Personal Gold to refer to another Personal Gold, if you don't have a better (higher rewarded) referring MR card within your family.
I've never tried to self-refer before....what do you reckon the rate of success is with that?
pokee is offline  
Old Apr 6, 17, 4:19 pm
  #475  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,576
Originally Posted by pokee View Post
I've never tried to self-refer before....what do you reckon the rate of success is with that?
100% until it doesn't work (and you can't tell AMEX you are your own friend)

so best to cross-refer within family/friends if possible
If not, self-refer (100% since 2012 for me, but YMMV nowadays)
jerryhung is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 5:32 am
  #476  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: YYZ
Programs: CX-Silver, HH-Diamond, SPG-Gold
Posts: 374
Originally Posted by JJonahJ View Post
Personal Gold churning datapoint.

  • Feb 2017 - exceeded $1500 spending within 3 weeks, but did not get 25K welcome points
  • Apr 2017 - 25K welcome points appeared (12 weeks after approval, 8 weeks after minimum spending)
Interesting.. now that you mention it..

This is the first time ever (that I can remember) after churning multiple Amex cards that when I passed the threshold I didn't get the welcome bonus immediately (overnight).
Also the first time that I've had the Biz Plat.
Also the first time they merged Amex Rewards accounts (from a previous Personal Plat I cancelled).
Too many variables to narrow down what is triggering what if any, but an anecdotal anomaly for me.
infy9001 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 5:56 am
  #477  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,576
Originally Posted by infy9001 View Post
Interesting.. now that you mention it..

This is the first time ever (that I can remember) after churning multiple Amex cards that when I passed the threshold I didn't get the welcome bonus immediately (overnight).
Also the first time that I've had the Biz Plat.
Also the first time they merged Amex Rewards accounts (from a previous Personal Plat I cancelled).
.
My bet is on the merged AMEX MR account
but just wait, it should show up eventually
jerryhung is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 6:46 am
  #478  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: YYZ
Programs: CX-Silver, HH-Diamond, SPG-Gold
Posts: 374
Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
My bet is on the merged AMEX MR account
but just wait, it should show up eventually
That's my plan. To hold off on calling in until a week or 2 before the "3 month" time frame for the spend. Don't want to pass that date and find out they didn't qualify a transaction or something for whatever strange reason (first time using plastiq per your advice - but shouldn't be a problem since I did get those points). Who knows. Will update back once I get it and how long it took.
infy9001 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 9:04 am
  #479  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canadia
Programs: A loyal Amerisuites customer... oh wait
Posts: 1,897
I enrolled for SPG in March 2016; cancelled in December 2016.
Trying to decide what month I should re-apply...
jerry305 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 10:46 am
  #480  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ-ish
Programs: *void
Posts: 2,213
Originally Posted by pokee View Post
I've never tried to self-refer before....what do you reckon the rate of success is with that?
Let's just say it almost always works, even though we've seen some rebuttals to this. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to do it, and had done it a couple of times when Mrs.JJJ wasn't on board with this hobby yet.
JJonahJ is offline  

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