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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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Old Dec 31, 16, 9:06 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YVR, YYC, SEA, AMS, ORK
Programs: AS, FB, SPG, MR
Posts: 342
American Express Canada application and reward strategies (2017)

I was looking to use my Plat Travel credit today. I had been browsing around the last few days, pricing out flights and the yellow 'Use Travel Credit' button was always visible on the checkout page. Today the button is missing from the checkout page.

I tried calling Cdn Plat Travel Services but am endlessly on hold. I called the regular Plat line, but they were useless. I called them about 5 times but each time was put on hold again as they tried to put me through to Travel Services. The regular Plat agent I spoke to about 30mins ago actually said he wasn't sure if I would get the credit and advised against booking a flight?! ...!

Anybody else have issues in the last 24 hours? I mean what's the point giving extra benefits to customers if you can't support the use of them? It's not like the end of year rush to use the credit is an unforeseen event for AMEX. I think I've wasted more that $200 of my time on the phone today
majik is offline  
Old Dec 31, 16, 9:56 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,660
Well, one shouldn't leave the 2016 credit until 12/31/2016

Actually some have redeemed their 2017 $200 credit already (seems to rollover between Dec 28th-31st)
jerryhung is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 7:15 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Prince Edward Island
Programs: Air Canada P25K, Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Gold, Caesar's Diamond
Posts: 1,494
Originally Posted by majik View Post
I mean what's the point giving extra benefits to customers if you can't support the use of them? It's not like the end of year rush to use the credit is an unforeseen event for AMEX.
Do you really expect AMEX to have extra staff on New Year's Eve (especially when it falls on a weekend) just to accommodate people who waited until the very last minute to squeeze every benefit out of their credit card?
Low Roller is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 9:56 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 653
Just cancelled personal plat and amex clawed back the $200 credit that I used back in January...wonder if I should have waited until today to cancel since there would be an unused $200 credit on the account.
tylerc is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 11:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: YWG
Programs: Aeroplan, Amex, Alaska
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by tylerc View Post
Just cancelled personal plat and amex clawed back the $200 credit that I used back in January...wonder if I should have waited until today to cancel since there would be an unused $200 credit on the account.
Were you charged the annual fee a second time or was this before the second fee hit?
Torec is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 3:39 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YVR, YYC, SEA, AMS, ORK
Programs: AS, FB, SPG, MR
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
Do you really expect AMEX to have extra staff on New Year's Eve (especially when it falls on a weekend) just to accommodate people who waited until the very last minute to squeeze every benefit out of their credit card?
Eh....ya?! I'm not squeezing anything, just using benefits for last minute travel.

If their online system was working then I wouldn't have needed to call in the first place. Ironically while endlessly on hold a recorded message reminds you that you can redeem your travel credit online!

UPDATE:
I've spoken with Travel Services and they have escalated the issue. The travel credit should have been redeemable online up until 9pm EST and over the phone until 11pm EST. I was trying to book well before these cut-offs. It sounds like the online option was pulled early and everybody piled onto the phoneline.

Last edited by majik; Jan 1, 17 at 4:01 pm
majik is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 7:31 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Prince Edward Island
Programs: Air Canada P25K, Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Gold, Caesar's Diamond
Posts: 1,494
Originally Posted by majik View Post
Eh....ya?! I'm not squeezing anything, just using benefits for last minute travel.
Sorry, my last post may have sounded more critical than I intended. However, leaving the credit to the last day of the year is risky because, like many companies, Amex may have reduced service over the holidays because of more employees wanting to use vacation days. This often leaves less experienced staff to handle problems (both computer problems and customer service calls). I have no inside knowledge that this is in fact the case at Amex but it is pretty common in many companies, so I wouldn't take the chance.
Low Roller is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 9:28 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 227
Is there a can't hold two business card at once rule?

Originally Posted by grandgourmand View Post
So got the final response I'm going to get from Amex (as in, I'm not going to pursue further) regarding my missing 40k Business Gold bonus points. And it's a NO. They invoked the "you can't have two small business cards at once" rule, which is legit from their T&C. Don't want to push it...but I have to re-think my Amex game plan. I might cancel all but one card in the next few months. That includes my Amex Plat, which I've been holding for three years now and paying the annual fee. Not doing that anymore.

I'm currently on the SPG Amex Small biz card and not holding my breath for the 20k bonus. Damn!

Thing is...I've got a good amount of spend coming up, like $100k. Just need to figure out how to maximize that.

I sent Amex a pm and they said that in addition to the business membership rewards gold card which I currently have, I can also have the spg small business -- that there is no restriction.

My interest in the spg card is solely the sign up bonus, so it is getting the additional sign up bonus that Is important to me, not just getting approved.

Finally, what are the prospects of getting a bonus for a spg personal card -- I have had the card in the past but I wouldn't be surprised if it has gotten lost in the shuffle. 120 dollar annual fee is not worth paying unless I get the sign up bonus.

Feel free to post here, or to pm me if it is a touchy subject.

Thank you

Last edited by Jared Ito; Jan 1, 17 at 9:32 pm Reason: Clarify
Jared Ito is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 9:29 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YVR, YYC, SEA, AMS, ORK
Programs: AS, FB, SPG, MR
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
Sorry, my last post may have sounded more critical than I intended. However, leaving the credit to the last day of the year is risky because, like many companies, Amex may have reduced service over the holidays because of more employees wanting to use vacation days. This often leaves less experienced staff to handle problems (both computer problems and customer service calls). I have no inside knowledge that this is in fact the case at Amex but it is pretty common in many companies, so I wouldn't take the chance.
Fair enough but as I stated it was for last minute travel. I usually book flights on a different card with a more valuable point currency. This time round the $200 was more cost effective for me to use. Neither churner or aspirational traveller the Plat card benefits have a practical everyday value for me.

Bottom line though is that it appears they messed up the online implementation of the credit on it's expiry day. I feel it was definitely pulled early. I was able to see the 2016 credit in the checkout yesterday morning but by the afternoon it was gone.

Funnily enough I just logged in and the 2017 credit is now available online, with an expiry date of 12/28/17 vs 12/31/16 for the 2016 credit. So it looks like they've learned their lesson after yesterday's debacle. Judging by my interaction with agents today and yesterday I wasn't the only customer with this issue.

Last edited by majik; Jan 1, 17 at 9:45 pm
majik is offline  
Old Jan 1, 17, 10:36 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 822
Originally Posted by Jared Ito View Post
I sent Amex a pm and they said that in addition to the business membership rewards gold card which I currently have, I can also have the spg small business -- that there is no restriction.

My interest in the spg card is solely the sign up bonus, so it is getting the additional sign up bonus that Is important to me, not just getting approved.

Finally, what are the prospects of getting a bonus for a spg personal card -- I have had the card in the past but I wouldn't be surprised if it has gotten lost in the shuffle. 120 dollar annual fee is not worth paying unless I get the sign up bonus.

Feel free to post here, or to pm me if it is a touchy subject.

Thank you
The terms say only for new personal Amex spg clients....however,I have received the sign up bonus several times(despite the terms). Worse case scenario,if they start enforcing the terms for 2017,if you didn't receive the bonus,you should be able to close the account for an annual fee refund(if closed within 2 months of opening)
jubberly is offline  
Old Jan 3, 17, 8:25 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Quispamsis, New Brunswick
Programs: AC 75K, Marrott Platinum, BW Diamond, AP Diamond
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by Jared Ito View Post
I sent Amex a pm and they said that in addition to the business membership rewards gold card which I currently have, I can also have the spg small business -- that there is no restriction.

My interest in the spg card is solely the sign up bonus, so it is getting the additional sign up bonus that Is important to me, not just getting approved.

Finally, what are the prospects of getting a bonus for a spg personal card -- I have had the card in the past but I wouldn't be surprised if it has gotten lost in the shuffle. 120 dollar annual fee is not worth paying unless I get the sign up bonus.

Feel free to post here, or to pm me if it is a touchy subject.

Thank you
I received my 20K signup fee for my SPG in the fall of 2016. I had cancelled my previous personal SPG in Feb 2016 after holding if for a year (their new policy came into effect July 1, 2015)
So, the new personal SPG I applied for last summer would of been the first SPG personal I applied for since the new "sign-up bonus" came into effect.

I just got my new Gold Amex Personal and will see if I luck out and get the bonus for this one. I applied for my previous one early July 2015 and received my bonus on that one but I am not holding out much hope on this one - at least it is free for a year and my wife got a !5K referral. It took them two months to get it to me (sending it to the wrong address or something) Hopefully I can get my $1500 spend in time. not sure when the clock starts ticking.
notalk28 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 17, 10:26 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 822
Originally Posted by notalk28 View Post
I received my 20K signup fee for my SPG in the fall of 2016. I had cancelled my previous personal SPG in Feb 2016 after holding if for a year (their new policy came into effect July 1, 2015)
So, the new personal SPG I applied for last summer would of been the first SPG personal I applied for since the new "sign-up bonus" came into effect.

I just got my new Gold Amex Personal and will see if I luck out and get the bonus for this one. I applied for my previous one early July 2015 and received my bonus on that one but I am not holding out much hope on this one - at least it is free for a year and my wife got a !5K referral. It took them two months to get it to me (sending it to the wrong address or something) Hopefully I can get my $1500 spend in time. not sure when the clock starts ticking.
I just received 25k points ,after meeting spend,for a personal gold opened November 2016,previous closed March 2016(opened December2015)
jubberly is offline  
Old Jan 3, 17, 4:35 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,793
Originally Posted by jubberly View Post
I just received 25k points ,after meeting spend,for a personal gold opened November 2016,previous closed March 2016(opened December2015)
Curious...how many churns have you done on this card in total (before this one)?
pokee is offline  
Old Jan 3, 17, 5:30 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 822
Originally Posted by pokee View Post
Curious...how many churns have you done on this card in total (before this one)?
I'm late to the churn game! This is my 3rd.......so 2 before the present.
jubberly is offline  
Old Jan 4, 17, 9:14 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan, British Airways, Alaska
Posts: 249
I cancelled my wife's Canadian Platinum card in October 2015. I would like to refer her to get a new platinum card.

Will she still qualify for the sign up points and will I get the referral points?

I understand that have made changes to the program with one sign up per lifetime and changes to the referral program so looking for some insight.
Sean22mac is offline  

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