WARNING: this post is about boring changes to American Express card terms and conditions. You have been warned!
Good afternoon everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I have all my credit card statements close at the beginning of the month (I get the bonus points faster and can use them sooner), and I always check to see if there are any changes to the credit card or loyalty program terms. This is how I discovered that the American Express Membership Reward transfer ratio to British Airways was changing from 1000:1000 to 250:200. Anyway, I spotted a few changes to all American Express credit/charge/business cards this afternoon. None of these are as big of a deal as the British Airways transfer, but they still may affect some people.
Change 1: If you have your American Express card on file with a merchant and that card number or the expiration date changes, American Express may (but is not required to) share that change with the merchant to prevent a disruption in your charges. This could be a positive or negative depending if you want those charges to continue without disruption.
Change 2: If you use your American Express card internationally or make a purchase from a merchant based outside of the US, the charge will be converted by American Express at a “conversion rate that is acceptable to us for that date.” If you make a purchase from “establishments (such as airlines),” American Express will use the rates they use. I’m not sure what that means, but since most American Express cards charge forex fees, it’s best not to use American Express cards internationally or for foreign purchases.
Change 3: You now have 30 days from the date the annual fee posts to your statement to close your card and have the annual fee waived. If you close your account after 30 days, the annual fee will not be waived and you will be responsible for paying the entire annual fee. No prorated annual fee refund will be given. As of right now, I believe if you call after 30 days, American Express will issue a prorated refund on the annual fee. This change goes into effect starting September 1, 2016, unless your billing address is in Massachusetts. Why no love for all the other states??
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great weekend everyone!
P.S. Starting today (June 4, 2016), all restaurant, music, movie, and book purchases will only earn 2x on Citi Forward Credit Cards. Sad days indeed.
P.P.S Luckily, I got a great retention offer on my Citi Forward and several other Citi credit cards.