American Express Changes: $25 Account Reopening Fee, Forfeiting Points on Late Payments & Old Blue Cash Redemptions

Good afternoon everyone.  I was reviewing my recent American Express credit card statements and spotted a few changes that I wanted you to be aware of.  The first 2 changes were shown on my American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card and the last change was specific to my AMEX Old Blue Cash Credit Card (no longer available).  The first 2 changes affect small business credit and charge cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards Points.  With that said, let’s go through the first change.

Effectively immediately, if your American Express card is closed (presumably by you), then you change your mind and want to reopen the card, you will now have to pay a $25 reopening fee.  Before you close your card, call American Express to see if you can get a retention offer, see if you can convert that card to another card, and redeem any points tied to that card.  If you do those steps, you should not need to reopen an account and incur the $25 reopening fee.

The second change goes into effect on June 1, 2021.  For small business credit and charge cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards Points, American Express “must receive your
payment of the Amount Due on your Linked Account by the Payment Due Date for a billing period, instead of by the Closing Date of the next billing period, in order for you to avoid forfeiting the points that you would have earned for that billing period.”  Long story short, your payment window is shrinking from the closing date of your next billing period to your payment due date.  If your payment arrives after the payment due date, you will forfeit all points you earned during that billing period.  Ouch!

For corporate card holders, “you must pay the amount due on your Linked Account statement so that we receive your payment by the Closing Date of the next billing period.”  I don’t have a corporate card, so I am not sure if that is a change or not.  If you have more info, please let me know and I can update this section.

Last but not least, this change affects the AMEX Old Blue Cash.  Effective July 1, 2021, “you will no longer be able to redeem reward dollars for gift cards or merchandise.”  I have only ever redeemed my reward dollars for statement credits, so this does not affect me.  It looks like AMEX is just cutting costs by eliminating gift cards and merchandise rewards.  If you have redeemed rewards dollars for gift cards or merchandise, have you gotten any good deals on those redemptions (better than redeeming for statement credits)?

If you have any questions about any of these changes, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

8 thoughts on “American Express Changes: $25 Account Reopening Fee, Forfeiting Points on Late Payments & Old Blue Cash Redemptions

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Dave, no, I think that would be considered a new account with AMEX. I’m not sure how long you have from when you close an account and want to reopen the account, maybe 30-60 days.

      Reply
  1. Mohammad Moghimi

    Amount due is minimum payment for credit cards. Right. So just paying the minimum payment is ok for getting rewards right? I’m asking for the introductory rate that they have.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      For charge cards, the amount due is the full statement balance. For credit cards, I’m not sure if paying the minimum payment amount would work, since I always pay my cards in full every month.

      Reply
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