Tag Archives: American Express

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.

Continue reading

On My Mind: Which Credit Card Do You Use When You Don’t Know The Bonus Category?

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great Super Bowl Weekend.  A few days ago, when I was reviewing my recent credit card statements and I spotted a few purchases that did not earn bonus points.  I assumed the purchases would code as a restaurant, so I used my American Express Gold Card, but to my surprise, the purchases did not code as a restaurant (and I only earned 1x on the purchases).  This led me down a rabbit hole where I pondered similar situations like:

  • A restaurant located inside a hotel (would it code as a restaurant or hotel purchase?)
  • A restaurant that was located on a golf course (would it code as a restaurant or golf course purchase?)
  • A café located inside a bookstore (would it code as a restaurant or a bookstore?)
  • And so on and so on…

To me, there are 2 possible ways to answer these questions: Gamble or Play It Safe. Continue reading

Turnaround Time for 5x Shipping AMEX Offer on American Express Business Platinum (Slow or Very Fast?)

Good afternoon everyone.  2 weeks ago, American Express rolled out a bunch of new AMEX Offers on their American Express Business Platinum Card.  Those AMEX Offers included earning 5x Membership Rewards Points on Wireless, Shipping, Advertising, Gas and Office Supply purchases.  I added / activated those AMEX Offers and was especially excited about the 5x shipping AMEX Offer since I sell stuff on eBay and ship a few packages every month (mainly USPS and UPS).  When my Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card was offering 5x on shipping last year, I racked up a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  Since that deal ended a few months ago, I was excited to start using my AMEX Business Platinum to earn 5x Membership Rewards Points on shipping purchases.

AMEX handles these AMEX Business Platinum AMEX Offers slightly differently where you earn the base rate (1x on shipping) and then earn the 4x bonus points later.  According to the 5x shipping AMEX Offer terms, eligible purchases are “made in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight shipping services” and the additional bonus points “will be credited to your Membership Rewards program account within 90 days after 6/30/2021.”  With that info in mind, I wanted to share the turnaround time for the 5x shipping AMEX Offer.

Continue reading

I Paid $3,820 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020 – Was it Worth it?

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  After I published How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020?, several readers asked if I could share how much value I received from each credit card in 2020.  Today’s post is also a sequel to my 2019 post (I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?).  All 24 of these credit cards were opened before January 1, 2020, and no sign up bonus is included.  For simplicity, I did not include the value of miles or points earned from credit card spend, since that is somewhat subjective (and most of the miles and points were not spent in 2020).  I counted all credits, reimbursements, retention offers, and referral bonuses at dollar face value.  For hotel free night certificates, I have several from 2020 that expire in 2021 and 2022, so I am using a standard value of $100 for each hotel free night certificate.

I went through all of my credit card statements and online accounts to see which Credit Card Benefits I used in 2020 and those values are summed up in the CCB $ column.  If I received a retention offer, that is listed in the RO $ column.  I listed the credit card annual fee in the AF $ column.  Lastly, I used this formula to calculate the Profit or Loss (P / L column) for each credit card: CCB $ + RO $ – AF $ = P / L

I sorted the credit cards alphabetically and split them up into 3 smaller groups.  Here are some thoughts from the first group:

  • The first 3 AMEX cards were big money makers due to the standard card benefit credits and the temporary pandemic benefits.  It will be hard to beat these numbers in 2021.
  • I never planned on keeping the American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card long term and only signed up for the 70,000 Delta SkyMiles sign up bonus in 2019.
  • In most years, we are easily able to use the $99 Alaska Airlines Companion Fare, but due to the pandemic and very cheap Alaska Airlines flight, we did not use the Companion Fare in 2020.  I am hoping to use the Companion Fare this year.
  • I’m glad Laura (LT) was able to get a $59 retention offer on her Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and a $100 referral bonus.
Credit Card Name Credit Card Benefits CCB $ RO $ AF $ P / L
AMEX Business Platinum $400 Dell credit; $198 airline reimbursement; $160 wireless phone credit; $158 shipping credit; $96 AMEX Offers for Dell & AT&T $1,012 $200 $595 $617
AMEX Gold $120 dining credit; $100 airline reimbursement; $60 AMEX Offer for Shop Small $280 $0 $250 $30
AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire $250 airline reimbursement; $250 resort credit (used at restaurants); 1 Free Night Certificate (expires 7/2/22) (worth $100) $600 $0 $450 $150
AMEX Platinum Delta SkyMiles Downgraded to no annual fee American Express Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card to avoid paying annual fee $0 $0 $250 $0
Bank of America Alaska Airlines (LT) Alaska Airlines $99 Companion Fare expired in 2020 $0 $0 $75 -$75
Capital One Venture Rewards (LT) $100 referral bonus $100 $59 $59 $100

Continue reading

How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020?

Updated at 9:20am PT on 1/4/21: I went through my credit card statements and found 2 more retention offers, so I updated the second table below.


Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  In December 2019, I wrote I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?  In that post, I listed all of our credit cards that had annual fees and I attempted to justify why paying over $4,500 in annual fees was worth it.  Unfortunately, 2020 made it very difficult to get a ton of value out of our travel reward credit cards, so in March 2020, I wrote Reconsideration Strategy for Credit Card Annual Fees During Coronavirus Pandemic.  I decided to list all of our credit cards that have annual fees, sort them by when the annual fee posted / will post, and called for retention offers every time a new annual fee posted.  At the beginning of 2020, we had 25 credit cards with annual fees and would pay $4,845 in annual fees if we made no changes or retention offer calls.  In this post, I will share what retention offers we received, which credit cards we closed, and which credit cards we product changed.

Continue reading