As you may have read in an earlier blog post of mine, I have partnered with American Express to test drive their new Gold Rewards Card that launched October 1 in the Canadian market. The task for me will be to blog about this card over the next three weeks and give my professional opinion on the card while I use it. What do I get in return? American Express will be awarding me with 50,000 Membership Rewards points so that I can actually experience the booking or point transfer process with American Express Membership Rewards.
The card itself was introduced to me and other social media practitioners at a dinner held at the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto. The team from American Express were very excited about the new Card launch and I have to admit that after hearing all the details, the Card is a very good offering in the competitive travel rewards Credit Card market. For us here at Rewards Canada, the card falls into the Hybrid Card category as you have the option of converting points to frequent flyer/guest miles or to use the points for any type of travel booked via any travel agency, online or tour operator for example. Unless other Cards change by next July, this Card will shake up the ranks in this category for our annual Credit Card ranking.
The Card itself is a Charge Card, meaning that it has no preset credit limit but the balance must be paid off in full each month. The benefit of a Charge Card is that requires Cardmembers to be disciplined about their spending and typically Charge Card holders do not spend more then they can afford.
What does the Card offer? To start, it will award 15,000 Bonus reward points once the Cardmember spends $500 on the card in the first three months and the first year annual fee is waived (thereafter it is $150) plus the first supplementary card is free for life. Additional supplementary cards are $50 per year, although this is also waived in the first year. The card earns 2 points per dollar spent at Gas Stations, Grocery, Drug stores and all travel, 1 point per dollar on all other spending. Those points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise and entertainment rewards via the Membership Rewards program.
Where will I go with the points that American Express has given me? Well, I haven’t decided yet, but my family and I have been talking about going to Caribbean in January and will more than likely put the points towards that. How will I use the points? I have two options, I can convert the 50,000 Membership Rewards points to 50,000 Aeroplan Miles to top off my Aeroplan account and book the flights via Aeroplan and the hotel separately or I may book a packaged all inclusive vacation and use the TripFlex option to provide a $500 credit to the overall booking cost. Assuming I have spent some money on the card, I should have more points available to further bring down the cost of the vacation.
Keep an eye out on our blog for information on an upcoming contest from American Express and of course on how I progress with the American Express Gold Rewards Card. For more details on the card or to apply for it please visit Americanexpress.ca