Published on September 1st, 2019 | by Chuck42
American Express Membership Rewards Program Changes (Affects Points Transfers & More)
Update 9/1/19: The new bill payment due date and transfer rules are now in place.
American Express is sending out a list of changes to the Membership Rewards program; you’ll see these on your upcoming credit card statements. We wrote yesterday about the biggest change which gives 4x rewards on the Gold card at international restaurants. There are a bunch of other changes, some of them a bit interesting. Here’s the list of seven changes (in my own words) with my commentary in the bullet points below.
- Effective immediately, employee cards can not have their own Membership Rewards account; their rewards will have to pool with the primary cardholder.
- I never even knew this was a thing.
- This is presumably only the case for OPEN small business cards. Corporate cards can probably still have the points go to the employee.
- Starting June 6, the Gold card gets 4x internationally.
- Starting June 6, the Blue for Students Card will no longer earn Membership Rewards Points.
- Starting September 1, Effective September 1, 2019, you must pay your bill by the payment due date (instead of the closing date of the next billing period). If you don’t, you’ll forfeit any Membership Rewards Points earned that period.
- I vaguely recall reading something about how on Amex business cards you don’t really need to pay by the payment due date. Anyway, it seems starting September you do. I think most of us pay by the due date anyway, so no big deal.
- The more surprising thing to me is that non-payment results in forfeiting the points. I don’t recall ever seeing that late payments forfeiting point. Something seems odd here.
- Starting September 1, in order to link an authorized user’s frequent flyer account to the primary cardholder’s Membership Rewards account, the authorized user card will need to wait 90 days from issuance.
- Sounds like they are fighting the selling of miles. Apparently, some people just add their acquaintance/buyer as an authorized user in order to facilitate the sale. Starting September that will be much more difficult due to the 90 day wait. This is a real negative change which affects even people who are not selling miles – be sure to always have your cards set up for transfers well in advance.
- Starting September 28, Membership Rewards accounts held by employee cards which are held separately from the primary cardholder will be discontinued. Going forward, all points earned will pool together with the primary cardholders points earnings.
- See (1), above.
- Starting October 31, Amex is deleting mention of employee cards having separate Membership Rewards earnings.
- See (1) and (6), above.