Posted by Chuck on July 7, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on July 7th, 2016 | by Chuck

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Get your Amex Annual Fee Prorated by Downgrading the Card

Starting September 1, Amex card will no longer have their annual fee prorated if they are cancelled 30-days after the fee posts to your account. The good news just broke that this change only effects card cancellations, not downgrades.

Often, instead of cancelling a card with a high annual fee, we’ll do a product change and downgrade it to a different card version which comes without a fee or with a lower fee. See Best Downgrade Options for more details on this.

When doing a product change, the annual fee will continue to be prorated, as has always been the case in the past. Only when cancelling a card will you lose out on the unused part as the fee won’t be prorated beginning September 1.

The only thing that changes for downgrades is that we’ll have 30 days, not 60 days, to get a full refund starting September 1.

This news was first reported on Dansdeals based on their Amex contact. We reached out to our media contact at Amex to verify, and they came back with the same response that the new policy will only affect cancellations, not downgrades.

We will still pro-rate annual fees for upgrades or downgrades, just not cancellations.

This should hold true for personal and small business cards, and should hold true whether you downgrade to a card with a fee or a card with no annual fee at all.

On a practical level what this means is that when you downgrade your $450 Platinum card halfway through the year to the $95 Green card, you’ll still get $225 refunded for the half unused Platinum year, and you’ll get charged $42.50 for the half upcoming Green year. If you subsequently cancel the Green card, you’ll lose the entire $42.50 since cancellations don’t get prorated.

Thus, if you have a charge card (Platinum or Gold or PRG) the cheapest card to downgrade to is the $95 Green card, and there’s no way to get out of losing a minimum of a prorated $95. If you have a credit card (BCP, EDP, etc.), you can downgrade to a no-fee card and get the fee prorated. Afterward, you can cancel the no-fee card if you want to.



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Mark
Mark

This is a value added post. TY.

Suki
Suki

Can I downgrade to green card if I already have one?

Matt
Matt

Great news.

FelixTheCat
FelixTheCat

May I ask, would the advantage of downgrading over cancelling be, to keep the membership rewards? There is no other advantage, right (unless downgrading is considered “trying to maintain a good relationship with Amex”?

William Charles

Some people will want to downgrade an AmEx plat so they can get the $200 airline credit for example without paying a full year of fees.

Adam
Adam

I’m not sure I understand this. Does cancelling the Plat make you lose the airline credit?

William Charles

You can only get it for years you have the card. Some people were basically getting three years of airline credits and only paying one annual fee and another month or so.

Adam
Adam

Just to make sure I understand, if I got the Plat last November and cancel this (say) August, will that not affect the airline fee credit if I used that now?

William Charles

No.

Adam
Adam

And additionally would my MR points be protected (I have an EveryDay card).

Logan
Logan

Please correct me if I am wrong. So right now cancelling AND downgrading gets you the prorated refund? but come September 1, 2016 we will have to do downgrades to get prorated refunds?

Basically I am trying to figure out if I can cancel my Platinum Mercedes Benz card and get a prorated refund as of right now or if I should go ahead and initiate the downgrade.

thanks!

M
M

Has anyone been able to product change to the Everyday Preferred? And if so, specifically which card did you product change from? I have had zero luck on this. Help please

Carl
Carl

Is it still possible to downgrade to Sallie Mae MasterCard even though there aren’t new applications? That would be great. If no, your downgrade options list should be updated.

William Charles

Not sure, give it a go and let us know.

physixfan

I don’t think we can downgrade any AmEx card within a year, can we?

Charly Chang
Charly Chang

how about the benz platinum card? can we downgrade it to something cheaper?

Dan
Dan

Would it be correct to say then if you downgraded a Plat to Green after 3 months, you’d get back $337.50 but then pay $71.25 for the Green’s fee?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Does downgrading still get you sign-up bonus for the card you later get? E.g. if I downgrade my Amex plat to Amex everyday, would I still be eligible for the sign-up bonus for everyday?

Question
Question

If after downgrading you cancel the Green within 30 days will you avoid the fee on the Green?

David
David

Can one do the following, get pt in Dec, get 200 credit, another 200 credit for Jan, downgrade to gold, get 100 credit, then dg to green, hold it till Dec, upgrade to pt, and continue?

Simon
Simon

The thing is, while upgrades can sometimes be processed on their website, downgrades are handled by agents. The play you mentioned is theoretically possible but is easily recognizable by agents, and you’d risk raising flags.

howard
howard

I have another thought: if I downgrade the Plat card to PRG, which also comes with an airline credit per year, will I still get the $100 per calendar year? I know I won’t get the signup bonus for PRG (in fact I already had an PRG before and already canceled it), but the airline credit is possible, right? Has anyone tried before?

JB
JB

You should still get the $100 airline credit fee when switching to the PRG. I had the PRG and already received a $100 airline credit this year. I just upgraded to the PLT card and received the $200 airline credit this month.

howard
howard

awesome! Thanks for sharing your DP.

weedibix
weedibix

Suppose a person downgraded a Plat to a Premier in Nov., before paying its renewal fee. That Plat has already credited the calendar year’s airline credit. When would the Premier be eligible for its first $100 annual airline credit? In Nov, after the downgrade, or only in Jan of the new calendar year?

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