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American Express Upgrading its Fixed Points Travel Rewards

My friend Jeff, from Canadian Kilometers recently wrote a post about the new American Express Fixed Points Travel Rewards, same goes for our buddy at Rewards Canada. They offered a very comprehensive explanation, so I will supplement what they already mentioned. 

I am actually very excited about this new offer. This new move puts them more in line, or maybe even more competitive than the RBC Avion and CIBC Aventura programs.

American Express

Below is American Express’ reward charts:

american-express-reward-chart-economy

american-express-reward-chart-business

This new American Express reward chart allows you to earn up to 2 cent per point, which is doubled the existing 1 cent per point. So any time you can double the value of your points, that’s always a plus! To optimize the 2 cents per point, you need to purchase a plane ticket for equal or more than the base fare. You will be on the hook for any additional costs above that.

Contrary, if you are not getting 2 cents per point (or close to it), then I still think that you are better of transferring your points to one of its travel partners instead.

Royal Bank

If you compare this to the Royal Bank Avion reward chart:

rbc-avion-reward-chart

As you can see, RBC Avion offers a little bit more competitive rates, where you can get more than 2 cents per point in value. However, you may notice that American Express have much stronger sign up bonuses, so I think that’s a big part of where the value is offset. Furthermore, you can generally earn more points per dollar with most American Express credit cards. For example, you can earn 2 points per dollar spent on drug store, gas, groceries and travel expenses with the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

CIBC

And finally the CIBC Aventura reward chart:

cibc-aventura-reward-chart

The points range required makes this program a little more confusion to understand. Also, I find Aventura the weakest of the free programs, mainly because it is the only one of the three that does not have frequent flyer or hotel loyal program transfer partners.

Stock up on American Express Membership Reward Points

Below is a list of cards that allow you to earn American Express Membership Reward points:

  • American Express Gold Rewards Card ($150 annual fee; 25,000 sign up bonus points)
  • American Express Business Gold Rewards Card ($250 annual fee; 30,000 sign up bonus points; 40,000 when referred)
  • American Express Business Platinum Card ($399 annual fee; 40,000 sign up bonus points; 75,000 when referred)
  • American Express Platinum Card ($699 annual fee; 50,000 sign up bonus points; 60,000 when referred)
  • American Express Centurion Card ($5,000 initiation fee; $2,500 annual fee; unknown sign up bonus)

* If you want an added bonus with your Business card, check out our “Are you a Business Owner” page.

Conclusion

I am extremely happy to see American Express’ upgrade to their rewards program. I feel like I have been fairly tough on American Express lately, granted I did recently ranked Membership Rewards as the top loyalty program in Canada. This move puts them even further ahead of their competition. So I have to give credit where credit is due. Thumbs up to American Express Membership Rewards!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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