The Amex Gold card recently got revamped, and a ton of our subscribers applied for the Rose Gold Edition (available until 1/9/2019). To follow up, a few people have reached out about which cards they should add next.
Important note: this post assumes that you’re over 5/24 OR you’re not interested in Chase cards. If you’re under 5/24, I recommend getting Chase cards first.
There are 2 main paths to take:
No annual fee path
No Annual Fee Path
If you’re looking for a way to earn more Membership Rewards without adding another annual fee, I recommend looking into the American Express EveryDay card. The EveryDay card would compliment the Gold card with the U.S. Gas Station spending multiplier.
Some other options for no annual fee Amex cards are the Amex Hilton Honors card and the Amex Delta Gold card.
The Amex Delta Gold waives the $95 annual fee the first year, and it has a downgrade path to the Amex Delta Blue in the second year if you get negative expected value.
Again, if you’re under 5/24, I recommend looking into Chase cards before moving onto Amex.
Bonus hunters are those who are willing or able to take on some annual fees. A prime example of this is people who signup for the Amex Platinum for the 50,000 welcome offer.
It’s possible to get an upgrade offer and a welcome offer for the Amex Platinum card.
For the upgrade offer, wait until you receive an offer to upgrade the Gold card to Platinum. I don’t recommend going this route unless you have previously received a welcome offer for the Amex Platinum due to the once in a lifetime bonus rule.
Example 1: Upgrade = 2 Bonuses
Signup for Gold = Signup bonus #1
Upgrade Gold > Plat = Upgrade bonus #1
If you wanted to optimize for bonuses, I recommend going with Example 2. Signup for the Gold and Platinum cards and receive the welcome offer for both cards. After the first year of having the Gold card, wait for an upgrade offer to a second Platinum card.
Example 2: Apply + Upgrade = 3 Bonuses
Signup for Gold = signup bonus #1
Signup for Plat #1 = signup bonus #2
Upgrade Gold > Plat #2 = upgrade bonus #1
Downgrade Plat #1 to Gold = N/A
Altogether, if you get both the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum cards, you’ll receive a total of 117,000 Membership Rewards points.
Amex Gold = 50k
Amex Plat = 60k
Points from min spend:
Gold = 2k to 8k (1x to 4x)
Plat = 5k to 25k (1x to 5x)
Worst case = 117k MR points
Membership Rewards are perfect for booking inspirational flights like Singapore Airlines Suites. My ideal redemptions are:
ANA Business Class (U.S. to Japan)
Singapore Suites (New York to Singapore)
ANA Business Class (U.S. to Japan)
If you go the ANA route, a round-trip business class ticket can range from 75k-85k points, depending on the season.
Round trip business class
75k = low season
85k = regular season
- must leave from: Chicago, Houston, LA, NYC, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, DC
You can transfer Membership Rewards to Krisflyer points to book Singapore Suites. Be aware that only Airbus 380 has the suites.
Cashing out points
If you plan on cashing out your points, I recommend getting the Amex Platinum (Schwab version) that allows you to cash out points at 1.25 CPP into your brokerage account.
Amex Gold = 50k * 1.25 CPP = $625
Amex Plat (normal/vanilla) = 60k MR * 1.25 CPP = $750
Amex Plat (100k offer) = 100k MR * 1.25 CPP = $1,250
Most people “finish the game” with the Schwab Plat after obtaining all/most of the MR bonuses.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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