Sharp-eyed reader Dana B. and Rewards Cards Canada recently alerted me of a subtle change to the wording of the $200 travel credit you get with the American Express Platinum Canada credit card. The website now states the following:
“You will have access to a $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit, compliments of your Platinum Card. Use the credit once annually towards any single travel booking of $200 or more charged to your Platinum Card through Platinum Card Travel Service from Amex Canada Inc.”
American Express has started to alert cardholders with following.
“Please be advised that effective January 1, 2019, we are changing the date when your $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit will be renewed. As of January 1, 2019, the $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit will be renewed each year on the anniversary date of your Platinum Card membership and will be available for use for the 12 months following your anniversary date. It will no longer be renewed based on calendar year. If you have not yet used your 2018 Annual Travel Credit, you will still have until December 31, 2018 to use your 2018 credit. Example: If your next Platinum Card membership anniversary date is April 1, 2019, your next $200 Annual Travel Credit will be available for use from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, and annually thereafter.”
To be honest, this change is not surprising and really shouldn’t affect many people. The only people who will really complain are churners who abused the $200 credit by taking advantage of the old calendar year travel credit. They basically would use the credit as soon as they got the card and then again in January. Once the credits were used, they would cancel the card so they effectively got a huge signup bonus while just paying $299 in annual fees.
If you haven’t applied for American Express Platinum card yet, make sure you’re able to use the travel credit before the end of December 2018. Alternatively, you might be better off waiting until January to apply so you have a full year to use your credit.
How this affects current Amex Platinum Canada cardholders
It’s clear that current American Express Platinum cardholders will NOT be grandfathered in so their annual travel credit will be awarded on their anniversary date just like everyone else.
This will likely annoy people who have their anniversary date closer to the back end of the year but would like to use the credit on some upcoming travel.
I personally think this is a good move by American Express since it cuts out the abuse. Even with this change, the American Express Platinum card is still one of the best travel credit cards in Canada and one of the best American Express cards in Canada. Check out my review now for my full thoughts of the card.
Additional changes as of Feb. 13, 2019
On Feb. 13th, American Express announced some additional changes to the earn rate with the personal platinum card. Cardholders will now earn the following:
- 3 points per $1 spent on dining
- 2 points per $1 spent on travel
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Although there’s a minor devaluation for all other purchases, the earn rate for dining and travel has been improved significantly over the old earn rate of 1.25 points per $1 spent. In addition, the card is now metal!