The amazing reappearing Membership Rewards

Here’s an interesting tidbit for Membership Rewards fans…

Background

I have an enterprise Amex that I’m required to use for work related travel if I want to be reimbursed (which I do).  So, for several years I’ve paid a $75 annual fee to have that card qualify for Membership Rewards.  It used to be that I travelled enough for work for the membership fee to be worth it.  Lately though, work related travel has dropped to nearly nothing so I couldn’t justify the $75 fee that was due at the end of January.  Instead, I took out all but 16 of my points (in the form of British Airways miles with a 30% transfer bonus) and I cancelled my membership.  The final 16 points disappeared.

And they’re back!

I recently applied for the Amex business platinum card in order to qualify for a 100K targeted signup bonus.  The card arrived on Wednesday and I registered it with my online account.  To my surprise, my 16 points reappeared!

Who Cares?

Obviously 16 points isn’t worth getting excited about, but if I had known this would happen, I wouldn’t have transferred all of those points to BA.  Especially now that Nordstrom has given me a bazillion BA miles, I really wish I hadn’t done that transfer.

If you’re in a similar situation of having to decide whether to cash out your points or not, this experience might be of value to you.  If you’re about to cancel your only Membership Rewards earning credit card, I’d recommend asking an Amex rep what would happen to your points if you cancel and then later get a new Membership Rewards card.  If they confirm that your points will reappear, then you have another option other than cashing out.


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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. O wow—you actually threw out 2 good things in this post. The best one was the fact that you could pay extra and have your corporate card get points. Did I read that correctly? So, if I work for Apple, and they force me to use their corporate Amex, I have an option to get points?

    • bluecat: Yes, that is an option (or at least it was an option for me!)

      dealswelike: The option I was given was no points or $75/year for 1 point per dollar

      HikerT: Great info, thanks!

  2. It really depends on how your corporate card is set up. For example, for my Amex corporate card we have the option to pay $75 a month and get the points. If not, we only get 1/2 points. Other companies, I know, are set up that they do not receive any points at all, they cannot pay the $75/year fee. Definitely worth checking out though!

  3. I think you have a month or so grace, which I suspect is why you saw the points come back. Much longer than that and you’d have lost your 16 points, lol.

  4. Better yet, just get a PRG OPEN or personal or something or really anything with no annual fee that gets MR, and that’ll keep your points alive for another year.

  5. Just cancelled my 7 month old AMEX Biz Gold today (since I recently got the DL Reserve and will be putting most of my spend on it). The disclaimer AMEX had me listen to after cancelling indicated up to 90 days to reinstate points (at their discretion). Of course, I wouldn’t risk it on a large amount of points but pretty sure you’re out of luck after 3 months. On my last flight I sat next to a guy who told me he lost 300K MR points when he left his last job and he tried to get them reinstated after the fact. AMEX wouldn’t budge.

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