Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm preapproved for the Amex Rewards Plus Gold Card

Per today's mail, I'm preapproved for the American Express Rewards Plus Gold Card. I'm obviously honored, but I can't decide if I want to take them up on it.

There's no fee for the first year, but then it's $150 yearly. I get upgraded to the Membership Rewards program from the Membership Rewards Options program if I do it, but I don't know quite what that means to me. I'd get double points at gas stations, supermarkets, drug stores, the post office, one point everywhere else.

If I was putting $10,000 a month on my Amex card, I'd snap this up. But, as it is, I'm not sure how to do the math on whether the enhanced rewards would be worth the card.

Looking at $150 annual fee, that's equal to about 15,000 points in a rewards program. So, let's say I would put $3000 per month on my card, or $36,000 yearly, for 36,000 points total if I was using a no-fee card. And say I use this Rewards Plus card for about $700 worth of groceries, gas and other services that get me double miles each month, meaning about $8400 per year as part of that $36,000 overall. So $27,600 at one point and $8400 at two points (16,800 points), that would be 44,400 points. If you subtract 15,000 from the 44,400, you get 29,400, which is fewer points than I'd get if I didn't have the annual fee.

But then there's the Membership Rewards thing that seems to be some sort of upgrade. And they seem to think they're giving me sopme sort of upgrade on travel rewards, too, but I can't understand exactly what I'd be getting. Maybe that's the difference between Membership Rewards and Membership Rewards Options?

I guess I'll have to pass. It's just not spelled out clearly enough what this new card would give me over what I'm already getting.


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