I’ve neglected sharing a good credit card deal as of late. This Premier Rewards charge card from American Express is a smart option.
American Express has their own reward program known as Membership Rewards points. These can be transferred to a number of airlines and hotels. The reason I prefer flexible points like MR’s is because they help keep other points from going to waste. If you are just a few points shy of a free hotel or free flight, chances are Membership Reward points can help out.
50,000 Membership Reward points
The standard offer on this card is 25,000 points, but this improved offer of 50,000 points makes it worth jumping-on. This is pretty much the highest “non targeted” bonus offer we see.
There is no annual fee the first year, however it does jump to $195 after the first year. I recommend cancelling the card in the 13th month to avoid paying any annual fees. If you haven’t spent all your points at the time of cancellation, just transfer them to a travel partner to avoid losing them.
The Premier Rewards Gold card also offers $100 travel credit per calendar year. Just select your preferred airline and American Express will automatically reimburse up to $100 per year for travel expenses. Qualifying purchases include baggage fees, lounge access charges, seat upgrades, inflight food and WiFi etc. Tickets do not qualify, however you can check out this Flyer Talk thread to see which gift cards will qualify.
If you use all $100 in 2017 and then use the other $100 in 2018 (it resets on January 1st) before your annual fee is due, you’d essentially be getting $200 in free travel dollars.
To get the 50,000 offer to display you may need to put your browser in incognito mode. American Express targets customers for different offers based on their IP (location), and their browser cache. To be safe, open an incognito window and go to this LINK to access the offer. If you can, use a browser you never open, like Microsoft Edge (sorry, Edge)
Copy the following URL to your clipboard and paste it in your URL bar while incognito: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/premier-rewards-gold
If you don’t see the 50,000 point offer, DO NOT apply. Just try in other browsers or try on different computers. You can even try on your cell phone, at work, at Starbucks WiFi, etc. Some people have seen better offers display while in airports or at hotels, which would make sense if Amex is geofencing us. (likely the case)
Europe for 50,000 round-trip
Flying Blue is a transfer partner of Membership Rewards, making for a great option for travel to Europe using points. From the United States to Europe, you’ll need as few as 50,000 points plus fees. The amount of fees is based on your departure airport when leaving Europe. The Netherlands and Spain, for example, charge only $60 in fees. Italy will run you roughly $85 and the U.K. breaks the bank at close to $200 in return departure fees.
Only 50,000 Flying Blue points plus $76 Euros in fees. This is a great redemption as flights from the West Coast to Rome will typically be in excess of $600. Another cool thing with Flying Blue is that Israel is considered Europe, most other airlines define Israel under the “Middle East” region charging as much as 80,000 round-trip.
Flying Blue is a partnership of Delta, KLM and AirFrance (and others). Your flight options to Rome will likely have you connecting in New York, Atlanta, Amsterdam, or Paris.
United and Delta charge 60,000 miles for the same round-trip from the US to Rome, so you’ll be saving 10,000 points and possibly be flying on the same Delta flights that would otherwise cost 60,000. If possible, try to book with a connection in Amsterdam as that will be operated by KLM, a highly rated airline.
Hawaii for 30,000 points round-trip
Hawaii is expensive, and for good reason. Every island is absolutely gorgeous and the culture is rich. The big three, United, American and Delta, all want roughly 45,000 miles for a round-trip to Hawaii. That is insane!
Most flights to Hawaii are filled with folks redeeming miles so naturally airlines have increased the number of miles needed.
Fortunately, you can book award flights through Flying Blue to Hawaii for just 30,000 round-trip. (and just $5 in fees). This is a great redemption considering most of the country will pay $450-$600 for a round-trip to Hawaii, even more in peak seasons.
This 50,000 point sign-up bonus is a great option for an all-around travel card. With flexible points and only $2,000 in minimum spend, it should be within reach for most applicants. The $100 per year travel credit is an extra perk that makes this an easy choice for a travel card.
Things to remember:
— To avoid the annual fee in the 13th month, cancel the card only after you’ve transferred out any remaining points
— This offer for the Premier Rewards Gold card is only available ONCE in your lifetime. (as with most Amex cards)
— This is a charge card so you won’t want to carry a balance on it (which you shouldn’t do anyway since you’ll then be charged interest on a typical credit card)