Can’t say I am surprised by the move. With 30% of spending on Amex cards coming from travel and entertainment, the recent shutdowns have been devastating to its bottom line. As Amex seeks to cut US$3B, some of its most generous products had to see cuts at some point. So here we are,  Amex Canada Platinum card bonuses have been slashed by up to 80%!

Amex Canada The Platinum Card®

Amex Canada Platinum card

Public Offer: New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 60,000 25,000 Welcome Bonus Membership Rewards® points when you charge $3,000 $2,000 in purchases to your Card in the first three months of Cardmembership.

Referral Offer: New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 70,000 25,000 Welcome Bonus Membership Rewards® points when you charge $5,000 $2,000 in purchases to your Card in the first three months of Cardmembership. Referrer earns a bonus of 15,000 5,000 Membership Rewards® points.

Ouch! The ~65% drop in welcome bonus on referral offers (70k to 25k) is eye-popping to say the least, so is the ~60% decline on public offer. How about that ~65% crash on the referrer bonus, from 15,000 MR points to a paltry 5,000?!

On a brighter note, minimum spend requirement has dropped too! #facetious

What does not change:

  1. Amex will continue to extend the welcome bonus offer period to six (6) months to allow Cardmembers more time to achieve their spend threshold. This applies to eligible Consumer and Small Business Cards who acquired Cards between January 22, 2020 through June 30, 2020 with a Welcome Bonus Offer.
  2. Existing cardmembers will continue to enjoy Double Rewards on The Platinum Card®, until July 20th, 2020. This includes double earn rates (6x on all dining, 4x on travel and 2x on all other purchases) and double rate when redeemed for the Use Points for Purchases option (1,000 points = $20 statement credit).

Amex Canada The Business Platinum Card®

Amex Canada Platinum card

Public Offer: Earn a Welcome Bonus of 40,000 35,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $5,000 $7,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership

Referral Offer: Earn a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 45,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $7,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Referrer earns a bonus of 25,000 5,000 Membership Rewards® points.

The cuts seem less severe, until you look closer. On the public offer, the welcome bonus sees a decline of 12.5%, but an increase in the minimum spend requirement ($5k to $7k). The referral offer sees a sharp decline of 40% to the welcome bonus. And if you were planning to refer friends and family through the referral program, the 80% decline in referrer’s bonus (25k to 5k) is sure to deflate some consumer spirit.

What does not change:

  1. Amex will continue to extend the welcome bonus offer period to six (6) months to allow Cardmembers more time to achieve their spend threshold. This applies to eligible Consumer and Small Business Cards who acquired Cards between January 22, 2020 through June 30, 2020 with a Welcome Bonus Offer.Existing cardmembers continue to enjoy.

Take Away

While this may come as a rude shock to readers who were on the fence about getting these cards, these changes do make sense for Amex as a corporation. They have committed to avoid job cuts while riding out the harsh realities of the pandemic. Amex Platinum cards have long been the most rewarding products in the portfolio, and scaling back the perks to see themselves through a difficult phase, seems prudent. Personally, I would prefer that they avoid layoffs and come through  for their employees, even if it means austerity in the product line.

Guess what, all is not lost, we will travel again, and Amex will be back with bigger and better offers!