American Express Benefits - Any thoughts on the switch from free Flights to Travel Credits?

Hi guys, I just want to know how do you feel about this change from Amex benefits. I hold a Reserve card that offers a return intl. flights a year. It soon will be replaced by a $400 credit. I can understand the flexibility it offers to members who hold this card alone. As to myself, the reserve is the P. Charge companion. I find the change has ‘reduced’ benefits from the following aspects:

  1. The $400 is less of a value than a return flight to NZ.
  2. If my understanding is correct, the travel credits from the companion (reserve) card can not be used in conjunction with the main (p. charge) card in one transaction.
    Also I m surprised that the reserve travel credit is of a higher value than p. charge.

If you also have a p.charge with reserve companion, happy to hear from your thoughts…

Hi Beau,

I don’t have a Reserve with Charge but will chip in for some friends that do.

If the NZ flight is how you usually use the return flight that comes with Reserve, unfortunately, $400 travel credit is much less useful for you. Similarly, for some cards that offer PER to East Coast return, they are also moving to Travel Credits.

If you struggle to use the return flight in economy, $400 travel credit may be a convenient way to use the benefit for some people.

As far as I understand, you are correct, the travel credits from different cards cannot be used in a single booking. It seems you would also have to use the travel credit on a transaction exceeding your travel credit. e.g. book a $210 hotel with a $200 travel credit from Plat Edge and pay the additional $10.

This all seems restrictive and in your case it looks like reduced benefits on face value.

The fact of the matter is, the credit card, frequent flyer, point game is ever evolving. With more people being more savvy, it forces the businesses rethink how to make their business viable for sustainable growth. Hence, change is inevitable. We will always have to be on our toes and adapt to find other ways to optimise our position to make the most of the change.