How do people maximise AMEX points earn?

We have hit our points goal for a 2024 RTW QFF redemption and are looking to diversify from QFF due to the increase in carrier chargers and poor availability of reward seats. We have started churning credit cards for Velocity points but I’m interested to understand people’s strategies with AMEX given the ability to redeem their points across multiple programs. I assume if you plan to churn AMEX you need to transfer their rewards points into another program before you close the card. This seems to defeat the benefit of the flexibility so I assume for many they keep the card as a constant and just maximise spend points?

Our current strategy is I have a QFF earning visa attached to our home loan package which is a constant. I then churn a second card, rotating looking for best value for bonus points. My wife works part time but she also churns cards with more modest income requirements. Keen to understand other’s approach and how they weave AMEX into the equation.

Hi @hungry4points

I don’t churn my AmEx cards (I have a Platinum charge, Platinum Edge and Platinum Reserve) because of the considerable perks that come with them and their high points-earning potential. I find that churning Mastercard and Visa cards, as well as taking advantage of FlyBuys and Everyday Rewards, shopping portals, etc, gives me more than enough points for everything I want.

If you’re a couple, a common strategy with AmEx is for one partner to be the main cardholder and for the other partner to have a supplementary card. Then cancel every 18 months and swap. That means that you’re getting a new set of bonus points every 18 months. I recall hearing somewhere that AmEx looks at combined household income, rather than individual income, when assessing applications. If that’s true, then your wife’s lower income shouldn’t prevent her from taking out an AmEx with a decent sign-up bonus.

Hope this helps!

Congrats on reaching you goal for the RTW redemptions…

Re AmEx, this is what I do…i have a constant AmEx card (that i use for almost all the expenses) and the way I try to compensate losing out on the bonus points is that I refer family / friends / colleagues as and when i get a chance (200k points is the limit to earn on referrals per year).

I think AMEX is definitely not very churnable but there’s nothing wrong with that. It often offers a lot more ‘regular’ spending value so its worth it to just keep it around.
There’s a ton of different offerings depending on your level of travel. The AMEX Platinum obviously offers the most benefits and points earning opportunities particularly if you are heavy on travel (with the exclusive ability to transfer to Qantas), but I’ve actually found the sweet spots to be either the Explorer or Platinum Edge.
Explorer is a good card because I don’t have to think about using it. There’s no bonus categories to keep track of. I can be sure I will earn 2 AMEX points (=1 Frequent flyer point) on virtually anything I pay for with the card.
Platinum edge card is another winner I keep. It’s bonus on supermarkets means it could work out really well to buy giftcards at Woolies or Coles when they go on sale and then use them in all aspects of your life. For example, I buy apple giftcards when they run Woolworths Rewards points promos with the Platinum edge so I’m essentially double dipping.
The last thing I’d consider is that there is more than just points earn. AMEX Offers is such a underrated program but they often offer really good discounts. Discounts range from AMPOL to Marriott to Hertz. It’s definitely a lot better than your typical coupon book! I think there is not many other credit cards that can offer this level of diversity in terms of their offering.

1 Like

Thanks @sixtyeight that’s really helpful. I quite like the 18 month cancel/ swap approach. I assume the primary card holder would transfer the AMEX points into a FF program before cancelling their card? Would just need to plan if it’s a hard expiry program like Krisflyer that you would have a redemption planned.

Thanks @djtech and @ck009 it’s really helpful to hear the strategies others use.

Hi @hungry4points

That’s right – you’d transfer your Membership Rewards points before you cancel the card. It’s not a strategy I use, but others do and it works for them.

I think this deserves a mention on this topic…AmEx CS is way better than any other bank CS I have dealt with (and, I deal with a lot of them)…