FYI: I have no affiliation with American Express, nor do I earn any compensation from them in any way from this post, or if you sign up for this card.
A few weeks ago, American Express extended an invitation to me to join them for a dinner at the Canadian Air and Space Museum. At first, I was hesitant. I’ve never written about specific charge or credit cards and their various features. I’m just not that knowledgeable about them, to be honest. There are so many options out there that I’ve just tried to pick ONE rewards program and funnel my purchases through ONE card to increase the probability of actually collecting on meaningful rewards over time. I’ve always been of the philosophy that you don’t want to diversify your reward program participation because you’ll never earn enough points on any one to collect. Sometimes, new cards come out which seem to have better features and benefits, but what do you do with all the reward points you’ve collected until then?
I decided to attend and I’m glad I did. First, I got to see the Canadian Air and Space Museum which is great. They have a life sized replica of an Avro Arrow – right there, my attendance was validated. I also chatted at length with the curator and his passion for aerospace was evident. If you get nothing else from this post, you should click here to view the website for the museum and if you are an aerospace enthusiast, or history buff, go check them out: time well spent.
At the event, they presented the new American Express Gold Rewards Card – aimed at travel rewards. I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you what impressed me with this card: you earn points as usual (1 point per dollar spent, with “accelerators” for travel purchases put on the card and daily groceries, etc. which bumps you to 2 points per dollar spent) . But, when you want to book travel, you can book it through anywhere (think KAYAK, Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) and find the absolute lowest possible price and then make your purchase on the card. Up to 12 months thereafter, you can use your points to rebate partially or in whole, the amount spent on that travel purchase.
So basically, you might not accumulate points the absolute fastest compared to everything out there, but it’s comprimable. BUT since you have the flexibility to book your travel through the cheapest means you can find, spending those points is more efficient. That was pretty innovative I thought.
It’s a CHARGE CARD – not a credit card. That means you are expected to pay your balance in full every month.
You can transfer your points to Aeroplan or many frequent flyer programs.
You get your standard gold card benefits, like trip interruption insurance, out of country medical, car rental insurance, etc.
First year fee is waived, then $150 per year thereafter (so make sure you spend enough to make it worthwhile, but don’t spend for the sake of spending).
You can click here to visit their website for more details. (Again, not an affiliate link.)
If you like to travel, this card is worth taking a look at.
Do you guys have any recommendations for cards to consider (for travelers)? As I mentioned before, I’m not very knowledgeable about all the options out there and their various features and benefits. I like this one because it’s simple, no blackouts or restrictions, and it accumulates points in line with industry standards, but depletes them more slowly.