American Express Canada kills churning ability for most of their cards and it’s a total disaster.

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This week has seen some setbacks for the serious Canadian travel hackers and American Express is the worst of it. It’s been on the flyertalk forums for months and then I noticed this on the footnotes for the Amex gold rewards card on the Canadian site.

“ for current or former American Express®Gold Rewards Cardmembers, we may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus. “

Over the last few months, I have noticed talk of Amex Canada ending the ability to churn their cards over short periods of time, but I was not expecting the time frame to be a lifetime. Personally, I was expecting something along the lines of a 6 or 12 month period between cards to cut down the amount of extreme gaming of the system that is taking place. I can understand that being a good business decision for American Express, but a lifetime is a bit too much really.

Churning cards is the process of applying for a credit card to get the bonus points and then cancelling them once you have earned the bonus points or welcome points.  Last year, most of the points I earned came with an annual fee waived for the first year and I would cancel that card before the end of that year.  I was not really churning cards too heavy or fast for the points but I was hopeful to get some churning done this winter.

 

If you have a churn in process with Amex, you should contact their customer service line asap.

 

Things to keep in mind are that we as Canadians could see a lull in lucrative credit card signup bonuses and patience could be a rewarding virtue here. We could see a number of signup bonus offers rise after the dust settles and positive things could change, so don’t despair.

 

I feel that American Express could have done a better job in controlling the gaming by increasing the minimum spending on these cards. That would have generated more revenue without killing the program. It would have been a better way to continue this profitable operation for both cardholders and American Express. Amex is expensive on retailers and accepted almost nowhere when it comes to local business; the additional points made the effort worth travel hackers time and energy. In general I have been less impressed with Amex when it comes down to overall point earning and customer service.

 

Some good news shop.ca has a 15x Aeroplan bonus being run for Canada day so be sure to check that out.

3 comments

  1. Profile photo of joe
    joe says:

    alright that really sucks, and looks like AMEX is putting an end to churning for good. I can’t wait to know if my last business gold card comes with the points after I meet the spending.. The truth is this was bound to happen. i lets hope you can come back with some more ways to build points quickly before winter hits again.

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