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


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 has a 15x Aeroplan bonus being run for Canada day so be sure to check that out.

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  1. 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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