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  • FIRST POST
    • sultanoflondon
    • By sultanoflondon 13th May 18, 1:33 PM
    • 31Posts
    • 0Thanks
    sultanoflondon
    American Express Avios rewards scheme: could this actually work in the long run?
    • #1
    • 13th May 18, 1:33 PM
    American Express Avios rewards scheme: could this actually work in the long run? 13th May 18 at 1:33 PM
    Hi all,

    I came across this on MSE's Boost & max Avios page.

    "Kate opens the Amex Gold and spends 2,000 in the first three months to earn a 20,000 Avios bonus.
    Ben opens the BA Premium Plus Amex card at the same time and spends 3,000 in the first three months to earn a 25,000 Avios bonus. Plus he'll need to pay the 195 annual fee.
    Once Kate hits the 2,000 trigger on her card she cancels it and gets a secondary card on Ben's BA Premium Plus Amex card to help them both get to the 10,000 per year trigger spend to earn a companion voucher.
    But before she cancels her Amex Gold she refers Ben to it, and he uses the Amex Gold link she generates to apply for it so she gets an extra 9,000 bonus points.
    Ben takes some time off the BA Premium Plus Amex card to hit his 2,000 trigger in three months on the Amex Gold to earn an extra 22,000 bonus points (the normal 20,000 plus the extra 2,000 having been referred), and then cancels it to go back to his BA Premium Plus Amex.
    Assuming a 25,000 a year annual spend between them making only the trigger spend on the Amex Gold (4,000 between them), they will also earn 35,500 Avios points on normal spending.
    After a year that's 111,500 Avios points and they've got a companion ticket, so they could both get to Sydney or fly premium economy to Cape Town (plus taxes and charges).
    But it doesn't end there. In year two they can reverse roles to earn more intro bonuses, as by the end of year one only Ben will be registered as an account holder on the BA Premium Plus Amex, so they could both get the intro bonuses again on the Amex Gold, and Kate could do the same on the BA Premium Plus Amex, though again, she'll need to pay the 195 annual fee."

    Could this actually work in the long run? Kate has one application per year & Ben has two: all three are on American Express cards which aren't 'low profile' or 'credit score building' cards either.

    Surely American Express will see this operation & not allow it? Also, so many credit card applications per year, every year will surely be harmful to Ben & Kate's credit scores in the long run?

    Would they have to stop this one or two years before trying to get a mortgage?
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 13th May 18, 1:49 PM
    • 17,752 Posts
    • 18,855 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 1:49 PM
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 1:49 PM
    How many searches are you talking about? Neither Kate not Ben have credit scores so they can forget about those.

    A few searches won't overly worry lenders on a well managed history.

    They might want to think about laying off new applications in the 6 months run up to a mortgage.

    But they should think hard before applying for a mortgage, as Ben has a wandering eye and Kate already has doubts about their relationship.
    • msallen
    • By msallen 13th May 18, 2:17 PM
    • 853 Posts
    • 937 Thanks
    msallen
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 2:17 PM
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 2:17 PM
    It would work in theory yes, except that it is rumoured that Amex are clamping down on churning and _may_ even move to a once per lifetime (per card type) intro bonus as they have adopted in USA.

    Also of course using the Avios for either economy tickets to Aus or prem economy tickets to SA would be woeful given that the taxes and charges on economy redemptions are almost as much as the ticket (albeit a non-flexible type) can be bought for.

    I suspect this has been "worked out" by someone who has read all the T&Cs but has no real world experience of playing the Avios game - certainly not at this level anyway.
    • WillPS
    • By WillPS 13th May 18, 4:43 PM
    • 312 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    WillPS
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 4:43 PM
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 4:43 PM
    I don't think multiple applications as big a deal as is made out personally. Certainly Amex don't seem to care. In 2.5 years I've had Platinum Cashback, Gold (which was then upgraded to Platinum), Nectar, Gold again (also subsequently upgraded to Platinum) and then most recently Costco. I've also applied for (and been accepted for) a Natwest card, 3 Tesco cards, a Halifax card, an MBNA card, a Hilton Barclaycard and a Virgin Money card over the same period.

    There are plenty of people who sign up, get bonuses as quickly as they can and then reapply after 6 months. I've seen discussion (elsewhere) from people who have 'run out' of Amex bonuses to claim - and given they have 5 separate schemes, all of which will pay out a fresh bonus 6 months after cancellation.... well you get the picture.

    The only reason I haven't done more is because I backed off last year as I was considering getting a mortgage later in the year, then I moved in to another (rented) house and waited a couple of months to make sure the electoral roll was updated.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 13th May 18, 4:53 PM
    • 5,162 Posts
    • 4,181 Thanks
    blindman
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 4:53 PM
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 4:53 PM
    Hi all,

    I came across this on MSE's Boost & max Avios page.



    Could this actually work in the long run? Kate has one application per year & Ben has two: all three are on American Express cards which aren't 'low profile' or 'credit score building' cards either.

    Surely American Express will see this operation & not allow it? Also, so many credit card applications per year, every year will surely be harmful to Ben & Kate's credit scores in the long run?

    Would they have to stop this one or two years before trying to get a mortgage?
    Originally posted by sultanoflondon
    This is a basic churn strategy, which will work but is not the best way to do this.

    Amex do not seem to mind the churn rate -I've been doing this for years

    The above strategy misses out other options such as adding your partner as a supplementary and also the Credit card options.

    However:-
    This has now just changed as AMEX have closed the GOLD charge card and you now have a Gold Credi card.

    Read Headforpoints for AMEX churn options
    Last edited by blindman; 14-05-2018 at 10:49 AM.
    • The Urbanite
    • By The Urbanite 14th May 18, 1:17 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    The Urbanite
    • #6
    • 14th May 18, 1:17 AM
    • #6
    • 14th May 18, 1:17 AM
    It would work in theory yes, except that it is rumoured that Amex are clamping down on churning and _may_ even move to a once per lifetime (per card type) intro bonus as they have adopted in USA.

    Also of course using the Avios for either economy tickets to Aus or prem economy tickets to SA would be woeful given that the taxes and charges on economy redemptions are almost as much as the ticket (albeit a non-flexible type) can be bought for.

    I suspect this has been "worked out" by someone who has read all the T&Cs but has no real world experience of playing the Avios game - certainly not at this level anyway.
    Originally posted by msallen
    Actually, it looks precisely like what has been posted by seasoned points collectors for years over on the Head For Points website. If you understand it and have a partner who is at least willing to play ball with the card game then it does work and some people happily do so.

    Personally I don't play this churning game. There are other ways to accrue points;

    - Referrals if you know people who could have a mutually beneficial relationship with Amex
    - Manufactured spending
    - Tesco Clubcard - you can earn up to 72,000 Avios every 3 months through it, or more if there's a conversion bonus on
    Last edited by The Urbanite; 14-05-2018 at 1:31 AM.
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