Last week we learned that American Express Australia was changing its program and by doing so, devaluing points balances by at least 50% from April 15, 2019, due to the increased transfer rates from 1:1 to 2:1 for all the major frequent flyer programs.

Considering a lot of people have always seen Amex Membership Rewards as a safe points currency to hold, it’s understandable there are some members with big points balances out there who are faced with a 50% value reduction. Most people only transfer to airline programs when they have a redemption in mind simply because programs like KrisFlyer and AsiaMiles have a relatively short expiry date of 2 years.

There’s been some talk in the community that Amex should at least double the account balance of existing members, so they don’t lose 50% of the total value on points they have already earned under the existing program terms.

Well, it looks like the rumour is true; at least for some card members. In particular, those holding Amex Platinum Charge and Centurion. Some members have received letters with the following key information:

As a valued American Express Platinum Card Member and in recognition of the redemption rate changes, we will protect the value of your existing points balance by automatically crediting your account with the same amount of Membership Rewards points that you have at 1:00 am AEST on 15 April 2019. For Example, if your balance is 100,000 points, we will credit an additional 100,000 points. The additional points will be added into your account by 15 June 2019. There’s no need to call us or enrol.

After seeing this info, I called American Express (I hold a Platinum Charge Card), but they denied the information and claimed it was only a rumour.

If that’s the case, is Amex only targeting certain individuals who they have tagged as “most valuable”?

As a self-proclaimed American Express fanboy I would like to see them do right by their card members and reward the loyalty by at least keeping the current points balance value the same, regardless of the upcoming changes.