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Last Day: Amex Double Rewards & Double Cash Back

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Immanuel Debeer | 20/07/2020

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If it has somehow slipped your mind, today is your last chance to earn double rewards and or redeem your points for double cashback; if you’re a Platinum Cardmember that is!

Platinum Amex cards have been earning a whopping 4.5 points per $1 on everything except government charges since April.

Should you redeem for cash?

Using points to pay for charges has always felt wrong, in an ideal world we would like to be redeeming points for luxury flights to exotic destinations…

That said, the argument for why you should be redeeming some of your points for money is pretty strong.

Let’s put it this way: if you chose NOT to redeem points for charges (1,000 points = $10) you are essentially happy to pay 2c per frequent flyer mile (which is very expensive). For points earned during the promotion, it’s even higher since the effective cashback rate increased to 4.5%

From tomorrow the cashback redemption rate will be 1,000 MR points for $5.

Is it that simple?

Not really! The argument that if you’re not redeeming points for cash, you’re saying you are happy to pay 2c per mile is not 100% accurate. Since we are earning points as a by-product of our spending (which we would have done regardless), the value is still there if you redeem points for expensive business or first-class flights. However, for discounted business flights, it’s a very close call.

For example, you could redeem 200,000 points for 100,000 airline miles or AU$2,000. From Perth where I live, the cheapest business class flights to Europe start at around $4,500 in which case you would have A) more flexibility since you’re paying with cash and B) earn miles and status credits since it isn’t a redemption flight.

The Solution?

If you have a lot of points, redeem some for cash. I personally decided to cash in about 50% of my balance since I do have substantial amounts of points stashed away with airlines directly as well, and my travels have been severely restricted to interstate flights.

Last-Minute Spending Ideas

If you’ve left it to the last minute, charges processed today should technically still qualify for a double earn rate at least. Prepaying certain expenses that are otherwise unavoidable (think: rates, insurance, groceries) could be a smart play for a last-minute boost to your points balance.

If you have a sizeable tax bill or want to accidentally “overpay” such a bill, I would recommend paying it via a third party processor, so you earn the full amount of points. My go-to services are Payment Logic (consider signing up with our referral link or use code: M4TR), B2B Pay and Blue Chain. All of these services charge a processing fee, but at double rewards, the benefit outweighs the cost.

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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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