I love me some American Express credit and charge cards, mainly because of the ability to earn Membership Rewards points which I can transfer points to a number of airline and hotel partners, including Star Alliance members ANA and Air Canada, through which I can book United/Star Alliance flights. There’s just so many card options and value to tap into… Early last year I got my Premier Rewards Gold card, which among other benefits gets me 3x on airfare, 2x on restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, and $100 airline fee credit on the airline of my choice. Though the sign-up bonus was a modest 25k Membership Rewards points, I knew I’d get great value out of its benefits too. But there was an additional perk that I was yet to find out about.
From time to time I purchase gift cards in order to earn points when I need them. The gift cards in turn I can use whenever I want for whichever purpose needed. Simon Mall offers a great gift card product, including a card that earns 5% cash back on purchases with a large number of merchants. To my surprise, after my first purchase at my neighborhood Simon Mall, I noticed in my statement that I had earned the 2x bonus on the purchase.
However, since the beginning of the year I noticed that the purchases didn’t carry the bonus as they did before. The interesting part is that the coding of the transactions last year seem to be the same as this years’, so I don’t quite understand why the difference. At least I do hold the Amex Business Platinum card, which earns 1.5x MR points on purchases over $5k.
In conclusion, it’s rewarding to be on top of your card statement and points/miles accounts as, from time to time, you may find pleasant ‘surprises’ such as this one. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.