Ebates is a very well known cashback site here in the US and, alongside TopCashback, forms an integral part of a lot of people's miles & points strategy - you can earn cashback though these sites while still earning miles and points for bookings with major airlines and hotel chains. As useful as Ebates has always been the site has just become a whole lot more interesting thanks to a linkup with American Express Membership Rewards.
I currently hold the legacy Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit card on which I have an offer from Chase to upgrade to the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card in exchange for 50,000 bonus points (both these cards will soon be rebranded with Marriott Bonvoy names). The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card offers pretty much exactly the same benefits as my SPG Amex and, as I don't often get to use the free night certificates that come with both cards, I didn't see the value in keeping both cards open.
I've long said that I don't like the way American Express limits the airline credits that it offers on the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, the Platinum Card and the Gold Card to airline fees alone (seat fees, baggage fees, etc...) but one saving grace has always been that some airline gift cards have triggered the credit.
I don't believe in paying any more for my credit card collection than I absolutely have to so, every time an annual fee becomes due on one of my cards, I go though a process of evaluating exactly what the card offers me, what I've got out of the card in the past year and what I see myself getting out of the card in the future.
Yesterday I wrote about 6 great Amex offers that are currently available for hotel stays at brands like Kimpton, Hilton and St Regis and now I've just noticed a very good Amex Offer for anyone doing some grocery shopping in Southern California.
Right now American Express appears to be offering bonuses of between 20% and 40% on transfers into the Hilton Honors program but the question is just how good of an incentive is this and is it worth transferring points at all?
One of the principle reasons I hold as many American Express cards as I do is that I often get targeted for some highly lucrative offers via the Amex Offers section of my Amex account page. Over the past few days American Express has been refreshing the offers I can see in my accounts and there are a few excellent offers available for hotel stays.
American Express breathed new life into its Platinum Card when it added airfare purchases as a bonus category earning 5 points/dollar back in November 2016. The 5 points/dollar on airfare was a groundbreaker in the credit card world and suddenly cardmembers like me had a new reason to hold on to the card. Since then Amex has introduced other new benefits to the Platinum Card (like Uber and Saks credits) but it has also increased the annual fee to $550 and brought in new entry restrictions for its Centurion Lounges. Before the introduction of the airfare bonus category I was seriously reconsidering the value that the Platinum Card offered me but the ability to earn a lot of miles though airfare spending persuaded me to keep it in my wallet...but now the card needs to prove its worth once more.
I'm not going to pretend that I follow the fortunes of the Amex Hilton Honors credit cards all that closely as Hilton isn't one of my main go-to chains when I travel (although that may change) but, as I logged in to the Hilton Honors app earlier, I couldn't help but notice that Hilton is currently offering marginally better sign-up bonuses on its co-branded credit cards than Amex is offering on its site.
Following last week's announcement that Marriott Rewards/SPG/Ritz Carlton Rewards would all be rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy from February this year it was inevitable that the loyalty program's co-branded credit cards would be getting a make-over too....and now we know what to expect from Amex.