Earlier I wrote about how Amex is planning on cutting costs by $3 billion in 2020. Much of the spending cuts will come from marketing, but we can expect cost cuts across the company.
Something else interesting was revealed during Amex’s first quarter earnings call. I’ve written in the past about how card issuers should update the benefits on some of their travel rewards cards to reflect the current climate, and Amex has now hinted at what we can expect.
Amex will be refreshing cards in early May
American Express has revealed that in early May they’re planning “actual product refreshes to a number of products, which will infuse additional value in addition to the value that a card may have.”
It’s not known exactly which cards will be receiving refreshes, and if these will be permanent perks, or just temporary perks to reflect the current environment, where travel isn’t a thing for most.
What makes this interesting is that in the past couple of years Amex has already refreshed a majority of their popular cards, including adjusting the perks and fees on the Amex Green, Amex Gold, Amex Platinum, co-branded Delta, and co-branded Marriott cards.
One has to wonder if we’ll see these cards re-refreshed, or what exactly will happen.
Could the Amex Black or Amex Titanium be launched?
There have been rumors of Amex introducing a new ultra premium card, which could be known as the Amex Black or Amex Titanium. Based on what we know these products were supposed to launch in 2020, though I think it goes without saying that this isn’t the ideal time to launch a premium card. It remains to be seen whether that will still happen or not.
On the one hand, if the concept is ready to go, I could see them still launching it. On the other hand, if the card is focused on travel perks, I could see them holding off.
Expect changes to the Amex Platinum
It would appear that Amex may be introducing some additional perks specifically to the Amex Platinum. This is definitely needed, given that this card is primarily about travel perks, and there’s not much value to those at the moment:
- The card currently offers perks like Fine Hotels & Resorts, Uber credits, and other travel benefits, and those aren’t valuable right now
- Amex will add enhancements there, ranging from “wireless streaming to maybe some other types of travel credits which can be used in the future over a period of time”
- While not terribly exciting, Amex notes that they’ve added discounts when redeeming points through Amazon, and the ability to earn double points with GrubHub and Seamless through the end of the year
- Amex is also adding “a range of limited time offers, credits, and rewards on stay-at-home services, such as wireless, streaming, grocery, and food delivery for consumer and certain co-brand card consumers, as well as business essentials like wireless office equipment and shipping for small business consumers”
It sounds like we should expect some sort of card refreshes in early May from Amex. It’s unknown as this point if we’ll see temporary or permanent changes, and also remains to be seen how significant these changes will be.
I hope we see more than just double points on streaming and food delivery, and that we actually see significant changes that are compelling enough to cause people to keep travel rewards cards.
I’m also curious if we’ll see the introduction of the new rumored ultra premium card, or if that’s being put off for now.
What are you expecting from these Amex card refreshes?