American Express Rewards Credit Card Review

American Express has a number of credit cards that are not co-branded that either KrisFlyer members or members of other airlines can earn frequent flyer miles with and this is the review of their Rewards Credit Card.

American Express Rewards Credit Card Review

About the Card

The American Express Rewards Credit Card is directly issued by American Express and offers American Express Membership rewards for points.  This card is issued in Singapore, both KrisFlyer and Enrich members can earn through this card via a transfer.

Sign-Up Bonus

You can earn 24,000 Membership Reward points for spending S$1,500 in the first 3 months. This offer is only applicable to new and first time American Express Rewards Card Members.  There is nothing in the terms and conditions that say that you can’t benefit from this bonus as well as the other co-branded KrisFlyer cards or indeed other American Express cards.

Other Benefits

American Express Selects and a few lifestyle benefits are available for the card including things like the Pump Room and Movie Treats – again this is up to personal taste so I don’t take too much of this into account.

What is the Annual Fee?

S$53.50 (inclusive of GST) Basic Card fee – This is one of the lowest annual fees I’ve seen and you need to pay it to qualify for the sign-up bonus.

What Do You Earn per $1?

  • Normal Spend: Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every S$1 spent.
  • Bonus for Initial 3 Months – 100% extra points for the first 3 months, making any initial spend more important from an earning perspective.
  • 5 Favorite Partner Bonus: You can also earn 1.5 Membership Rewards points every S$1 spent on eligible purchases at 5 selected partners in Singapore.
  • Extra Spend Bonus: Once past spend of $S5,000 in a calendar year you’ll earn 1.5 Membership Reward points per $S1 spend.

What is a Membership Rewards Point Worth?

The points earned on the American Express Rewards Credit Card are earned in Membership Rewards points which are effectively another currency. These can be exchanged into a number of different frequent flyer programmes:

  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • Enrich
  • Emirates
  • Royal Orchid Plus
  • Singapore Airlines

There are also a number of other hotel and experience partners.

For Singapore Airlines members they convert at a ratio of 450 MR points to 250 KrisFlyer Miles (or 1.8 to 1). If you value a KrisFlyer Mile at 2 cents then the sign-up bonus is 13,333 KrisFlyer Miles and therefore $S267 in value. General spending earns you 0.55 KrisFlyer Miles per $S1 which is not good and even with the various bonuses you’ll only be earning 0.83 per $S1.

For Malaysia Airlines Enrich members they convert at a ratio of 450 MR points to 250 Enrich Miles (or 1.8 to 1). If you value a Enrich Mile at 2 cents (conversion from RM –see here for information) then the sign-up bonus is 13,333 Enrich Miles and therefore $S267 in value. General spending earns you 0.55 Enrich Miles per $S1 which is not good and even with the various bonuses you’ll only be earning 0.83 per $S1.

How Does this Compare?

If you are a KrisFlyer member then there are other cards around with a better sign-up bonus, and better ongoing earning opportunities like the UOB cards or the ANZ Travel Card (although greatly reduced recently).

If you happen to be a member of one of the other airlines frequent flyer programs then this card does give you the flexibility of being able to earn with them.

Conclusion

Sign Up Bonus – 8/10
Ongoing Spend – 5/10

I’ve given the sign-up bonus a score of 8/10 just because the card has a lot of flexibility with being able to put the sign-up bonus to several different frequent flyer and hotel programs.  This in Singapore is a great benefit especially if you want to keep your redemption options open.

For ongoing spend though the card is let down by the poor earning rate.  Unless you plan out your initial 3 months spend, spend over $S5,000 and also select your 5 favorite places carefully then yo can do better elsewhere.

You can find more about the American Express Rewards Credit Card here.