American Express Customers Are Hoarding Miles and Points
American Express has been offering extra earning opportunities and big bonuses for its credit cards recently. At the same time, travel demand is way down compared to previous years, so redeeming those earned points has not been as easy, or tempting as usual.
That means that American Express customers who have co-brand travel cards or the popular Platinum, Gold and Green cards, have been stockpiling their points and miles during the pandemic. The information Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell who says that rewards are likely to be used eventually for big vacations.
Travel is obviously not the only option for redeeming points. American Express has expanded the redemption opportunities to let customers use points for many other purchases. They even offered up to 100% bonuses for redeeming points to cover purchases. But even that bonus would only get you a value of 1.2 cents per point, which is still far from the value you would get when redeeming for travel.
“They’re not choosing to redeem them for online retail, which they could,” Campbell said at a virtual conference Tuesday, as per Bloomberg. “They’re just stocking up the points to travel.”
But Campbell says that American Express will not change its way and will continue to focus on travel, even thought it has provided some temporary perks for customers who are staying home for now.
“We’d be crazy to dramatically pivot the whole company because of what we view as a fairly temporary change in the way people are going to spend,” he said. “The human urge to travel — to gather, to explore — is insatiable.”