After June 30, American Express will no longer allow points advances on credit cards.
Up until now, depending on your card type, it was possible to advance between 5,000 and 60,000 points. The advance is 15,000 for Green, Gold, and Premier Rewards Gold cardholders, and 60.000 for Platinum Cardholders.
If you do not earn the points back within a year after the points advance, you will be charged for the points you haven’t earned, at a rate of 2.5 cents per point.
But is this a good deal? Absolutely! Even if you earn just some of the points back, that would lower the charge, and subsequently lower the rate for purchasing points.
The only caveat is that upon requesting a points advance, they must be used toward a redemption, such as transferring to an American Express airline partner.
Some good uses include transferring to Singapore (Hello Singapore Suites), Cathay, and ANA. And while Aeroplan miles keep getting devalued, unlike US Airways, they can be used for First Class on Lufthansa, and have an easy-to-use award booking tool.
In addition, Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to a number of hotel programs including Best Western, Choice Priveleges, Jumeirah (Burj al Arab!!) and Starwood Preferred Guest.