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Update 9/1/21 The transfer ratio was due to drop from 1.25c to 1.1c today, but it’s still showing as 1.25c. If you thought you’d missed your opportunity to cash out Membership Rewards to Schwab at that higher rate, it’s not too late.
It’s not known how much longer this will last, so I wouldn’t wait around if this is something you’re interested in. I’d also take screenshots of any transfers you do from today just in case an incorrect amount lands in your Schwab account.
Update 8/29/21: Just a quick reminder that the 1.25c rate when transferring American Express Membership Rewards to Schwab is reducing to 1.1c on September 1, 2021. That means there are only a few days left to convert your points to take advantage of the higher transfer ratio.
Update 7/5/21: Doctor of Credit reports that this has now been confirmed in an update to cardholders from American Express (a reddit member confirms the update came on their statement). I expect all current cardholders will see this update on their next statement. Bummer that Amex didn’t intend to give more notice and/or send an email rather than putting this on the statement where it might be missed.
Dave Grossman at Miles Talk reports major news: Amex chat representatives are stating the the Schwab Platinum card’s Invest with Rewards redemption will decrease from 1.25c per point to 1.1c per Membership Rewards point effective September 1, 2021. I confirmed the same with a chat representative just now. While I typically regard information from front line customer service representatives as unreliable, the consistency of the message here indicates to me that it is likely true.
Doctor of Credit first reported the rumor that the 1.25 rate for converting Membership Rewards points to cash via a Schwab investment account might be changing. Greg theorized that it was possible that the cash out rate would increase to 1.5c per point (See: The Schwab Platinum Invest with Rewards Rumor: 1.5 cash out?). We also talked about it on Frequent Miler on the Air and my opinion was that there was no news in this rumor given that issuers change which features they market all the time and that the people taking advantage of this redemption must be such a small subset of a subset of cardholders as to not be incredibly significant. We both agreed that it seemed unlikely that the value would decrease, but it looks like we were wrong about that. Maybe the Foo Fighters cashed out at 1.25c per point after all?
Dave reports having seen a comment in a private group with a screen shot of a chat with an Amex rep stating that the redemption rate for Invest with Rewards would change from 1.25c per point to 1.10c per point effective on September 1, 2021 and he then had a rep confirm the same for him. I logged on and the first rep with whom I chatted told me that cardholders would be notified of any change via email and/or their statements but they wouldn’t confirm or deny anything, so I took another swing and tried a second rep. The second time, I led the agent a bit by saying that I was told the Invest with Rewards redemption was changing and I wanted to confirm that I had the details right. I then asked them to tell me the new rate and as you see above they gave me the same 1.10% answer that Dave reported.
I went on to ask whether that change would apply to me on September 1st if I opened the card today and the rep said it would, so it sounds like they intend to change this redemption even for existing cardholders with limited advance notice.
Of course, as I noted at the top, I typically put limited faith in the word of a customer service representative as they so frequently get details wrong. In this case, I led the rep a bit by saying that I knew the date, but I left it to them to confirm the rate change and they did confirm the same thing Dave was told, which was the same thing told to someone else who had previously reported it. The consistency of that message makes me more inclined to believe it is true.
However, without official word from Amex on a grander scale than the word of a customer service rep, I wouldn’t necessarily rush to cash out rewards tomorrow. On the contrary, since the worst case scenario has this redemption changing on September 1st, it seems that Schwab Platinum cardholders can breathe a sign of relief in having some advance notice and less concern that this will change in the night without notice. Of course, the timeline still could be changed since I haven’t yet seen it in official materials from Amex
If you’re sitting on a pile of Amex points from the recent fire sale (or working on the spend), keep in mind that you may want to position yourself to cash out when the time comes by considering the Schwab Platinum card sooner rather than later if you do not yet have it.