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Amex Officially Confirms Death of Bonus Points Mall/ Earn Shopping Portal

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Last July I wrote about “technical difficulties” that had temporarily shut down American Express’ shopping portal. This was frustrating, because the Earn Portal was a quick and easy way to earn extra Membership Rewards points for shopping at popular retailers- much like the existing mileage and points portals offerered by numerous airlines and credit card companies.

However, overnight the site went down and Amex has been mum on the details since, insisting it was still down for “maintenance”. I was always skeptical of this excuse, especially since a simple online shopping portal shouldn’t need 8 months of maintenance!

However, I just got official confirmation today from Amex that the site is officially decommissioned “because less than 2% of cardholders used it.” When you visit you’ll see a message: “The Earn Points website (also known as will be discontinued as usage was less than expected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

RIP Bonus Points
RIP Bonus Points

I really wish American Express would have thought about improving the mall so that more of their cardholders would use it instead of just killing it. This change is just another blow in a string of devaluations of the program. Recently they hacked the value of Pay With Points for personal Platinum cardholders from 1.25 cents per point to 1 cent. In comparison, the Chase Sapphire Preferred 1.25 cents per point and the Citi Thank You Premier offers 1.33 cents per point – both have much lower annual fees than the $450 Platinum card. In the past couple years they’ve lost transfer partners like Continental, Southwest, Airtran and Priority Club and they’ve only added partners like Virgin America that don’t offer great value in my opinion.

Even though Amex shut down their mall, you can still use an Amex card at other online shopping portals- the key difference is that you won’t earn Amex points, but instead the currency that the portal offers (airline miles/hotels/etc). My favorite shopping portal is Chase Ultimate Rewards because the points earned go into my Ultimate Rewards account and can then be transferred to my favorite partners United and Hyatt (among 7 others).

  • Air Canada: Aeroplan EStore
  • AirTran: A+ Rewards Mall
  • American:
  • Amtrak: Amtrak Guest Rewards
  • Chase: Ultimate Rewards Shopping
  • Choice Rewards: Choice Privileges Mall
  • Citi: Thank You Shopping
  • Delta:
  • Discover: ShopDiscover
  • Frontier: Early Returns Mall
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines eMarket
  • Hilton HHonors: Hilton HHonors Shop to Earn Mall
  • Marriott Rewards: Shop My Way
  • Mastercard: Mastercard Marketplace
  • Priority Club: Priority Club Shopping
  • Southwest: Rapid Rewards Shopping
  • United:
  • US Airways: Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
  • Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

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    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Earn 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
    • Earn 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year
    • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Employee cards at no additional cost
    • $95 Annual Fee
    Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
    N/A 15.49%-19.49% Variable $95 0% Excellent Credit