Question: Can I Keep My Membership Rewards Points if I Close My Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card?

In response to my post a couple of days ago about closing a bunch of credit cards, I’ve had a few people ask me this question: If I close my Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, is there a no fee card I can open so I can keep my Membership Rewards points?

This isn’t new info, but Membership Rewards is confusing enough that I thought it would be helpful to recap here:

– If you have 1 Amex card that earns Membership Rewards (Green, Gold, Platinum, Centurion) and you close that card, you will lose those points.

– HOWEVER, you can keep those points if you open a no annual fee American Express Blue card.

– HOWEVER (again), those are Membership Rewards Express points, meaning you CANNOT transfer them to airlines or hotels (which, for many people, defeats the primary benefit of Membership Rewards)

– The GOOD NEWS: Having the Blue card allows you to park those MR points in a safe place when you cancel a card. When you open another Amex card at a later date that earns regular MR points (such as the Green, Gold, Platinum, or Centurion), those MR Express points become full MR points once again.

– If you absolutely want to close, say, the Amex PRG card to save the $175 annual fee, but you do want to keep the full MR points, the Green card is $95 a year and is the cheapest full MR card.

– Unfortunately, the Amex Starwood card DOES NOT have anything to do with the Membership Rewards program. If that’s your only remaining Amex card, it will not help you keep the MR points.

(Did that help or make it more confusing?)


  1. I actually called to cancel a few days ago, and they offered me a retention bonus of 100 bucks — 50 immediately, and 50 if i spent 500 dollars within 30 days (or maybe 60? I can’t remember). So it never hurts to ask!

  2. If I have the PRG Business card, I can cancel the regular PRG and keep my MR points, correct?


  3. What about SPG points? You won’t lose them if you cancel your account-linked card will you? (thinking seriously of canceling my card. if they’d just start offering some level of a free night cert with your annual fee renewal like Marriott and Priority I could justify the fee.)

  4. Hey, thanks for that post !

    Do you thins I can > apply for platinum > receive rewards > redeem to BA air miles, let’s say > cancel card and keep my miles (which are not anymore under AMEX’s control but BA)?