American Express Platinum Edge vs Explorer - how many velocity points do you get per dollar spend?

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I don’t mind paying an annual fee of $395 compared to $195 as I am rewarded for this spend with a travel voucher for the same value. What I want to understand is which card is going to get me the most velocity points per dollar? I’m confused as the write up seems to suggest you get more with the Platinum edge card but in the table it says you only get 1.5 points per $ (despite earning 2-3 points per dollar?!? and them being converted 1:1). Whereas with the Explorer you earn 2 membership points for each dollar but they are converted 4:1.. yet you get the same number of velocity points. What am I missing? It seems that given the Explorer can allows you to earn points on ALL purchases it’s the better option, but I want to be sure I’m understanding everything properly before I proceed.

Here is the information discussed on the website:

Platinum Edge
Earnings:
3 points per $ on spend at Supermarkets, 2 points per $ at petrol stations, and 1 point per $ everywhere else excluding utilities and the ATO” (American Express Membership Rewards)

Conversion
“This card earns Ascent points, which means they transfer to most frequent flyer partners at a ratio of 1:1. They are more generous than Gateway points, which transfer at 4:3. Note that Ascent points are different to Ascent Premium points, which are earned through the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum Charge cards and offer transfers to Qantas – this card doesn’t.”

Frequent Flyer / Hotel Program Points earned from spend
Velocity Points 1.5 points / $
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles 1.5 mile / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1.5 mile / $
Starwood Preferred Guest 1 Starpoint / $

Explorer

Earnings
2 Membership Rewards points earned per $ spent. Transfers to most frequent flyer programs at 4 points = 3 frequent flyer points (gateway points)

Conversion
Frequent Flyer / Hotel Program Points earned from spend
Velocity Points 1.5 points / $
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles 1.5 mile / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1.5 mile / $
Starwood Preferred Guest 1 Starpoint / $

  • As far as which card will earn you the most Velocity points……….you need both. If it helps here is my Amex strategy. Note that I don’t use Amex for Velocity points earn. You may find that in terms of sign up bonus and benefits the Amex Velocity card might be worth considering.

    Amex Explorer – I applied for this first to take advantage of the signup points offer.
    * Earn rate 2 points per dollar. Conversion rate 4 Amex Gateway points = 3 Velocity points. Effectively 1.5 points per dollar as stated.
    * I use this everywhere that accepts Amex and is not a major supermarket or a petrol station.

    Amex Platinum Edge – Typically no signup bonus or a low offer, hence better to get this one after getting the bonus on your first card.
    * Earn rate at major supermarkets 3 points per dollar
    * Earn rate at major petrol stations 2 points per dollar
    * Earn rate everywhere else 1 point per dollar
    * Conversion rate to velocity points will be 1 to 1. So you are getting up to 3 points per dollar depending on where you spend.
    * I use this only at major supermarkets and petrol stations. When practical I buy gift vouchers from major supermarkets for purchasing goods at other retailers to take advantage of 3 points per dollar.

    Depending on your spending habits, you may find if you have either of the cards you end up with a similar earn overall. Unless you frequently use the platinum edge to make large purchases or gift cards, which would probably push it ahead. So the best strategy is to have both. But if you only want a single card, I’m afraid its time to crack open a spreadsheet and start keeping track of where you spend to work out which card would come out on top for you. Getting a good sign up bonus would be a big factor.

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I’m in the same camp as “both” as well.

You can also try and ring amex to get the points programs linked, some people are still having success with linking even recently.

Linking gets you 2ppd via the explorer but on the ascent program 😉

 

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