A few weeks back, we did a post listing the downgrade options for Chase cards. This week, I am listing the downgrade options for Amex cards and I plan to slowly run additional posts going through all banks and their downgrade options.
A little background
Let’s take a step back and explain for a minute what it means to downgrade a card and why someone should want to do it.
Assume you applied for a credit card with a high annual fee but later on don’t want to pay the annual fee. However, you are afraid to close the card for fear that it will affect your credit score. Are you stuck? No! This is where downgrades come into play. Downgrading a card would mean changing the credit card product to a different card product offered by the same bank, but a product which has a lower annual fee, or even no annual fee. This enables you to keep the card open but saves you from paying a high annual fee for a luxury credit card you no longer need.
Downgrading a card will not change any information on your credit report. Your credit history, payment history will stay the same. It is just an internal product change done on the bank’s end.
Downgrade rules for Amex cards
- You can only product change a card within the same card family or brand. You can also only product change personal cards to personal cards and business cards to business cards.
- Do not downgrade an Amex Card before the first 12 months of when you opened the credit card. This is a very common reason to get blacklisted by Amex.
- If you close your card within 30 days of when the statement prints of which the annual fee was billed, then you will receive a full refund for the annual fee. If you close the card after 30 days then you will not receive any refund.
- If you downgrade the card you will receive a prorated annual fee refund which will be divided by the days left within the cardmember year (when downgrading it doesn’t make a difference if you do it before 30 days or after you always get a prorated refund). But please note, you need to ask the representative to put in a prorated annual fee refund request, and, results can sometimes vary by each individual account.
- If you downgrade an Amex card you will not lose any points. But all the benefits, perks, and credits, will immediately reflect the new card you downgraded to.
- Amex allows you to have multiple of the same card. You can downgrade a card even if you ready have the same card.
- Amex welcome bonuses are only available for cardmembers who never had the same card product previously (even if you never received the welcome bonus). If you downgrade a card to another Amex card you will lose the ability to later earn a welcome bonus on that same card product.
Downgrade option for Amex cards
Let’s go through the list of Amex cards and the downgrade options for each card.
The Amex No Preset Limit* Card Family, Platinum, Gold, Green
The Amex No Preset Limit* personal family of cards include the Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, and Amex green. Any card can be downgraded or upgraded to any personal card within this family (not to business cards though).
Amex Green Consumer ($150)
Amex Gold Consumer ($250)
Amex Platinum Consumer ($550)
The No Preset Limit* family of business cards have the same three options and can also be upgraded or downgraded to any card within the business Family
Amex Business Green ($95)
Amex Business Gold ($295)
Amex Business Platinum ($595)
*No Preset Spending Limit means the spending limit is flexible. [In fact,] unlike a traditional [credit] card with a set limit, the amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.
Amex Everyday Preferred ($95)
Blue Cash Preferred ($95)
Amex Delta family
The Delta personal card family is a family of four cards. You can downgrade or upgrade any card within the Delta personal family (not to business cards though).
Delta Blue ($0)
Delta Gold ($99)
Delta Platinum ($250)
Delta Reserve ($550)
The Delta business family is a family of three cards. You can downgrade or upgrade any card within the Delta business card family (not to personal cards).
Delta Gold Business ($99)
Delta Platinum Business ($250)
Delta Reserve Business ($550)
The Hilton Card Family
The Hilton Personal card family is a family of three cards . Any Hilton personal card can be downgraded or upgraded to any card within the Hilton Personal card family (not to Hilton business cards).
Amex Hilton ($0)
Amex Hilton Surpass ($95)
Amex Hilton Aspire ($450)
There is only one Hilton business card which is the Amex Hilton Business card ($95). The card cannot be downgraded or upgraded.
The Amex Marriot Family
The Amex Marriott family only has one personal card, the Amex Marriott Brilliant card ($450), and only one business card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business ($125). Because one is personal and the other business, you cannot product change the two cards. There are no downgrade options for either card.
Amex Plum Business ($250)
The Amex Plum business card ($250), cannot be downgraded or upgraded to any other card.