Guide to earning bonus points with AMEX Local Champion

American Express is known for generous sign on offers for new cardholders – but if you already hold an Amex, there are a number of ways that you can earn bonus points, too!

We’ve previously written about the generous Amex ‘Refer a Friend’ program which can earn eligible cardholders up to 200,000 points per year. Now we’ll introduce you to American Express Local Champion – a fun way to earn an extra point per dollar at merchants where you regularly use your Amex.

What is AMEX Local Champion?

In a nutshell, Amex Local Champion is a ‘game’ which enables eligible, cardholders to earn an additional bonus point per $ spent at businesses where they shop most frequently.

Each calendar year, you can earn up to a cap of 10,000 points for each primary direct-issued Amex you hold.

To play Local Champion select up to 10 merchants you’d like to play at. Once you become the cardholder who makes the highest number of purchases at a nominated retailer in a 30 day period, you’ll be crowned ‘Local Champion’, earning an extra point per $1 spent each time you return – that is, until another Amex cardholder vying for the title dethrones you.

Which cards are eligible for AMEX Local Champion?

In order to play, you’ll need to be a primary cardholder of a card issued directly by American Express.

Supplementary cardholders are ineligible to take part, as are American Express business, corporate and government cards. Those holding David Jones and David Jones Platinum AMEX cards are also excluded.

The bonus point are accrued in the rewards program that your card usually earns points into, being American Express Membership Rewards, Qantas Frequent Flyer or Velocity Frequent Flyer.

How to register for AMEX Local Champion

Amex Local Champion can be accessed via the American Express mobile app. If you’ve not yet downloaded the app, you can do so here for iOS and here for Android.

Once you’ve logged in, simply open the app on your mobile device, select the ‘Membership’ option from the main menu and then select ‘Local Champion’ from the list of options.

You’ll be prompted to click through a quick introduction to the promotion, before you can select to register your card for Local Champion.

Once you’ve registered and accepted the Terms and Conditions, you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll be prompted to select merchants from a handy list of suggested businesses.

Suggested businesses are based on a number of factors, including your Amex shopping history and your geographical location (if you have Location Services enabled on your device).

A tally below each business advises you on how many transactions you need to complete before being crowned Local Champion.

The number of transactions required will vary on the popularity of the businesses – for example, being crowned Amex Local Champion at a popular and busy retailer might require a very large number transactions, as there are likely to be more Amex cardholders vying for the title.

Conversely, smaller retailers that don’t process many Amex transactions may only require you to make only one or two transactions in order to qualify.

To identify businesses nearby that only require one transaction to become Local Champion, you can use the ‘Quick Win’ filter.

Once you select from the suggested businesses, click ‘confirm’ to be taken to the main Local Champion screen. Here, you can track your progress, with your nominated list of merchants and a tally of the number of points earned over the past 30 days displayed:

How to maximise points earn from AMEX Local Champion

American Express Local Champion is based on how often you spend at a specific business, rather than how much you spend on each transaction, so the key is to target retailers that you visit frequently.

For example, at your local café, you might be able to easily obtain the Local Champion crown simply by buying your daily coffee with your Amex, rather than pulling out cash.

For busy and popular retailers where competition for the Local Champion crown can be high, consider making lots of small, legitimate purchases frequently. Then, when you’ve obtained Local Champion status, you can make that big purchase you’ve been thinking about for a while, getting credited with an extra bonus point per $1.

Unlock up to 4 points per $1 spend on selected cards

American Express cards offer some of the highest points earning rates available.

As an example, the American Express Platinum Edge earns 3 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at major supermarkets and petrol stations.

By combining this top everyday earning rate successfully with Local Champion, you could potentially earn 4 points per $1 spent at eligible merchants!

Other important things to know

You can earn up to 10,000 bonus points each calendar year with American Express Local Champion. Once you’ve reached your points cap for the year, you’ll need to wait until January 1 of the following year to start earning points again with Local Champion.

Transactions won’t count towards your tally for a particular business until after you’ve added it to your Amex Local Champion list – so remember that you won’t start earning bonus points until you’ve been crowned Local Champion.

You can expect your Local Champion bonus points to hit your account within a few days of your qualifying purchase being processed.

Summing up

Like Shop Small, American Express Local Champion is one of the many ways that Amex rewards existing cardholders with bonus points. It’s a great way to boost your Amex points haul steadily, simply by spending where you normally would, and it only takes a few minutes to register.

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