Update 11:22am Eastern: Offer appears to be dead. Congratulations to everyone that took part.
All over the blogosphere there’s talk of the 100,000 mile signup bonus for the American Express Platinum card after $3000 spend within 3 months.
Hugely worthwhile in my opinion, despite the $450 fee.
Key Benefits of the Card
This is usually a card I discuss in the category of “a great product to get for the benefits, not to put any spending on.”
Now it fits the category of cards worth havng and keeping for benefits, and also worth getting for the signup bonus. And indeed the signup bonus is worth well more than the annual fee the first year. But onto the value of the points in a moment.
The card comes with lounge access:
- Delta Skyclubs when flying Delta same-day
- American AAdmiral’s Club when flying American same-day (ending March 2014)
- US Airways Clubs any time, regardless of whom you are flying (ending March 2014)
- Priority Pass Select which gets you into innumerable lounges around the world and in the US provides access to Alaska Airlines lounges.
Other key benefits include:
- $200 airline fee credit, you choose one airline a year and can get credits up to $200 on that airline during the calendar year.
- reimbursemnet of the $100 fee for Global Entry.
- Access to American Express’ ‘Fine Hotels and Resorts’ program which is similar in many ways to booking through a Virtuoso travel agent (benefits such as late checkout, upgrades, breakfast, and another benefit during the stay).
As I say, the benefits of the card are worth the fee especially for folks who want lounge access with more than one airline as long as that airline isn’t United.
The Value of the Points
Worst case scenario is the points are worth a penny apiece towards travel, so $1000 obviously trumps the $450 fee.
But the real value in Membership Rewards points is that they are transferrable to airline mileage programs in all three alliances (plus some other non-alliance airlines).
While most transfer partners do add fuel surcharges to awards where the equivalent paid ticket would include such charges, there are also often transfer bonuses.
My favorite partners are:
- Singapore Airlines – Star Alliance one-way awards and tons of award space in premium cabins on Singapore Airlines
- Delta – yes, Delta, because they do have some useful partners and on most awards at least originating in the US don’t have those exorbitant charges
- British Airways – for the short haul non-stop awards which are cheap, and the regular transfer bonuses (currently 30% through January 15)
But I also use Air France KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada’s Aeroplan, All Nippon, and even occasionally Virgin Atlantic (since I use Virgin as my primary Avis 1-day rental mileage credit for the minimum 1000 miles and I can use this to top off).
Who Shouldn’t Get This Card?
In addition to the standard advice about not getting cards when you don’t pay them off every month, this one has some specific exclusions.
The card is not open to anyone that has “had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days.”
I don’t know how long this one will be around, guess is not long at all. It’s not my link, I would definitely take screen shots, presumably CreditCards.com whose link it seems to be earns something off of the applications.