Amex Increases Platinum Card Signup Bonus By 50%, Adds New Card Benefits

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express will now let you earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of cardmembership — this publicly available offer increasing from 40,000 points.

This coincides with the launch of several new card benefits – Uber credits, free authorized user Gold cards, increased earning on Amex Travel hotel bookings, and a new metal card design.

Long-standing Benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the card with the best benefits. The value proposition here is airline lounges and elite status.

You get access to American Express Centurion lounges. (Here’s the Las Vegas lounge, the New York LaGuardia lounge and Dallas. There are lounges in Miami, Houston, San Francisco, and Seattle.)


Complimentary Exhale Spa – Miami Centurion Lounge

You get access to Delta lounges when flying that airline same day (though guests will cost $29). You get a Priority Pass Select card that includes access to over 40 lounges in the U.S. and 1000 worldwide.

You can designate one airline on which you’ll receive a $200 fee credit for the year (in my experience, even though this isn’t how the terms and conditions say it’s supposed to work, small denomination American Airlines electronic gift cards have been reimbursed to me).

The Platinum American Express also reimburses the $100 application fee for Global Entry or the fee for TSA PreCheck, comes with Gold status in Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton HHonors Gold, and National Car Rental Executive status, plus unlimited Boingo wireless internet.

And the The Platinum Card® from American Express added earning 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly from airlines.

New Metal Card

They’ve redesigned the card and it’s metal:

New cards will be metal. I’ve called to have my Platinum card replaced with a new metal one.

$200 Annual Uber Credits

Platinum cardholders will receive up to $200 in annual Uber credits for rides within the United States — $15 in Uber credit per month (to be used in that month), with an additional $20 bonus in December — when they add their American Express Platinum Card as a payment method to the Uber app.

You don’t have to pay for your Uber trips with the Platinum card, just add it to your Uber account.

You also get Uber VIP status (only available in certain markets), VIPs get the highest rated drivers, though VIPs have said it can mean a longer wait time for a car.

Increased Annual Fee

They’ve raised the annual fee from $450 to $550. I think the card was easily worth $450, would have been worth $550 for the benefits, but the addition of the Uber credits is a great deal. I’ll definitely be hanging onto my card and the increased $100 fee with the addition of up to $200 in Uber each year is easy.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Does the new American Express Platinum count as a “new product”? (Am I eligible for the bonus points if i’ve had the American Express Platinum card in the past?

  2. Any idea if they will be sending new cards out or do you only get one if you request it or the current card expires?

  3. Saw in another blog that the Platinum Mercedes Benz card fee, now $475 will not be increasing to $550. What have you heard?

  4. I hadn’t heard of the Hong Kong Centurion Lounge that is slated to open this year, I wonder how crowded it will be 🙂

  5. I don’t use Uber except in February when I am in SF, and occasionally in Chicago or New York. I’d rather not pay another $100 for that. I’m thinking of cancelling. It’s ridiculous to charge so much for perceived benefits, especially when they have so many strings. I get the feeling Amex is hoping you won’t use the benefits (like the airline credit). Who knows what airline I’ll be using? It’s ridiculous.

    I am becoming very fond of my Sapphire Reserve card.

    Meh.

  6. I think the Amex Platinum’s most glaring weakness is the travel credit. The CSR not only has a 50% higher nominal credit, but it’s amazing, effortless, and automatic. Whether you’re buying a flight, booking a hotel, riding the subway, or paying for tolls, the CSR automatically credits the travel expense up to $300. That’s the way a travel credit SHOULD work.

    The Amex Platinum’s travel credit is a joke by comparison. A meager $200 on one airline’s incidentals. Sure, there’s the gift card loophole that seems to be open for now, but it’s a shadow of the CSR’s travel credit. Even if Amex offered $300 travel credit, the CSR would still easily be a better value.

    So with a clearly inferior travel credit in hand, what does the Platinum offer to compete with the CSR? $200 in Uber credits (useful, though structured in a way to make them hard to use), moderately better lounge access (though $29 to bring a guest into Delta lounges is a joke), and hotel elite status you could get on different credit cards (the $75 Hilton Surpass gets you the same Hilton Gold status). Oh, and a metal card, whatever that’s worth. I want to like the Platinum, I really do, but I look at the CSR and then back at the Platinum and wonder if Amex is even really trying.

  7. As a holder of both the Amex Platinum and CSR, everything Two Cents said above rings true. The CSR’s $300 travel credit is easy as pie to utilize, while the Amex Plat makes cardholders contort themselves in odd ways in order to take advantage of the restrictive $200 credit. The main advantage of the Amex Plat is Centurion lounge access (and Delta lounge access for Delta passengers), but there are no Centurion lounges in the D.C. area, so that advantage is negated. The Uber credit is cleverly split into a modest monthly credit, meaning few cardholders will reap the full $200 nominal annual benefit. For Amex to raise the Platinum annual fee when it’s getting its tail kicked by CSR is surprising. If anything, Amex needs to lower the annual fee to around $350 (instead of raising to $550).

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