50,000 American Express Platinum and American AAdvantage Signup Bonuses, and on Offering the Best Available Links

On Friday there was a “one day offer” of 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for a Platinum charge card, which comes with a $450 annual fee. (Offer expired)

Now I do think the Platinum American Express is worthwhile. I’m a huge fan of the card, and I do carry it, largely because it yields lounge access with Delta and American when traveling on those airlines same-day, US Airways lounge access any time, and a Priority Pass Select membership with free lounge visits for one person that’s useful internationally and in the US to access Alaska Airlines lounges.

They reimburse up to $200 annually in airline fees with an airline that you designate for the year, it’s supposed to be for checked bag fees, onboard food purchases, change fees and the like. But in practice folks seem able to get just about anything under $50 reimbursed, I saw a recent report on purchasing American’s 500 mile upgrade certificates online, one at a time, and successfully getting reimbursed for instance. They also reimburse the $100 charge for Global Entry.

Certainly the $450 fee pays for itself for business travelers, at least those who aren’t almost exclusively United flyers — since it doesn’t provide United lounge access, and since United is giving its top tier elites Global Entry reimbursement.

I did mention a first year free American Express Platinum offer for Ameriprise customers on Friday. But I didn’t mention the 50,000 bonus point one-day offer. Because it didn’t actually seem that good – it required $10,000 in spend within three months.

My first reaction was that I’d rather pay a $475 fee for the Mercedez-Benz version of the card (so, $25 more) which comes with the same signup bonus but without the draconian spend requirement to get it (requires $1000 in spend within 3 months).

But 50,000 point offers do come along with some regularity. In fact, I stumbled upon a Milepoint thread this morning which contained a link to a 50,000 point offer which required only $3000 in spend within three months. Not a one day offer!

There are tons of credit card offers out there, they change all the time, and I’m not always perfect keeping up with them all. But I do my best to know about and share the best offers that are out there at a given time, and offer my perspective on whether it’s worth jumping on an offer or waiting for a better one to come along. I welcome comments and criticisms.

Yesterday I also saw someone blog about the bevy of new benefits with the American Airlines co-branded credit cards and linked to the ‘official’ 30,000 point offer, slammed the “unofficial’ links that have been providing 50,000 miles as a signup bonus.

Here’s the link for the Citi Visa and here’s the link for the Citi Amex both of which have been providing 50,000 American Airlines miles, no fee the first year, after spending $3,000 within 4 months.

In fairness to those promoting the 30,000 point signup bonuses, these application pages for the more generous offers don’t detail those offers, so you can’t take a screenshot, if the miles don’t post you don’t have great proof to argue your case (though I haven’t seen verified failures of these offers, and it’s hard to imagine not getting the ‘standard’ signup bonus in any case). I’d absolutely go for the 50,000 point offers, not the 30,000 point ones, at least while those links are still live.

(None of the credit card application links in this post offer any sort of referral credit to me, just as the credit card posts over the past several days — such as for the American Express Platinum, Virgin Atlantic card, and Alaska Airlines card do not, either. They’ve just struck me as good offers.)

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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  1. I saw that blog that recommended the 30k AA and panned the unofficial links for 50k, too. Unfortunately that is just the subtle effect of commercial interest impacting their advice. I couldn’t see how the 30k links could be better than the 50k links you’ve provided, especially when there’s a thread on ft with over a hundred posts establishing that the 50k links still work. Kudos for staying straight on this one.

  2. I think you got it mixed up. The “one day offer” was for a Business Platinum Card not for a personal card. It is rarer to see the Business Platinum with 50k since they usually either come with no points or 25k.

  3. @Jimmy yes it was for business platinum, and someone with a Platinum card already might want the business one with a good bonus. But most folks will choose one or the other card, and so a “Platinum” card with 50k bonus but $10k spend didn’t excite me since Amex Platinums with 50k bonuses for lesser spend are regularly available.

    Nonetheless, a fair point, I was trying to explain my own thinking and best available offers, but there are folks that probably would have wanted a business version of the card under that offer.

  4. @Mike if you’re going to buy a lounge membership anyway then the new United Club card is great because it bundles lounge access and gives 1.5 miles per dollar on all spend

  5. @TL I’ve written about how to get it as well — however I would argue that a United Elite really doesn’t benefit much from using this card at all, beyond the signup bonus. Chase Sapphire Preferred is better at earning United miles than the Explorer card is.

    However, the United Club card is a good deal for really heavy spenders or for United regulars who purchase lounge access given the 1.5 miles per dollar on all spend.

    You need either to be a heavy spend person or purchase lounge access to make the card’s annual fee make sense, however.

  6. @Gary and @TL: Thanks for the responses! I’m aware of those cards, and will probably get them both eventually. What I’m really dreaming of is a card like the Amex Plat card, but slanted to United. Maybe someday . . .

  7. I was recently tempted to sign up for the Amex Platinum. You have to use Amex travel services if you want many of the benefits, but my employer uses a different travel agency. Also, other benefits like the car insurance are only provided for additional fees. Is the card worthwhile given its high annual fee?

  8. Gary any chance if you upgrade a Premier rewards to platinum, do you spend collect the 25 or 50K bonus then downgrade again. I really like the 3, 2, 1 mile earning of the premier rewards, and 15K miles each year after $30K spend, and that additional cards are fee free. But I really don’t want to lose out on the bonus miles. And I don’t like $175 fee for each additional card since my wife and daughter each have a card, it would cost me $450 plus $175 each for the additional cards.

  9. I, too, saw the blogger who suggested the 50k links might be unreliable (despite the thousands of people who’ve gotten them with no problem). There was no link to the FT thread showing how many people have gotten them. It really turned me off to that blog. I already knew it to be one of the more, shall we say, commercial blogs, but that took the cake. If I’m ever going to apply with an affiliate link, I’m coming here or to MommyPoints, only. You and MP may be getting quite a lot of revenue and bonus miles from your links, but at least I feel like you two “keep it honest” a bit more.

  10. Ha! Didn’t realize there was another “TL” posting several comments on this same post! I’m a different TL and made only the one post directly before above.

  11. FWIW, I applied on the 50K Citi AAdvantage link myself 2 weeks ago. Got the card last week, and the CSR verified I would receive 50K miles when I met the spend requirements without my even prompting them. Of course, they haven’t posted yet, but I have every reason to believe they will when I meet the spending minimums.

  12. Yeah I was surprised, and sad to see him hawking the standard 30K Citi offer – there’s just no good reason for that given the evidence. Used to see more objective advice from there but I guess selling the joint to IB changes things.

  13. I really appreciate when you disclose what offers you do not get a referral bonus from… Some of my other favorite bloggers do not readily disclose. It’s not that I mind giving credit to referrals,,, I just don’t like when it’s not disclosed, and pushed as the gospel truth best card,,, I really enjoy your blog, and think you do one of the best jobs sifting through relevant information.

  14. just want to say that the link that you shared here will give me 50K sign up bonus points after 3K spend in 4months. just confirmed it earlier with citi. THANK YOU!

  15. You can get 50K on Amex Plat with $3K spend in 3 months if you are referred by an existing cardmember. It would be inappropriate for me to post my own referral link here, since it’s not my blog, but if you can find someone with a Plat card, you can get it – the referrer gets 5K points.

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