When it comes to premium credit cards, few can rival the American Express Platinum Card even with its hefty $695 annual fee. This is because the American Express Platinum Card offers the highest sign-up bonus in the credit card market and has one of the most enticing travel benefits. It's a card you should plan to get if you travel at least once a year but it can also be great as a short-term card (just to get the bonus).
The reason American Express can offer such a high bonus is because travel is a highly incentivized industry, which is why the largest sign-up bonuses are tied to travel cards. The idea is that people will spend more when they travel, so incentivizing travel gives companies a chance to get more business. If travel is in your future plans, then this is a great pick-up.
Amex Platinum Sign-Up Bonus
As of now, the highest bonus offer for the Amex Platinum card is 150,000 Membership Rewards points after spending a specific amount within the first select number of months of card membership. Depending on how you use them, their worth can vary, but it's not uncommon to value them at around 1 to 1.5 cents per point, making this bonus potentially worth $1,500 to $2,250 or more. When you hit the qualifying spend for the sign-up bonus, it will typically take 8-12 weeks to post on your account.
What Can I Use Membership Rewards Points On
The most common use for Membership Rewards points is for travel. It's recommended you use the points for the following to get the best default value for the points:
You can redeem the Membership Rewards points when you book flights, hotel stays, or car rentals using the Amex Travel website. There is no minimum requirement for using points so you can use points to cover part of the expense or all of the expense.
American Express has an impressive list of transfer partners, including airlines and hotels. Instead of booking through Amex Travel, you can transfer your points to these partners, and potentially get better value out of the points. For point transfers, you typically want to look for ratios > 1 (e.g. 2 membership reward points for 3 hotel points is a decent trade-off since it gives you 1.5 hotel points per membership reward point) and transfer to partners that value the points fairly.
As with most credit cards, the American Express Platinum Card is crafted to deliver value beyond its annual fee of $695. Even without factoring in the sign-up bonus and credit card rewards (5X points on flights and prepaid hotel bookings), cardholders can capitalize on benefits to justify the cost. Some of the best benefits offered by the card include:
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Cardholders receive up to $200 in annual airline fee credits, which can be used for incidental fees like checked baggage, in-flight refreshments, and more. This credit is applicable to your preferred airline which you select to enable this benefit (on renewal, it remains the same but you can call support to change it if it's been over a year since the last change).
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Cardholders can enjoy up to $20 in monthly statement credits when they use their card for eligible streaming and digital media services. Over the course of a year, this adds up to $240 in potential savings.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Platinum Card members can receive up to $200 in annual credits for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties through American Express Travel. This is on top of the benefits you get from booking a hotel from the Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties which includes room upgrade upon arrival, daily breakfast for two, experience credit (~$100), etc.
- $200 Uber Cash: Cardholders receive up to $200 in Uber Cash annually, which can be used for rides and Uber Eats orders in the United States. When you enroll your American Express Platinum Card on Uber, you will get $15 every month and an extra $20 in December (totaling $200).
- $189 Clear Plus Credit: The American Express Platinum Card provides up to $189 in annual statement credits for a Clear Plus membership, which helps expedite security screening at select airports and venues.
- Free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck: Cardholders are eligible for reimbursement for the application fee for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, which can save you up to $100. These programs expedite customs and security clearance for international and domestic travelers, respectively.
- Hotel Status: Cardholders enjoy complimentary elite status in hotel loyalty programs, including Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite. These statuses come with benefits like room upgrades, late check-outs, and bonus points on stays.
Is the Amex Platinum Card Right for You?
While the Amex Platinum Card's sign-up bonus is impressive, it's important to consider whether this card aligns with your lifestyle and spending habits. Here are some factors to weigh:
- Annual Fee: The Amex Platinum Card has a significant annual fee ($695). However, the sign-up bonus and ongoing benefits can often outweigh this cost if you fully utilize them.
- Travel Habits: If you're a frequent traveler who values premium experiences, such as airport lounges and luxury hotels, the Platinum Card can be an excellent fit.
- Spending Patterns: To earn the sign-up bonus, you'll need to meet the minimum spending requirement within the specified timeframe. Make sure this aligns with your regular spending habits. A good strategy is snagging the card when you know you have a large purchase or expense coming up (e.g. tax payments is a common strategy to hit the qualifying spend but keep in mind about any credit card fees).
The Amex Platinum Card's sign-up bonus offers a substantial number of Membership Rewards points that can be leveraged for travel, statement credits, and more. However, it's essential to assess whether the card's annual fee and benefits align with your financial goals and lifestyle. If you're a frequent traveler who appreciates luxury and values the perks this card offers, the Amex Platinum Card can be a valuable addition to your wallet, helping you unlock a world of rewards and experiences. If you are interested in getting this card and want to support Pocket Finance Club, please use this referral link here. If you would rather snag the 150,000 offer then please stay tuned as I will share how to get the best offers for cards in my next post even if you aren't targeted.
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