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- The Platinum Card® from American Express is out with a new increased offer to earn 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening.
- You'll also earn 10x American Express Membership Rewards points at US supermarkets and US gas stations in the first six months of account opening, on up to $15,000 in combined spending (then 1x).
- This is yet another customer-friendly improvement to respond to changes in consumer spending habits during the pandemic.
- You'll also receive tons of valuable benefits like airport lounge access, airline fee credits, and Uber credits that can help offset the annual fee cost.
- Read Business Insider's guide to the best premium credit cards.
Throughout the pandemic, banks have responded to the shift in consumer spending and travel habits by making adjustments to their credit card rewards programs. We've seen issuers introduce more ways to earn and redeem rewards and increase spending bonuses in categories like groceries and Amazon. And to stay relevant during quarantine, some issuers have updated their travel card benefits with perks like restaurant and grocery store credits.
In the same vein, Amex just launched an improved offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express — and it's not just a boost in the welcome bonus. Along with earning 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening, there's a quarantine-friendly twist: You'll also earn 10x American Express Membership Rewards points at US supermarkets and US gas stations in the first six months of account opening, on up to $15,000 in combined spending (then 1x).
If you're able to maximize these categories in the first six months, you'll earn a whopping 225,000 Amex points between the welcome bonus and 10x spending — an unprecedented deal for this card. But before you rush to apply, you'll want to consider other factors, including how the card's benefits fit with your lifestyle.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Because there are so many ways to use American Express Membership Rewards points, it's hard to put a firm value on this bonus. For example, Amex points worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for airfare through Amex Travel, but less if you book a hotel. Or you can get a much higher value when you transfer points to Amex's airline and hotel partners for award flights, especially international first- or business-class seats.
Travel website The Points Guy approximates the value of Amex points at 2 cents each, so using that estimate, you could potentially get $4,500 in value from the 225,000 points you'd earn from maximizing the welcome offer.
It's also worth checking to see if you can get a better offer by searching for the card online because some people appear to be targeted for a higher 100,000-point offer with the same spending requirement.
Beyond the 10x bonus categories, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5x points on airfare purchased through Amex Travel or directly with the airline (after January 1, 2021, on up to $500,000 in purchases each year), 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, and 1x points on all other purchases.
The Amex Platinum has some of the best benefits
The increased bonus on its own could be enough to justify the $550 annual fee (See Rates) if you know you'll redeem the points at a high value. You'll also want to look at the extensive benefits the Platinum Card is known for, as these can save you a ton of money and make keeping the card worth it in the long term.
But if you're in the military, you won't have to weigh the pros and cons, because Amex waives the annual fee for active-duty servicemembers.
Airport lounge access (Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta, and more)
Platinum Card members receive access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes:
- Amex's proprietary Centurion Lounges at major airports like New York-JFK, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Dallas, plus numerous International American Express Lounges
- Over 1,200 Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide
- Delta Sky Club lounges when you're flying Delta that day
- Escape, Plaza Premium, and Airspace lounges
Keep in mind that other premium credit cards also offer airport lounge access, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Citi Prestige® Card. So this benefit might not add value for you if you already get it from a different card or don't travel often.
Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits
The Platinum Card® from American Express can help take the sting out of ever-increasing airline fees. You'll receive up to $200 in annual statement credits on your selected airline when you use the card to pay for extras like checked bags, flight-change fees, inflight food and drinks, pet fees, and airport-lounge day passes.
If you can make the most of this perk, you'll offset nearly half of the annual fee cost; even better, because it resets every calendar year, it's possible to get the airline fee credit twice in the first year of opening the card.
Up to $200 in Uber credit each year
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll also receive up to $200 in statement credits toward Uber rides each year, but you can't use it all at once. Each month, you'll get a $15 credit added to your linked Uber account, with an extra $20 (for a total of $35) each December. This also works for UberEats, so it's handy if you like to order in.
You'll also get Uber VIP status, which isn't available everywhere and has limited perks, like only being connected to drivers with a 4.8-star rating or higher in participating cities.
Up to $100 in Saks credit each year
This perk can come in handy with the approaching holiday season. Platinum Card members receive up to $100 credit for purchases they make at Saks each year — $50 from January to June, and another $50 from July to December.
Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy elite status
One of the first things you should do when you get your new card is to activate your complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status. Your status won't be upgraded automatically — you'll need to enroll through your Amex account online or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Both levels of status can save you money and make your travels more comfortable when you stay at Hilton and Marriott hotels. Depending on the chain, you'll get perks like early check-in, late checkout, a better chance at room upgrades, and bonus points on top of what you'd normally earn. Hilton Gold status (which also comes with certain Hilton credit cards) is particularly valuable because it comes with free breakfast, which can translate into massive savings if you travel frequently.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Frequent flyers know that TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are among the most valuable tools you can have in your travel arsenal. You'll save a ton of time using special lanes at airport security, and you won't have to remove shoes, light coats, or laptop from its bag. Global Entry members can use expedited lanes when they arrive in the US from overseas, which speeds up the often-tedious customs and immigration process.
The registration fees for these programs are $85 (TSA PreCheck) or $100 (Global Entry), and you'll receive a credit in that amount when you pay with your Platinum Card every four years (the memberships last for five years). If you're trying to decide between the two programs, Global Entry is the far better deal, because it actually includes TSA PreCheck benefits.
Limited-time quarantine benefits
Amex has recognized most people aren't traveling as much, so it's added limited-time benefits to make up for not being able to use things like airline fee credits. Until the end of December, Platinum Card members can get up to $20 per month in credit for streaming services and wireless services when they use their card.
Other Amex cards to consider
If the high annual fee on the Platinum Card is a dealbreaker, or if you're not eligible for this offer because you've already had the card or don't meet other application restrictions, there are several other excellent Amex cards to consider.
Each of the cards below also earns Amex Membership Rewards points and comes with a solid bonus and spending categories:
- American Express® Gold Card — With less than half the annual fee (See Rates) of the Platinum Card, the Amex Gold Card is a terrific choice if you're looking for an increased welcome offer and bonus spending categories for everyday expenses. You'll receive 60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening, and earn 4x Membership Rewards points on the first $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each calendar year (then 1x), 4x points at restaurants worldwide, and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel. You'll also get handy benefits like dining and fee credits. Here's our full review of the Amex Gold for more details.
- American Express® Green Card — Another top pick for travelers, you'll earn 30,000 points after you spend at least $2,000 in your first 3 months of account opening and get 3x points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants worldwide, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Here's our Amex Green card review.
- Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express — This card is a popular choice for those who like earning bonus points on groceries and gas. You'll earn 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year (then 1x), 2x points at US gas stations, and 1x points on everything else. And if you make at least 30 transactions during a monthly billing cycle, you'll get a 50% bonus on all transactions that month. Read our Amex Everyday Preferred card review to find out more.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
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