American Express Platinum Card

**Update – August 7th, 2018 Amex has increased the Minimum Spend from $3,000 to $5,000.  Updated below**

The Platinum Card is considered to be the crème de la crème in the Amex MR Family.  Although its Welcome Bonus and Referral power aren’t as quite as large as the Business Platinum Card, the bells and whistles of this card definitely make it shine. Now, I’ll have to warn you, the Annual Fee is a little, shall we say, “Grandeur” but don’t let that deter you.  You’ll see what I mean in a few.   

 

Sneak Peak: 

 Welcome Bonus: up to 60,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $3,000 $5,000 (as of August 7th 2018) within the first 3 months. 

Annual Fee: $699 (No annual fee waiver) 

Referral Power: 15,000 MR Points per successfully approved referral to any MR earning card (up to a Max. 225,000 MR Points/Calendar Year) 

Earning Power: 1.25 MR per dollar on everything.  

 

Bells & Whistles:

The Platinum Card offers an extremely attractive Welcome Bonus of 60,000 Membership Reward Points when you apply through a referral.  You’ll earn 60,000 MR Points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.  If you don’t apply through a referral link, then the Amex Welcome Bonus offer is only 50,000 MR Points. **In the recent past, the Platinum Card offered, albeit briefly, a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 MR points.  Will it return? Who knows!  The Platinum Card also offers 15,000 MR Points for referrals within the Amex MR Family which is nothing to complain about! 

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? I know what you’re thinking…”Steve! Are you crazy?? $699 for a credit card? And I’m only getting 60,000 MR Points? I’m paying over $0.01 for these points!” I get it, trust me! On the surface it seems like a huge outlay. But what if I told you that we could get that Annual Fee down a bit…what if I told you that we could knock $200 off that price…or even $400, effectively making the annual fee for the low low price of $299 (I sound like an infomercial).  Now do I have your attention? Here’s the deal.  The Platinum Card comes with a $200 travel credit that can be used once per calendar year, effectively reducing your Annual Fee to the aforementioned $499.  Now, if you time your sign-up strategically, and you happen to hold the card into the new year, you can use the $200 credit again.  This is how we are able to lower the Annual Fee to $299. 

Let’s take a closer look.  Let’s say you apply for your card in March 2018, you’ll be able to use your $200 travel credit for 2018 immedietly.   Then, once 2019 rolls around, you’ll receive another $200 travel credit.  Just make sure you cancel your card before March 2019 to avoid being hit with the Annual Fee. 

 

Earning Power on the Platinum Card is 1.25 MR points per dollar spent on anything. Similar to the Business Platinum Card, it’s great to use this card in combination with the Gold rewards card when you’re not earning 2 MR points per dollar. 

 

Similar to the Business Platinum Card, this card offers a plethora of travel perks including Gold Elite status with Starwood Preferred Guest as well as Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors and Club Carlson.   

You’ll also have access to airport lounges around the world including Centurian Lounge for yourself, your spouse as well as two children under the age of 21, or one travel companion.  You’ll also receive a complimentary membership to the Priority Pass network of lounges as well as an entry waiver ($27 USD value) for yourself as well a guest.  

Lastly, the card also offers perks at Toronto Pearson Airport such as discounted parking and a valet parking fee waiver, and access to the priority security lane.  Also, with your Platinum card, you’ll have Platinum Concierge Service at your fingertips.  Need a table at a local restaurant or perhaps tickets to an event? They can certainly help.  Keep in mind though that they are not miracle workers and can’t get you backstage access to a sold out show or a special chef’s table in front of the kitchen, but if they are able to help out in anyway, they will.  Last but not least, you’ll have access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. This program consists of premium hotels and resorts worldwide which you’ll have special rates to as well as special perks including (if available), room upgrades, free daily breakfast for two guests, as well as property specific gifts like spa/dining credits, or even waived greens fee on the golf course.    

 

Travel Coverages:

For Travel Expenses charged to your card you will obtain the following: 

 

Travel Accident Insurance: up to $500,000  

Emergency Medical Insurance: Maximum of $5,000,000 per insured person. 

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Baggage Insurance 

You’ll also have coverage for trip interruption, flight delay, hotel burglary and car rental theft and damage. 

Also included: 

Trip Cancellation insurance: up to $2,500 per insured person to a maximum coverage of $5,000 for all insured persons combined when you cancel a trip for a covered reason. 

Baggage Delay Insurance: up to $1,000 coverage (aggregate max. with Flight Delay Insurance) for all reasonable and necessary emergency purchases within 4 days if your baggage is delayed by 6 or more hours. 

 

This benefit is huge and essential for times where you may have multiple stops along your journey.  On a trip to Hawaii a few years back, a few of our bags were “misplaced” in transit and didn’t arrive to our resort until the next day.  Unfortunately we didn’t have this coverage at the time so we were out of luck of getting any compensation. 

Wrap Up: 

Make no mistake, the Platinum Card is definitely intimidating! With its very generous welcome bonus, referral power and [almost] endless supply of travel-related benefits and perks, getting this card seems a little less daunting.  The $200 yearly travel credit can definitely help offset the Annual Fee, especially if you get the opportunity to use it twice.  And as always, you don’t need to keep the card past the first year anyway.

WanderingOnPoints.com/apply/Amex_Platinum

Applying for the Platinum card will get you 60,000 MR Points.  As always, I do appreciate you guys/gals visiting the site and checking things out.  If you enjoy your time here and find my posts to be valuable, I’d appreciate it if you applied through my link.

If you have any questions, you know the drill – either shoot me an comment below or an email!

~Keep Wandering

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