New Metal Amex Platinum + Earning Changes
February 25th, 2019
After much anticipation and a whole lot of generated buzz, American Express has finally revealed the new Platinum card.
The first thing you may have noticed is that the Platinum card has undergone a little bit of a makeover. Can you tell what it is?
Look closely…it’s metal!
Now, this isn’t the first metal card we’ve seen in the Canadian market but for the majority of us, it’s the only one that is easily attainable. (You can Google “metal cards in Canada to see the full lineup if you wish)
Beyond the added weight to your wallet, let’s take a quick look at the other key changes for the Platinum Card, shall we?
– Annual Fee $699 ($499 with travel credit) = No Change!
– Annual $200 Travel Credit = No Change!
– Welcome Bonus 60K after $5,000 Min Spend = No Change!
– Referral Bonus 15K = No Change!
– Earn Rate of 1.5 MR per dollar = Change! Now earn 3x Dining, 2x Travel, 1x Everything else.
Amex announced the coming changes back on February 7th when they posted a little teaser on their Instagram page.
They also enlisted the help of some influencers as well to further generate interest in the new swanky design.
I don’t know about you but the first question that popped into my head when I saw these promos was, “I really hope we get the luggage welcome package too!”
Alas, Amex quickly pointed out that the welcome package would not include the luggage piece. Sigh.
First Metal Card in Canada!
Okay so this isn’t the first metal card we’ve seen in Canada. There have been about 2 or 3 others before this but to be honest, the requirements for obtaining those cards is fairly unrealistic for most people.
Case in point, if you wanted to get your hands on the Amex Centurion Card, which was probably the first metal card in Canada, you would need to have some seriously deep pockets and not to mention you can only get this card if you are invited from Amex!
People who are able to get this card spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and are likely to be your entrepreneurs as well as high profile athletes and actors/actresses.
In terms of Amex issued cards, this is the first that can easily be attained by the average Joe. The US Amex card market has had a metal version of not only their Platinum Card, Business Platinum card and more recently their revamped Premier Rewards Gold Card.
It’s metal, so what? Well, I don’t know about you, but having a metal card in your arsenal just feels luxurious and is bound to spark conversation when you hand it off to pay for something.
New Earn Rates
Prior to the change, using your Amex Platinum generated a straight 1.25x MR per dollar spent regardless of how you used it. Now, Amex has introduced some bonus categories into the mix and they are as follows:
- 3x MR per dollar spent on eligible Dining in Canada
- 2x MR per dollar spend on eligible Travel
- 1x MR per dollar on Everything else
One thing to note with the 3x MR for eligible dining is that it only covers restaurants. It doesn’t include purchases for groceries, food delivery services like Uber eats, etc or even meal boxes.
If you really think about it, it makes sense, especially for the target market Amex is going after with the Platinum Card. Chances are if you hold this card, in the eyes on Amex you’re “likely” to be one who travels often, appreciates free lounge visits and while traveling they expect that you’ll be eating out daily and not cooking for yourself.
I’ve jokingly mentioned this before but people who use the Platinum card, probably don’t do groceries .
The 2x MR for eligible travel includes your typical expenses such as, flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, etc.
For everything else, you’ll earn 1x MR per dollar.
The good news is that we can all sleep a little bit better at night knowing that there were no huge fundamental changes in the Platinum Card. With the recent removal of the 2nd year travel credit, a lot of us were expecting a much bigger devaluation – increased annual fee, lower welcome bonus, etc.
With that said, depending on your spending habits, this new 3-2-1x earning bonus may or may not work in your favour. One thing to note is that this earning model closely resembles that of the Cobalt card with its 5-2-1x earning.
The big question to ask is: What do you value more – MR-Select points which can’t be transferred to airline partners or MR which can be?
Personally, I think the revamp is a little weak, since you can earn more points with the Cobalt for dining and that also includes groceries and with the 2x bonus you get on travel, that already exists with the Amex Gold card.
What are your thoughts on the new Amex Platinum card?