2021.7 Update: We all know that starting from 7.1 AmEx will raise annual fee and add more credits. Now we can see the 100k offer (after logging in) and new credits on this card,
while the annual fee is not raised yet! [Update] The annual fee is now officially higher. This is a very good chance to get this card, get it fast! Reminder: various flavors of the platinum cards are the same series, therefore you can only get one per 90 days, so you need to choose only one from them if you decide to do it today.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points after spending $5,000 in first 3 months.
- We estimate that Membership Rewards (MR) are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 60k highest sign-up bonus is worth about $900!
- You can cash out your MR points into your Schwab brokerage account at a fixed ratio 1.25 cents/point! This the only card that can redeem your MR points towards cash in a decent ratio. You won’t receive tax forms for cashing out MR in this way.
- Schwab Appreciation Bonus: get $100 every year if you have $250k or more in Schwab; or get $200 every year if you have $1M or more in Schwab. This requirement is really high, so it’s only useful if you already have such an amount of assets invested somewhere.
- Earn 5x MR points for hotels booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Earn 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges such as checked bags per calendar year. Because this benefit resets according to calendar year instead of when you opened the card, you can actually get airline fee credit TWICE during the first year! Note that this benefit is not automatically enrolled, you need to enroll and specify an airline by clicking here.
- The airline credit is actually easy to get: although AmEx terms & conditions says airline gift cards are excluded, data points show that they actually can trigger the credit.
- $200 annual Uber credits ($15 per month, $35 in December). The credits will expire every month.
- New: $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit: That’s up to $50 in statement credits from January through June and up to $50 in statement credits from July through December. Both online and in store will work. No minimum purchase required. Enrollment required.
- Complimentary access to the following airport lounges:
- Priority Pass Select (PPS), you need to enroll it by yourself, and then a Priority Pass Select card will be mailed to you, free for up to 2 companions, note that AmEx issued PPS cards no longer give restaurant credit (they can only be used in PPS airport lounges);
- Centurion Lounges, free for up to 2 companions;
- The International American Express Lounges, companion policies vary by location, but at least 1 companion for free;
- Escape Lounges, free for up to 2 companions;
- Delta Sky Clubs, you need a Delta boarding pass on the same day, $29 per companion;
- Plaza Premium Lounges, free for up to 2 companions;
- Airspace Lounges, free for up to 2 companions.
- Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status. Use this link to activate.
- Complimentary Hilton Gold Status. Use this link to activate.
- Complimentary membership for Avis, Hertz, and National membership. Use this link to activate.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre application fee.
- Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR): if you book hotels through FHR, you can enjoy the benefits of elite members, such as: room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, etc. The benefits varies by hotels.
- Platinum Card Concierge service: for the busy or even lazy, you can use this service to book hotels or reserve restaurants and so on, the service is said to be very, very good.
- [New] Cell phone protection: get up to $800 per claim and 2 claims per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your eligible credit card. Deductible $50.
- With this credit card, you can get access to Amex Offers, which often offers very good discounts at some stores. In the past we have seen offers like: Spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; Spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
- No foreign transaction fee.
- Authorized users also have access to the airport lounges mentioned above, and each of them can get complimentary hotel status. The $200 annual air credit is shared between cardholder and authorized users.
- This card is relatively easy to get approved for because it is a Charge Card, not a Credit Card. Charge card means that you don’t have the option to pay only minimum payment, you have to pay your balance in full on the due dates. Note that Charge Card applications will also result in a Hard Pull, just like Credit Card applications.
- Charge Cards have no pre-set spending limit.
- $550 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year. Note that annual fee does not count towards the minimum spending requirement (and this is true for all credit cards)!
- For up to three Additional Platinum Cards, the total annual fee is $175.
Introduction to MR Points
- You can earn MR points with AmEx ED, AmEx EDP, AmEx Green, AmEx Gold, AmEx Platinum, AmEx Platinum for Schwab, AmEx Platinum for Morgan Stanley, AmEx Blue Business Plus, AmEx Business Green, AmEx Business Gold, AmEx Business Platinum, etc.
- The MR points you earn on different MR cards will automatically go to the same MR account.
- MR points never expire. You will not lose the MR points on one card if you close the account, but you will lose all of the MR points if you close all of the MR cards. In order to avoid losing your MR points, we recommend to keep the no annual fee AmEx ED.
- If you have any of the MR cards, MR points can be transferred to some airline miles. One of the most common and best way to use MR points is to 1:1 transfer them to All Nippon Airways (ANA, NH) miles (Star Alliance). Other good options are: Air Canada (AC) (Star Alliance), Delta Air Lines (DL) (SkyTeam), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Asia Miles (Oneworld), Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use MR in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have any of the MR cards, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate about 1 cent/point towards air tickets on AmEx travel portal.
- If you have AmEx Platinum for Schwab, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards cash. If you don’t want to spend time studying airline miles, this is a pretty good way to cash out the points. If you don’t have this card, you can only redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 0.6 cents/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that MR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about MR points, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to MR: How to Earn and Introduction to MR: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- You can only get the welcome bonus once in a lifetime, so be sure to apply when the historical highest offer appears.
- AmEx doesn’t care about the number of hard pulls.
- You can try to apply for it when you have a credit history of 6 months.
- You must wait at least 90 days between the application for different flavors of AmEx Platinum cards, otherwise the application will be cancelled.
This card is quite special for the value of MR points. When you have this card, you can redeem your MR points to cash at a ratio 1:1.25! For those who don’t want to spend a lot of time studying airline miles, this is really a good ratio!
The 60k welcome offer on this card is quite good. Although this card comes with a $550 annual fee, some of the benefits can offset it by quite a bit: the $200 air incidental credit is a bit hard to get nowadays, so we value it at 70% of its face value and that’s about $140; the $200 Uber credit is distributed and expires every month, so we also use 70% of its face value which is about $140; the $100 Saks credit is worth about $70 if also valued at 70% face value. Then what’s left is about $200 equivalent annual fee. You can earn 5x MR points on air tickets with this card, and it is the best earning rate across all cards. Also this card now comes with a trip delay insurance which can be triggered by a 6+hrs delay, so this card is the best card to buy air tickets. There are also a lot of other benefits such as more lounge access than other premium cards, the FHR, etc. If you can take advantage of these benefits, this card may be a keeper.
If one day you don’t want to keep this card any more, but still want your remaining MR points, you can apply for the AmEx EveryDay (ED) (no annual fee) to keep the MR points and use them in the future.
To Do List After You Get The Card
- Enroll in Airline Incidental Fee Credit benefit and choose a carrier. You must enroll and choose a carrier prior to making a reimbursable purchase.
- Add your card to Uber or UberEats.
- Enroll in Saks Credit benefit.
- Enroll in Priority Pass Select (PPS) lounge benefit.
- Enroll in Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.
- Enroll in Hilton Gold status.
- Enroll for Avis, Hertz and NationalCar Rental status privileges.
Enroll in Boingo American Express Preferred Plan (Wi-Fi internet access).[Update: This benefit is removed as of 2019.05.01]
- Apply for Global Entry ($100 reimbursement) or TSA PreCheck ($85 reimbursement).
Related Credit Cards
Note that, although the look and benefits of the following cards are almost the same, they are different products, and they don’t affect each other’s sign-up bonus. See this post for the comparison of benefits.
Recommended Downgrade Options
- You can not downgrade this card to any card with no annual fee, so I suggest you close it when you don’t want to keep it any longer.
- Click here to check AmEx application status.
- AmEx reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083. The “real” backdoor number of Amex is well protected. Different from Chase, the representatives from this AmEx reconsideration backdoor number only have the right to help you submit requests.
Historical Offers Chart