After the release of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige, American Express realized they needed to enhance the Platinum card in order to compete. Late last year, they added 5x points on airfare to the Platinum consumer card and added the 50% refund on points redeemed on airfare and 50% bonus points on purchases over $5,000 to the Business Platinum card. Well starting March 30th, American Express is adding even more benefits, though, this unfortunately also comes with an increased annual fee.
- 5x on hotels purchases made through AmexTravel.com
- Amex Fine Hotels purchases are not eligible
- Hotel purchases not made through AmexTravel.com are not eligible
- $200 annual Uber credit
- You will receive a $15 credit each month to your Uber account, which you will lose each month should you not use it. The credit is $35 in the month of December
- Only rides taken in the USA will be eligible (This makes me assume UberEats and gift cards are not eligible)
- You do not need to use your Platinum card on Uber purchases to earn this credit
- First credit is available March 30th, though will expire on March 31st 11:59PM
- Uber VIP status
- Access to better cars and more experienced drivers in select locations only
- New metal card
- New cardmembers approved on March 30th and after will receive the metal card
- Existing members can request metal cards on March 30th, or they’ll receive a new metal card within 60 days of their current cards expiration date
- Free Gold Authorized User cards
- Instead of the $45 fee to add up to 5 Gold cards, they are now allowing you to have up to 99 authorized users with no fee.
- Authorized users will earn 5x on airfare and hotels
- Authorized users can use the account holders airline credit and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit though will not be eligible for their own credit.
- Authorized users will not be eligible for their own Uber ride credits or lounge access
New Annual fee
The annual fee will increase to $550, instead of the current $450 annual fee. Anyone who applies before March 30th, will be eligible for the $450 annual fee. Existing card members who’s annual fee is due after September 1st, will be billed the new $550 annual fee. Any existing card members who’s annual fee is due between March and August 31st will only be billed the $450 annual fee.
Which cards are eligible?
All consumer American Express Platinum cards are eligible. This includes the Charles Schwab, Mercedes-Benz, Goldman Sachs, Ameriprise and Morgan Stanley versions of the cards.
I am certainly happy American Express added new benefits and I definitely think I will get my monies worth out of these benefits, but I still don’t think the Amex Platinum card is as competitive as it could be.
I need to look into if hotel purchases made within the Amex Travel portal are eligible to earn elite night and points with hotel loyalty programs such as SPG, Hilton, etc. If they do earn elite night and points, then the 5x on hotels is a nice added perk, though cashback earned through cashback portals might outweigh the extra 4 points per dollar. I’m also a bit disappointed that the Uber credits expire every month and that only rides within the US are eligible.It would’ve been nice to use these credits on UberEats and international rides.
My biggest disappointment is that Amex still decided to not add dining as a spending bonus category or add any travel insurance such as trip delay or cancellation. My number one reason for not putting my airfare purchases on the Platinum card currently, is the lack of travel insurances. I love knowing that if anything comes up, Chase and Citi will cover my travel purchases with their travel insurances.
So what do you think of these new benefits? Thrilled? Disappointed?
HT: The Points Guy