Amex Platinum Card Gets New Travel and Everyday Benefits, Fee Goes Up to $695
American Express today launched a refreshed U.S. American Express Consumer Platinum Card, which now offers even more value to Card Members with additional and expanded travel and everyday benefits and services across dining, wellness, retail and entertainment. But those added benefits come at a cost. The annual fee has been increased as well, from $550 to $695.
These new benefits have been rumored for a while now, along with the higher fee. And as expected, today is the day when everything goes live. But those who already have the card, can enjoy the new benefits for now without have to pay the additional $145 for a while. Let’s get into the details of the Amex Platinum Card changes, how the annual fee will work for new and existing cardholders and how it everything measures up once you crunch the numbers.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
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Some people are seeing an even better bonus of 125K through referrals.
More Travel Benefits
The Amex Platinum card already has tons of travel perks. Now cardmembers can also enjoy:
- $200 Hotel Credit: An annual statement credit for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel.
- $179 CLEAR Credit: An annual statement credit for a CLEAR membership, which offers expedited security screening at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. (You can also get this for free for three months without having the card).
- Premium Private Jet Program: Access to a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships. Plus, get a $500 or $2,000 credit added to your Wheels Up account to use toward your initial flight within your first year depending on your selected Wheels Up membership.
- More Lounges in More Places: Access to more airport lounges compared to any other U.S. credit card program, with over 1,300 airport lounges in 500+ airports and 140 countries around the world. This includes the recently expanded The Centurion® Network, with over 40 lounge locations worldwide. Also, Escape Lounges across the U.S., will be enhanced and cobranded as Escape Lounges – The Centurion® Studio Partner. Studio Partner locations will deliver a high-quality lounge experience for Card Members while they are in the airport. Card Members will have access to a complimentary selection of cocktails, spirits, wine and premium snacks (in addition to the full menu and bar available), as well as The Centurion® Lounge Digital Library, a digital library of premium newspapers and magazines. Additionally, American Express’ proprietary network of American Express International Lounge locations have now been converted into Centurion® Lounges.
New Everyday Benefits
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Limited-time statement credits on streaming services in 2020 have been one of the most popular Platinum Card offers. Now, the Platinum Card is offering up to $240 in annual statement credits ($20/month) on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times.
- $300 Equinox Credit: An annual statement credit ($25/month) on purchases of select Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ (the on-demand fitness app).
- Global Dining Access by Resy: Access to the new Global Dining Access program by Resy that gives Platinum Card Members exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants, access to premium events and other perks like priority notify and VIP status.
Current Benefits Are Here to Stay
Platinum Card Members can continue to enjoy existing benefits, services and rewards that come from being a Platinum Card Member with Amex, including:
- 5X Membership Rewards Points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com and 5X points on flights purchased directly from airlines on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit for up to $200 back in statement credits each year on incidental fees at one Card Member-selected qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash annually ($15/month, plus a bonus $20 in December) toward Uber Rides or Uber Eats orders in the U.S.
- Up to $100 Credit on a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee.
- $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit on purchases in-store or online at saks.com, for up to $50 in statement credits from January through June and up to $50 in statement credits from July through December, once enrolled.
- Complimentary Suite of Benefits at over 1,100 properties worldwide when booking with Fine Hotels + Resorts.
- Payment Flexibility with features like Pay It Plan It® and Pay Over Time, so Card Members can choose to create monthly payment plans with a fixed fee, carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month. To learn more about these features and for terms, visit here.
- Purchase Protection can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost. Up to 90 days and $10,000 per occurrence, $50,000 per calendar year.
- Cell Phone Protection for repair or replacement costs following damage or theft up to $800 per claim, with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12 month period, when the cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month’s wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim.
You can see more details here.
With these added benefits, there’s also a big fee increase that places the Amex Platinum Card well above its competitors as far as the annual cost goes. The Platinum Card now has an annual fee of $695. For Platinum Card Members who opened accounts prior to July 1, 2021, the new annual fee will take effect on those Card Members’ annual renewal dates on or after January 1, 2022.
The annual fee is not changing for additional users on the account. It still costs $175 for up to 3 additional Platinum Cards, $175 for each additional Platinum Card after the first three, and as always, there’s no fee for additional Gold Cards.
By going through the list of these new benefits, I would say that for most people, the only added value could be from the $200 Hotel Credit and the $179 CLEAR Credit. If you already make some bookings through FHR, then that already pays for the fee increase. The CLEAR credit can also be useful, but I would value it at full price since you can get three months for free right now, and we often see discounts on memberships.
The Premium Private Jet Program is something that most regular cardholders will not use. The $240 Digital Entertainment Credit is quite limited and the $300 Equinox Credit is not something that everyone can easily use. So are these Amex Platinum Card changes worth the $145 annual fee increase? That would be a no for me!
The $200 Hotel Credit is the only benefit where I actually see some value personally. The rest of these benefits are things that I might use, but only because they come for free with my Platinum Card. The good thing is that the fee increase only kicks in after January 1, 2022 for existing cardholders. I just renewed about a month ago, so I will have 11 more months to make a decision.
Let me know what you think of these Amex Platinum Card changes.