How to Apply for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card
Update: You can still cash out points at 1.25 cent each even today. So you have some more time if points from a purchase, or a Membership Rewards bonus just posted.
The American Express Platinum Card comes in different flavors. One of the versions is the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab. The card is quite similar to the regular Amex Platinum Card. But it has one notable difference when it comes the cash-redemption option for Membership Rewards points. Instead of just getting a value of 0.6 cents per points with the regular Amex Platinum Card, you can get 1.25 cents per point with the Schwab Amex Platinum Card. That value is about to change soon, so many people will look to cash out their points. Here you can see how to apply for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card and how to cash out your American Express Membership Rewards points.
How it Works
You can read about all the benefits of the Schwab Amex Platinum Card further down, but let’s first focus on the requirements to get approved for the card.
You need to have excellent credit and you have to pay the annual fee of $550, just like any other Amex Platinum Card. But for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card you also need to have a Schwab brokerage account first. The account needs to be either in your name or in the name of a living trust that you oversee. You also qualify with an IRA held with Schwab (not managed by an independent investment advisor).
So let’s get see step by step how to apply for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card first and then lets get into cashing out points before they lose value on September 1, 2021.
Open Brokerage and Checking Accounts
To open an account, you can go here. There’s usually a welcome bonus available. Once you navigate to that page:
- Click ‘Open an Account’ on top right corner
- Scroll down and select “Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account linked to Brokerage Account”
- Go through the application process and fund the account (you can deposit any small amount)
Opening a Schwab Brokerage Account in no longer a hard pull on your credit report. The checking account also gives you unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide and doesn’t charge service fees or require a minimum balance.
Apply for Schwab Amex Platinum Card
Now that you have a Schwab Brokerage Account you are eligible to apply for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card. You are normally eligible once your account if up and running, but you could wait a few days to make sure.
You can see the application page and the current welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards Points (after spending $5,000 in purchases in your first three months) here. And keep in mind that you can get this bonus even if you received a bonus from the regular Amex Platinum Card in the past. American Express considers each version of the Platinum card a separate product as far as welcome bonuses go. We have seen bonuses as high as 100,000 points in the past, but they are very rare and often targeted.
Once you are approved for the for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card, you can actually close your Schwab Brokerage Account. But if you do, you won’t have the option of cashing out your membership Rewards points. And that’s the whole points of having the card (besides the opportunity to earn another bonus).
Cash Out Points
This is the highlight of the Schwab Amex Platinum Card and the only feature that differentiates it from other Amex Platinum Cards. The Schwab Amex Platinum Card earns Membership Rewards points. These rewards are pooled together with your other Membership Rewards earning cards. Rewards can be redeemed for travel, but there are also options to use them for gift cards, shopping or to cover charges on your card with a statement credit.
If you have a regular Amex Platinum Card, your points will be worth 0.6 cents when used for statement credits. But the Schwab Amex Platinum Card unlocks the ability to cash out Membership Rewards points for cash. You can deposit Membership Rewards into your eligible Schwab account at a rate of 1.25 cents each. That’s more than double the value. However, there will be a devaluation on September 1, 2021 to 1.25 cents.
Before you can cash out your points, you must activate your Schwab Amex Platinum Card. Once your card is activated, your Amex and Schwab accounts will be linked. To cash out your points:
- Log into your Schwab account
- Find the Membership Rewards balance on the right hand side of the page and click “Invest With Rewards”
- Click ‘Get Started’
- Enter card information (card number, name, exp. date and so on)
- Select the account where you want to deposit the cash and choose the amount of points you want to redeem (there are preset amounts such as 1,000 points for $12.50, 2,000 points for $25 and so on)
- Confirm your selection and click on “Redeem Now”
You will see a confirmation page and the cash deposit in your Schwab account instantly or within a few minutes.
- 5X MR points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
- 5X MR points on eligible hotels booked through Amex Travel
- 1X MR points on all other purchases
- $200 in annual Uber savings ($15 in Uber Cash for U.S. rides every month plus a bonus $20 in December)
- Complimentary Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months – a value of up to $119 (typically $9.99/month). Card Members must enroll by December 31, 2021.
- $200 annual Airline Fee Credit
- $200 Hotel Credit for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel.
- $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or Saks.com. That's up to $50 on a semi-annual basis. Enrollment required.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit ($20/month) on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times.
- Receive one Global Entry ($100) statement credit or one TSA Precheck ($85) statement credit
- $179 CLEAR Credit annually.
- Access to over 1,400+ airport lounges, including The Centurion lounge, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass Select membership
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
- Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Walmart+ Monthly Membership Credit ($12.95/month)
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit
- $300 Equinox Credit ($25/month) on purchases of select Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ (the on-demand fitness app).
- Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs, including special upgrades and discounts.
- 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
- Resy Dining Benefit
- Platinum Card Concierge available 24/7 to help with anything from special dinner reservations to finding the perfect gift.
- More perks and benefits.
- Annual Fee: $695 (renewals are still $550 until January 1, 2022)
The Schwab Amex Platinum Card gives you another opportunity to earn a big bonus from American Express. Each Platinum Card version is a separate product and you can receive a welcome bonus once per lifetime from each one. Bot more importantly, getting approved for a Schwab Amex Platinum Card instantly gives you a great cash out option for all your Membership Rewards points. You should think about cashing out points now if you are not able to get more value through transfer partners. That 1.25¢ value will go down to 1.10¢. Amex Platinum Cards are also rumored to get a big upgrade and higher fee next month.