Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card Fee Can Be Waived with CashPlus Bank Account
The Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card is one of the flavors of the American Express Platinum card. It is similar to the other cards, Amex Platinum and Charles Achwab Amex Platinum. It comes with a $550 annual fee and all the same benefits. The good thing about each version of the card, is that you can sign up for each one and receive the welcome bonus once. They are considered separate products.
Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card
The full name of the card is The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley. The card has a $550 annual fee and this current welcome offer:
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Most benefits are the same as other Platinum cards, except for:
- Add one additional Platinum Card for no fee. The additional cardholders gets most benefits, besides the credits.
- As a Morgan Stanley Card Member, you can use Membership Rewards points for deposits by Morgan Stanley to your qualifying brokerage account. (For example, 60,000 points = $600.
You can find the application page here.
How to Waive Fee
Morgan Stanley offers a Platinum CashPlus account that can waive the annual fee on your Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card. Platinum CashPlus clients can get a $550 Annual Engagement Bonus if they have The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley. Deals Points has a thorough explanation.
There are some thing to know before getting too excited. It takes some work and you need a balance to waive fees.
- The first step is to open a Morgan Stanley Access investing and maintain at least $5,000 in the account. This account has an annual fee of 0.35% $17.50 per year for $5,000 invested). This makes you eligible for the Platinum CashPlus account.
- After that, you can open the Platinum CashPlus account and register for online access
- Sign up for the Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card
- Get the $550 Engagement bonus during your first year after a month if you meet the fee avoidance criteria and within three months if you don’t meet the fee avoidance criteria. For subsequent years, the annual bonus will be paid in the month after your American Express Platinum account anniversary.
Platinum CashPlus Account
The account itself is not free. It comes with a $45 monthly fee that can be waived. To do so, you need to maintain $5,000 in total monthly deposits AND $25,000 average daily cash balance.
The $5,000 in monthly deposits doesn’t have to be direct deposits. Things like Zelle and regular ACH transfers will count. See more details here.
That is a large amount that you need to keep in the account, and what makes it worse, is the interest it earns. With the Morgan Stanley Platinum CashPlus account you only get a 0.03% APY.
If you forego these requirements and pay the monthly fee of $45, then you end up paying $540 for the year. You come out $10 ahead annually compared to the $550 annual fee on the Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card. But add in the investing account and the hassle, and it doesn’t make sense.
Some more important details about the account:
- Monthly fee is waived if Social Security benefits, in any amount, are directly deposited into any eligible account (you would not need $5K)
- If you do not meet a minimum spending requirement of $1,000 on your American Express Platinum Card within the calendar year of receiving the $550 Annual Engagement Bonus, then Morgan Stanley may be required to report the $550 Annual Engagement Bonus as taxable income on your Form 1099. You should consult your tax advisor regarding the tax implications of any awards, including the $550 Annual Engagement Bonus, based upon your specific circumstances.
This could be a decent option to offset your $550 annual fee on the Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card. You do get the $550 Engagement bonus that completely offsets the fee, but it comes at a cost. You need to have about $30,000 tie up in the two accounts, and you need to make $5,000 in monthly transfers. So you are getting $550 annually for a $30K investment, or just a 1.83% APY (about 2.02% APY when you add the 0.3% you earn from the account, and 0.35% you pay for the invest account). That’s better than other banks right now, but nothing amazing. This could make more sense if you already have the account and want to apply for another Amex Platinum Card flavor.