American Express Platinum Cards New Benefits
A couple of weeks ago there were rumors about American Express Platinum Cards new benefits. These rumors are now a reality. I believe these changes are somewhat of a response to the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. For the longest time, the Platinum card from American Express was the most coveted high end credit card. However, the Citi Prestige and it’s amazing benefits caused a stir in the credit card world and quickly became the best credit card out there. In addition to that, the Chase Sapphire Reserve caused an even bigger stir with it’s massive sign-up bonus and amazing benefits. Chase even ran out of the metal material the card is made of due to the high demand for the card.
Now, finally American Express decides to freshen up their Platinum Card benefits. Let’s take a look at the details of the American Express Platinum Cards new benefits.
- Starting October 6th 2016, you now earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. This change is only applicable to the personal card not the business version of the card.
- With a value of about 1.8cents/point; this means that you’ll be earning a ~9% return on every airfare you purchase with your Platinum Card.
- Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires January 25, 2017
- Earn 1.5X points per dollar on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar) with the Business Platinum Card®
Up to 1 million additional points per year
- This is not a great benefit except for high spending businesses. Also, you can get 1.5X points per dollar from the American Express Everyday Preferred Credit Card.
- Use Membership Rewards ® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 50% of those points back.
There are two types of eligible fares:
- First and Business Class tickets with all airlines available with American Express Travel.
- Any fare class with your selected qualifying airline.
The most interesting new benefit?
In my opinion, the most interesting benefit is the 50% points rebate when you pay with points for travel. This is so easy to use and doesn’t require transferring to partners or searching for rare award availability. Booking airfare with points through American Express travel usually costs 1cent/point. This means you’ll be getting 2cents/point after the rebate, this is incredible value.
For example, a roundtrip economy Delta flight between JFK and LAX can cost about $300 which would price at 30,000 Membership Rewards points. After the 50% rebate, this roundtrip would cost you only 15,000 Membership Rewards points. That’s amazing value for Amex points. If you tried to book the same flight with Delta Skymiles, it would cost atleast 25,000 to 30,000 Skymiles.
Another example, booking a low fare business or first class trip. Jet Blue mint class between JFK and LAX costs $599 which would price at 60,000 Membership Rewards points. After the 50% rebate, this flight would cost you only 30,000 Membership Rewards points. Again, an amazing value since JetBlue would charge you about 45,000 TruBlue points for the same trip.
Remember, the 50% rebate is available for economy fares only on the same airline pre-selected for the annual $200 airline fee credit. Otherwise, you can use the 50% rebate benefit on business and first class fares with any airline.
American Express Platinum Cards New Benefits Bottom Line:
I was hoping to see more from American Express. Main thing I would’ve liked to see change is the airline fee credit. Not only would’ve I wanted that increased from $200 to $250 or $300 to be on par with the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve, but also to be more flexible and not restricted to just one selected airline.
Otherwise, these are some positive changes and I believe American Express will further tweak the Platinum Card in the future.
If you have any questions please comment below, tweet me @pointspointers or email me at email@example.com