The Amex Platinum Card is offering one of the best bonuses in years, so now is the time to apply.
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Credit card sign-up bonuses of 75,000 or 100,000 points were once a rarity, but no more! As issuers try to attract new customers during these turbulent times, they have been extending some of the highest welcome offers we’ve ever seen on popular products like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.
Now, Amex is targeting well-heeled road warriors by upping the offer on the Platinum Card® from American Express. Applicants can usually earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. For a limited time, though, you could earn up to 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first six months instead—a 25 percent premium. Not only that, but you can also earn a whopping 10 points per dollar on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets in the first six months. Maxing out those combined bonuses, you’re looking at a potential points haul of 225,000 points. Though it does carry a $550 annual fee, the Amex Platinum Card is brimming with other benefits that savvy travelers can reap a tremendous amount of value from year after year. Here are eight reasons you might want to apply right now.
1. An unprecedented welcome offer means plenty of free travel
A few things set this welcome offer apart. First is the number of bonus points you can earn immediately, and second is the fact that you have six months instead of the usual three to meet the spending requirement. American Express Membership Rewards points are among the most valuable loyalty currencies out there—you can redeem them in so many ways. Cardholders get a value of one cent apiece when cashing them in for flight reservations made via Amex Travel, for instance, so the introductory bonus is worth $750 easily (or an incredible $2,250 if you maxed out all the bonus opportunities).
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However, Membership Rewards points also transfer to 19 airline and three hotel partners, including Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, JetBlue TrueBlue, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Bonvoy, among others. That opens up a lot more possibilities than hoarding points with a specific frequent flier or hotel points program when it comes time to redeem for free trips in the future. If you earned the entire bonus and hit the grocery and gas caps, for example, 225,000 Amex points would typically be more than enough for a round-trip business-class ticket using Aeroplan miles or SkyMiles between North America and either Europe or Asia. It would also convert to 450,000 Hilton Honors points, more than enough for four nights at top-shelf luxury hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam or the Conrad New York.
2. Extra earning on flights and hotels
Aside from the increased initial earning on gas and groceries, the Platinum Card usually accumulates one point per dollar on most purchases, but racks up an impressive five points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel. (Starting next year, this will be capped at $500,000 in purchases per calendar year.) The card also earns five points per dollar on prepaid hotel stays booked on amextravel.com. Depending on your travel and spending habits, this could make the Platinum Card one of the top all-round earners in your wallet . . . at least when travel begins to revert to normal.
3. Monthly credits to spend on Uber
If you take ride shares a lot, or just order takeout frequently, this card includes two great benefits that you should be able to get substantial mileage from. First, cardholders receive $15 in Uber cash for rides or Uber Eats orders in the United States every month (plus an extra $20 each December). That amounts to $200 in credits annually. Cardholders can also enroll by December 31, 2021, for up to 12 months of Uber Eats Pass, which normally costs $9.99 per month. Eats Pass gives you unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5 percent off orders of over $15 at eligible restaurants, plus no delivery fees on grocery deliveries over $30. Depending on how much you use Uber’s services, this can start adding up quickly.
4. Double the airline fee credits
Folks with the Platinum Card receive up to $200 in airline fee credits each calendar year with a U.S. carrier that they designate from the following list.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Those credits can be put toward incidental charges like checked bags, in-flight food and Wi-Fi, and lounge passes. This benefit resets each calendar year, so you could potentially get $200 in value in 2020 and then another $200 in 2021 for a total of $400 in airline fee credits right off the bat. If you have some holiday travel coming up, these fee credits can be a great way to save a few dollars on any extra expenses.
5. The card will pay for your TSA PreCheck, Global Entry—and Saks shopping
You should be aware of two other value-added perks. First, cardholders can receive a statement credit of up to $100 once every 4 years when they use their card to pay for a Global Entry application, or $85 once every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck application. If you have the Platinum Card, you can also receive up to $100 in statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue each year: $50 for things you buy from January through June, and another $50 from July through December. So if you were planning to shop at Saks this holiday season, you could save a few bucks this way.
6. Serious lounge access at airports
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The Platinum Card offers some of the most comprehensive airport lounge benefits of any travel rewards card; if you spend a lot of time in transit, this one advantage alone could be worth it. First, Platinum cardholders can bring up to two companions into Amex’s own chic Centurion Lounges (there are now more than a dozen at airports like New York–JFK, Miami International, San Francisco International, and Los Angeles–LAX). If you’re flying Delta, you can also access Delta Sky Clubs, and then there are also a handful of Airspace and Escape Lounges to choose from. Cardholders can enroll in Priority Pass Select, too, which means they can get into more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world and bring up to two guests for no charge.
7. Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels
The Platinum Card extends three other hotel-related benefits that can come in handy. First, cardholders can register for both Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold elite status. Marriott Gold status includes benefits like earning bonus points on stays, room upgrades, and complimentary premium internet access. Hilton Gold status, meanwhile, also includes bonus earning opportunities on stays and complimentary continental breakfast for two at most hotels within the Hilton portfolio, among other perks. Platinum cardholders can also make bookings at more than 1,100 luxury hotels around the world through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts portal. Expect valuable add-ons like upgrades, daily breakfast for two, early check-in, late checkout, on-property credits toward things like restaurant charges and spa treatments, as well as occasional third- and fourth-night-free packages.
8. Among the best travel insurance provided by a rewards card
Understandably, you might be a bit wary about traveling for the time being. Luckily, this card includes travel insurance that can cover you if things go wrong on a trip. If you have to cancel or cut short a trip for covered reasons, Amex might reimburse you for nonrefundable expenses up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per eligible card per consecutive 12-month period. If you’re delayed more than six hours or overnight, its trip-delay insurance can help reimburse you for things like meals and lodging up to $500 per trip and two claims per consecutive 12-month period.
The Platinum Card extends purchase protection as long as 90 days from the date of sale up to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year; it also will extend warranties of five years or less by up to an additional year with the same dollar maximums, so it’s a great choice for buying those big-ticket items.
Although it’s expensive, at $550 per year, the Platinum Card from American Express is one of the top travel cards currently available. Not only is it packed with perks that can make your trips more rewarding and enjoyable, but it is also offering one of the best introductory bonuses it has fielded in years. There’s no telling how long this offer will be available, though, so if you’ve considered applying for the card before, now might be the right time to do so.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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