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Travel Amex Platinum drops 10x bonus, retains 100,000-point welcome offer

11:50  08 april  2022
11:50  08 april  2022 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information including the latest Amex Platinum offer.

The Platinum Card® from American Express has long been one of the best premium travel rewards cards out there, thanks to a long list of benefits, a strong earning rate on flight purchases and a solid welcome bonus.

With a wholesale revamp last year, the card now has even more perks (albeit at a higher cost). Currently, the Amex Platinum Card is offering a generous 100,000-point welcome offer after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

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While the previous offer included 10 points per dollar on “Shop Small” purchases in the U.S. and at restaurants worldwide, American Express has confirmed with TPG that this unique welcome offer feature of 10 points per dollar bonus on certain categories has abruptly ended today (Jan. 20, 2022).

Still, the 100,000- point welcome offer is worth a generous $2,000, according to TPG’s valuations.

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

Note that you could potentially be targeted for a 125,000-point or 150,000-point welcome bonus by using the CardMatch Tool. These offers are subject to change at any time.

In addition to an elevated welcome bonus, this Amex card has added a slew of enticing benefits, from up to $300 in annual Equinox statement credits and an annual statement credit of up to $179 for your Clear membership. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

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Unfortunately, along with these recent improvements came a hike to the card’s annual fee, which is now $695 (see rates and fees) — one of the highest annual fees for consumer cards out there.

Let’s review this latest Amex Platinum offer and analyze if it’s worth applying for.

a person in a car: (Photo by Ryan Patterson for The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy (Photo by Ryan Patterson for The Points Guy)

Amex Platinum benefits overview

The Amex Platinum now has a $695 annual fee, which may trigger some sticker shock. But when you dive into its mile-long list of benefits, there’s the potential to recoup that value:

  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year.
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
  • Up to $200 annual hotel credit, in the form of a statement credit on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel when you pay with your Amex Platinum.*
  • Up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit, in the form of $20 in monthly statement credits when you pay for eligible purchases with the Amex Platinum at eligible partners.*
  • Up to $300 annual Equinox credit, in the form of $25 in monthly statement credits on select Equinox memberships or Equinox+ app.*
  • Up to $179 annual Clear credit for your Clear membership.*
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit.*
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash in the form of $15 in Uber credits for dining or rides each month, with an up to $20 bonus in December (for use in the U.S.).*
  • Up to $100 in credits at Saks each calendar year (up to $50 for January to June and up to $50 for July to December).*
  • Airline lounge access — including Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass Select lounge access (excluding restaurant lounges), and Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying same-day Delta flights — through the American Express Global Lounge Collection.*
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry every four years or TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years.
  • Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.*
  • Elite-like benefits when you book a stay through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program or Amex’s Hotel Collection.*
  • Up to a $155 statement credit that covers the cost of a monthly Walmart+ membership when paying with the Amex Platinum.
  • Up to a $300 statement credit toward a SoulCycle at-home bike (an Equinox+ membership is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike).*
  • Access to the Platinum Card Concierge.*
  • Access to the American Express International Airline Program.*
  • Travel protections when you use your card, including trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and baggage insurance.
  • Premium Global Assist hotline that may provide many services when you’re away from home, including emergency medical transportation assistance.*
  • Shopping protections when you use your card, including extended warranty protection, purchase protection and return protection.*
  • Multiple options for redeeming points, including transferring to hotel and airline partners, booking travel through Amex Travel and Pay With Points.
  • Complimentary additional Gold Cards, or you can add up to three Platinum Card authorized users for $175 per year (see rates and fees).
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

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Gallery: 10 Credit Cards That Have Gotten Better During the Pandemic (GOBankingRates)

a close up of a person using a laptop: Travel and rewards credit cards draw in customers by adding bonus points and rewards for spending in various categories, such as airfare, hotels and restaurants. During the pandemic, spending in these categories dropped dramatically, forcing the credit card companies to make changes in order to encourage spending. For some customers, the additional points now granted in categories more attuned to pandemic spending patterns made the value of these cards jump tremendously. Read: 10 Credit Cards To Consider for Travel Rewards While you shouldn’t increase or change your spending habits just to earn additional credit card points, if you’re already spending in these categories, these cards can provide additional benefits. Here’s a look at 10 cards that have gotten better for consumers during the pandemic.  Last updated: April 6, 2021

That’s one of the most exhaustive lists of perks available among premium travel rewards cards. From the annual credits alone, you’re looking at more than $1,800 in value. So, if you can put many of these to use, the Amex Platinum could be worth a place in your wallet — even with that $695 annual fee.

Related: Amex Platinum Card review

Is this offer worth it?

In early 2021, the Amex Platinum’s public offer was 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spent $5,000 in the first six months. So, compared to that, the current welcome offer is an improvement.

However, for much of 2021 and into early this year, the bonus also included the incentive to dine at restaurants worldwide and to “Shop Small” in the U.S. That’s no longer available.

a group of people sitting at a table with a plate of food: (Photo by VGstockstudio/Shutterstock) © The Points Guy (Photo by VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)

Keep in mind that you could be targeted for an even bigger welcome bonus through the CardMatch tool. Right now, some new cardholders are being targeted for a 125,000- or 150,000-point welcome offer (offer subject to change at anytime).

Is the Amex Platinum worth it for a points and miles newbie? I booked a trip to find out

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Offer retrieved on Jan. 20, 2022 © The Points Guy Offer retrieved on Jan. 20, 2022

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum is one of the best travel cards on the market. As travel ramps back up, applying for the card now could help pay for upgraded experiences on your trips down the road. And since Amex only allows you to earn one welcome bonus per lifetime on each card, it’s imperative to choose wisely when to apply.

Especially if you are targeted for the 125,000- or 150,000-point CardMatch offer, now is an excellent time to apply for the card to rake in a large bonus while earning on common everyday spending categories that generally don’t earn bonus rewards with the card.

Official application link: The Platinum Card® from American Express with a 100,000-point bonus, or check out the CardMatch tool to see if you are targeted for a bonus of up to 150,000 points.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor, Stella Shon, Katie Genter and Eric Rosen.

Featured photo by Ryan Patterson for The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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