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Bad news if you have — or were planning to apply for — The Platinum Card® from American Express. Amex just made some changes to the card, and another change is coming soon. And there's no way to sugarcoat this: The changes are mostly bad.
Here's what you should know about the changes to the Amex Platinum.
Changes to Amex Platinum Welcome Offer
Through August 16, 2023, you could earn a welcome offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on a new Amex Platinum card within the first six months of card membership.
Now, Amex just increased that spending requirement by 33%. You'll need to spend another $2,000 to earn the same offer as before. More spending for the same number of points is…not fun.
Changes to Amex Platinum Additional Card Fees
Amex Platinum cardmembers have the option to add “additional cards” (a.k.a. authorized users) to their account. The options range from a no-annual-fee Companion Card to a looks-the-same-and-offers-many-of-the-same-perks “Additional Platinum Card.”
Previously, you could add up to three Additional Platinum Cards to your account for an additional fee of $175 annually (Rates & Fees). Now, you'll pay $195 per additional Additional Platinum Card for authorized users.
If you had three authorized user cards on your account last year, it cost you $175. Going forward, maintaining those same three additional cards will cost you $585. That means you'll want to reassess whether the lounge benefits and other perks afforded are worth it.
Restrictions on Amex Platinum Welcome Offer Eligibility
In the past, the different “flavors” or versions of the Amex Platinum were treated as different cards. Thus, you could earn the welcome bonus on each, despite American Express' typical “one bonus per lifetime per card” rule. However, we now see the following bonus offer terms:
“You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the American Express Platinum Card® by Charles Schwab, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards. You also may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors. If you are not eligible for a welcome offer, we will notify you prior to processing your application so you have the option to withdraw your application.”
And we see these terms on applications for the Amex Platinum Schwab:
“You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Platinum Card®, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards. You also may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors. If you are not eligible for a welcome offer, we will notify you prior to processing your application so you have the option to withdraw your application.”
Changes to Amex Platinum Digital Entertainment Credits
This is the one change that isn't a clear negative. American Express is adding a new option for using the Amex Platinum annual digital entertainment credit: The Wall Street Journal.
However, this option will essentially replace an existing option. A spokesperson for American Express confirmed to AwardWallet:
“We are excited to announce the addition of The Wall Street Journal as part of the $240 Digital Entertainment Credit for our U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Members. With the addition of The Wall Street Journal and removal of Audible, the $240 Digital Entertainment Credit will consist of the following partners: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, The Disney Bundle, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.”
You can start using your Digital Entertainment Credit for The Wall Street Journal now. Audible will be removed as an eligible merchant on October 2, 2023.
Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
In the grand scheme of things, these aren't major changes — not like when the card's annual fee went up or tons of annual credits were added a few years ago. However, these changes still sting. You now have to spend $2k more to earn the same welcome offer, you can't earn the bonus across multiple versions of very similar cards, plus you may have to pay hundreds of dollars more for Additional Platinum Cards each year.
Adding Platinum-tier authorized users to your card is a great way to grant Centurion Lounge access to friends or family. Now you'll have to decide if it's worth keeping these authorized users when the next fee is due.
What do you make of these changes? How big or small do you think they are in your situation? Let us know.
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)
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