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Eligibility is limited for the Amex Offers discussed in this post. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has always been a favorite, and not just because the card looks super sick. Thanks to its amazing benefits and perks, the card has long been known for its value. Despite the hefty annual fee, the Amex Platinum is one that cardholders continue to keep because these perks more than outweigh the cost of membership.
Beginning July 1, 2021, the Amex Platinum is being revamped to add a slew of new credits, including some really fantastic offers. But it's not all good news. American Express is increasing the annual fee up to an incredible $695! (Rates & Fees)
In this post, we’ll dig through the changes and help you decide if the updated Amex Platinum makes sense for you.
Summary of Amex Platinum Changes
- $200 annual hotel credit
- $300 annual Equinox Credit ($25 per month)
- $179 annual CLEAR credit
- $240 annual digital entertainment credit ($20 per month)
Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits. Cashback is earned in the form of a statement credit unless otherwise noted.
- Annual fee increase from $550 to $695
Amex Platinum Annual Fee Increase
Let's knock out the bad news first. The annual fee on the Amex Platinum is going up from $550 to $695. This $145 increase kicks in on July 1, 2021, for new accounts. The fee for existing Amex Platinum cardholders will change on January 1, 2022.
This is a massive increase and the highest annual fee of any similar card on the market. But, let's see what Amex is offering and if it's enough to make up for the increase.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
- $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- Earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year).
- Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- New Cardmembers: Earn 10X points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
New $200 Amex Travel Hotel Credit
American Express has offered a $200 airline incidental credit for ages. Although the credit is not as easy to use as most of us would like, it's still a fantastic perk. And thankfully, it's not going away on the Amex Platinum.
Instead, Amex is upping its travel perks and adding an all-new annual hotel credit. Each year, cardholders receive a $200 allowance towards hotels when booking with American Express Travel at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties. You can read more about these programs here.
New $300 Equinox Credit
At-home workout streaming services have exploded in popularity as more and more people are ditching the gym for the safety and comfort of their own homes. But there are still plenty of people hitting the gym, as well.
Equinox brings the best of both worlds together. It offers brick-and-mortar locations — known as “Clubs” — with a variety of classes and other health and fitness services. Equinox also offers an online streaming service where you can access workouts, fitness trackers, and more. Now, Amex is giving Amex Platinum cardholders the chance to experience it all.
Amex Platinum cardholders can receive a $25 a month credit when using their Amex Platinum to pay for their Equinox subscription. Eligible memberships include the following:
- Equinox All Access Destination — Access all Equinox clubs except for E Clubs
- E by Equinox — Access to all clubs, including E Clubs
- Equinox+ — Online streaming service, available with your on-demand fitness app
New $179 CLEAR Credit
Airports have always been crowded. However, with the dam bursting from the pent-up travel demand, it's getting crazier than ever. Enter services like CLEAR that allow you to speed through security by using your biometric data to confirm your identity. CLEAR is available at 50+ airports and other venues in the U.S.
The Amex Platinum will include access to CLEAR membership in the form of a statement credit. A CLEAR membership runs $179 annually. So, the fee is completely covered by Amex each year. Up to 3 family members can be added for an additional $50/year for each person.
New $240 Digital Entertainment Credit
In 2020, American Express offered temporary perks — including giving cardholders a $10 to $20 (depending on the card) monthly statement credit towards streaming services. Now, this credit is returning to the Amex Platinum. At least kinda.
Cardholders will be able to use their Amex Platinum to pay for eligible services and receive a $20 statement credit each month. Enrollment is required, so don't forget to do that first. So far, the list of eligible merchants includes:
- The New York Times
Global Dining Access by Resy
Resy gives you access to popular restaurants around the globe. Just add your Amex Platinum to your Resy profile and receive access to reservations, dining experiences, and more. You can sign up for a free Resy account here.
Amex Platinum Benefits That Aren't Changing
- up to $200 in annual Airline Fee Credits
- Centurion Lounge Access (check out the updated guest policy) and other lounges in Amex's Global Lounge collection.
- up to $200 in annual Uber Cash credits ($15 per month and plus an additional $20 in December)
- up to $100 in annual statement credits for Saks purchases
- 5X points on up to $500,000 of airfare each calendar year when purchased from amextravel.com or direct with the airline
- 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
Amex Disclosure: To receive the Uber Cash benefit, you must add The Platinum Card® from American Express to your account in the Uber app. Please see full terms for more details.
Increased Amex Platinum Welcome Offer
As part of this relaunch, the Amex Platinum is now offering new cardmembers the chance to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards after spending $6,000 within the first 6 months of account opening. Plus, get 10x Membership Rewards on purchases at restaurants and small businesses on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months.
Amex's public welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards is one we haven't seen in a long time. What can you do with 100,000 Membership Rewards? A lot! Check out this article for the best uses of your Membership Rewards. The spending requirement has increased a bit, but so has the allowed time frame for completing it.
Another potentially huge perk is the ability to earn 10X Membership Rewards on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and when you Shop Small in the U.S. I doubt the majority of us will be able to max this offer at restaurants. But where things get interesting is with the ability to earn at Small Businesses. We don't have all the details yet, so whether it's a home run or a flop is yet to be seen. But, I feel hopeful that this will be an amazing opportunity to earn stacks of Membership Rewards.
Is the Amex Platinum Worth It?
We know that value is highly subjective and varies from person to person. But, there's a good chance that if you were able to find the Amex Platinum worth it at $550, you'll be able to continue to extract value out of the card despite the increase.
The digital entertainment credits are probably the new perk that can make the most sense to the majority of the population. Most of us are spending money each month on various subscriptions. If this knocks off $20 a month on subscriptions you're already paying for, this alone can make the difference for the increased annual fee.
Other perks and their value will vary significantly from person to person. Personally, I find zero value from the Equinox subscription. The CLEAR credit is also not worth much to me. But, if you can take advantage of these then that's another ding in the annual fee.
If you are still on the fence, remember that Amex offers some other amazing benefits beyond these credits that can make the annual fee nearly negligible. For example, some members report getting 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards when calling Amex. That's a chunk of points!
American Express also sends out promotions for adding authorized users. I recently received an offer to earn 20,000 Membership Rewards when adding an authorized user and spending $2,000. Lastly, we can't forget about Amex Offers, which has saved me a fortune over the years and I've even made money on some of these.
Seeing that Amex has increased the annual fee on the Amex Platinum to nearly $700 is a hard pill to swallow. But Amex has also added a lot of value to a card that already had tons of great benefits.
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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