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There are two rewards credit cards that stand out from the crowd when it comes to earning elite status. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express hold a special place in the points and miles world, granting elite status across multiple loyalty programs and opening up access to elite benefits at luxury hotels through Amex Platinum programs like The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Earning elite status within a loyalty program is one of the easiest ways to improve the travel experience. You can score free room upgrades, gain access to the hotel lounge for evening drinks and canapés, earn increased points for stays, and in some cases, enjoy breakfast on the house.
Achieving status in a loyalty program can take time and significant financial investment, however, often requiring 25-50 nights with the hotel chain to achieve even mid-tier elite status.
The good news for loyalty members is that there’re other methods to attaining the same level of recognition and benefits, the easiest of which is acquiring the right credit cards.
IHG Rewards Club and Club Carlson both offer mid-tier elite status as a benefit of low-fee co-branded credit cards like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card. While the earns base level Silver status, plus elite night credits towards higher elite levels, on top of a generous welcome bonus and other perks.
The merger between Marriott and Starwood has opened up new opportunities for the two platinum cards. On top of some positive changes to the business card’s benefits like 5X points on airfare and receiving 35% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points, you can now take advantage of status with Marriott Rewards at Marriott, Starwood, and The Ritz-Carlton, increasing the number of hotels and resorts where you receive elite benefits.
1 Credit Card = Elite Status with Multiple Programs
The Amex Platinum currently earns elite status in the following programs.
- Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Marriott Rewards Gold Elite
- Avis Preferred®
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards®
- National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive
It also offers reciprocal earning agreements with these airlines.
- Emirates – YourWorldRewards® with SPG and Emirates Skywards®
- United – RewardsPlus with Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus
Highlights of The Platinum Amex Cards
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- Rates & Fees
Earn Hotel and Airline Elite Status the Easy Way
Another alternative to earning elite status with the Amex Platinum which we covered in another post is earning top-tier elite status through Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card.
The SPG Luxury Amex offers one of the easiest methods of attaining the top level of benefits with Marriott and SPG, also gaining you elite status or benefits with 2 airlines after reaching the spending requirement. The card does have an annual fee of $450, so it’s worth weighing up whether you can maximize the benefits of the card before signing up.
Marriott Rewards offers a fast-track to Platinum by spending $75K in a calendar year on the SPG Luxury Amex, which opens up great status match opportunities. You’ll qualify for:
- Marriott Platinum Elite
- United MileagePlus Premier® Silver Status (RewardsPlus with Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus)
- Elite benefits when flying Emirates (YourWorldRewards® with SPG and Emirates Skywards®)
If it’s elite status with a loyalty program that you’re chasing, without having to do the legwork, the Amex Platinum, Business Platinum Card, and SPG Luxury Amex offer alternatives to the traditional path of racking up night after night in a hotel to reach an elite tier.
Amex is working hard with the Platinum cards to make them more competitive with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and with recent changes to cards, plus the Starwood-Marriott merger, the value proposition is swinging in a positive direction.
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)
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