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There are two rewards 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 are other methods to attaining the same level of recognition and benefits, the easiest of which is acquiring the right credit cards.
For example, IHG One Rewards offers mid-tier elite status as a benefit of its low-fee IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card. And the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card earns base level Silver status, plus elite night credits towards higher elite levels.
The merger between Marriott and Starwood 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 up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year booked directly with airlines) and receiving 35% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points, you can now take advantage of status with Marriott Bonvoy across the combined Marriott portfolio, 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 Bonvoy 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 Marriott Bonvoy and Emirates Skywards®
- United – RewardsPlus with Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus
Highlights of The Platinum Amex Cards
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $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®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
- $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 is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
- $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
- Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
- Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
- $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.
- Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Earn 1.5X points (that's an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
- Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card®.
- The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. shipping providers.
- 1.5X earning rates are subject to a cap of $2 million in purchases per calendar year.
Earn Hotel and Airline Elite Status the Easy Way
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers one of the easiest methods of attaining high-tier status with Marriott. The card does have an annual fee of $650 - Rates & Fees, so it’s worth weighing up whether you can maximize the benefits of the card before applying.
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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card 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 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), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)
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