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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
American Express has an offer for a
100K sign-up bonus. You’ll receive 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months of Card membership. Before you take advantage of this offer, the terms state that the welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days.
Although this isn’t one of our links and we can’t guarantee you’ll get the 100,000 point sign-up offer, the terms & conditions seem straightforward and don’t indicate that this is a targeted offer (though I’d still take screen shots just in case). This offer probably won’t last long, so if you want to get in on it before/if it gets pulled, I’d apply sooner than later!
To get the offer legitimately, what you can do is go to CreditCards.com and click on the tab in the top left that says “Offers Matched For You.”
Then you enter your information and what you’re searching for and the Amex Platinum 100k offer should populate for you, as will the Premier Rewards Gold offer for 50,000 points probably, if you’re interested in that one. If you go this route, you should get the 100,000-point bonus, without any issues just be sure to take a screenshot to prove you were provided with the offer. Please comment below on your experiences – though per the comments so far, people don’t seem to have had any problems getting in on this offer.
For more information on maximizing the Platinum Card, check out this post from my Amex Series. You can learn more about specific benefits of the card like the $200 airline rebate, and all the other benefits that I think make the $450 annual fee worth it.
Here is a brief resume of the major benefits of the card in addition to Membership Rewards points:
Update: Beginning March 22, 2014, American Express Card Members will no longer have access to American Airlines Admiral Club and US Airways Club airport lounges through Airport Club Access / Airport Lounge Program. This means that Card Members will no longer be able to gain complimentary access to the American Airlines airport lounges (known as Admirals Club lounges) or the US Airways Club airport lounges as a benefit of their Platinum Card Membership. Cardmembers will continue to receive access to participating Delta Sky Club lounges, Priority Pass Select (enrollment is required), and Airspace lounges in JFK, CLE and BWI airports.
Airport Club Access Program: Showing your Platinum card will get you access to Delta, American, and US Airways lounges. You must be traveling on that carrier and show a ticket, except for US Airways, which allows entry even if you are flying on a different carrier. You can bring two guests or your spouse and any children under 21 are covered.
$200 Airline Fee Credit: Every year you can select an airline and American Express will automatically refund you up to $200 throughout the year when you incur any fees. The marketing materials about this benefit state that the Airline Fee Credit can apply to baggage, in-flight food and drink, flight change fees and lounge day passes, but people have also reported receiving rebates for airline gift card purchases, full lounge membership, award ticket fees, and even cheap flights. Yes, you heard that correctly. As with all IT, many of these reimbursements probably shouldn’t have been reimbursed, but the system is not programmed well enough to decide what is eligible or not. In general, this benefit is pretty flexible and if you do any amount of traveling, you should have no problem getting the full $200 in value. American Express also has phenomenal (in my experience) customer service, so even if your charge doesn’t automatically get reimbursed, you can ask them to consider it and many people have gotten Amex to reimburse using this method.
Priority Pass Select Membership: In addition to the Delta/American/US/ lounge access program, you also get Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you free access to hundreds of international and independent airline lounges. All guests are $27, though some lounges allow family members in for free. This includes Alaska Airlines lounge access.
Global Entry Fee Rebate: The US government charges $100 to get Global Entry, but if you pay using your Platinum card, Amex will automatically rebate you that $100 dollars.
Starwood Gold Status: Once you have a Platinum card, just call Starwood at 1-888-625-4990 and tell them you have an Amex Platinum card and want SPG Gold Status. They’ll make you fax in proof that you have the card, but once you send it, they’ll upgrade your Starwood account to Gold status. Starwood Gold (normally attained after 25 nights or 10 stays) gets you a 50% bonus on Starpoints, room upgrades, 4pm late checkout and overall better customer service.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: When you book hotel stays through this program and pay with your Platinum card, you get room upgrades, free breakfast for two, late check-out (4pm) and other amenities like spa credit and free golf. Overall, FHR rates might be a little more expensive, but the breakfast benefit alone can save you over $50 a day. I also love the 4pm late check-out when I’m staying at a hotel where I don’t have elite status. Booking as a FHR guest allows you to differentiate yourself from the masses and get enhanced customer service.
Purchase Protection: American Express prides itself on customer service, so if you purchase something and it gets stolen/broken/lost, Amex will refund you. I remember reading a post on Flyertalk about someone’s hat blowing off on a cruise and Amex instantly refunded them the $70 since they bought it with a Platinum card. I’ve generally only heard good stories about this benefit, so it can easily save you more than your yearly fee if you ever need to take advantage of it.
International Premium Companion Ticket: If you buy a full-fare first or business class ticket, you can get a second for free. This benefit isn’t hugely valuable unless you frequently buy super-expensive tickets. However, this can be very valuable for people who can book full-fare business class for work and thus you can get your spouse/partner to come along for free in the same class of service.
Premium Car Rental Program: With the Amex Platinum you enjoy elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National. Elite status allows for quick checkout and upgrades as well as a 4-hour return grace period when you use the Platinum rate. There’s also an option to buy premium insurance directly through Amex for about $20 a rental, which can be a huge savings over buying it from the car rental company directly.
Cruise Privileges Program: Up to $300 per stateroom shipboard credit or a two-category stateroom upgrade, exclusive amenities that vary by cruise line, double Membership Rewards points and $100 Annual travel benefit. Partners: Azamara, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Holland, Paul Gauguin, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Windstar and Yachts of Seabourn. Book by calling Platinum Travel Service at 1-800-443-7672. I personally haven’t used this benefit yet, but TPG reader John tweeted me that on his most recent Celebrity cruise, he got $100 onboard credit, a bottle of premium wine (~$85) and two specialty restaurant covers (~$60).
As always, if you recently applied for this card and got a lower sign-up bonus, you can call Amex’s account services department at 877-399-3083 and ask them if they will match the current 100,000-point offer. They’ve gotten a lot stricter about this lately, but it never hurts to ask!
Hat Tip: Travel Summary There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.