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Amex Platinum and Centurion Now Available With SmartChip

by on January 10, 2013 · 53 comments

in American Express

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here

I know a lot of you got in on the amazing 100,000-point sign-up bonus on the Amex Platinum Card earlier this week – congratulations! – but TPG reader Cameron reported another interesting finding when his replacement Platinum Card arrived recently – it came with a SmartChip embedded in it.

I confirmed with reps over at Amex that cardholders can now request replacement cards of both the personal and Business OPEN Platinum and Centurion cards to be issued with SmartChips, with plans for more products to have them as well in the future. I actually just called the number on the back of my own Platinum Card (1-800-525-3355) to have them issue me a new Platinum personal card with a SmartChip in it. This is chip and signature technology, not chip and pin like European cards, but it is still an improvement! I just hit 0 for customer service and it took about 30 seconds – it’s being shipped to me for free and I can still use my existing card while it is en route (the account number will remain the same).

According to Amex, they will not be issuing these cards proactively, but once a cardholder gets their card, they can call Amex to request a replacement with a SmartChip in it, so you might not get a SmartChip even if you just applied for one, but once your card comes, Amex will issue you a new one with the chip if you like.

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.

I personally carry the Platinum Card and I love it since I think the package of perks it comes with such as free Global Entry ($100), lounge access to American, Delta and US Airways clubs, and the $200 annual airline rebate all make it worth the $450 annual fee.

For those of you who don’t know, a SmartChip is embedded in a credit card kind of like the ones in Europe, which support “chip and pin” transactions where you just insert your card into a reader and enter a pin and your charge is done- however it still requires a signature. This makes transactions quicker when using it abroad, especially at machines that only take pin cards. Ths way you can be sure to collect points by making charges at places where you might not be able to otherwise like at restaurants and public transportation machines like the Paris Metro or Velib public bike system.

One of the reasons this makes a real difference is that the Platinum Card (rather uniquely for Amex cards) does not levy foreign transaction fees, plus its purchase protections make it one of my top cards for buying things abroad like clothes and art since I’m basically insured against any problems that might come up.

Other issuers like Chase and Citi have started offering SmartChips on a wider and wider range of products including the British Airways Visa and the Hyatt Card from Chase, and Citi cards including the Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard and the ThankYou Premier card are now being issued with Smart Chips as well – so I’m thrilled that Amex is upgrading their products in this direction.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • oneeyejack

    weird, my just came yesterday but didn’t have a smart chip. time to call them.

  • foosion

    There are two different chips, chip & pin and chip & signature. Will the card do true chip & pin (which does not require a signature) or only chip & signature (which does not require a pin)? Chip & signature cards usually don’t work at unattended kiosks.

  • AKold

    My 100K Platinum came without one but my dad got his 12 hours later and got a smart chip on his.

  • thepointsguy

    As mentioned in the post, chip and signature. Not perfect but better than nothing

  • http://www.facebook.com/fabiovilela Fábio Vilela

    In Brazil they started by the end of last year issuing Amex Cards with SmartChip’s.
    Received my new one last week in the post.
    Here are some pics http://passageirodeprimeira.com/2013/01/07/american-express-the-platinum-card-kit-de-boas-vindas/

  • Ram Kashyap

    Activated my card last night and that did not have a smart chip. Called Amex, I was told that the card has to be active for at least 10 days and then they will be able to issue a replacement card and overnight to me. I will call them in 2 weeks.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Paul

    does the global entry benefit apply every year? ie can I pay for GE membership for a family member every year I have the card? I got GE last year, but would be great to get it for another family member

  • foosion

    The post mentioned both requiring a pin and requiring a signature. Thanks for the clarification.

    Maybe someday mainstream card issuers will issue chip and pin, so that we can use unattended kiosks (especially train and gas).

  • Jason

    Nice! Just called and they said it will be here by tomorrow, 7pm.

  • Santastico

    Called Amex Platinum line and mine will be delivered end of the day tomorrow. Just to clarify, I was told the card has no PIN, so it won’t be a chip + PIN + signature but only difference is that you will be able to use the card on machines that only accept cards with chip but instead of entering a PIN number I will have to sign it. It is convenient but still on the Stone Age when compared to countries in Europe and Latin America where chip+PIN is the only way people use cards there. In my opinion the signature requirement is a joke since you can sign whatever you want there. Also, on my last 2 business trips to Brazil I only used my personal card once in each trip and both times the card was “cloned” and used for shopping in the US while I was down there. Both times the credit card company handled the situation very well but still it is a hassle to have to deal with that and also get a new credit card number and have to change all auto payments I have on that card. Having the PIN would eliminate (or make it very difficult) that issue.

  • Trev

    Thanks TPG, that’s great to know. Is the SmartChip is generally visible, like the card in the picture? Also, would you suggest keeping the Platinum card after the first year, despite the high annual fee?

  • Cw

    Does global entry work for additional users or only primary cars holders

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  • Walkinpneumonia

    Awesome, wish I had this when I went to London last year. Just called and had one shipped out. Quick and easy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NQEEHDIWLRBMZJNAU6GKH4IYBU jvontai hanserd

    yea works for personal platinum but not corporate yet

  • thepointsguy

    Yep..only personal and business cards.. not corporate unfortunately

  • thepointsguy

    Yep- just call the number on the back of your card

  • merchant credit processing

    very nice article.merchant credit processing

  • Thoughtdujour

    Just called into card services and requested my personal platinum card to be swapped out with one with the chip. It’s arriving tomorrow. Super fast! Thanks for the tip!

  • http://twitter.com/Drew1980 Andrew Amador

    I called AMEX mid to end of November and they offered me the card with chip since I mentioned I was going to London in December. Must have been available for some time now.

  • SEM

    Additional card holders also get the benefit, but the 200$ airline credit is shared w/ the primary card holder…

  • fusai

    Also got in on the 100k bonus and card arrived with no chip.

    Called amex to get a new card but was told that since it was a new account I will not be able to have the card “replaced” until the 18th and to call back then.

  • Guest

    First year annual fee is not waived.

  • davep

    Two things – my wife got her new Platinum yesterday with no chip. After reading this thread I call Platinum Service line to request a new card with chip, since we are going to London and Paris next week, and rep told me they mailed one out yesterday. Might be there when I get home.

  • http://www.AdamLasnik.net/ ThatAdamGuy

    I’m heading to Singapore and Vietnam next week; would the chip be useful in that context, or is it mostly useful for Europe?

  • davep

    I think its a one time thing. Last year I got Global Entry for both me and my wife and only got credit for $100. Last week I applied for my son and used my Plat card just in case but as of today, 6 days later, there has been no credit. Wish I would have know about the 100,000 point thing as my wife now has a new plat and that would have gotten the credit.

  • Brian L.

    The Mercedes-Benz version is also available with a chip. There’s a lengthy thread on FT regarding AmEx and EMV chips.

  • Dhammer53

    I read the card comes with Starwood Gold status. Do I have to call Starwood, or does AMEX take care of it?

  • http://twitter.com/BuckyKKatt Bucky Katt

    Looks like you need to call. Per the Amex Platinum Member Benefits page, the number is 1-800-525-3355.

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  • Anon

    Called and got EMV Chip & Sig cards for my AmEx Plat Mercedes Benz card overnighted to both myself and my additional card holder!

  • David Aitken

    I had the same experience as Ram below.

  • Mark

    I have had the platinum card for years but just had it replaced with a new number this week because of fraudulent charges. I called after seeing this post and they are sending me a chip card now. I had not even used the new card yet so it will be easy to transition. Thanks for the post!

  • YYZ_TRAVELLER

    Fortunately, us canadians have had chip and pin on most cards including the Amex Plat for several years now :)

  • PhatMiles

    Thanks Mark. Not sure if the rep was sure or not. I will give it a shot again to see how it goes. Nonetheless, I do not lose any thing for not having the Chip card for 10 more days. :)

  • PhatMiles

    You have to call.

  • Dfwnjc

    Where can I find the saying there is no foreign transacion fee on Amex plat?

  • Dan Nainan, Comedian

    Try this awesome new site:

    http://www.google.com

  • Dhammer53

    If you received your card in it’s very impressive package, you’ll find it listed in the booklet.

  • Texas1167

    My replacement card with the chip showed up in the mail automatically without my request.

  • Marlene

    Got my new card from when I got in on the deal, as well, and no smart chip on mine.

  • http://www.giftsleuth.com/ GiftSleuth

    This is great news. I wish I had this a couple months ago when I was in Europe.

    I just called and a new card is on it’s way.

  • http://www.giftsleuth.com/ GiftSleuth

    I don’t remember seeing the chip readers when I was in Vietnam, but I also mostly used cash. But, they were everywhere when I was in Europe (London, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam). So, I’m pretty sure this is mostly for EU use.

    Have an awesome time in Vietnam – it was easily one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.

  • http://www.AdamLasnik.net/ ThatAdamGuy

    Ah, good to know… thanks (for the info + encouragement :)

  • Adnane

    Has anyone tried the new chip-enabled Amex at the kiosks of the French rail system (SNCF of RATP) ?

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  • Lovmac

    FWIW, AmEx did proactively send me a new card. But I travel abroad quite a bit and have run probably 30-40k worth of charges outside the US on it.

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  • Christopher Jenkins

    Too bad my AMEX Platinum w/ smart chip does not work in Saudi Arabia.

  • metro_struggler

    I just called AMEX for my Costco card and turns out they are including chips with that card as well. Figured I’d try since I’ll be cancelling my Platinum given the removal of US Air and American lounge access.

  • smittyboy020

    What about the MB logo? Is it still there?

  • smittyboy020

    I know this is old, but does the chip cover the MB logo on the MB Amex Plat?

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