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TPG reader Krysta tweeted me to ask

@thepointsguy – “Does the $450 Amex Platinum annual fee count towards the $3,000 you need to spend within the first three months?”

This is a great question that I’m asked frequently, and the answer is applicable to almost every credit card and annual fee out there.

The Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on the card in your first 3 months. However, it’s important to understand that the $450 annual fee does not count toward the spending requirement for the bonus points. This is also true for other credit cards, not just the Amex Platinum. 

The annual fee doesn’t count as eligible spending toward earning the bonus. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

I’ve had readers email to report that a phone rep told them the annual fee would count. This may come as a surprise, but phone reps don’t always know what they’re talking about. Regardless of what you hear from Amex customer service, the annual fee will not count toward earning the bonus, and neither will balance transfers or cash advances.

New purchases are the only eligible spending. Credit card companies are getting really strict about this; if you don’t hit the minimum spending requirement with eligible purchases, you won’t earn the bonus.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.