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TPG reader Vishal sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Amex cards:
“Is the Mercedes-Benz Amex Platinum card considered the same product as the regular Platinum card? Can I earn a sign-up bonus for each one, and do they have the same benefits?”
Most credit card issuers have application restrictions that limit how many accounts you can have and when you can earn a sign-up bonus. American Express falls on the conservative end of the spectrum, typically allowing applicants to earn a bonus once per lifetime for a given card. However, many cards come in multiple versions that are actually considered separate products, which means you may be able to get more than one.
The Platinum Card from American Express is a great example. Apart from the standard personal card and the business version, there are several co-branded Platinum cards such as the Mercedes-Benz Credit Card and a number of others from financial institutions like Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley. While they’re all technically Amex Platinum cards, they’re really individual products, and you should be able to earn a sign-up bonus for each one so long as you haven’t done so previously.
That’s good news if you want to get a card for the lucrative Platinum benefits and you’ve already been a cardholder in the past. Ordinarily you could apply a second time, but you’d be ineligible for any bonus offer. By applying for another version of the card, however, you can still get that extra incentive to sign up (which can give you a huge return based on some of the increased bonuses we’ve seen lately).
The regular Platinum Card and the Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card have mostly similar benefits: They both offer an annual $200 airline fee credit, lounge access, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application credit and more. The main differences are that the Mercedes-Benz version has a slightly higher annual fee ($475 instead of $450), and it comes with a few extra perks that are only noteworthy if you plan to buy or lease a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
Since the benefits most relevant to award travelers are identical, having more than one of these cards at a time would be redundant. I think the Platinum Card is worth the annual fee, but it doesn’t make sense to pay two annual fees for such similar cards. If you’re deciding between them, I’d go with the original Platinum Card to save $25 each year unless you can use the Mercedes-Benz discounts.
For more on maximizing the Platinum Card and its benefits, check out these posts:
- 10 Things to Do When You Get Amex Platinum
- Why You Should Add Authorized Users on Your Amex Platinum
- Maximizing the American Express Concierge
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.
- 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