Questions and Answers About the Revised Amex Platinum Card

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Official Application Link: The Platinum Card from American Express (60,000-point bonus offer)

News broke earlier this week about big changes coming to the Amex Platinum. Seemingly responding to pressure from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express felt the need to up its game.

In the day that we’ve had to process the changes, the jury seems mixed about whether or not the new benefits justify the increased annual fee. But one thing’s for sure: There are still plenty of questions! Our original post has more than 300 comments about the news, and we’ve combed them and asked an Amex rep for clarifications when needed.

Here’s a roundup of the most frequent and important questions about the revised Amex Platinum:

NEW UBER CREDIT

Question: Does the new $200 annual Uber credit replace the $200 airline fee credit?

Answer: No, you’ll get both credits under the revised version of the card.

Q: Do authorized users also get a $200 annual Uber credit?

A: Unfortunately not. Only the primary cardholder gets the $200 Uber credit. Authorized users — either those you’re paying an additional $175 annual fee for or the new Gold cardholders — will not get an additional Uber credit.

Q: Do I get the $200 Uber annual ride credit all at once?

A: No. At the beginning of each month, American Express will load a credit into your linked Uber account: $15 for January-November and $35 in December. These credits will expire at the end of the month if not used, so you’re going to need to use Uber at least once per month to get the full $200 annual credit.

SIGN-UP BONUS

Q: When should I apply for this card if I don’t already have it?

A: There’s no terrible rush right now, but — if you’re interested in the revisions to the card — you’ll want to sign up before March 30 when the annual fee jumps from $450/475 to $550. The Amex Platinum is publicly offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points for spending at least $5,000 in the first three months. The Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card (with the higher $475 annual fee) is offering the same: 60,000 Membership Rewards points for spending the same $5,000 in the first three months. However, you might be targeted for a better offer through the CardMatch Tool.

Q: Speaking of the sign-up bonus, will I be able to get this offer on the “new” version of the card if I’ve previously had an Amex Platinum?

A: Amex sign-up bonuses are once per product per lifetime. Technically, the application says: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” Unfortunately for those who’ve already had an Amex Platinum, the changes to the Amex Platinum are being made to the existing Amex Platinum product rather than the issuer launching a new version of the card. Our contacts at Amex confirmed that the revised card will be considered the same product. However, the different co-branded versions of the card are treated as separate products. So, you can still get the sign-up bonus on these versions of Amex Platinum, such as the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card.

There are five of these co-branded cards and you can get the sign-up bonus on each, though some are reserved for existing bank clients:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express for Morgan Stanley
  • The Platinum Card from American Express for Goldman Sachs
  • The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise
  • The Platinum Card from American Express for Mercedes-Benz
  • The Platinum Card from American Express for Charles Schwab

ANNUAL FEE

Q: Will the annual fee on the co-branded cards — such as the Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card — also go up by $100?

A: The Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card currently has a $475 annual fee vs. the $450 annual fee on the standard Amex Platinum. So, it’s logical to think that it’ll also jump by $100 to become a $575 annual fee card. Interestingly, this isn’t the case. Our Amex rep confirmed that all versions of the Amex Platinum will have a $550 annual fee. This makes an even stronger case for the co-branded cards, some of which offer additional unique benefits — such as an annual $1,000 certificate toward the purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz.

Q: My cardmember anniversary is August 30. Will my renewal annual fee be $450 or $550?

A: Existing cardholders are getting a five-month grace period on the new annual fee. Although new cardholders will be charged $550 for applications on or after March 30, existing cardholders will be renewed at $450 through the end of August. But what if your anniversary is August 30? It looks like we have at least one user in this exact situation. We checked with Amex, and unfortunately the annual fee has to post by August 31 in order for it to be renewed at $450. If your anniversary is in mid to late August, your annual fee probably won’t post until September — which will be at the new $550 rate.

Q: Will the annual fee be waived for active military?

A: Yes. Active duty military service members will continue to have the annual fee waived on the Amex Platinum.

Q: Will the annual fee for “additional cardmembers” (a.k.a. authorized users) remain at $175?

A: Yes. You’ll still have the opportunity to add up to three authorized users for an additional $175. Each additional authorized user after the first three will cost $175 each. Alternatively, you can add up to 99 “Gold card” authorized users for no additional fee. These Gold cards are essentially just spending cards; they don’t provide any of the standard Amex Platinum benefits — such as lounge access, additional airline fee credit, additional Global/TSA PreCheck credit, etc. However, these cards will be eligible for the 5x bonus categories.

CATEGORY BONUS

Q: What are the bonus categories on this card?

A: While not the strongest everyday card, the Amex Platinum has some great bonus categories. Currently, you can get 5x Membership Rewards on airfare purchased directly from an airline or through Amex Travel. And once the revisions kick in, you’ll also get 5x on hotel bookings made through Amex Travel. Unfortunately, there are some restrictions to this: You must book prepaid rates, and hotels booked through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program aren’t eligible. Just keep in mind that more and more properties are limiting elite benefits for bookings not made directly with the hotel.

BOTTOM LINE

The revisions to the Amex Platinum are going to be a mixed bag. For frequent Uber users, the $100 annual fee increase is easily offset by the $200 new Uber credit. And if you apply before March 30, you can get this new credit for a year while still paying the old $450 annual fee. However, if you’re in a city without Uber or subscribe to #DeleteUber, this new credit isn’t going to move the needle when it comes to determining whether this card is right for you.

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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.

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