Unboxing: The Brand-New Metal American Express Platinum Card
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Official Application Link: The Platinum Card from American Express (60,000-point bonus offer)
Last week, the newly improved Platinum Card from American Express made its debut. Effective immediately, cardholders could sync their Uber accounts to take advantage of the $200 annual credit, and began earning 5x points on hotel reservations made through amextravel.com. Plus, new cardholders could apply for an increased 60,000-point bonus offer after spending $5,000 in the first three months. The one change in the card that would take more time to show for existing cardholders? The Platinum’s new sleek, metal design.
On Friday morning, I called Amex and was able to request the new, metal version of my card. (If you haven’t yet requested the new version, you can do so by calling Amex or logging in to your account online.) The representative I spoke with told me that the card would arrive at my apartment by Tuesday, April 4 (pending weather). Sure enough, this afternoon, the card was delivered in a white FedEx envelope.
After removing the security strip from the envelope, I opened it to find another, smaller letter envelope. Inside the letter envelope was a sheet of paper, and attached to it was my shiny new Platinum Card.
Also in the envelope were a couple of information sheets with details about the card. Presumably, this information is for new cardholders who don’t know all the benefits it offers. Amex also included an envelope that’s used to send the card back for destruction if you close your account or request a replacement, since you can’t shred or cut up a metal card.
In my opinion, the new card is a noticeable upgrade from the plastic version. You’ll notice that the account number is now located on the back of the card. In addition, the text on the front isn’t raised like it was on the previous, plastic version. Instead, your name, security code, member information and product branding are lightly engraved on the front. It’s not engraved as deep as you’ll find with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but it is noticeable. You’ll also notice that the color of the card is more platinum in color than the old version, which was more silver than anything.
The back of the card looks much cleaner as well. It’s hard to tell with my card number blurred out in the photo below, but whereas the old version of the card had your information (name, membership information, card number and expiration date) raised so it was indented on the back of the card, the new version is crisp and clear. You can easily see the card number and other information without any obstruction of other text.
One of the more obvious questions when the metal version was first announced was how much it would weigh. The card barely feels heavier than the Chase Sapphire cards, which each weigh 0.5 of an ounce, but it is noticeably a little bit heftier. The new metal card comes in at 0.7 of an ounce — 0.2 of an ounce heavier than the Sapphire cards and 0.5 ounces heavier than the Citi Prestige, but 0.3 of an ounce less than The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card.
In my opinion, the new metal version of the Amex Platinum Card is a big step up over the plastic version. Factoring in the new more-platinum-like color, rather than a shining silver, I think Amex got this all right. The weight of the card isn’t overpowering, but it still has the “wow factor” when you hand it over to a cashier.
For a card that now comes with a $550 annual fee, the physical card now represents the exclusivity Amex is going for. Today, we found out that the business version of the card, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, will also be redesigned this year to feature a metal card.
Currently, you can apply for the Platinum Card and get 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. You’ll earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline, 5x on prepaid hotel stays booked through amextravel.com and 1x points on everything else. In addition, you’ll get $200 annually in Uber credits and $200 in an annual airline fee credit you can use to cover incidental charges like baggage fees and in-flight meals. Plus, you (and your authorized cardholders) will get access to Amex Centurion lounges. The Amex Platinum now comes with a $550 annual fee, but that can easily be made up for with the benefits that come with the card.