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Are you a Platinum 'All-Star'? Amex wants cardmembers to see just how many perks they’re using

Aug. 04, 2021
6 min read
Are you a Platinum 'All-Star'? Amex wants cardmembers to see just how many perks they’re using
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In July 2021, The Platinum Card® from American Express underwent one of the most dramatic overhauls of its decades-long existence.

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The so-called “lifestyle refresh” included an annual fee hike to $695 (see rates and fees), but also the addition of several new benefits. Those included:

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

The Amex Platinum continues to offer the following perks:

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: 10x bonus categories and 100k welcome offer: The Platinum Card from American Express review

As you might expect, the reaction to these developments was decidedly mixed among both existing and prospective Amex Platinum Card members. The new hotel and Clear statement credits are easy enough to leverage, even if you only travel occasionally. But unless you are a subscriber to the four digital entertainment services mentioned and are an avid Equinox gymgoer (or at-home trainee), chances are the card lost some of its luster.

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Perhaps sensing the grumbling among some of its highest-value customers, American Express sent out updates designed to show Amex Platinum cardmembers just how much value they’re getting from their cards. The results are humorous, but only slightly useful.

Explorers, Achievers and All-Stars, oh my!

American Express has subdivided its card membership into four tiers based on how many of their benefits they’ve unlocked so far this year.

They start with general Members, who presumably don’t use their card for much at all. Next, come the Explorers. One card member who shared their Explorer status update maintains a relatively low points balance and has used just $25 of their $200 airline credit, used their semi-annual Saks credit and saved $238 via Amex Offers.

At the next level, we found quite a few Achievers in the mix. This one has over 224,000 points, and has used up the airline fee credit, not spent any of their semi-annual Saks credit, along with saving $365 through Amex Offers this year.

Another has nearly 248,000 points, maxed out both the airline and Saks credits, and got $200 back through Amex Offers.

The next cardholder has nearly 429,000 points, has gone through the airline but not the Saks credits, and has received $402 worth of savings from Amex offers.

Still another has a whopping 795,537 points, used the airline credit, and has saved $479 via Amex Offers. Not bad, but not enough to make them an All-Star, apparently.

Perhaps Amex is going to release new rankings once folks start burning through those Equinox and digital entertainment credits. Or maybe this is just another elite-like hamster wheel (awkward tier names and all) to convince folks that they are actually getting hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars from a card that now costs nearly $700 to hang onto year after year.

While these status update emails are unlikely to convince anyone who was thinking of closing their Amex Platinum card to continue carrying it, they are nonetheless helpful for folks who do want to hang onto their Amex Platinum and are wondering how they’re doing on using their benefits this year.

If you haven’t hit All-Star yet, though, time to take a good, hard look at your spending activity, how you’re doing with all the annual statement credits you’re entitled to – both ongoing and new – and evaluate what you need to do in the remainder of 2021 to make it worth your while to keep using your Amex Platinum card.

Hopefully, Amex will add more of these tallies, including those Uber credits and hotel credits, to make it easier to do so.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees