3 different flavors of Amex Platinum — which one is right for you?

Jun 8, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information. 


The premium rewards card market is crowded, with cardholders eager to pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees to get luxury perks.

It’s crazy to think that there was really only one mass-market premium card less than a decade ago — The Platinum Card® from American Express. Now, the Platinum card is just one of a half dozen or so premium card offerings from American Express, but there are actually several different versions.

They share many common features, including the sleek metal design and access to Amex Offers. Still, there are also subtle differences that might push you toward one version over the other.

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In This Post

Three different shades of platinum

Here’s a look at the three different flavors of the Amex Platinum that I’ll focus on today.

The three iterations of the Platinum I’m comparing today include The Platinum Card® from American Express (the most popular choice), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and The American Express Platinum® Card for Schwab.

As you can see, the biggest differences are between the two personal Platinums and the Business Platinum.

The Platinum Card® from American Express The Business Platinum Card® from American Express The American Express Platinum® Card for Schwab
Welcome offer Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the card at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of card membership. Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first three months of account opening. Terms Apply. Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. Terms Apply.
Annual fee $695 (see rates & fees) $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022)(see rates & fees) $550
Bonus categories 5x on airfare purchased directly from the airline and on airfare and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. 5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel; 1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. 5x on airfare purchased directly from the airline and on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
Annual credits Up to $200 annual airline incidental statement credit per calendar year

Up to $200 annual Uber Cash ($15 a month and a $20 bonus in December) (for use in the U.S. only) per calendar year

Up to $100 annual ($50 semi-annually) Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit per calendar year

Enrollment required for select benefits.

Up to $400 in annual statement credits ($200 semi-annually) for U.S. Dell technology purchases per calendar year

Up to $200 annual airline incidental statement credit

Enrollment required for select benefits.

Up to $200 annual airline incidental statement credit

Up to $200 annual Uber Cash ($15 a month and a $20 bonus in December) (for use in the U.S. only) per calendar year

$100 annual ($50 semi-annually) Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit

Enrollment required for select benefits.

Unique perks N/A 35% pay-with-points rebate when you book with Amex Travel (valid on first- and business-class flights on any airline or economy flights on a selected qualifying airline) up to 500,000 points per calendar year)

 

Redeem points for 1.25 cents each to an eligible Schwab brokerage account

Receive a $100 statement credit if your qualifying Schwab holdings are equal to or greater than $250,000 or receive a $200 credit if your holdings are equal to or greater than $1,000,000 following card account approval and annually thereafter.

The information for the American Express Platinum Schwab has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Platinum Card from American Express

(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)

The Platinum Card is the one that most people will choose to apply for. In addition to the perks described above, it also offers, like all variations of the Platinum card, a Priority Pass Select membership, access to Amex Centurion lounges, and Delta SkyClubs on same-day Delta flights and complimentary Gold elite status with both Hilton and Marriott. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Review of the Amex Platinum 

One reason you might want to consider a different version is that Amex only allows you to get a welcome offer on any card once in a lifetime. Technically, these three Platinums are all different cards, so you can get the welcome offer on each.

Right now, there is a generous welcome offer on the Amex Platinum: 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in your first six months of card membership. But the truly unique element of the offer is a bonus multiplier on non-travel items.

New cardholders will now be able to earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the card at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of card membership. Those 100,000 points are worth $2,000, according to TPG’s valuation.

There’s also a targeted welcome offer — 125,000 points — after meeting minimum spend requirements on The Platinum Card® from American Express available for some through the CardMatch Tool ($695 annual fee, see rates and fees). CardMatch offers are targeted and subject to change at anytime.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum card has a high spending requirement of $15,000 in the first three months to earn the 120,000 points, but if your business has large expenses, a world of rewards is waiting for you.

This card is a standout choice for two reasons: The 35% rebate when you use your points to pay for flights (first and business class on any airline or economy on your selected qualifying airline) allows you to lock in a minimum redemption value of at least 1.53 cents, better than even the Chase Sapphire Reserve — which offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on a broad definition of travel.

While you need to have the full amount of points in your account to book this way (your rebate will post in 6-10 weeks), these are revenue flights, so you’ll earn miles and elite qualifying metrics on them, unlike standard award tickets.

Related: Personal or business: Which flavor of Amex Platinum and Amex Gold is best for you?

You can transfer Amex points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and book a business class seat. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The other reason businesses should be excited about this card is the 50% point bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more. The best way to use this would be on a large travel purchase made with American Express Travel, so your 50% bonus would be on top of the 5x bonus category.

But even if you’re using this for non-bonus spending, it can be a great deal. Those 1.5x points aren’t the highest possible return you can get. Still, purchases made on the Business Platinum come with extended warranty protection and 90 days of protection from accidental damage or theft.

Related: Review of the Amex Business Platinum

The American Express Platinum® Card for Schwab

The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab is only available to Charles Schwab customers. There’s no way around this requirement since you must sign into your Schwab account during the application process. If you’re not a Schwab customer, you should consider signing up. The Schwab investor checking account reimburses all ATM fees worldwide, making this a great option for getting cash when traveling.

This card is identical to the personal Platinum card in most ways, except it comes with one neat perk — the ability to cash out Membership Rewards at a rate of 1.25 cents each to a linked Schwab brokerage account. Note that this is significantly below TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, but if you find yourself racking up points faster than you can spend them, this can be a worthwhile option.

Points are a bad long-term investment as they’re susceptible to award chart devaluations with no advance notice, so if your circumstances change and you aren’t traveling enough to burn your points, consider cashing them out. The process is straightforward, and when I tried it out myself, the money posted instantly to my Schwab account even though it was a Sunday and banks were closed.

If you already are a Schwab customer, you might be eligible for a bonus of $100 or $200 after account approval and each year after that, depending on the size of your account balances.

Even if you never plan to cash out your points, that alone could be reason enough to pick this version over the standard personal Platinum card. This bonus only applies to balances above $250,000, however. Like the regular personal Platinum, the Schwab Platinum has a targeted 100,000-point welcome offer, so make sure to keep a close eye on your email to see if you’re targeted for this elevated bonus.

Related: How our cruise writer got $4,456 in value from his Amex Platinum in a year

Bottom line

These three versions of the Amex Platinum card offer slightly different variations of a common package of luxury travel perks. In picking which one is right for you, it helps to consider how you plan to use your points (cash out, transfer to airlines, pay with points, etc.) and how much/what type of spending you plan to put on the card.

No one needs all three different variations of the Platinum card in their wallet, but there’s definitely room for one or two, especially if you’re in the market for a valuable welcome offer.

Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg. 

Featured image by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.  

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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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