New year, new card art: 2 new designs are here for the Amex Platinum

Jan 20, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. New Platinum Card designs are now available. 

Few cards carry the cachet of The Platinum Card® from American Express. It’s hard not to notice its flash — or its heft at a whopping 18.6 grams thanks to the fact that it’s made of metal — when you whip it out of your wallet to pay for something.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

While the card has undergone many design tweaks since its inception, these changes have mostly been trivial, sticking to that classic metallic look familiar to most of us. Other than the limited-edition yellow card designed by Pharrell Williams back in 2018, the Amex Platinum as we know it has stayed mostly the same.

Two artists, two new designs

amex platinum new card designs
(Photo courtesy of American Express)

In December 2021, however, the issuer collaborated with two world-renowned artists, Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley, to bring some fresh looks to the classic Amex Platinum.

Starting today, new and existing U.S. Amex Platinum cardholders and their additional cardholders can now choose one of these two redesigns — one by each artist — or stick with the classic metal card if they prefer.

You can make your selection on your online American Express account or by calling the customer service number on the back of your card. Once you activate your new card, your old card will no longer be able to be used.

Left to right: American Express senior vice president Rafael Mason, Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden, Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images/American Express)

Artist Julie Mehretu paints large-scale abstract landscapes inspired by social movements, political injustice and urban change. Her most well-known piece is a commissioned 80-foot mural at the Goldman Sachs offices in New York City. She created the top design in the three-card photo above, which has eccentric colors and bold lines.

Kehinde Wiley is a portrait artist who focuses on naturalistic yet vibrant depictions of influential Black men. You may recall his 2018 painting of Barack Obama that sits in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. He created the bottom design in the three-card photo, which has colorful flowers true to his style of work.

The Studio Museum in Harlem

As part of this announcement, Amex also said that it would provide $1 million in funding to The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City.

The museum was established in 1968 as a showcase for artists of African descent from both the U.S. and abroad. The two artists Amex has commissioned for its card designs, Mehretu and Wiley, both have a connection to the institution. They were both participants in its Artists-in-Residence program which has cultivated over 150 artists since its founding, many of whom have gone on to prominence in the art world.

“American Express doesn’t just bring funding, it shines a light on the important work being done at our institution,” said Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, in a written statement.

“We can’t wait to give our cardmembers the opportunity to choose their favorite Platinum Card design — including small-scale artistic masterpieces they can now carry around in their wallet,” said Rafael Mason, senior vice president of U.S. premium products and loyalty programs at American Express. “We are also delighted to partner with the Studio Museum, which has had such a profound impact on the art world and on the artists who have participated in its residence program.”

Official application link: Amex Platinum with a welcome offer of 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

Featured photo courtesy of American Express.

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