How to earn up to 225,000 points with the latest Amex Platinum welcome offer
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
There is no doubt that for the past year, U.S. consumers are spending differently.
The latest welcome bonus on The Platinum Card® from American Express caters exactly to this consumer behavior change. The Platinum Card is a travel card — and a premium one at that with a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).
But throughout 2020 and into this year, the card has taken a lower priority. The only category bonus is travel-centric — 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year starting on Jan. 1, 2021) or airfare and prepaid hotels through the Amex Travel portal.
In a normal, non-pandemic environment, that might suffice. Thankfully, for new Platinum cardholders, that is all changing for the first six months you have the card with the opportunity to earn up to a staggering 225,000 points.
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The latest welcome bonus(es)
The latest Amex Platinum bonus actually is a two-pronged affair. First, you get a generous welcome bonus: 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 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 up to $15,000 in combined purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the same first 6 months of card membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
A nine-point bonus earning rather is worth a whopping 18 cents, according to TPG valuations.
Why this makes sense
When it comes to staying at or close to home during the pandemic, grocery and gas purchases are some of the most popular spending categories. Amex is responding to consumer feedback. An appetite for travel isn’t back yet for many people, and to consider applying for a premium travel card, there have to be other benefits too.
Doing the math: 225,000 bonus Membership Rewards points
If you’re keeping track at home, between the welcome bonus points and elevated earnings at supermarkets and gas stations in the U.S., there is the potential to earn up to 225,000 Membership Rewards points within the first six months.
Here is how that breaks down.
|SPENDING BREAKDOWN||Amex Platinum earnings||TPG Valuation|
|$5,000 spent on Amex Platinum within the first 6 months||75,000 points (welcome bonus)||$1,500|
|$15,000 spent specifically at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations within the first 6 months||150,000 points (10x earnings, up to $15,000)||$3,000|
TOTAL: 225,000 Membership Rewards points
Those 225,000 points are a staggering number for a welcome offer. However, this assumes that you can spend $15,000 at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations within six months of account opening. While those categories have seen more spending during the pandemic, that may still be a tough ask to maximize the bonus fully. Even if you couldn’t max out the full $15,000, this is still a lucrative offer from Amex.
Your best strategy? Put every cent of your grocery and gas purchases on this card for the first six months.
Limited-time pandemic perks
Don’t forget that Amex Platinum cardholders also get some limited-time perks as a result of the pandemic. While many of these perks are targeted to already-existing cardholders only, there is one that you can still take advantage of as a new cardholder.
That benefit is an up to $30 monthly PayPal statement credit through June 30, 2021. If you apply and are approved for the card in February, that’s a total of up to $150 in statement credits with PayPal on purchases made at eligible merchants through the middle of 2021. Essentially, any merchant that accepts PayPal online will trigger the credit.
The Amex Platinum already has a ton of useful, premium travel perks and provides up to $500 in various annual credits.
While some of those benefits may not be of use to you right now, Amex has come out swinging to entice new cardholders through a 10x earning at gas stations and supermarkets in the U.S. for six the first six months (up to $15,000) and a generous welcome offer of 75,000 points — together, they’re enough to earn you up to 225,000 Membership Rewards points.
Learn More about the Amex Platinum here or read our full review of the Amex Platinum here.
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