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I'm finally applying: Here's why the current Amex Platinum offer is better than waiting for a 100K bonus

Feb. 12, 2021
5 min read
a hand pulls an Amex Platinum card out of a wallet
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I’ve had my share of premium credit cards over the years, but the one card I still haven’t picked up is The Platinum Card® from American Express. While I’ve had The Business Platinum Card® from American Express before, the personal version has escaped me for two reasons: the annual fee and the welcome bonus.

Having an Amex Platinum Card hasn't always made sense for me. But any time I have considered going for it, the welcome bonus has been relatively low. Between Amex's once-per-lifetime rule and the card's $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), I wanted a bonus of at least 100,000 points to make it worthwhile. After all, I'd only be getting the bonus once, so it made sense to hold out for the highest one possible.

Review: The Platinum Card from American Express

However, I’m rethinking that philosophy and applying for the card even though the bonus is just 75,000 points after $5,000 spent within the first six months of account opening. Why, you ask? There are three main reasons.

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Lower spending requirement

While $5,000 is quite a bit of spending to put on a card over six months, it’s actually reasonable for a 75,000-point bonus. Past offers on this card have had much higher spending requirements during a shorter time period. With this offer, you not only get a lower spending threshold to be reached in a reasonable timeframe, but you can potentially earn more than 100,000 points thanks to the U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station bonus.

I normally meet spending requirements by making mortgage payments through Plastiq. However, since Amex cards can't be used for mortgage payments, meeting the minimum spend is a little more challenging. I have options for getting it done, but I will gladly opt for a lower welcome bonus if it means I don't have to figure out a way to spend $15,000 in a matter of months.

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

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Higher earning potential

While a 100,000-point welcome bonus is nice, the current Amex Platinum Card offer could potentially be higher than that. While new cardholders get 75,000 points for spending $5,000 within the first six months, they also earn 10x points on up to $15,000 in combined eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations during the first six months of card membership. So while I'm giving up a 100,000-point welcome bonus, I can potentially earn much more than that through the 10x spending bonus.

(Photo by d3sign/Getty Images)

Based on my own grocery spending habits, I can earn about 5,000 points per month in that category. However, I plan on maximizing this by adding the card to my family’s Instacart accounts. The additional spending from multiple households will easily earn me at least 10,000 bonus points per month, totaling 60,000 in six months. Combining that with the welcome bonus earns me a total of 135,000 points. There are lots of great uses for Membership Rewards, so these points will go quite a long way when I'm able to travel again.

Related: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards

Amex offers

My Amex Offers have been particularly generous as of late. I recently got targeted for a $25 cash-back bonus per $500 spent on my Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. I’ve also received incredible offers for popular merchants and spending categories. In total, I’ve earned $239 back across my three Amex cards since Jan. 1.

While adding a card with a $550 annual fee to my wallet may sound less than ideal right now, I’m confident I’ll make it up in Amex Offers throughout the year. And if I don’t, I know the annual Uber credits (for U.S. services) will go a long way in covering meal delivery spending, while the up to $200 annual airline fee credit will be useful when I resume traveling later this year.

Bottom line

With travel becoming safer, the Amex Platinum Card will once again become a valuable asset. Between the various card benefits and the current welcome bonus, it's a great time to apply for the card. While I've been holding out for a 100,000-point bonus, the 75,000-point bonus along with the 10x at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations will be much more lucrative for me.

If you're applying for an Amex Platinum Card, remember that you may get targeted for a higher offer using the CardMatch Tool.

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

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.