American Express

Reacting to New Amex Platinum’s 5 Points Per Dollar on Airline Purchases

There is no denying the fact that Chase shook up the credit card world recently with the release of its Sapphire Reserve credit card. I myself signed up for that card, as did thousands of other credit card enthusiasts. All of that excitement seems to have caught the attention of American Express who submitted a press release today detailing some of the new benefits of their Platinum card product. To read the press release in full click here.

Amex Platinum Overview

The Platinum card from American Express is one of the top cards on the Amex roster. It boasts a $450 annual fee (same as the Sapphire Reserve) and some of its benefits include:

  • $200 yearly airline fee credit – This is much more restrictive than the Sapphire Reserve’s yearly credit as the $200 can only be used towards incidental fees on a single airline.
  • Access to Amex Centurion, Delta, and Airspace Lounges. You can also enroll in Priority Pass Select with the card which is a benefit of the Sapphire Reserve as well.
  • $100 credit towards TSA Pre Check or Global Entry (same as Sapphire Reserve)
  • SPG Gold status
  • Hilton HHonors Gold status
  • For a full list of benefits click here

The Platinum’s earning structure was one of its major sticking points as it earned only 1 Membership Reward point per $1 spent on all purchases, until now. Per the press release linked above, Amex is now offering 5 MR points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly with any airline or through American Express travel. From the press release:

Beginning October 6, consumers with a Platinum Card from American Express will receive 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.

This new earning structure means that the Amex Platinum may be the single best card for purchasing airfare. Although I tend to value Membership Rewards points less than Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points, the extra 2 points per $1 more than make up for that.

Should you get the Amex Platinum?

If you do not value all of the benefits that come with the Platinum; such as the lounge access, and hotel status, then 5 points per dollar on airfare is probably not enough to warrant a sign up. As of this writing the signup bonus is only 40,000 MR points and the $200 airline fee credit is much too restrictive for my liking. Now, if you value lounge access, hotel status, and thing you can make use of most if not all of the yearly airline fee credit then this card suddenly makes a lot of sense.

Personally, I was trying to decide between the Amex Platinum and the Delta Reserve for 2017 as I am tired of paying $29 per visit to the Delta lounge. That, coupled with the fact that I do find value in the hotel status, and can now earn 5 points per dollar spent on airfare means that this is a card I will probably get sooner rather than later. In the short term I am taking a wait and see approach as Id like to see the signup bonus increased pass the current 40,000. Though, with an upcoming stay in NYC at a Marriot property in November Id love to have that SPG Gold status (which I would match with Marriott) before then.

If and when I ultimately sign up for this card I will be sure to write about it. What about you. Do you plan on signing up for this card? Does this new earning structure seem enticing enough to pull the trigger? Why or why not? Let us know in the comment section below!

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