Yesterday I wrote about some of the “enhancements” Amex has released for their Platinum cards. Specifically, the personal Platinum card will now earn 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from airlines, while the Business Platinum will earn 1.5X on purchases over $5,000. Doctor of Credit has also uncovered a 50% bonus on the Business Platinum when redeeming points for any airfare on your chosen airline or premium cabin fares on any airline. This makes points worth 2 cents each on redemptions.
My opinion on the matter is that these changes aren’t even close to enough. In fact, I believe that Amex is probably working on a longer term revamp of their Platinum products if/when it becomes necessary. Whether we see more changes will ultimately depend on the long term success of Sapphire Reserve, but if Amex wants to stop the bleeding they can do one more thing, increase the bonus!
And that is exactly what they have done on the Business Platinum card. Let’s take a look at the new offer, go over some things to think about before applying and discuss why you should be cautious where you use the card to meet the hefty minimum spend requirement.
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires January 25, 2017. $450 annual fee.
- Complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges. (Priority Pass, no free guest access.)
- $200 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year.
- 1.5X on purchases over $5,000.
- Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 50% of those points back. (Frequent Miler has a great post explaining the value of this benefit.)
- No foreign transaction fee.
Worth Applying For?
The best offer we have ever seen for this card was 150K and that was targeted. Last year many people including myself were able to apply for the 150K offer with a targeted code, but Amex seems to have shut down that practice. We have seen Amex freezing and clawing back points with another recent targeted offer, so it isn’t likely that you will want to use a code that you aren’t supposed to.
While 150K targeted offers do exist, they are rare and the chances of getting one are slim. 100K is a very good offer on this card and I wouldn’t hesitate to get it if the Platinum Benefits make sense to you. The first year value of $400 in airline fees, lounge access, 100K points, elite status and other benefits is certainly worth $450 in my eyes.
As I mentioned above, American Express has been very agressive with freezing and clawing back points with people who applied for a supposedly targeted 100K personal Platinum card recently. One of the reasons for clawbacks has been the use of manufactured spend techniques. MS is excluded in their terms, so I would be very cautious with how I met the minimum spend.
Also, some people who signed up for that offer and then downgraded their account before the first year was up, have had issues with American Express as well. If I were to apply for this or any card from American Express, I would pay the annual fee up front (if applicable) and keep the product the first year. You can always reevaluate then.
As I said yesterday, competition is a good thing. While we now have much more restrictive rules when it comes to how often you can earn bonuses from many banks including Amex, we are starting to see much higher bonuses which is nice. Chase has started a war in the premium card market and that is good for us. This war will be a long one, but if it keeps generating 100K offers, then that is a good thing in my book.
What are your thoughts on the new Amex Platinum features and 100K Business Platinum bonus? Let us know in the comments!
HT: Doctor of Credit