American Express Adds Benefits to Platinum Card, Raises Annual Fee

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One of the top-tier premium cards in the United States just got a little more premium. This morning, American Express officially announced a refresh for its popular Platinum Card. These changes include a slew of new benefits alongside a change in price for the product.

Starting with the biggest news, the Platinum Card from American Express will now carry an annual fee of $695. This is up from the previous $550 annual fee. However, with the increase, Amex has added a number of new benefits to the card while retaining some of the most popular current benefits.

In terms of the Platinum card’s new perks, the first is a $200 per year hotel credit that cardholders can earn by making a prepaid Fine Hotels + Resort or The Hotel Collection booking through Amex Travel. Next, cardmembers can earn a $179 annual statement credit for CLEAR membership — which offers an expedited security experience at select airports and stadiums. Also new is the $240 (issued as up to $20 per month) “Digital Entertainment Credit” that can be used on purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and/or The New York Times. Finally, members will also earn up to $300 per year ($25 per month) in statement credits toward Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships or digital subscriptions to Equinox+.

This slate of benefits joins some existing Platinum card perks that will be sticking around. These include the $100 per year ($50 every six months) Saks Fifth Avenue credit, $200 per year ($15 per month) in Uber Cash, $200 per year in credits toward airline incidental fees, and a credit for up to $100 toward Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fees. In total, American Express says that Platinum cardmembers will have access to more than $1,400 in value per year.

Some of the other aspects of the Platinum card remaining in place include access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection. In fact, Amex has been expanding its Centurion Lounge line-up in recent months, adding new locations while enhancing others. Additionally, cardholders will continue to earn 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotel bookings made with Amex Travel and flights booked directly through the airline or via Amex Travel — although this is now capped at $500,000 in these purchases per calendar year. All other purchases earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent.

Along with the new benefits and annual fee comes a new welcome offer as well. Currently, new cardholders can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when they spend $6,000 in purchases on the card within their first six months. On top of that, new cardmembers will earn 10x points at restaurants worldwide as well as 10x points on Shop Small small business purchases in the U.S. during their first six months of card membership (up to $25,000 in combined purchases).

While these changes — namely the annual fee increase — are sure to divide customers, the sheer number of available credits could make this an even more powerful card in the right consumer’s hands. Furthermore, the current welcome bonus will definitely set new cardmembers off on the right foot thanks to the six-figure point bonus as well as the limited-time enhanced dining and Shop Small categories. Therefore, if you can stomach the $695 upfront fee, the Platinum Card from American Express could still be quite rewarding.

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Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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