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UPDATE: All Offers In This Post Have Expired
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The American Express Platinum cards have been getting a lot of attention recently following a few benefit improvements on both the personal and business versions of the card. Through no coincidence, Amex has also released a publicly available 100,000 Membership Reward bonus offer for anyone approved for the card before 25 January 2017 (offer expired)…..but for a lot of people that’s not a particularly good offer.
The problem with the 100,000 Membership Rewards points offer isn’t to do with the bonus (that’s nice and generous) but with what you need to do (spend) to get the bonus in the first place.
This is how the bonus is tiered (OFFER EXPIRED):
- 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend in the first 3 months of card membership
- 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending a further $10,000 in the first 3 months.
Unless you have a lot of business expenses that you can charge to your card or you’re manufacturing spend then spending $15,000 in 3 months is quite a big challenge…. and one that I’m pretty sure a lot of people won’t be able to meet.
American Express has a targeted offer on its Platinum Business Card that comes with a lower, 75,000 Membership Reward bonus, but that should be a lot easier to get.
I saw the offer when I logged in to my Amex Account online…
…so that’s a good place to start (OFFER EXPIRED).
Although you only earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points you also only have to spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership to get the full bonus.
Put simply, you get 75% of the biggest publicly available bonus for 33% of the spend – for a lot of people that’s a very good deal.
Be aware that Amex only allows one signup bonus per card per lifetime so, if you’ve had an Amex Platinum Business Card before, you won’t be eligible for this offer and, if you go for this offer, you won’t be eligible for any future Platinum Business Card signup offers either.
New Amex Platinum Benefits
The reasons for all the attention that the platinum cards have been getting are the benefits that have recently been added to the cards:
- The Personal Amex Platinum Card now earns 5 points/dollar spent on airfare purchased directly with airlines.
- The Business Platinum Card now offers 1.5 points/dollar on purchases of over $5,000
- The Business Platinum Card also now offers a 50% points rebate when a cardholder uses the Membership Rewards Pay with Points option to book a flight with his/her selected airline, or when booking a flight in First or Business Class with any airline.
As I’m discussing the Business version of the Platinum card I’ll stick to the new benefits that the card offers:
1.5 points/dollar on purchases of over $5,000
This is not that impressive in my opinion. You can already earn 1.5 membership rewards points per dollar by using the Amex Everyday Preferred card (as long as you have 30+ transactions in a month) and there’s no minimum spend requirement and there are bonus points to be earned for spending at grocery stores and restaurants – not bad for a card that costs $95/year as opposed to the $450/year for the Platinum card.
50% points rebate
This is much more impressive and it means that cardholders are, effectively, getting 2 cents/point of value when redeeming points for airfare through Amex Travel.
The way this works is that Amex allows cardholders to use 1 Membership Rewards point to pay for 1 cent of airfare (so a $1,500 fare would cost 150,000 points) and then, if you have the Amex Business Platinum Card, Amex will rebate the card holder 50% of those points (75,000) points.
Not only has the cardholder just effectively got 2 cents/point of value out of the transaction but he/she will also earn redeemable and status qualifying miles for the flight.
That’s a really good deal.
There are two small drawbacks:
- For Economy Class fares the rebate can only be used on the cardholder’s nominated airline (Business Class and First Class redemptions can be booked on any airline)
- You need to have 100% of the miles needed for a 1 cent/point redemption before you can book. i.e even though Amex will rebate 50% of the points after a booking is made you still need to have all of the points in your account before you can make the booking.
I haven’t had the Amex Platinum Business Card so I’m seriously considering taking up the 75,000 points offer. I would either put those points towards the next cheap Business Class fare I find or I may transfer them over to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (at 1:1 ratio) and then put them towards a fantastic premium cabin redemption.
Overall I think the 75,000 bonus offer is well worth a look if you haven’t had the Amex Platinum Business Card before – the $450 annual fee is partly offset by the $200 credit you get towards airline expenses (buy a gift card) and, if you haven’t already got Global Entry, then the $100 credit Amex gives you for that will further reduce the card’s net cost to you.
If you can easily spend $15,000 in 3 months then clearly the 100k offer is the one for you but, otherwise, the 75k offer (if you can get it) is definitely a good option.