The Platinum Card from American Express is running some fairly substantial welcome offers right now. I believe a couple of them involve using your browser’s “incognito” or “private” mode to see if you’re eligible for a 100k bonus or something. The only one I’ve personally seen is the 75,000 Membership Rewards bonus we discussed in detail a few weeks ago — and how you can get triple that number of points.
While the prestigious Amex Platinum Card is known for some of its travel and luxury benefits, it also has a reputation for something else: its $550 annual fee that’s not waived the first year.
That said, it should be entirely possible to earn back $480 in statement credits before everything resets on January 1. But it all depends on your spending habits and upcoming travel preferences.
And keep in mind that you can take advantage of all these benefits (except the Global Entry/TSA Pre√ perk) again next year — before your annual fee strikes again for year two.
So keep these thoughts and benefits in mind if you’re thinking of applying for the card. You may think Sure, I need those and know exactly what I’ll do! Or you may go, Uh, no.
(And for current cardholders, this is a good refresher about which benefits you might have forgotten about this year!)
Either way, I hope this helps!
Is It Too Late to Apply?
American Express frequently gives people the opportunity to electronically retrieve their new card number online within seconds of being approved.
So if you take the plunge and Amex approves your application, you likely can get started ASAP earning back some of the card’s annual fee.
But keep in mind that applications sometimes aren’t approved right away. So if you think you want to apply for the card, I wouldn’t dawdle.
$80 Statement Credit: Cell Phone and Streaming Service Provider
Back in May, American Express announced that Platinum Card from American Express members would receive statement credits each month when using their card to pay for cell phone and streaming service bills.
Cardholders receive statement credits of up to $20 per month per benefit (i.e. $20 for cell phone providers and another $20 for streaming services.) for a total of $40.
For my cell phone bill, I pay $20 on my Amex Platinum card, another $20 on my Business Platinum Card from American Express (which also received the credit promotion), and the remaining balance with my no-annual-fee Chase Ink Cash card, which earns 5X with cell phone providers.
This perk is set to expire in December. So, again, hurry if you want to take advantage of November’s statement credits.
$50 in Uber Eats Credit
Each January through November, Platinum Card from American Express members receive $15 each month in if-used Uber Cash deposits. But in December, there’s an extra twenty bucks tossed on top of that, giving cardholders $35 to use with Uber or Uber Eats.
So you should be able to get $50 worth ($15 in November, $35 in December) of Uber rides or Uber Eats food delivery if you apply soon.
$200 Statement Credit: Airline Incidentals
Ah, yes. The benefit seemingly so many people love to hate because it’s harder to use than it was before.
Platinum Card from American Express members get $200 in statement credits each calendar year to spend on incidentals with one airline they select through Amex. Purchases such as checked bag fees, onboard food and beverage, change fees, and some other things count toward the statement credit. (Frequent Miler has a pretty comprehensive list of what purchases have worked for which airline.)
Here’s where this could get interesting.
Several people who selected Southwest as their Platinum’s preferred airline reported that airfares under $100 trigger the statement credit.
If you’re willing to take the gamble, you could select Southwest, book at least a couple of cheap Southwest tickets for later next year, and then see if your plans actually work out. If they don’t, you can take advantage of Southwest’s no-change-fee policy. (I’ve flown Southwest several times for positioning flights when starting mileage runs and chose them for my Amex Gold Card’s incidental perk.)
Keep in mind you can select a new airline in January. So if you get the Platinum card now, simply change to a different airline (if you want) in early 2021.
$100 Global Entry or TSA Pre√ Application Fee Credit
You’re charged an application fee whenever you sign up for or renew your Global Entry or TSA Pre√ membership. (Global Entry is $100; TSA Pre√ is $85.) Platinum Card from American Express members receive up to $100 in statement credit every four years when using their card to pay those fees.
If you haven’t yet applied for or renewed your Global Entry or Pre√ membership, the Platinum card could save you $100 ASAP. (Or whenever you choose to use the benefit.) Or keep in mind your card can pay for someone else’s application.
$50 in Saks Fifth Ave Credit
Even if you work at home by yourself, I assume you wear clothes at least occasionally. So you might as well get some nice underwear or socks.
Platinum Card from American Express members receive $100 each year to use at Saks Fifth Avenue. The statement credits are broken down semiannually: $50 from January to June and then $50 from July to December.
So you still have time to take advantage of that perk.
While the Amex Platinum card is expensive — and it’s difficult for many of us to take advantage of most travel perks right now — there are ways to help offset your annual fee. Especially if you act sooner than later.
The card isn’t for everyone. But the current welcome bonus and right spending habits truly can make it a no-brainer.
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