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Should You Get the Amex Platinum Card Right Now? These Statement Credits May Help You Decide

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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.

The Platinum Card from American Express.
Learn how to apply for The Platinum Card from American Express.

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.

(©iStock.com/simpson33 )

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.

Similarly, I pay for Apple TV and Netflix on my Platinum Card from American Express. (Other streaming bills go on my Blue Cash Preferred card, which earns 6X on select streaming service purchases.)

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.

Chicken piccata and pasta from a food delivery.

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.

Passengers board a Southwest 737 at Hollywood Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank, California.

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.

WASHINGTON, DC JULY 3, 2018: TSA Precheck and Global Entry line at security checkpoint at Reagan National Airport
The TSA PreCheck security checkpoint at Reagan National Airport (DCA). (Photo: ©iStock.com/David Tran)

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.

Saks Amex Offer - Platinum Card from American Express

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.

Final Approach

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.

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

6 Comments

  1. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    I’ve carried the Plat card for more than 25 years and have honestly always appreciated the perks. A few years ago my car broke down and Amex Plat was wonderful in getting a tow truck out to me ASAP and taking my car to my mechanic of choice….that type experience has real value to me.
    That said, since I’ve held my Amex Delta Reserve Card I am often conflicted about whether the dual jumbo fees are worth the cost. Redundant benefits and the MQM bonus (now enhanced) lean me towards the Reserve Card and with Covid putting a cramp in our travel this year I done benefit from the 5X fare points and $200 airline incidentals Plat offers.
    My Plat may become another casualty of Covid, have not decided yet.

  2. I just got the Platinum with its current promotions and while I was looking around to see where I could spend the streaming credits, I saw it credited which I found odd. Looking into what triggered it, appears a magazine subscription through the Apple store is what caused it. I was a little surprised since Apple is listed as one of the providers, but it wasn’t a streaming sub.

  3. Didn’t Plat amex stopped the towing perk??? we used it a lot in the past

    • @dee – Sadly yes the towing rebate perk is no gone. I also used that a few times in years past.

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