Today is the launch of the “new” American Express Platinum card. As I wrote earlier this year, this upgrade to a dated card is not just for looks (though it does look pretty good) but also adds some new features. If you have never had it, you could get the card now with a 50% increase on the sign-up bonus on the public link from yesterday – but I wouldn’t do that just yet! See below for more.
The New American Express Platinum Is Here
Most Significant Changes
- Annual Fee – Went from $450 ($475 on the Mercedes Benz card) to $550
- Sign-Up Bonus – Very public offer went from 40,000 points to 60,000 points
- Uber – Now gives $200 in Uber credits per year (broken down by monthly allotment)
- 5X Points – 5X Membership Reward points on hotels booked through Amex Travel
- New Look – A new metal card can be requested by current cardmembers and will be issued to new members
- Gold Cards – Complimentary Gold cards at no annual fee (down from $45 for 5 cards)
So, that is a brief summary of the important stuff. Here is a bit more of the breakdown on what you should know about the new American Express Platinum updates.
If your annual fee is up before August 31, 2017, you will pay the usual $450. If your renewal date is after that, you will have to pay the full $550.
While 60,000 points is certainly better than the measly 40,000 points offered before, it still is not worth opening for most people right now. The reason is that there was another public-ish offer recently for 75,000 points and there are often targeted offers for 100,000 points. Remember, once you get this card, you will not be eligible for the sign-up bonus again – ever* (*-until Amex finally decides to change their mind on this!). So, unless you are anxious to add this new piece of metal to your pocket, I would wait. American Express knows they need to get new members which is why they have raised the bonus but there will almost certainly be other offers that come out over time. A 100,000 point offer is certainly worth waiting for!
However, if you did want to jump on this new American Express Platinum card with the new changes, you can look at it this way – you are paying $100 for an extra 20,000 Membership Reward points (less if you will use the Uber credits). That is a pretty great deal, all things considered.
The new American Express Platinum card gives cardholders $200 in Uber credit per calendar year. That breaks out to $15 per month and a bonus of $20 in December (for a total of $35 in December). If you act fast and add this card to your Uber account to be used today, you can take advantage of $15 this month! The Uber credit will expire at 11:59PM local time on the last day of the month. According to this Reddit thread, this credit is counting towards UberEATS, which is a nice twist.
5x Points On Hotels
If you are chasing hotel status, forget about this as it will not work for you. The reason for this is because this only works on hotels booked through Amex Travel and those bookings do not count towards elite status and, in many instances, do not carry elite benefits for the stay. But, if you are staying in non-chain hotels or you don’t care about elite status, this could be useful. Just remember to check other prices with other sites as there are instances where hotels are more expensive through Amex Travel than other sites. When you match that with paying for the stay with the 3X point-earning Chase Sapphire Reserve, it could be a better proposition to book elsewhere.
The New Look
Yes, the new American Express Platinum card is getting an improved material (metal) and look. This should help dress the card up a bit but really doesn’t do anything beyond that. You can go ahead now and request your new metal card online in your account area.
It is nice to see American Express try to improve the Platinum card but time will tell if this new American Express Platinum refresh will be enough to take away some of the spotlight from the incredible Chase Sapphire Reserve. For now, if you are an Uber user, you should make out ok with the increased fee.