AMEX Platinum Changes: New $200 Annual Uber Credit, 5X on Hotels, Increased Annual Fee

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Big changes are coming to The Platinum Card® from American Express.  And it’s mostly good news.

Starting March 30, 2017, the annual fee will increase by $100 to $550 per year.  But they’re also adding new perks, like a $200 yearly Uber credit, 5X points on hotel bookings made through AMEX Travel, and more.

And existing perks, like the $200 annual airline incidental fee credit and airport lounge access, will remain intact.

AMEX Platinum Changes

Starting March 30, 2017, AMEX Platinum Cardholders Will Get $200 in Uber Credit

I’ll explain the changes and what they mean for you!

AMEX Platinum Changes

Link:   American Express Platinum Updates

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

1.   Higher Annual Fee

Starting March 30, 2017, American Express will increase the annual fee on its personal Platinum cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

Previously, the annual fee was $450 ($475 for the AMEX Mercedes-Benz Platinum).  If you apply on or after March 30, 2017, the annual fee is $550.

AMEX Platinum Changes

The AMEX Platinum Will Have a Higher Annual Fee, but You Can Offset It by Taking Advantage of Perks Like the $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

If you’re a current cardholder and your annual fee comes due before September 1, 2017, you’ll still pay the lower fee.  But if your card renewal date is on or after September 1, 2017, you’ll pay the higher $550 annual fee.

The annual fee increase makes this card more expensive than competing premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige® Card.  But if you’re able to make the most of the new perks AMEX is adding, you could more than make up for the annual fee increase!

2.   New $200 Yearly Uber Credit

This is a huge new perk for folks who use Uber regularly.  Starting March 30, 2017, new and existing cardholders will receive up to $200 in Uber credits per year.  But you won’t be able to use it all at once!

AMEX Platinum Changes

Add Your AMEX Platinum to the Uber App as a Method of Payment and Get $15 per Month in Uber Credit

Cardholders will receive $15 per month ($35 in December) when they add their American Express Platinum card as a method of payment in the Uber app.  And, in certain cities, you’ll get Uber VIP status (higher-rated drivers, nicer cars).

If you live in a city served by Uber, or travel frequently to ones that do, you could more than make up for the annual fee increase with this perk alone!

3.   5X Points on Hotels Booked Through AMEX Travel

Beginning on the same date, new and existing cardholders will earn 5X American Express Membership Rewards points on hotel bookings made through AMEX Travel.   That’s a huge boost, and an opportunity to earn lots of AMEX Membership Rewards points if you frequently have paid hotel stays.

But this perk isn’t for everyone.  When you book hotels through AMEX Travel, you typically will NOT earn hotel points or elite stay credits, because most hotel chains treat AMEX Travel like any other 3rd-party site.  And you may not have your elite status recognized during your stay.

AMEX Platinum Changes

If Hotel Elite Status Isn’t Important to You, It Could Be Worth Booking Your Hotel Through AMEX Travel to Earn 5X AMEX Membership Rewards Points

While AMEX Travel usually has competitive rates, it’s best to shop around to be sure you’re getting the best price.  You may find cheaper rates on other 3rd-party websites like Orbitz or Hotels.com.

Note:   You will NOT earn 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings.

4.   New Card Design

New cardholders will receive a redesigned card.  It’s made of metal, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Chase Ritz-Carlton.  And the new design includes the card number on the back.

AMEX Platinum Changes

A New Look and Feel for the AMEX Platinum – Metal With Card Number on the Back

Existing cardholders can request a new metal card after March 30, 2017.  Otherwise, they’ll receive the new version within 60 days of their expiration date.

5.   Other Improvements

From the same date, AMEX is adding other perks:

  • You’ll be able to add additional Gold authorized user cards to your account for no fee
  • You’ll have access to a new Global Dining Collection in partnership with world-renowned chefs
  • The AMEX Global Lounge Collection and By Invitation Only events will continue to expand

While these benefits are a nice bonus, they’re not as compelling as the $200 in Uber credits and 5X points on hotels booked through AMEX Travel!

Should You Apply for the Card Before March 30, 2017?

If you’ve been considering the card, it might make sense to apply before March 30, 2017 so you can lock-in the lower annual fee for a year.

But keep in mind, AMEX only allows you to earn the sign-up bonus once per card per lifetime.  And the current offers for The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz are NOT the highest they’ve ever been.

So it’s up to you to decide whether to wait for a better bonus, knowing you’ll pay the higher annual fee later.  If you can make the most of the $200 Uber credit or 5X points at hotels, the higher fee won’t have as much of an impact.

Bottom Line

Starting March 30, 2017, American Express will make substantial changes to its personal AMEX Platinum cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz.

From that date, new and existing cardholders will get up to $200 in Uber credits each year.  And you’ll earn 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on hotel bookings made through AMEX Travel.

But the annual fee is increasing to $550 per year.  Current cardholders will pay the lower annual fee if their renewal date is before September 1, 2017.  For folks who renew on or after that date, the higher annual fee will apply.

For many folks, the higher annual fee will be worth it because of the new perks.  But if you can’t make the most of the $200 Uber credit or 5X points at hotels, you’ll have to decide if the card’s other benefits are worth the increase in price.

What do you think about the updates to the AMEX Platinum cards?

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340 responses to “AMEX Platinum Changes: New $200 Annual Uber Credit, 5X on Hotels, Increased Annual Fee

  1. Uber credit is worthless to me. So I don’t think the price increase is worth it.

  2. Do not think the annual fee increase is worth the extra cost! Plus, the increased annual fee is not offset by the perks that usually accompany increased fees.

  3. I’m pretty disappointed with the changes to the card. Not only have I not used Uber in ages (and feel great about that choice given the recent controversies), I’m also not too inclined to book through the AmEx travel portal. Lose lose and a hundred more bucks. Sad!

  4. I would rather the Uber credit be added to a credit for any travel expenses.

  5. I don’t think the increased fee is worth the extra benefits. Chase sapphire Reserve is still better in my mind.

  6. The $200 uber credit is nice but not sure it’s worth the annual fee!

  7. Nope. Don’t like the increased fee structure.

  8. Not a fan. CSR is a much better deal.

  9. I don’t care since I don’t have the card, and doubt I ever would! I see the value for elites, but oh, the annual fee!

  10. I do not like most of the changes. They need to do better.

  11. I think the higher annual fee will hurt their business.

  12. No Uber in my neighborhood. I love Centurion clubs but they’re generally not convenient to my flights. I prefer Chase Ultimate Rewards points : they’re easier to use, easier to earn. CSR is now my go to card.

  13. It will be interesting to see if the Uber credit is worth it.

  14. To me, the increased annual fee and limitation on booking directly via the Amex platform makes this card a no-go for me. In my opinion, the Sapphire Reserve is more flexible and still just as rewarding, at least for the kind of traveling I do.

  15. The Uber credit plus $100 increased annual fee is a disappointment. I will probably use more than $100 in Uber credit in a year despite the quick expiration of each $15, but most Platinum cardholders won’t. Amex is spinning this as an enhancement, but it’s really about increasing Amex’s bottom line.

  16. AMEX Platinum has lost its way over the past decade. Denise Pickett (President AMEX USA) announcement email amplifies AMEX continued missing the target when Chase is hitting the bullseye every time. AMEX fails to understand the very people they attracted to the Platinum card do not have Uber serving their location as many high end, exclusive and resort communities are prohibiting their business. The $200 credit for airline incidentals is worthless as many Platinum consumers have flown millions and millions of miles for decades on multiple air carriers and now have lifetime premium and executive status including unlimited first class upgrades. The Centurion Lounge access is worthless as they are overrun with additional member ($175) that get to enjoy full benefits and bring in what seems like half the people on their flight and/or people they work with from the office that are not even on the same flight. I have rarely ever been able to find a seat in the Lounge and wind up leaving. Having experienced the AMEX Platinum card since it was released in 1984, the changes announced do little in fact nothing to convince me to spend another $100 as I receive no value for Uber, Air Carrier incidentals, Centurion Lounge, etc. The ironic thing is the very people that AMEX Platinum targeted and were loyal to AMEX Platinum for many decades are now the very consumers AMEX are ignoring.

  17. I don’t like increased fee.. 550$ is too much.. i won’t use uber.. so its not benefit

  18. I am against fee hike 🙁

  19. It was already a high priced card. Now it is definitely too high to be worth it for me!

  20. Fee way to high and I dont use uber.

  21. The changes to Amex Platinum are still not enough to make it as good a card as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  22. The uber system is kind of dumb but the metal card is cool.

  23. the new benefits are not anything we need!!!

  24. I Like Uber App:)

  25. Like some not all of the changes. Like the the design…

  26. I almost applied. I am a traveling salesman and the additions would have been amazing for me. Just as I was ready to apply I found out I was moving to an area where the airport have no lounges and that took away 1/2 the value right there.

    Had I still lived in Seattle, WA I would have this card. The Uber credit would be amazing!

  27. Not worth it for me. Higher uber credit – maybe.