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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. (See Rates & Fees) 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 up to $200 annual airline incidental fee credit and airport lounge access, will remain intact.
I’ll explain the changes and what they mean for you!
AMEX Platinum Changes
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.
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!
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.
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 Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Chase Ritz-Carlton. And the new design includes the 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.
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?
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.