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Travel, gym, concerts … it’s all back! We’re all looking forward to getting back to normal – here’s a way to get back on your feet while earning rewards.
Let’s dive deeper into all of the ways you can earn rewards for travel, shopping, and even a gym membership with the new Equinox American Express Platinum Card®.
The new Platinum Card® from American Express
Many of us have developed great habits while in quarantine, such as: Supporting local small businesses. Now you can earn 10x rewards for shopping at your favorite neighborhood restaurants and stores.
The American Express Platinum Card® is not a new card, but it has recently been updated with some updated benefits. There is also currently a new welcome offer that has an attractive two-tier level
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $ 6,000 on purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of your card membership.
- Plus 10x points for up to $ 25,000 on combined purchases at restaurants around the world or when you purchase Small® in the US during your first 6 months of card membership
If you do a lot of shopping in restaurants or often run small businesses, you can collect up to 350,000 Membership Rewards points with this new offer.
What are Membership Rewards® points Worth?
There are several ways you can use your Membership Rewards® points and the value you get will depend on how you redeem them. When redeeming flights via the American Express travel portal, you receive 1 cent per point. You can also get 1 cent per point for some gift cards. When redeeming for hotels, other travel or bank statements, you receive less than 1 cent per point.
This is how you maximize earnings Membership Rewards® points
The best way to maximize the value of your Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to American Express’ hotel and airline transfer partners. Amex has 19 airlines and three hotel transfer partners, and you can often earn 2 cents per point or more when you transfer your Membership Rewards to travel partners. If you are maximizing the overall welcome offer and getting good travel coupons, it is not unreasonable for you to get up to $ 7,000 in value from the welcome offer alone.
Is the Platinum Card worth the annual fee?
The annual fee for the Platinum card rose to $ 695 * for new applicants too. Existing Platinum Card customers whose renewal anniversary month is before January 1, 2022 will continue to renew at a price of $ 550. After January 1, 2022, the annual fee for existing customers increases to USD 695 * in the month of extension.
American Express offers various annual credits that you can earn with the Platinum card. There are travel, digital entertainment, shopping, health and fitness credits to help you get back to normal life. Some of these are already part of the Platinum card, while others will be added as part of this update. Let’s take a look at some of these credits.
- $ 240 digital entertainment credit – Up to $ 20 monthly credit for select digital entertainment services. Please note that this only applies to eligible purchases when using your Platinum Card with participating partners, currently – Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and the New York Times.
- $ 200 hotel credit – When prepaying hotel bookings through American Express Travel at a Fine Hotels and Resorts or Hotel Collection hotel, US $ 200 will be credited to your bank statement each year when you pay with your Platinum Card.
- $ 179 CLEAR® credit – You can cover the cost of a CLEAR® membership with up to $ 179 in statement credits per year after paying with your Platinum Card. You will also receive Pre✓® (up to 85 USD) with your with platinum card every 4 years after applying for Global Entry (USD 100) or every 4.5 years after applying for a five-year membership with an authorized provider for TSA Pre✓®. If you are approved for Global Entry, you will get access to TSA Pre✓® at no additional cost. CLEAR, TSA Pre✓® and Global Entry are available at selected airports.
- $ 200 Uber Cash Balance – Get $ 15 Uber Cash every month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the US, plus a $ 20 bonus in December. Available to Basic Card members only.
- $ 300 Equinox credit – Sign up and use the Platinum Card to get $ 25 back every month on select Equinox memberships
- $ 200 credit towards airfare – Up to USD 200 per calendar year as credit for incidental charges with a selected airline.
- Credit of $ 100 Saks Fifth Avenue Earn up to $ 100 annually in statements for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $ 50 semi-annually). Registration required.
That’s over $ 1,400 in potential credits to earn annually, more than double the annual fee. It is important to note that it is a fallacy to equate these credits as compensation for the annual fee. You must prepay the annual fee of $ 695 * whether you are using credits or not.
You may not be able to use all of these credits, or you may invest in areas you wouldn’t otherwise spend just to earn one of these credits. If you don’t shop at Saks regularly, but instead buy something just to use your $ 100 balance, is it correct to say that you “saved” $ 100? If you already have a CLEAR membership, you may not be able to use the $ 179 CLEAR balance.
Still, it’s not difficult for many people to see a way to win back more in credits than the $ 695 * annual fee. This is especially true in the first year that you also receive the value of the initial welcome offer.
The bottom line
American Express has refreshed its flagship Platinum card with additional benefits. The annual fee has increased to USD 695 * and will be increased to USD 695 * in the renewal month for existing Platinum Card members after January 1, 2022. To compensate for the increase in the annual fee, Amex has added an attractive welcome offer and an increase in benefits. While $ 695 * is a lot to spend on an annual credit card fee, take a look at the perks you get. If you’re looking to get back to normal, the benefits and balances of the new American Express Platinum card can play a huge role. Once you know which of these benefits will work best for you, you can decide whether the new American Express Platinum card makes sense for you.
* Conditions apply. Prices & fees
Dan Miller (67 posts)
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a website that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 children.