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Is the 60,000 point Platinum Card bonus worth the big annual fee?

by on Mon April 3, 2017 • No Comment
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centurionlounge

amexplat170The Platinum Card from American Express is out with a higher base bonus of 60,000 points, up from 40,000 points as the default offer before.

With this new offer you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms apply.

That’s enough for $600 worth of airfare booked via American Express travel, or you can transfer the points to any of over a dozen airline mile transfer partners, including Delta SkyMiles, Air France Flying Blue, Singapore KrisFlyer, and Air Canada Aeroplan.

Just beware can’t earn the intro bonus if you’ve earned a bonus from The Platinum Card before, and there’s a $550 annual fee that’s not waived the first year.

Is this a good deal?

As far as offers for The Platinum Card go, it’s okay, but with Amex cards, it’s often a good idea to check to see what you might be targeted for individually. While big 100,000 point offers aren’t the norm, you might see something better than this 60,000 point deal on the Amex site, where a different offer might be presented to you.

What can you do with the points?

It’s easy to use the points by booking flights on the Amex website. Every 10,000 points gets you $100 in flight value, so the 60k bonus gets you $600 worth of flights.

But your Amex points can go a lot further than $600 in travel value if you use Amex’s airline transfer partners wisely instead of just booking flights on the Amex website.

For example, you can book…

A round-trip flight to Europe via Delta SkyMiles

Fly Delta or any of its partners like Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM, or Alitalia to Europe for as few as 60,000 miles roundtrip.

parissunset

2 round-trip tickets to Hawaii via Air France Flying Blue

You can fly Air France partners Delta or Alaska Airlines for just 30,000 miles per person, roundtrip, from anywhere in the lower 48 U.S. to Hawaii. That can save you over $1,000 in airfare.

hawaiisunset

6 round-trip short haul flights on British Airways

You can transfer points to British Airways and book flights for as few as 8,000 – 9,000 points round-trip.

The catch is that price only applies to non-stop flights that are 65 miles or less in distance each way, but within Europe that gets you to lots of places from British Airways’ hub in London, like Amsterdam, Paris, Nice, and Copenhagen.

Airbus A320-232 - British Airways (G-EUUN)

There are lots of other great ways to use Amex points if you want to save up more for bigger awards like Business Class to Africa for 104,000 points roundtrip. The possibilities are really endless for global travel, and having a stockpile of them is a vital part of a well balanced travel miles portfolio.

What do you get for the big annual fee?

If you book a lot of airfare, 5x points on all airline purchases directly from the airline can add up fast. But for most people, The Platinum Card is one you get for the benefits, not just the points, so you really need to feel comfortable with the annual fee to justify it.

Access and perks are what this card is all about, including…

Amex Centurion Lounge access

centurionlounge

These lounges are the best available to domestic fliers, with top shelf liquor and hot meals, all included free of charge as a Platinum Card holder. You can also bring 2 guests along anytime. You’ll find Centurion Lounges at New York – LaGuardia, Dallas – Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle airports. Beware they can get very crowded at times, and you might not always get a seat where you’d like, but the food and drinks on offer are a cut above regular airline lounges.

Delta Sky Club access

SkyClub

You can use Delta lounges anytime you’re flying Delta. The catch is guests aren’t free, so you’ll have to pay $29 per guest if you bring any along. But there are dozens of Sky Clubs across the country and buying access in its own costs $495 a year, so getting access along with a whole lot of other benefits via The Platinum Card can be a much better deal.

Priority Pass privileges

prioritypasslounge

You’ll be sent a Priority Pass lounge card that gets you into over 900 airport lounges worldwide that are part of the Priority Pass network. These lounges are most useful when you’re traveling outside the U.S., since the lounges Priority Pass uses in the U.S. tend to be in the international departure areas of airports. As a Platinum Card holder you can bring 2 guests for free.

Hilton and Starwood Gold status

hiltonwaikoloa

As a cardmember, you can enroll to get Hilton Honors Gold and Starwood Gold status.

Hilton Gold gets you free breakfast at most Hilton affiliated hotels, which can save you lots of money on long trips. It also gets you late check-out and room upgrade privileges.

Starwood Gold gets you late checkout and free wifi, but the real advantage here is that since Starwood and Marriott are merging, your Starwood Gold status via The Platinum Card can instantly turn into Marriott Gold status. That’s even more valuable because Marriott Gold status gets you free breakfast or lounge access at many of its hotels.

Airline and Uber credits

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Each year, you can designate one airline where you can get up to $200 worth of airline fees on your card reimbursed.

Airfare itself doesn’t qualify, but bag fees, change fees, in-flight meals, and lounge passes all qualify for reimbursement. Some people have even had success buying airline gift cards with their Platinum Card, and getting those reimbursed, though they aren’t on the official list of things you can reimburse.

And, new for 2017, you can get up to $200 a year worth of Uber ride credits. You get $15 in Uber credits for rides in the U.S. each month, plus an extra $20 in December, for up to $200 in Uber savings a year. That’s a big win if you really do ride Uber often. Not very useful if you use it once in a while.

In total, you can get your net cost to hold the card down to just $150 a year if you can take advantage of all the credits, which is a bargain if you use the airport lounge privileges.

There are lots of other smaller perks you might find valuable, but if you don’t, you either need to really charge a lot of airfare on your card, which earns 5x points, or need to value lounge access at up to $550 a year to make the annual fee worthwhile.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

Yes

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These 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."

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