American Express adds benefits and bumps annual fee for Platinum Card

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The annual fee is $145 higher, but the value of the benefits may help offset the price difference

American Express has announced that owners of its Platinum Card will get to enjoy several new permanent travel and retail benefits in addition to its existing benefits. 

The new everyday perks will come at the cost of a higher annual fee of $695 -- up from $550. However, American Express estimates that the new suite of benefits represents a value of up to $1,400 each year. 

The company is also offering new cardholders a bigger welcome bonus that may help offset the cost of the higher annual fee. Consumers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points when they spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

New benefits

Effective immediately, the following new credits and discounts are available to both new and existing card members:

  • Up to $200 hotel credit. An annual $200 statement credit for prepaid bookings at Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel. Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings include perks such as free breakfast, guaranteed late checkout, room upgrades, and early check-in when available. 

  • An annual $179 credit for a Clear membership. Clear is an expedited security screening program that can cut down on the time spent waiting in lines at U.S. airports and stadiums. A membership typically costs $179 per year, but Platinum Card members will receive a credit for that amount.

  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits. Statement credits will be issued on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, or The New York Times. These credits are available in portions of up to $20 each month throughout the year.

  • Up to $300 Equinox credits. Cardholders can receive up to $300 annually (up to $25 per month) in credits toward Equinox gym memberships or digital subscriptions to on-demand fitness classes through the Equinox+ app. Enrollment to the gym is required to activate this benefit.

  • Discount on a private jet access program. Cardholders are eligible for up to 40% off a Premium Private Jet Program membership with Wheels Up, a private jet charter company. Card members will also get a $500 or $2,000 credit added to their Wheels Up account to use toward their initial flight within the first year depending on the selected Wheels Up membership.

  • Exclusive Global Dining Access by Resy. The Platinum Card offers access to exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants. American Express says Resy will also offer cardholders access to premium events and other perks, like priority notification and VIP status.

Customer reviews

ConsumerAffairs readers give the Amex Platinum Card an overall 4-star rating. Cardholders say they appreciate its ease of use and the company’s willingness to resolve issues. 

“Being an avid traveler for work and pleasure the Amex card provides me with ample opportunities to trace more, earn more miles on things I buy every day and also gives me peace of mind against fraud,” writes Andrew of Tea, S.D. “The fact that I’m able to gain Delta points on buying groceries and through end of July if I shop at local stores they are giving me 4x the points makes the card great but they are also promoting shopping small.” 

However, some cardholders have pointed out that the perks aren’t as valuable to those that only travel occasionally. 

“The rewards take a lot of miles to get. You have to travel a lot to access them,” writes Kimberley of Brownstown Twp, Mich. “The free checked bag and early boarding are a plus and the free companion pass are the perks that can be utilized easily. The yearly payment is steep for the occasional traveler.” 

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