American Express Makes Significant Changes to the Platinum Card® and Boasts a New Look

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The premium travel reward credit card market has seen a lot of competition in recent months with banks rushing to provide additional benefits to attract new travel-focused customers.

American Express has released some additional changes to their premium personal travel rewards card, The Platinum Card® from American Express.

We already saw an improvement to the card this past October as new travel benefits were added. This included an increase in the number of Membership Reward points earned for airfare from 3X to 5X when booking travel directly through an airline or American Express Travel.

Now, American Express has upped the ante to provide even more travel benefits.

Membership Rewards points earned from The Platinum Card® from American Express are extremely useful because they can be redeemed for travel directly through the American Express Travel portal. Premium cardholders also have the ability to transfer points to a number of airline and hotel partners, making this card great for flexible redemptions.

The Platinum Card® from American Express will redefine its benefits starting on March 30, and is set to provide cardmembers even more lucrative rewards, enhanced access to exclusive travel experiences, and an improved look and feel of the actual credit card.

Beginning on March 30, The Platinum Card® from American Express will increase its annual membership fee to $550 for new cardmembers. Current cardmembers will not see a change in their $450 annual fee until their anniversary date on or after September 1, 2017.

A $100 increase in the annual membership fee may seem like a big jump, but American Express has added quite a few new exclusive travel benefits that may help you forget about that increase:

  • Travel with Uber and The Platinum Card® from American Express using a $200 yearly credit. Each month, members will receive a $15 U.S. Uber credit that applies when they use their card, plus an additional $20 in the month of December. Platinum Card® from American Express members also will receive Uber VIP benefits where available.
  • Hotels booked through American Express Travel using The Platinum Card® from American Express will now earn 5X Membership Rewards points, making this one of the best credit cards available to earn points for airfare and hotels.
  • You can now add complimentary Gold Cards from American Express or additional users on your account, allowing you to offer your most trusted companions select benefits while earning more Membership Rewards points.
  • With a new stainless steel design, the Platinum Card® from American Express will impress everyone who gets their hands on this sleek new look.
  • The Global Lounge Collection is expanding, giving cardmembers access to 1,000 premium American Express and partner airline lounges in over 120 countries. This includes the growing list of exclusive Centurion® lounges (soon to open in Hong Kong and Philadelphia).
    • Your Priority Pass membership now includes complimentary access for up to 2 additional guests at their 1,000+ lounges worldwide (previously charged at $27 per guest).
  • Additional benefits include access to the new Global Dining Collection from American Express for exclusive perks at some of the finest restaurants, and enhancements to the By Invitation Only® program for exciting event experiences around the world.
Centurion Lounge SFO
Receive complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge, like this one at SFO. Image courtesy of Centurion Lounge.

These additional benefits are a great improvement to this premium travel reward card, which will continue to provide some of the most sought after elite travel benefits on the market. The Platinum Card® from American Express will still offer:

  • $200 airline fee credit for incidental fees (like baggage fees) on your selected airline.
  • Hotel Gold status for Starwood Preferred Guest® and Hilton Honors
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓®
  • Access to the Delta Private Jet program, complimentary Wi-Fi by Boingo Wireless, Platinum Concierge services, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN, which has a different set of changes, gives 50% of your Membership Reward points back when you redeem your points through the American Express Travel portal.

Overall, these additional benefits definitely increase the value of The Platinum Card® from American Express, so it makes sense that American Express is planning to increase the annual fee by $100.

Since these changes don’t take effect until March 30, you still have a great opportunity to experience the current benefits of being a Platinum Card® from American Express member before the annual membership fee increases.

Travelers looking for exclusive access to travel-related experiences, cash incentives, and airline incidentals should definitely consider this card to improve their travel style. The increase in 5X point categories to include hotels booked through American Express Travel will also help users earn a lot more Membership Reward points!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express