Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

Amex Platinum Benefits for Active-Duty Military — No $695 Annual Fee [June 2024]

Christine Krzyszton's image
Christine Krzyszton
Christine Krzyszton's image

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

313 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
Michael Y. Park's image

Michael Y. Park

Editor

20 Published Articles 214 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...
& Kellie Jez
Kellie Jez's image

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

6 Published Articles 1179 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

We salute those currently serving active duty in the military or who have served. We appreciate that military service carries major responsibilities, personal sacrifices, and even financial challenges.

The financial challenges that many military families face came to the forefront years ago, resulting in the government passing key legislation. These laws were designed to help alleviate and restrict burdensome lending practices affecting military members.

The laws applied to financial transactions such as vehicle leases, payday loans, mortgages, and housing rights. They also affected credit card practices, including fees and interest rates.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003, or SCRA, applies to accounts opened prior to active military service, while the subsequent Military Lending Act, or MLA, governs the limiting of fees and interest rates on debt acquired by active military members, their spouses, domestic partners, and child dependents (as defined in 38 USC 101(4)).

While credit card issuers must follow the law as written, they are also free to go above and beyond to offer additional concessions.

American Express is one of the credit card issuers embracing the purpose of the laws and extending benefits beyond what is required by the legislation. The issuer does this by setting annual fees to $0 for qualifying active-duty military members.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best examples of a value-added card that offers active military members an opportunity to enjoy hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in complimentary benefits.

Here’s how to take advantage of this annual fee benefit and the potential value you could receive.

Amex Platinum Card Overview

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits including best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

If you decide to apply, we advise reviewing the credit score requirements of the Amex Platinum card before you apply and let them pull your credit.

How the MLA and SCRA Work

MLA and SCRA in Brief

Put simply, the Military Lending Act provides benefits that apply to credit accounts opened by a service member (or another covered borrower) during that service member’s active-duty military service.

The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act covers eligible products opened by a service member prior to their active-duty military service.

The MLA provides coverage for debt like automobile loans, consumer credit, and payday loans, while the SCRA includes transactions such as home mortgages, debts, auto leases, life insurance, and more.

Who Qualifies for the American Express Fee Waiver?

According to its printed guidelines, American Express provides annual fee of $0 benefit under the MLA (cards obtained during active duty) for the following individuals:

  • Regular or reserve service members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard under a call or order not specified as 30 days or less
  • Active-duty or Reserve Guard members under that same term as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(6)
  • American Express also grants military benefits for spouses and eligible dependents of the above individuals (as defined in 38 USC 101(4)).

American Express lists the following qualified individuals as eligible for benefits under SCRA (cards obtained before active duty):

  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (any military branch) serving on active duty
  • Reserves called to active duty
  • National Guard member on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days
  • Commissioned officers with the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • U.S. citizens serving with U.S. allied forces in war or military action
  • Spouses and children of an active-duty members of the armed forces as defined in 38 USC 101(4)

You can contact American Express directly to ask any questions regarding qualifications at 800-253-1720.

Why We Like the Amex Platinum for Active-Duty Military

The Amex Platinum card comes with several benefits a military traveler can utilize. Complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide, hotel elite status, and car rental privileges, can make travel more comfortable. A generous welcome offer, an annual fee reduction benefit, and statement credits for airline incidentals all result in extraordinary value for the active-duty military member.

The Amex Platinum card, without a doubt, is one of the best credit cards for military members. Here’s a review of the benefits offered by the Amex Platinum card and an estimate of the value, where possible, that you receive by having the card.

Amex Platinum Card Military Fee Benefit

Usually, the Amex Platinum card charges an annual fee of $695 (rates and fees). In our view, the benefits of the Amex Platinum card easily outweigh the annual fee, but the fact remains that the fee is quite a bit higher than most other travel rewards cards.

Fortunately, qualifying military service members can have the annual fee on the Amex Platinum card reduced to $0. This benefit allows access to all of the fantastic perks of the card, including airport lounge access and hotel elite status, without you needing to pay the card’s fee.

Amex Platinum Card for Military Spouses

While the annual fee of the Amex Platinum card is rather high, the annual fee is also $0 for spouses and domestic partners. This includes adding your spouse as an authorized user on your card and if your spouse has their own Amex Platinum card.

Amex Platinum Card for Reservists, National Guard, and Additional Active-duty Service Members

Reserve service members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard under a call or order not specified as 30 days or less, and their spouses and dependents, also qualify for the fee reduction.

Under the SCRA (cards acquired prior to active duty) American Express will extend fee-reduction benefits to active-duty commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and U.S. citizens serving with U.S. allied forces in war or military action.

Commissioned officers with the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may also qualify to have an existing Amex Platinum card fee reduced under the SCRA.

Hot Tip:

Before applying for any card, visit the MLA Website to ensure your and your spouse’s information is updated and your active-duty status is showing correctly.

The Value of the Amex Platinum Card’s Benefits

Welcome Bonus Offer — Value Varies

Welcome offers vary, but you can count on a value of at least 1 cent per Membership Reward point when redeeming those bonus points for travel. For example, this translates to at least $600 in travel if the welcome offer is 60,000 points or $1,000 if the offer would be 100,000 points.

You may receive additional value by transferring your Membership Rewards to Amex airline partners, but you should earn at least 1 cent per point in redemptions.

Annual Fee is $0 for Active Military — Value of $695 per Year

The annual fee of $695 is waived for active military members, spouses, domestic partners, and child dependents (as defined in 38 USC 101(4)). This is a huge savings that American Express offers to military members as a thank you for their service.

Other Fee Reductions for Active Military — Value Varies

In addition to the annual fee, American Express doesn’t charge late and returned payment fees, over-limit fees, and statement copy request fees for active-duty military.

Worldwide Airport Lounge Access — Value Varies

Centurion Lounge JFK View
There’s always a quiet place to relax, plus complimentary food and drink at the Centurion Lounge. Image Credit: James Larounis

One of the most valuable benefits of having the Amex Platinum card is worldwide lounge access to more than 1,400 lounges. For travelers, including active military, this translates to having a comfortable place to relax, grab a beverage, and have a bite to eat — all for simply being a cardmember.

The cardholder can enjoy complimentary access to the following lounge networks:

If we value a single lounge visit at $50 (the approximate cost of bringing a guest), you’d simply need to visit an airport lounge 14 times a year to get $700 in value in our estimation. That’s 7 round-trip journeys, assuming you’re visiting the lounge on both legs.

*(Effective February 1, 2025, Amex Platinum cardholders will only receive 10 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club. To earn an unlimited number of visits, you need to spend at least $75,000 on your Amex Platinum card between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024, and each calendar year thereafter.)

Authorized Users — Value of $195

Adding an authorized user to your Amex Platinum card normally costs $195 (rates and fees). For active-duty military members, this fee is $0.

While authorized users, including spouses, do not receive any statement credit benefits or Uber Cash, they receive full airport lounge access privileges, hotel elite benefits, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement.

Read about all the benefits of adding an authorized user to your Amex Platinum card for even more information.

Hot Tip:

In addition to lounge access, authorized users on the Amex Platinum card receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold hotel loyalty program elite status. Authorized users can also enjoy rental car program benefits. Authorized users do not receive separate statement credit benefits for airline incidentals, Uber Cash, SAKS Fifth Avenue, entertainment streaming, Equinox+, or Walmart+.

Hotel Elite Status — Value Varies

Grand Wailea Maui Waldorf Astoria Resort Guestroom Beds
Enjoy an upgraded room with complimentary hotel elite status. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

It can be challenging to set a value on hotel elite status, as it depends on how frequently you stay at the associated hotel brand’s properties.

Receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold elite status. Elite status instantly qualifies you for perks such as upgraded rooms, late checkout, free Wi-Fi, and bonus earnings. Make sure to enroll in this benefit through your American Express account to get the most out of your card.

Car Rental Benefits and Elite Status — Value Varies

Receive complimentary National Emerald Club Executive status, Avis Preferred Plus status, and Hertz President’s Circle status just for having the Amex Platinum card and enrolling in the benefit through your American Express account. Benefits include vehicle upgrades, discounted rental rates, return-time grace periods, no second-driver fees, and more.

To ensure you receive the most from this benefit, dive into our guide on the Amex Platinum card’s car rental benefits.

Airline Incidental Credits — Value of Up to $200

Use your card to purchase seat upgrades, baggage fees, and other airline incidentals and receive a statement credit, up to a maximum of $200 per year. Here’s a guide to maximizing the airline incidental credit to ensure you maximize the credit fully.

Uber Cash — Value of Up to $200

You receive $15 in Uber Cash monthly, plus a $20 bonus in December, for up to $200 in Uber Cash per year. You can use this Uber Cash for U.S. Uber rides or U.S. Uber Eats orders for that month. You can even use this Uber Cash for multiple purchases, although any balance does not roll over from month to month.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit — Value of Up to $100

Travel becomes so much easier when you breeze through immigration and customs. Pay for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee with your Amex Platinum card and receive a statement credit reimbursement of up to $100 once every 4 years for Global Entry or up to $85 every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. We suggest applying for Global Entry, as it comes with TSA PreCheck.

Saks Fifth Avenue Statement Credit — Value of Up to $100

Even if you don’t normally shop at Saks, it’s fun to splurge once or twice a year and use your shopping credit. Enroll via your online Amex Platinum card account and receive up to $100 in statement credits each year. You can receive up to $50 in statement credits between January and June and up to $50 between July and December.

Entertainment Streaming Credit — Value of Up to $240

Receive up to $20 monthly in statement credits after charging select streaming services to your card. Enrollment is required.

Equinox Credit — Value of Up to $300

Get up to $300 back each year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your card after enrollment.

Walmart+ Credit — Value of $155

Get $12.95 per month toward a Walmart+ membership, with benefits including free shipping and discounted gas prices.

Prepaid Hotel Credit — Value of Up to $200

Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings, which require a minimum 2-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your card.

SoulCycle Credit — Value of $300

Get $300 in statement credits each time you buy a SoulCycle at-home bike. Just note that a 12-month Equinox+ membership is required to purchase a SoulCycle bike.

CLEAR Plus Credit — Value of Up to $189

CLEAR is an airport security program similar to TSA PreCheck. Charge the membership to your card and receive a statement credit of up to $189 each year.

The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts — Value Varies

Splurge a little at The Hotel Collection and receive hotel credit of up to $100 for qualifying purchases when staying 2 consecutive nights. You also receive an upgraded room at check-in.

Fine Hotels + Resorts steps it up a notch with even more benefits. A stay of 1 night or more qualifies.

  • Complimentary daily breakfast for 2
  • 4 p.m. checkout
  • Noon check-in
  • Room upgrade at check-in, when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Unique amenity worth $100

Hot Tip: Learn more about these 2 hotel programs and the benefits provided in our comparison of the Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts.

Additional Benefits of the Amex Platinum Card

The Amex Platinum card offers several additional benefits that could save you money.

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Pay for your rental car with your Amex Platinum card, refuse the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver, and have secondary car rental coverage for damage or theft. Secondary means you must first file a claim with any applicable insurance.
  • American Express Auto Purchasing Program: The program could help you save thousands on your next new vehicle purchase.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible items with manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less have coverage extended for 1 additional year.
  • Purchase Protection: 120 days of protection (90 days for New York residents) is provided for damage, loss, or theft of qualifying items.
  • Cell Phone Protection: Pay your monthly bill with your card and receive up to $1,600 in cell phone protection (2 claims per year with up to $800 for each claim) for theft and damage. There is a $50 deductible per claim.

This is not a complete list of additional card benefits, and descriptions have been abbreviated. Full terms and conditions may be found in the Amex Platinum card guide to benefits.

Qualification and Requesting Benefits

Here’s how to complete the Amex Platinum card application as a military member, and tips for applying for associated American Express benefits.

How To Apply for the Amex Platinum Card as a Military Member

Amex Application Military
Image Credit: American Express

Applying for the Amex Platinum card is simple: Click on the link in the card snapshot at the beginning of this article. Add your name as it appears on your military ID, date of birth, address, telephone number, Social Security number, and income.

Under Income Source, select Military. American Express will then attempt to match your Social Security number to the DoD database and apply the benefits automatically. If, for any reason, this does not happen automatically, you can request benefits after card approval.

How Do I Apply for Amex MLA Benefits?

American Express makes it very easy for active-duty military members. Any MLA relief for which you are eligible is automatically applied to your account at account opening.

If MLA benefits are not applied, contact American Express for assistance at 800-253-1720.

How To Apply for Benefits on an Existing Card

Amex SCRA Request
Image Credit: Amex

Applying to receive SCRA benefits, which includes waiving the annual fee on your current Amex Platinum card, is simple. Just log in to your Amex Platinum card account online and select Account Services at the top of the page. Then select Credit Management and choose SCRA Benefits.

You can upload any requested information after answering a few questions.

Additionally, you can request benefits via the following methods:

  • Phone: Call 800-253-1720 from the U.S. or call 336-393-1111 (collect) from outside of the U.S.
  • Fax: Fax the required documents to 623-444-3000 and include your American Express account numbers.
  • Mail: Mail documents with your account numbers to American Express, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, P.O. Box 981535, El Paso, TX 79998-1535.

American Express will verify your information and then process the benefit, which can take several weeks.

You can also check your eligibility before you apply for the card.

When Do Amex’s Military Relief Provisions Expire?

The benefits of the SCRA and MLA only apply to those serving on active duty. American Express will send you a notification letter at least 45 days before the date relief ends on your account. This gives you time to provide additional documentation should you still be on active duty.

After the fee waiver expires, American Express begins charging you any applicable fees previously waived on your account.

Everything Else You Need To Know

No set credit score guarantees approval for the Amex Platinum card. Additionally, your credit score is just 1 factor in the approval decision. American Express also considers factors like your income, years of credit history, history with American Express, and the amount of credit already extended to you.

That said, most applicants with a credit score of 670 or higher usually have high approval odds.

You earn the welcome bonus offer on the Amex Platinum card after meeting minimum spending requirements within the specified period after card approval.

You can find a list of ideas on meeting these minimum spending requirements in our article on the topic.

Many Amex Platinum card benefits, such as Priority Pass Select membership, car rental privileges, and hotel elite status, require registration. Register online by signing into your Amex Platinum card account and accessing the Benefits section.

Hot Tip: American Express issues over 60 cards with waived annual fees for active-duty military members.

While American Express has several cards that do not charge an annual fee, active military members receive the most value from those cards that do.

You’ll find greater earning potential, flexible redemption options, luxury travel benefits, shopping and travel protections, and more on cards with higher annual fees.

Here are a few of the additional American Express cards we recommend for active-duty military:

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

150K OFFER
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
150,000 points
$3,300
$695
19.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.

When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 150,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Pros
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels at Amex Travel
  • Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
  • Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®, here.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • 5x earnings on prepaid hotels and flights booked via AmexTravel.com
  • 1.5x earnings on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year)
  • Up to $200 airline incidental fee reimbursement each year
  • Up to $400 in Dell Technology purchase statement credit each year (enrollment required)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Hotel and car rental program elite status and benefits upon enrollment
  • Annual fee of $0 for active military members (rates and fees)

If you have a small business, even a side hustle that brings in a modest amount of extra income, the Amex Business Platinum card could add tremendous value. Learn more about how the Amex Business Platinum card compares to the personal Amex Platinum card.

American Express® Gold Card

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

American Express® Gold Card
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

Dive into all the card benefits and benefits for the military of the Amex Gold card if this card sounds right for your spending habits.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

LIMITED TIME OFFER
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Automatic Hilton Diamond status, an annual free night, and a travel and resort credit make this the perfect card for those who stay in Hilton hotels.

All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Automatic Hilton Diamond status, an annual free night, and a travel and resort credit make this the perfect card for those who stay in Hilton hotels.
Earn 175,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 7/31/2024.
175,000 points
$875
$550
20.99% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.


Paying hundreds of dollars for an annual fee on a co-branded hotel card might seem ridiculous, but you should know that the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is much more than your run-of-the-mill hotel credit card.

The Hilton Aspire card is not only a phenomenal card for Hilton Honors loyalists, but even those who visit Hilton hotels just a few times a year can still get excellent value out of all the benefits that are packed into this card.

So let’s have a look at what makes the card so valuable to travelers.

Pros
  • 14x points per $1 on Hilton purchases
  • 7x points per $1 on select travel and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
    • High annual fee of $550
  • Earn 175,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 7/31/2024.
  • Earn 14x Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for other purchases on your card.
  • Enjoy up to $400 in Hilton Resort Credits (up to $200 in statement credits semi-annually) on your card each anniversary year when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Enjoy complimentary Diamond status.
  • $550 annual fee.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • 14x earnings at Hilton properties
  • Complimentary top Hilton Honors Diamond elite status
  • Annual free hotel night certificate
  • Up to $400 Hilton Resort Credit dispersed as up to $200 in statement credits semi-annually
  • Up to $200 airline incidentals statement credit each year dispersed as up to $50 in statement credits each quarter
  • Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access worldwide (enrollment required)
  • Annual fee of $0 for active military members (rates and fees)

For even more details about this card, explore the top benefits of the Hilton Aspire card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.
Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 Bonus Miles
$1,140
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a stellar option for frequent travelers who always fly with Delta thanks to its lounge access, status boost, annual companion certificate, and many other great benefits.

Here is a full look at everything the Delta Reserve card can offer to you to help you decide whether the card deserves a place in your wallet.

Pros
  • 3x SkyMiles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • 1x SkyMile per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights.
Cons
  • $650 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • No bonus categories other than Delta purchases
  • Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® and bring up to two guests or immediate family members at a rate of $50 per person per visit when flying Delta. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly together on Delta. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Resy Credit, earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers after you pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment Required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Delta SkyMiles Airline Loyalty Program

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club
    • Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Annual companion ticket certificate
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights
  • 20% statement credit for inflight food and beverage purchases
  • 3x earnings on Delta purchases
  • Ability to earn Medallion elite qualifying miles through spending on the card
  • Annual fee of $0 for active military members (rates & fees)

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • Free Night Award at card anniversary (worth up to 85,000 points)
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status
  • 6x earnings at Marriott properties
  • 3x earnings at restaurants worldwide
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
  • Annual fee of $0 for active military members (rates & fees)
Bottom Line:

The best cards for active military will be those charging a high annual fee as these cards offer the most valuable benefits. With the annual fee being $0 for qualifying military members, these cards become the best value.

Final Thoughts

American Express benefits for active military members can be worth thousands of dollars annually. If you’re anticipating entering active duty, currently on active duty, or know someone who is, consider sharing this information or taking advantage personally.

Other credit card issuers also offer active-duty military credit card benefits. To learn more about the best credit cards for active-duty military, start with our article that lists our favorites, including cards from other issuers.


For the cell phone protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12 month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

For the extended warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the purchase protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does American Express waive fees for military?

Yes, American Express waives credit card fees for active-duty U.S. military members.

Fees that are eligible to be waived include annual membership fees, over-limit fees, late payment fees, returned payment fees, and statement copy request fees.

Can I have more than 1 American Express card?

Yes, you can have more than 1 American Express card. You can have as many as 5 American Express cards, but keep in mind there are other card issuers you may want to consider, such as Chase.

Chase has a 5/24 rule that you cannot have acquired more than 5 credit cards in the past 24 months and get approved for one of its cards.

Also, if you do apply for more than 1 American Express card, there is a limit of 2 within a 90-day period, so space out your applications accordingly.

Are credit card fees waived for retired military?

American Express waives credit card fees for active-duty military members only. Check out our guide to the best credit cards for military veterans.

Does my spouse qualify for active military credit card fee waivers?

American Express will waive fees for the spouse of an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces.

How do I get the fee waived for military on the Amex Platinum card?

You can call the number on the back of your card. Go online to your credit card account, fax in your information, or mail it in.

The easiest way is to call 800-253-1720 to start the process. You can also log in to your Amex Platinum card account online. Select Account Services, then Credit Management, then SCRA Benefits.

Do I need to recertify my active duty status every year to maintain the annual fee waiver?

No, you do not. American Express will send you a notification letter at least 45 days before the date relief ends on your account. This gives you time to provide any needed documentation to support benefit qualifications.

Can I apply on behalf of my partner who is on active duty and still get the fee waived?

MLA benefits are automatically applied when an active-duty service member applies for a card. The service member must be the one applying for the card.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

The Ultimate Lounge Playbook

Discover the exact steps we use to get into 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide, for free (even if you’re flying economy!).

playbook cover
DMCA.com Protection Status