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Amex Platinum Military Benefits for Active Duty Members – $695 Fee Not Charged [February 2024]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

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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...
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If you’re currently serving on active duty in the military or have served, we salute you. Serving in the military brings with it major responsibilities, associated family sacrifices, and even financial challenges.

The financial challenges of military families, specifically, came to the forefront years ago and resulted in the government passing key legislation to help alleviate and restrict some of the more burdening lending practices affecting military members.

The laws, applying to financial transactions such as vehicle leases, payday loans, mortgages, and housing rights, also had a significant impact on how credit card practices, including fees and interest rates, were administered.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) applies to accounts opened prior to active military service while the subsequent Military Lending Act (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 that has embraced the purpose of the law and extended benefits beyond what is required by the legislation.

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. Be sure to note that terms apply and enrollment may be required, so explore your American Express account to ensure you’re getting the most out of your benefits.

Here’s an overview of the benefits offered to active-duty military members with the American Express Platinum card.

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.

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 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 American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

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 purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, 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, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $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.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: 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 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, 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.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. 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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Why We Like The Amex Platinum for Active-Duty Military Members

The Amex Platinum card comes with tons of benefits a military traveler can utilize. Complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide, hotel elite status, and car rental privileges all make travel more comfortable.

A generous American Express welcome bonus offer, a removal of the high annual fee (rates & fees), and statement credits for airline incidentals all result in extraordinary value for the active-duty military member.

There’s no doubt that the Amex Platinum is one of the best credit cards for military members.

The Value of the Amex Platinum Card’s Benefits for Active Military

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. This translates to at least $600 in travel if the welcome offer is 60,000 points, $1,000 for 100,000 points, and so forth.

You may receive additional value by transferring your Membership Rewards to Amex airline partners, but you should earn at least 1 center per point in redemptions. For our latest valuation, check out our credit card and miles valuations, which are updated monthly.

Annual Fee — Value of $695 per Year

The annual fee of $695 is not charged for active military members, spouses, domestic partners, and child dependents (as defined in 38 USC 101(4)) (rates & fees). This is a huge saving that American Express offers to military members as a thank you for your service.

Additional Exemption Fees for Active Military — Value Varies

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

Worldwide Airport Lounge Access — Value of $700 (Estimated)

Centurion Lounge JFK View
There’s always a quiet place to relax, plus complimentary food and drink at the Centurion Lounge. Centurion Lounge JFK. 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 properties. 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, plus 2 guests, can enjoy complimentary access to these lounge networks:

If we value a single Centurion Lounge visit at $50 (the cost of bringing a guest), you’d simply need to visit a Centurion Lounge 14 times a year to get that $700 in value. That’s 7 round trips, with visiting the lounge on both legs.

Authorized Users — Value of $195

Adding an authorized user to your Amex Platinum card normally costs $195 (rates & fees). This fee is not charged for the active-duty military cardholder.

Authorized users receive full airport lounge access privileges, making it easy to gain access for your entire family.

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

Hotel Elite Status — Value Varies

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

It’s difficult to put a value on hotel elite status because the value you receive will depend on how frequently you stay at the associated hotel-branded property.

The Amex Platinum card comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status upon enrollment. Having elite status instantly qualifies you for perks such as upgraded rooms, late checkout, free Wi-Fi, and bonus earnings.

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 (upon enrollment) just for having the Amex Platinum card. Benefits include vehicle upgrades, discounted rental rates, return time grace periods, no second driver fees, and more.

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

Airline Incidental Credits — Value of $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. It can be a little intimidating to know how to utilize your airline credit, but here’s a guide to maximizing your airline credit to ensure you get the most out of this benefit.

Uber Cash —Value of $200

You receive up to $15 in Uber Cash monthly, plus up to $20 bonus in December, for a total of 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 — just remember that it doesn’t roll over 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 once every 4 years for Global Entry or 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 $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 enjoy up to a $50 credit to be used between January and June and up to another $50 in credit to be used between July and December.

Entertainment Streaming Credit — Value of $240

Receive up to $20 per month in the form of statement credits upon enrollment after charging select streaming services to your card.

Equinox Credit — Value of $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 towards a Walmart+ membership, whose benefits include free shipping and discounted gas prices.

Prepaid Hotel Credit — Value of $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 AmexTravel.com when you pay with your card.

SoulCycle Credit — Value of $300

Get $300 in statement credits each time you buy a SoulCycle bike.

CLEAR Plus Credit — Value of $189

CLEAR is an airport security program much like TSA PreCheck. Charging the membership to your card nets you up to $189 in annual savings.

The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts — Value Varies

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

Fine Hotels & Resorts steps it up a notch with even more benefits. A minimum stay is not required so you can enjoy these benefits even during a 1-night stay.

  • 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 for Active Military

The Amex Platinum card comes with 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 coverage, and have secondary car rental coverage for damage or theft. This coverage is secondary to other car insurance.

American Express Auto Purchasing Program — The program could save you thousands on your next vehicle purchase.

Extended Warranty — The U.S. manufacturer’s warranty is extended by 2 years for qualifying items with less than a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.

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 — Receive up to $1,600 in cell phone protection (2 claims per year with up to $800 for each claim) against theft and damage. Each claim has a $50 deductible and your monthly phone bill should be paid with your Amex Platinum card to receive coverage.

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

Qualification and Requesting Benefits

Who Qualifies for Amex’s Active-duty Military Benefits

American Express lists the following qualified individuals who are eligible to receive benefits:

  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (any military branch) serving on active duty
  • Reserves called to active duty
  • National Guard member under active duty for more than 30 consecutive days
  • Commissioned Officer with the Public Health Service or NOAA
  • U.S. citizen serving with U.S. allied forces in war or military action
  • Spouse or child of an active-duty member of the Armed Forces as defined in 38 USC 101(4)

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 — just click on the link in the card snapshot at the beginning of this article. You’ll need to enter your name as it appears on your military ID, your date of birth, address, telephone number, social security number, and income.

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

How To Request Benefits on an Existing Card 

Amex SCRA Request
Image Credit: Amex

Applying to receive SCRA benefits, which includes the annual fee removal on your Amex Platinum card, is simple. Just log into 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 up to several weeks.

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

Everything Else You Need To Know

The welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum card is earned after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval. For how to meet the minimum spending requirements, you may want to read our list of ideas — you’ll be surprised by a few.

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

Hot Tip: American Express issues over 60 credit/charge cards and does not charge all annual fees for active-duty military members.

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

You’ll find greater earning potential, flexible redemption options, luxury travel benefits, shopping and travel protections, and much more on cards that charge 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

OUR BEST 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 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
120,000 points
$2,640
$695
19.49% - 27.49% 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 120,000 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
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit on your selected qualifying airline
  • Statement credits on select purchases with your card
  • 35% airline bonus when using Pay With Points (up to 1,000,000 bonus points per calendar year)
  • Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • 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)
  • Access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program

Cons

  • High annual fee of $695 (rates and fees)
  • Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your 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 annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your 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 your 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% - 27.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

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
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Hotel and car rental program elite status and benefits
  • Does not charge annual fee for active military (rates & 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.

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!

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 Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Access to American Express transfer partners

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • 4x earnings on everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; 1x thereafter) and restaurants worldwide
  • 3x earnings on flights booked directly with airlines and AmexTravel.com
  • Up to $10 monthly dining credit
  • Up to $10 monthly Uber Cash
  • Does not charge annual fee (rates & fees)

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

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.

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 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Aspire card from American Express after you use your new card to make $6,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
180,000 points
$900
$550
20.74% - 29.74% 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
  • Complimentary Hilton Diamond status
  • Up to $400 in annual statement credits on purchases with participating Hilton Resorts (up to $200 in statement credits semi-annually)
  • Up to $200 back annually on eligible flight purchases (up to $50 in statement credits each quarter)
  • 1 Free Weekend Night Award each cardmember anniversary
  • $100 credit at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties

Cons

  • High annual fee of $550
  • Earn 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Aspire card from American Express after you use your new card to make $6,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
  • 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 all other eligible 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: 20.74% - 29.74% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

NEW OFFER
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.

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 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
100,000 miles
$1,200
$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 through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and Amex Centurion Lounge access 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.
  • New! Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • New! Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year
  • Enhanced! Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights to select destinations each year after renewal of your Card.  See terms and conditions for details.
  • New! $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.
  • New! $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.
  • New! Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members. Ticket must be purchased on or after February 1, 2024 to be eligible to receive a complimentary upgrade.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive $100 back for Global Entry or $85 back for TSA PreCheck®
  • New! $200 Delta Stays Statement Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members can earn up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • New! Transform your car rental experience with Hertz President’s Circle Status, compliments of your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is required.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Access to Complimentary Upgrades and Upgrade Priority
  • Free checked bag
  • 20% back on inflight purchases

Cons

  • $650 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • No bonus categories other than Delta purchases
  • Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® when traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. You will receive four Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location. 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.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • NEW! Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • NEW! 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.
  • ENHANCED! Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights to select destinations each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of the 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.
  • NEW! $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.
  • NEW! $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.
  • Eligible 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.
  • NEW! Not a Medallion Member? Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members. Ticket must be purchased on or after February 1, 2024 to be eligible to receive a complimentary upgrade.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive $100 back for Global Entry or $85 back for TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • NEW! $200 Delta Stays Statement Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members can earn up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • NEW! Transform your car rental experience with Hertz President’s Circle Status, compliments of your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is required. To receive the benefit, you must add your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Account number to your SkyMiles Account associated with your Eligible Card, register at delta.com/mypromos/eligible, and “Enroll in Promotion” at delta.com/hertz.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Want even more flexibility? Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Delta SkyMiles Airline Loyalty Program

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

  • Delta Sky Club access (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
  • Does not charge annual fee (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.

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
  • 25 Elite Night Credits each year
  • Priority Pass Select membership upon enrollment
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
  • Annual Free Night Award after card renewal
  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status

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 access 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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Why We Like This Card for Active Military

Bottom Line: The best credit cards for active military will be those that generally have high annual fees because they offer great card benefits and that high annual fee is not charged.

Final Thoughts

If you are anticipating entering active duty, currently on active duty, or know someone who is, consider sharing this information or taking advantage personally. The benefits offered by American Express for active military can potentially be worth thousands of dollars each year.

Other credit card issuers also offer credit card benefits to active-duty military personnel. 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 Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, the benefit 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, this 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.

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.

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 does not charge credit card fees for active-duty military members.

Fees that are eligible 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 their 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?

Unfortunately, American Express does not charge 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?

Yes. American Express does not charge fees for the spouse of an active-duty member of the 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.

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.

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