Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Stella Shon
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.
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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is, without a doubt, one of the most popular travel cards in the business. Offering superb luxury travel benefits and impressive rewards, it’s almost impossible to beat this card if you’re looking to get pampered.
But let’s say you gave this card a shot and found that it’s not the right fit — maybe you’re looking to make a change and swap out your card for something else.
In this guide, we’ll compare the benefits of the major types of cards in the same family as the Amex Platinum card and show you how you can downgrade or upgrade your Amex Platinum card to another product.
Before we dive into how to downgrade or upgrade your Amex Platinum card, let’s take a quick moment to review the card and the benefits you receive as a cardholder.
Some of our favorite perks include:
This is the go-to card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants and those who want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is definitely 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 a number of other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
The American Express® Green Card is an excellent all-around travel rewards card thanks to earning 3x Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel and transit purchases and at restaurants, access to American Express transfer partners, and a reasonable annual fee.
Downgrades can take place in 2 ways:
When you process the downgrade of your Amex Platinum card, you may be able to get a prorated refund of the annual fee you paid.
Below, we’ll focus on reasons why you might consider downgrading your Amex Platinum card to either the Amex Gold card or Amex Green card.
The Amex Platinum card is first and foremost a travel card, which means its benefits will help frequent travelers the most. It comes with a $695 annual fee (rates and fees), but also a bevy of travel perks.
If you’re able to use most of these benefits, particularly the statement credits, then their value easily outweighs the annual fee in spades — but that’s if you can actually use them.
If you’re truly cutting down on travel, the Amex Platinum card probably isn’t going to be a good fit for you moving forward. Instead, you can downgrade your Amex Platinum card to the Amex Gold card or Amex Green card, both of which offer mild travel benefits but strong rewards for popular spending categories.
If you’re looking to cut down your spending in general, one of the easier ways to do that is to cancel a high annual fee card — and the Amex Platinum card is definitely one you’ll turn your attention to for this reason.
So if you’re tight on cash and don’t want to pay a large $695 annual fee, there’s a strong case to downgrade your Amex Platinum card, even though you’ll lose all of its travel benefits.
A common realization for many with a travel card is that the value of the rewards you earn for spending is more than the benefits you enjoy on the card.
For example, if you travel only once or twice per year, you might get some value from the Amex Platinum card, but not as much value as a road warrior that travels every other week.
Meanwhile, if you spend a lot of money at restaurants or supermarkets, the Amex Gold card is almost a dream come true with its strong points-earning bonus categories.
For example, if you spend $3,000 per month on eating out, you could earn 4x points on those points with the Amex Gold card, which is 144,000 Membership Rewards points per year, worth $3,168 by our valuations. In contrast, if you spend all that money on the Amex Platinum card, you’d only earn 36,000 Membership Rewards points, which are worth $792 based on our estimations.
The Amex Platinum card isn’t an ideal card for everyday spending, whereas the Amex Gold card and Amex Green card offer multiple times better rewards on everyday categories like dining, groceries, travel, transit, and more.
Upgrading your Amex Platinum card is a lot different from upgrading a lower-tier Amex card, simply because the Amex Platinum card can’t be upgraded to any other card besides the Centurion® Card from American Express. However, you can’t upgrade to the Centurion card unless you’re invited.
The Centurion card is informally known as the Amex Black card and comes loaded with luxury benefits, however, it also charges an eye-popping $5,000 annual fee and $10,000 initiation fee. In the past, you were allowed to request an invite to the Centurion card, but American Express has recently rescinded the ability to do so — now, the only way to get invited to the Centurion card is to be a loyal American Express customer and spend a lot on your Amex cards.
Anecdotally, the minimum spending requirement you’ll likely need to have on your Amex Platinum card to even get considered for an invite to the Centurion card is $250,000 per year.
In practice, the minimum figure is probably closer to $500,000 per year — however, in our experience, it’s actually more important to have a long, perfect payment history and relationship with American Express to be considered for the Centurion card.
We’ve seen people with spending that exceeds far beyond that figure who continue to wait for an invite, while those who spend near the minimum requirement but have a long (20+ year) history with American Express get invited to become a Centurion cardholder.
All information about the Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.
Now that we’ve compiled all of the reasons to downgrade your Amex Platinum card, let’s take a look at all of the reasons why you might consider upgrading your Amex Platinum card to the Centurion card.
Admittedly, if you’ve been invited to upgrade to the Centurion card and are considering doing so, you’re likely in the 1% of the 1%.
If you’ve been invited to upgrade your Amex Platinum card to the Centurion card, you’ve essentially been invited by American Express into one of the most exclusive clubs in the world.
Typically, you will get a package in the mail inviting you to upgrade to the Centurion card. This package may contain a phone number to call, as well as an invite code to provide to the Centurion service agent.
If one of your life goals has been to get entry to this club and you’re willing to pay thousands of dollars in annual fees and initiation fees, then you should absolutely accept an upgrade offer if you’re invited.
Maybe you liked the Amex Platinum card’s travel benefits, but you were left wanting for even more luxurious perks from your card.
While it’s difficult to decline an invitation to one of the most hyped-up financial products out there, you should still evaluate whether or not you can get enough value from the card to justify the $10,000 initiation fee and $5,000 annual fee (as well as a $5,000 annual fee for each additional cardholder, up to 2 additional cardholders).
Here’s the shortlist of the Centurion card’s notable perks (terms and conditions apply for all benefits):
There are a ton more benefits associated with this card, but this is just a taste of what you can expect when you hold this card. These perks are all quite valuable if you can use them, and even if you take advantage of just a few, you may be able to justify the annual fee.
For the right person, the Centurion card could actually end up saving money. For example, the Equinox Destination Access membership can cost typically around $290 per month. If you use your Centurion card to get a complimentary Equinox membership, you’d be saving upwards of $3,480 per year from this 1 perk alone.
Now, in this next section, we’ll walk you through each of the major products in the same family as the Amex Platinum card. From most premium to least premium, here are the cards in the personal Membership Rewards family:
You should be able to downgrade your Amex Platinum card to the Amex Gold card or Amex Green card without issue as long as your card has been open for at least 12 months.
But you can only upgrade your Amex Platinum card to the Centurion card if you get invited.
Below you can compare the benefits of each card side-by-side:
|Benefit||Centurion Card||Amex Platinum Card||Amex Gold Card||Amex Green Card|
1x points on all purchases
|Top Travel Benefits||
Basic travel insurance
|Statement Credits (Enrollment May Be Required for Certain Benefits)||
Saks Fifth Avenue, SoulCycle, Equinox, CLEAR Plus, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Airline fee credits, prepaid hotel credits, Global Entry or TSA Precheck, CLEAR Plus, digital entertainment, Equinox, Saks Fifth Avenue, Walmart+, and SoulCycle
Dining credits and Uber Cash
CLEAR Plus and LoungeBuddy
|Annual Fees||$5,000 annual fee and $10,000 initiation fee||$695||$250 (rates and fees)||$150 (rates and fees)|
Up to 2 additional cards for an annual fee of $5,000 per cardholder
Up to 5 additional cards for no annual fee, then $35 per additional card after that (rates and fees)
No additional annual fees for authorized users (rates and fees)
Downgrading or upgrading your Amex Platinum card is a big decision. You probably opened this card to take advantage of the travel benefits and to earn Amex Membership Rewards points (and maybe even for the card’s prestige).
Your favorite travel companion could potentially be no more — if you upgrade your Amex Platinum card, you’ll join the likes of the ultra-wealthy with the Centurion card.
And if you downgrade your Amex Platinum card to the Amex Gold card or Amex Green card, you’ll still have a fantastic card, though it’ll mostly be a machine to help you earn lots of Amex points.
For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit of the Amex Platinum card, 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 trip delay insurance benefit of the Amex Platinum card, 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 American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Yes, it’s possible to downgrade your Amex Platinum card. It’s recommended that you’ve kept the card open for at least 12 months. You can downgrade it to the Amex Gold card or Amex Green card, but there is currently no way to downgrade to a card with no annual fee.
Downgrading an Amex card should not affect your credit score positively or negatively since there will be no changes recorded on your credit report.
You can downgrade your Amex card online by starting an online chat conversation with an Amex representative after logging into your Amex account. Explain that you’d like to downgrade your card, and follow the prompts required.
Currently, you cannot downgrade the Amex Platinum card to a card without an annual fee. The cheapest option available would be the Amex Green card, which has a $150 annual fee. However, if you want to avoid the $695 fee altogether, you’ll need to close your Amex Platinum card.
Was this page helpful?
Travel is changing fast... Stay on top of all the points strategies, exclusive offers & pivotal news - and lock in huge savings along the way.
Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.