American express platinum fee

A Guide to the American Express Platinum credit card $200 Airline Fee Credit

Amex Platinum airline fee credit

Table of Contents

What’s the American Express Platinum $200 Airline Fee Credit?

The American Express Platinum credit card has the excellent benefit of a $200 airline fee reimbursement that you can use every calendar year, January 1st through December 31st. You can receive statement credits of up to $200 per calendar year toward incidental air travel fees if you own a Platinum or Centurion card – a unique benefit that is a major reason why the Platinum card is especially worth its hefty $450 annual fee. Find out more about these cards here.

How do I get the American Express Platinum $200 Airline Fee Credit?

Amex Platinum card

If you’re new to this process, you can select your airline here by logging in to your American Express Card account. Amex states that you can choose one of these qualifying airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways

We haven’t heard before now that you can be reimbursed for Frontier or Spirit, but an Amex rep on Twitter recently stated that this is the current list.

You must charge the incidental air travel fees to your eligible card for the benefit to apply. The Terms and Conditions of the $200 reimbursement benefit clearly state that gift cards are not included as qualifying incidental air travel fees, but, depending on the selected airline and a little luck, in the past many cardmembers have been successful.

There have been reports on FlyerTalk of reimbursements of gift card purchases of $100 or less with American Airlines and Southwest, for Delta eGift certificates in denominations under $50, as well as United Airlines gift registry contributions (but not gift card purchases). Some also report purchasing an Alaska Airlines gift certificate and receiving the credit almost immediately. FlyerTalkers have also tried to buy gift cards from JetBlue, but seemingly without much success.

However, Doctor of Credit recently announced that gift card purchases made as recently as August 20th, 2015, are now not being reimbursed. Reimbursement for gift cards was never an official card benefit, more a loophole that was often, but not always, successful, so we shouldn’t be too surprised if this is now the case.

Fees that can be reimbursed include:

  • Checked baggage fees
  • Overweight baggage fees
  • Flight change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight refreshments or amenities, such as food, drinks, pillows and headphones
  • In-flight entertainment fees (not including wireless internet)
  • Airport lounge access or annual membership
  • Pet travel fees

Picture courtesy of petparent

Every year, once a year in January, if you wish to change the airline you already selected, you can do so here.

What else do I need to know about the American Express Platinum $200 Airline Fee Credit?

If you do not change your airline selection, the current airline will remain selected.

Fees not charged by your airline of choice (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners) do not qualify for statement credits and incidental air travel fees charged prior to the selection of a qualifying airline are not eligible for statement credits.

Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty-free purchases and award tickets are not classed as incidental fees.

Find out more about these cards here.

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Amex revamps Platinum card with new bonuses . and fees

American Express' premium Platinum card is getting a makeover.

The new plastic provides fancy perks such as a $200 credit toward Uber rides each year, an invite to an exclusive pop-up restaurant in the Hamptons and another $200 for airline fees.

"For some, platinum is a color. For us, it is a commitment," said Janey Whiteside, who leads American Express's Platinum card business. "We created the premium card category 33 years ago and now we are reimagining it."

American express platinum fee

The card's facelift doesn't come cheap. American Express is raising its annual fee for the card from $450 to $550. It is the first annual fee increase for the card in more than a decade, and the card would have the highest fee among similar cards offered by other issuers.

The move comes after JPMorgan Chase blitzed the market with its Chase Sapphire Reserve card and a huge sign-up bonus last year, only to cut that bonus in half this month. The revamped Platinum card will feel metallic, like ones provided by Chase Sapphire Reserve.

"American Express is still in there swinging when it comes to high-end credit cards," said Matt Schulz, senior credit card analyst at CreditCards.com.

Schulz said that the Uber offer is likely to attract millennial cardholders who may not have otherwise considered a card with such a hefty annual fee.

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A large and growing portion of Platinum cardholders use Uber regularly, said an American Express spokeswoman. American Express has been working with Uber since June 2014. Platinum cardholders can automatically access their Uber perks without signing up for the credits.

American Express isn't the only card issuers with an Uber partnership. Capital One has an Uber promotion for its Quicksilver cardholders.

Rewards cards are typically not the lowest-rate cards people with great credit can find.

It's important to make sure the rewards the card offers fit with your lifestyle, Schulz said. For example, rewards cards that offer you credits for travel won't make financial sense if you're a homebody.

Finally, any of the perks from a fancy credit card are quickly negated if you carry a monthly balance.


American Express Platinum: 25,000 Points + No Annual Fee Offer Is Back (Ameriprise)

  • Receive a sign up bonus of 25,000 American Express membership rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months on the The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial. The annual fee of $450 is waived for the first year.

  • All the standard American Express platinum benefits, such as:
    • $200 airline incidental credit per calendar year
    • Priority pass select
    • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓
  • Valid until June 30th

While this offer does say it’s only for Ameriprise clients, in the past this has not been enforced ( 1, 2, 3, 4). It’s only bonus to get the sign up bonus on American Express personal cards once now and people have been targeted for 100,000 and 150,000 point offers. So it’s really a question of what you’d prefer:

75,000/125,000 membership rewards points or $450? Personally I’d prefer the points, but that also assumes you can get the targeted offer (use this link to check). The main reason to get this card is for the benefits, as the earning rate sucks (1x on all purchases) – but you can get most of those benefits from the business card as well – which currently has a 100,000 point offer you can call in for.

All of that being said, you could get $400 in airline incidentals (it’s based on calendar years), lounge access, Global Entry credit and 25,000 points for no annual fee which isn’t such a bad offer. If you’ve already got the bonus on this card before, it might also be worth a look (although this offer is always available, the only new thing is the 25,000 bonus).

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15 Responses to American Express Platinum: 25,000 Points + No Annual Fee Offer Is Back (Ameriprise)

Does this count as the same product as the regular Amex platinum card? I thought that the Mercedes Benz card was viewed as a different product. If so, this is a great deal.

I had my partner get this last Fall, which may be the last time it was available with the 25,000 points . One other excellent feature is that authorized user cards are free (I think they are $175 on non-Ameriprise offers). The AU card has gotten me into the Delta club and Amex lounges with no problem (also works for SPG status and most other benefits but it does NOT get you an additional $200 annual airline fee reimbursement).

Once the AF comes due we’ll cancel and then I’ll apply directly and make him the AU (I’d use a 100,000 offer for me, if available, but I’d value this offer over the usual 40,000 MR offer).

One other note – you have a bit of a typing mishmash above and I think you are trying to say it is possible to get a platinum bonus only once. I do wonder if the Ameriprise card might offer a bit of a loophole. Suppose you got a platinum card signup bonus last year and canceled the card. Would you still be able to get a 0 fee Ameriprise card (especially if the offer doesn’t include the current 25K MR points)? Just wondering if there is a way to get a free Platinum card with all the usual benefits several times.

I’m also interested if you could get the card again for 0 fee. Were you able to get SPG gold as an AU or is it just for the primary?


american express platinum fee

Friends and readers have asked about what they should do with their Amex $200 / $100 Airline Fee Credit benefit. I find it quite tough to spend $200 annually on airline incidental fees such as checked bags and in flight refreshments. I try not to check bags whenever possible and I don't take enough coach flights a year to rack up $200 worth of in flight food. I typically use miles for Business class or better and that always includes checked bags and food. So what's the trick? You can use it to purchase airline electronic gift cards. Buying Amazon.com gift cards no longer works.

American Express has 3 primary charge cards that offer either a $200 or $100 airline fee credit: The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. The Platinum card comes in a few variations such as the Ameriprise Platinum card, but for purposes of this post, these variations will be simply referred to as “Platinum” cards.

The Platinum cards come with a $200 airline fee credit while Premier Rewards Gold card comes with a $100 airline fee credit. These fee credits are per calendar year, which means cardholders can usually get the benefit 2x during the first card-member year and potentially 3x if timing works in your favor (read more below).

The following are the terms and conditions of the airline fee credit benefit:

Select a qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 a year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card Account. American Express relies on accurate airline transaction data to identify incidental fee purchases. If you do not see a credit for a qualifying incidental purchase on your eligible Card after 4 weeks, simply call the number on the back of your Card.

Tips & Tricks – Using Airline Fee Credit for Electronic Gift Cards

There are dedicated airline pages on FlyerTalk that provide step by step instructions on how to use the airline fee credit to purchase electronic gift cards. Rather than rehashing what's already been written, below are links for each airline. Follow the instructions carefully in the wiki which is at the top of each page.

Just follow these simple 2 steps. DO NOT SKIP THE FIRST STEP! (I have forgotten to do it myself!)

  1. Select your airline for the current calendar year before purchasing!
    • The Platinum Card® from American Express
    • Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  2. Go to the airline's website and purchase electronic gift cards in increments of $50 – $100. To find the link just google the airline's name and “gift card”. You want electronic cards, NOT physical ones. After you get them, you keep track of them with an AwardWallet (free upgraded account with this link). Here are some links to read more about which airlines have worked or not, but Flyertalk has been deleting many of these forums so they may disappear.
    • American Airlines – also see post here for latest update
    • United
    • JetBlue
    • Delta
    • SouthWest
    • Hawaiian
    • Alaska

Tips & Tricks – Using Credit for Amazon.com Electronic Gift Cards

UPDATE: This no longer works ! Just buy Airline gift cards instead as mentioned above.

  • Select United as your airline for the current calendar year
  • Download United’s MileagePlus X (MPX) application (iOS) (Android)
  • Purchase anything you want in MPX and it gets coded by Amex as an airline fee purchase
  • Amazon gift cards work best because so many people shop there and you can buy almost anything

Getting Airline Fee Credit 2x-3x During First Cardmember Year

The annual fee for the Platinum card is $450 per card-member year. The annual airline fee credit is per calendar year , therefore you will be guaranteed to get the benefit 2x during your first card-member year. If this is not clear, here's an example:

  • June 2015: Apply for the Platinum card and pay the $450 annual fee for the first year
  • $200 “airline fee” charge between June 2015 – December 31, 2015 will count towards your 2015 benefit
  • $200 “airline fee” charge between January 1, 2016 – June 2016 will count towards your 2016 benefit
  • You have now received $400 of benefits in your first cardmember year
  • Then you can decide you want to keep the card another year and pay the annual fee of $450

How about 3x? Following the same logic as above, if you apply for the card mid-late December, you should be able to squeeze in a third time (2015, 2016, 2017). As an added tip, Amex will pro-rate the annual fee if you chose to cancel your account. If you decide to cancel your account 3 months into the new membership year, Amex will refund you

$337 for the unused portion of the card-member year.

Platinum 100K & Premier Rewards Gold 50K Signup Links

For the latest offers, click here.

Here are the signup links for the cards. Note that the Platinum 100K offer is targeted but the Premier Rewards Gold 50K offer is publicly available.


Is The Amex Platinum Card Worth A $550 Annual Fee? Breakdown & Analysis

News recently broke about upcoming changes to The Platinum Card® from American Express. The most eye-catching update increases the card’s annual fee from $450 to $550 annually beginning March 30th 2017. Despite this increase, a select group of users are likely to continue get enough value of this card to justify that price. When used to its fullest potential, we estimate the benefits can potentially provide over $1,300 in value each year. This will vary greatly from person to person. To help consumers decide whether they should, or shouldn’t, apply for the newly updated The Platinum Card® from American Express, we evaluated each of the card's major features separately.

Platinum Benefits & Their Value

How to Calculate Whether You Should Pay $550 Annually for The Platinum Card® from American Express

Knowing whether it's worth paying the annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express all comes down to net returns. Once you figure out the total net value, you should compare it against other cards, and judge the opportunity cost of getting this card over another. You can use any card you want as a benchmark, so long as you figure out its net value. The easiest comparison can be drawn to a simple no-fee 2% cash back credit card. Multiply your total annual credit card purchases by 2% for the benchmark.

There are three steps required to figure out the net value the Platinum Card can have for you.

Step 1: Sum the luxury benefit provided by the Platinum card that you are likely to use. For example, if you are interested in the airline credit, Global Entry and Uber credit, the sum of your total Platinum benefits would be $200 + $25 + $200 = $425.

Step 2: Factor in the Membership Rewards. To do this, you need to multiply your annual direct airfare purchases by 5, other travel bookings by 2 and all other spending by 1. Take that sum and multiply it by $0.01. Add this result to what you got from step #1.

Step 3: Subtract the annual fee and compare it against the benchmark. If the Platinum Card comes out with a higher net value than the benchmark, it's probably a good card for you.

The Platinum Card® from American Express gives cardholders access to the Centurion® lounge network, Delta Sky Clubs®, Airspace Lounges, and Priority Pass™ Select. These can all be a massive benefit to frequent travelers who find themselves stuck in the middle of layovers, or enjoy arriving at the airport a little early. Some of these lounges, including Centurion®, are only available to those with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Therefore, we can’t put an exact dollar value to them. If you wanted to buy Priority Pass™ Select-like benefits, the most equivalent membership would run you $399 annually. Individual membership to Delta Sky Clubs® costs $495 annually – or 47,000 miles. Therefore, each of these takes out a huge chunk of the card’s $550 annual fee.

Amex boasts that the entire lounge collection encompasses over 1,000 lounges globally. Lounges can be found in 120 countries, meaning you shouldn’t have any issue finding a lounge in most of the world’s major airports. The biggest chunk of these lounges comes from Priority Pass, which isn’t a benefit exclusive to The Platinum Card® from American Express. You can also receive this perk through the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and the Citi Prestige® Card.

While your entry is free, guest benefits will vary based on the type of lounge access you have. If you travel with multiple people, make sure to check with Amex about the most up-to-date airport lounge guest policy.

$200 Airline Fee Credit & $100 Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PRE✓®

Amex reimburses consumers for airline incidentals for one selected carrier per year, up to $200. These can cover things like baggage fees, in-flight meals or Wi-Fi. You have the ability to change the airline you wish to receive credit for once every year. Note that airfare does not count as an “incidental charge” and will not be reimbursed.

It’s important to point out that the Platinum’s $200 airline credit is far more limited than similar credit provided by other premium credit cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ provides $300 in annual credit towards any travel expenses. This encompasses airline incidentals and much more, including airfare, select public transportation fare and taxis. This credit does not lock you into one particular airline or brand, giving consumers more flexibility.

On top of the airline credit, getting The Platinum Card® from American Express qualifies you for a $100 reimbursement towards Global Entry or TSA PRE✓® every four years. Because Global Entry includes TSA PRE✓®, but not vice versa, we recommend cardholders simply get the former. When factoring this benefit into the annual fee, keep in mind that the credit applies once every four years. Therefore, you should only take off $25 from your annual fee.

This is the biggest new addition to set of benefits provided by The Platinum Card® from American Express. Though this is advertised as a $200 annual credit, its mechanics work in a way that may get you a lot less than $200. You are allotted $15 Uber credit per month, and $35 every December. If you don’t use any part of a credit within a month, the unused portion will be forfeited. Therefore, you are unlikely to get $15 unless you consistently use Uber throughout the year.

The Platinum Card® from American Express awards points for every purchase you charge to it, just like all other rewards credit cards. Currently, cardholders get 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express travel. You can get 2x points for other travel bookings made through the Amex travel site, and 1x points on all other purchases. The value of a single membership rewards point will differ, depending on when and how you use it. We typically estimate the value to be approximately $0.01. However, if you transfer your points to participating airlines, you can stretch the points out to be worth much more.

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