The Big Review: American Express Platinum Card
Providing an abundance of extras, the American Express Platinum Card offers exceptional value to cardholders who want a higher points earn plus platinum travel perks. As a new cardholder, you could receive up to 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, while earning 2.25 points per $1 on American Express’s incredibly flexible rewards program as a member of Ascent Premium.
Understanding what their cardholders value, American Express has enhanced the Platinum Card, adding and improving a number of features. Cardholders now have access to complimentary Accor Plus membership, the Australian Financial Review Premium Digital subscription, $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year, extensive airport lounge access and oh-so much more.
- BONUS OFFER: Up to 150,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply by 28 August 2019, are approved and meet the minimum spend criteria – that’s 50,000 points for each month you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months
- NEW FEATURE: Complimentary Accor Plus membership, valued at $395 per year.
- NEW FEATURE: The Australian Financial Review Premium Digital subscription, retailing at $628 per year, available to primary and additional cardholders.
- ENHANCED FEATURE: $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year, redeemable for eligible flights, hotels, car hire or unique experiences.
- ENHANCED FEATURE: Complimentary access for you and a guest to more than 1,200 Airport lounges across 130 countries, including the Centurion Lounge, International American Express Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, Virgin Australia domestic lounges and Delta Sky Club lounges.
- ENHANCED FEATURE: Complimentary domestic and overseas travel insurance for primary cardholders and up to four additional cardholders.
- Complimentary Smartphone Screen Insurance.
- Access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts program, with complimentary benefits offering an average total value of more than $700.
- Hotel Elite Status with hotel partners that include the Radisson Hotel Group, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La and Hilton.
- Earn 2.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases excluding spend at government bodies in Australia
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent with government bodies in Australia
- Flexible points redemption, with the option to transfer points to a choice of 10 popular Airline Reward Partner programs, offering a 2:1 transfer rate to Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer.
- Access to the Platinum Airline Privileges Program, offering savings on First and Business Class fares with airlines such as Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia and Emirates.
- Platinum Concierge, available 24/7.
- Annual Fee: $1,450
- Additional Cardholder Fee: $0
- To receive the bonus points offer, you must apply by 28 August 2019 and meet the minimum spend criteria – that’s 50,000 points for each month you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months
- To be eligible for this offer, you must be a new cardholder. If you currently hold, or have previously held an American Express card (not including bank-issued American Express cards) in the past 18 months, you are ineligible for the offer.
This Card: The Lowdown
Designed for frequent travellers who want exceptional extras, the American Express Platinum Card is a rewards card with a high earn rate and an almost dizzying selection of features. If you are searching for a card that gives you more bang for your buck – and you don’t mind paying out a buck or two for the outstanding rewards it offers – this could be the perfect card for you.
Expect high-end features, such as membership to exclusive hotel loyalty programs, Travel Credit and premium digital access to the AFR, while enjoying a high earn rate on everyday spending. And if that wasn’t enough, as long as you meet the minimum spend, you can take home up to 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, which is more than enough to fly you from Sydney to London and back.
With the basics covered, it’s time to dig a little deeper into what’s on offer with the American Express Platinum Card, so you can decide whether this card is right for you.
This Card: As a Rewards Card
As a new cardholder, you can receive a welcome bonus of up to 150,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply by 28 August 2019, are approved and meet the minimum spend criteria. That’s 50,000 points for each month you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Bonus points will then be credited to your account within 8-10 weeks.
To be eligible for this offer you must be a new cardholder, so if you currently hold an American Express card in your name, or have held one in your name within the past 18 months, you are ineligible. If you have a bank-issued American Express companion card you may still be eligible, as long as you meet all other application eligibility criteria.
With the American Express Platinum Card, you will earn points as a member of Ascent Premium, American Express’s highest tier of rewards.
- Earn 2.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases, except those in the 1 point category
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent with government bodies in Australia
There is no points cap on this card.
Perfectly flexible, the American Express Membership Rewards program offers a wide range of redemption options. If you want to earn points on a particular frequent flyer program, you can opt to transfer your points to a choice of two hotel partners or 10 major Airline Reward Partner programs, with a 2:1 transfer rate to Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer.
To transfer points, you must be a member of the frequent flyer program or frequent guest partner program in question, and a joining fee may apply.
|Program name||Conversion rate|
|Air New Zeland Airpoints (NZ)||200 MR = 1 Airpoint Dollar|
|Cathay – Asia Miles||2 MR = 1 Asia Mile|
|Emirates Skywards||2 MR = 1 Skyward Mile|
|Etihad Guest||2 MR = 1 Etihad Guest Mile|
|Qantas||2 MR = 1 Qantas Point|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||2 MR = 1 KrisFlyer Mile|
|Malaysian Airlines Enrich||2 MR = 1 Enrich Mile|
|THAI Royal Orchid Plus||2 MR = 1 Royal Orchid Plus Mile|
|Velocity Frequent Flyer||2 MR = 1 Velocity Point|
|Virgin Atlantic||2 MR = 1 Flying Club Mile|
|Hilton Honors||2 MR = 1 Hilton Honors Point|
|Marriot Bonvoy||3 MR = 2 Marriot Points|
As a cardholder, you can use your points to pay for travel, booking through American Express Travel Online to enjoy no restrictions, no block-out dates and no booking fees (exceptions may apply). Alternatively, you can use your points when booking with Webjet or Helloworld Travel, or when shopping online at David Jones.
Points can also be used to pay for eligible purchases on your account with Select + Pay, or you could choose to redeem your points for gift cards with American Express’s retail and entertainment partners.
This Card: As a Travel Rewards Card
Of course, the American Express Platinum Card is much more than a rewards card. One of the most appealing aspects of this card has to be its exceptional travel features.
$450 Platinum Travel Credit
As one of the enhanced features now offered, the Platinum Travel Credit on the American Express Platinum Card has been increased from $300 to $450. Credited to the primary cardholder each year on the anniversary date, this $450 Travel Credit can be redeemed against any single eligible travel booking booked through the Platinum Travel Service, or online via the dedicated American Express Platinum Travel booking site.
You can only use one Travel Credit per booking (even if you have Travel Credits from multiple cards), and if you do not use the full Travel Credit amount in that booking, the remaining amount will be forfeited. The Travel Credit is valid for 365 days from the date of issue and cannot be carried forward to any subsequent year. If you cancel your booking, there is no refund on your Travel Credit.
Another enhanced feature on the American Express Platinum Card provides primary and additional cardholders access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries with the Global Lounge Collection.
Having added 400 lounges to this collection in the past five years, American Express now offers cardholders access to the American Express Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne International Airports and The Centurion Lounge at Hong Kong International, alongside Priority Pass Lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, Virgin Australia domestic lounges and Delta Sky Club lounges.
According to Amex, cardholders will also have access to the new Centurion lounges at Denver, John F. Kennedy and Los Angeles International Airports in the near future, with more locations to be announced.
In terms of Priority Pass access, you and one additional cardholder will receive complimentary membership to Priority Pass, plus you can both bring a guest into Priority Pass lounges at no additional cost. There is some detailed small print that goes along with access to participating lounges on this card, so it’s worth a read if you want to get the most out of it.
Complimentary Insurance Cover
Offering peace of mind when travelling overseas and within Australia, the American Express Platinum Card now offers domestic and international travel insurance to both primary cardholders and up to four additional cardholders, as long as they book and pay for their return travel using their card or Membership Rewards points.
As with any type of credit card insurance, there are terms, conditions and exclusions (such as maximum age limits, pre-existing medical conditions and cover limits) that may apply, so it’s best to read the PDS before relying on the cover.
Fine Hotels and Resorts Program
Another valuable feature for frequent travellers, the American Express Platinum Card provides access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. With complimentary benefits offering an average total value of more than $700, you can take in the best at over 1,000 5-star properties worldwide.
Some of the benefits you may enjoy include daily breakfast for two people, room upgrades (subject to availability), noon-check in, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, and special amenities at each property. To be eligible for these extras, you must book through the Platinum Travel Service or American Express Travel Online and pay in full with your card.
Hotel Elite Status
Providing you with Hotel Elite Status, the American Express Platinum Card gives you the opportunity to be fast-tracked to the higher tiers of leading hotel loyalty programs around the world. Where you would normally have to fulfil certain qualifying criteria, such as a specific number of stays per year, this gives you fast access to top tier loyalty programs at hotels that include Radisson Hotel Group, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La and Hilton.
Accor Plus Membership
As a new feature added to the American Express Platinum Card, cardholders are now provided complimentary Accor Plus membership, valued at $395 per year. Allowing you to experience more during your stay at over 800 hotels in 18 countries across the Asia Pacific region, this Accor Plus membership provides extras such as discounts on food and beverages, and a complimentary night’s stay each year.
Platinum Airline Privileges Program
Allowing you to save money on First and Business Class fares with some of the world's leading airlines, the Platinum Airline Privileges Program offers savings of up to 20% when flying with Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia, Emirates, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United and more.
This Card: Extras on Offer
While features on the American Express Platinum Card focus on travel, there are some non-travel related extras on offer as well.
You can benefit from Smartphone Screen Insurance, providing up to $500 for screen repairs when you pay for your smartphone with your card, either outright or on a monthly contract. Also on offer is a new feature, giving you access to the Australian Financial Review Premium Digital subscription, retailing at $628 per year, available to both primary and additional cardholders.
Other favourites include access to the American Express Platinum Concierge and Platinum Card Services; exclusive experiences through the By Invites program; and to additional cover on purchases through Purchase Protection, Refund Protection and extended warranty via Buyer’s Advantage.
This Card: The Essentials
One of the most important things to consider when applying for the American Express Platinum Card is the fact that it is a charge card, not a credit card. That means it has no pre-set spending limit, as long as you repay the entire balance each month. So, to make the most of this card, you need to spend only what you can pay back, with up to 44 cash flow days to pay.
It’s also worth noting that just because you have no pre-set spending limit does not mean you have access to unlimited spending. Your purchases will be approved based on a variety of factors, such as your current spending patterns and your payment history, your credit records, and any financial resources known to American Express.
Simply packed with features, the American Express Platinum Card is the ideal card for frequent travellers who spend big – and who want to earn big rewards in return. Allowing you to transfer points to a number of popular frequent flyer programs, the card offers plenty of redemption options, as well as a high earn rate. You can benefit from up to 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points as a new cardholder, while also enjoying a magnificent selection of features and extras, with a hard focus on travel.