American Express Platinum Card Existing Members Promotion In Several Global Markets (Incl. Coronavirus Annual Fee Discounts)

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American Express has issued a special campaign for existing Platinum Card members in several global markets that range from double points for regular spend to compensation points as relief for the annual fee.

American Express in Europe has instituted a general offer for Platinum Cardholders for up to 70,000 Membership Rewards points to compensate the high annual fee amid a flat travel period.

While still popular as a “bling” lifestyle card, the Amex Platinum card has by now primarily positioned itself as a universal travel credit card considering it’s vast insurance package, Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass as well as enhanced earning for airline related spend (for the U.S. version).

It’s still a card that comes with a hefty annual fee of which the U.S. market is still the cheapest with $550 per year. In Germany the card costs 660 EUR per year and in Spain 780 EUR.

It seems that Amex has realized that these times are tough for their customers as well and that those who hold the Platinum for their travel benefits are simply not getting any value out of the card, apart from the rather mediocre earning potential for everyday purchases.

Amex has opened a campaign for Double Points until July 20th 2020 in several global markets including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • USA

This goes for all basic spending categories so if you usually earn one Membership Rewards point per $/EUR spent on the card you will now earn two – for the next three months. Enhanced categories such as dining, travel etc may apply depending on your country version of the Platinum.

Furthermore Amex has also enhanced the value of their membership rewards points if used against the monthly balance and things such as the annual fee. Again this is country specific and I suggest to check the values offered at the moment.

The most interesting part for Platinum Charge Card holders is the retention / goodwill bonus campaign Amex has apparently rolled out.

I was able to verify the following offers customers received for just calling in:

  • Germany: 43,500 Membership Rewards points as a one time bonus (my Dad’s account)
  • Spain: 70,000 Membership Rewards points as a one time bonus (Freddo’s card)

Centurion cardholders are also being offered a compensation option when pressing hard enough.

In the U.S. and Canada they apparently only have their usual varying rentention offers when your annual fee posts that depend on the account history and that often comes with a minimum spend.

There is a rumor among CSR’s to call back “in a few weeks” as the marketing department apparently works on a similar policy as the Europeans. We weren’t able to confirm this as of today.

Yesterday Reuters reported about Amex announcement that their quarterly profits for Q1 are down

Credit card issuer American Express Co (AXP.N) said on Friday it would cut spending by nearly $3 billion in 2020 after its quarterly profit sank 76% as it set aside more money to brace itself against a wave of potential delinquencies….

The company expects operating expenses to be down about $1 billion year over year during the next three quarters and will “dramatically” reduce its marketing efforts, company executives said on a post-earnings call.

AmEx in March warned of a drop in spending as the travel and entertainment (T&E) industries reel under the impact of global lockdowns.

“T&E, which was roughly 30% of our proprietary volumes in 2019, is down almost 95%”, Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Campbell said on Friday.

Considering this outlook Amex likely tries to hold onto as many of their premium cardholders as possible, be it just so to bounce back at a later date. American Express is still considered by many as a premium financial institution with a good reputation in terms of their cardholder credit worthiness.

This doesn’t make the company immune against financial difficulties of some of their (often famous) customers and Amex often has to charge off bad accounts, same as all other financial institutions.

Conclusion

If you have the Amex Platinum I’d definitely recommend to call customer service and ask for the Coronavirus Annual Fee Relief Program to see what they can offer you. This is not to be confused with the payment relief program Amex offers to members who need a break for some time in order to pay off their bills.

I also suggest to call up every other bank you currently hold credit cards with an annual fee at (especially those that are travel related). They might be very willing to extend a fee waiver or some retention offer this year, especially if you’re serious about cancelling. Companies like Amex offer retention offers only every two years, you can’t get it year after year from them.

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