American Express Platinum Card (U.S.) Revamped, Annual Fee Going Up To $695 Today

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In the past months there have been frequent rumors surrounding an increase of the annual fee of the U.S. based American Express Platinum charge card and today – July 1st – is the date this will be implemented.

Some people on Doctor of Credit have unearthed a valid, active link from Amex with a cardmember agreement that outlines the new $695 annual rate as of July 1, 2021 and now the new price has been updated on the website as well alongside the new benefits.

Up until early morning the website still displayed the current/old rate it already offered the new benefits that I’ll outline below which presented a unique opportunity: You’d get all the new benefits to the tune of $1400 in value plus a 100,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer (after spending $6000 – offer varies).

This at the $550 annual fee until they officially update the price which might happen sometime later today.

[UPDATE: The fee has now in fact been updated to $695 as of 8am this morning.]

You can find the U.S. Amex Platinum Card here (regular link to Amex own website, if you have a friend who can refer you that’s a great way as well if the offer is right).

The Doctor of Credit post discusses the new fee and someone has posted a link to a pdf that includes the new cardmember agreement:

Download (PDF, 649KB)

This agreement reflects the new US$695 annual fee. The card is now listed on the website with additional benefits:

$300 with Equinox

Get a $25 statement credit each month at Equinox. Simply use your Platinum Card to pay for monthly Equinox All Access, Destination, or E by Equinox membership fees, or for Equinox+.

Get a $25 statement credit each month when you pay for select monthly Equinox membership fees or Equinox+ with your Card. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.

Entertainment Credit:

Experience the latest shows, audiobooks, music, news and recipes.

Enroll below and get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you use your Platinum Card® to subscribe to your choice of one or more of the following: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. This can be an annual savings of up to $240.

Hotel Credit:

Make your next trip even more memorable with over 1,700 hotel properties, all handpicked with high standards. Save by getting $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®. Plus, when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts® with American Express Travel, you can receive an average total value of $550 in perks*, like daily breakfast for two, 4pm check-out, and more.

Resy benefit:

Global Dining Access by Resy gives you special access to sought-after restaurants across the globe when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile. Access to exclusive reservations, premium dining experiences, Priority Notify, and more, all from the Resy app.

New private jet program:

Make your private flight experience even more unforgettable. Platinum Card® Members are eligible to receive a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships. Plus, get a $500 or $2000 credit added to your Wheels Up account to use toward your initial flight within your first year depending on your selected Wheels Up membership.

$179 Clear Credit®

CLEAR® uses biometrics to assign you a touchless ID, allowing you to move faster through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can cover the cost of a CLEAR membership with up to $179 in statement credits per year after you pay for CLEAR with your Platinum Card.

The card will continue to offer:

  • $15 UBER Cash per month with an extra $20 bonus in December
  • $100 Global Entry Credit / $85 TSA PreCheck
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit ($50 per half calendar year)
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit per Calendar Year
  • Priority Pass Membership

I’m sure this significant increase in annual fees from currently $550 to $695 will make many re-evaluate their membership with Amex Platinum, especially in light of the rather poor points earning potential with this card.

American Express has clearly (intentionally, no doubt) missed the chance in making the card more attractive through an improvement in points earning structure. In my case, except for airline ticket spend and very attractive Amex offers I don’t use the Platinum card for any of my daily spend.

Even the Gold Card and especially the Green Card are much more attractive from an earning potential than the Platinum Card and so are cards of the competition such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Amex is clearly trying to target this card towards a more “lifestyle oriented” audience. As such I’d highlight that the increased value might simply not apply to everyone or many people at all. For example the $25/month Equinox credit is really just a drop in the bucket considering a membership at Equinox costs several hundred dollar per month in membership fees.

Likewise I wish the Entertainment Credit would extend to streaming and online services. Instead all that’s covered is Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Disappointing to say the least. If not to say “useless”. I guess I’ll sign up an online subscription of the NYT just because I can.

The $200 hotel credit is really the saving grace in this whole affair. You can use it with FHR as well and considering I do use this benefit of FHR bookings quite frequently these $200 will be as good as cash to me. As such this $145 increase in annual fees that will hit me starting May 2022 since I just had my card anniversary will actually put me slightly ahead ($50) financially.

Conclusion

American Express USA will most likely increase the annual fee for the Platinum Card to $695 for the coming year from the current $550. Let’s keep in mind that this is already one of the lowest, if not THE lowest Amex Platinum fee worldwide.

The expansion of the benefits list will benefit some and probably upset some others. I see this in a mixed way, you don’t have to use every single benefit offered to the max. As long as I can get a good portion of my annual fee back in credits I’m happy with the card and I’d always carry a second card for daily spend either way. What represents a really positive change for me is the new $200 hotel credit.

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