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- The Platinum Card® from American Express came out with a stunning offer: 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening.
- (Note: New Platinum Card® cardmembers can earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months of card membership). This unique twist could add up to another 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points if you meet the maximum spending.
- While this premium travel credit card does have a $550 annual fee (See rates), the first-year benefits make it worth it whether you're traveling or not.
- Read Business Insider's guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.
If you think applying for a travel credit card is pointless right now, you might want to reconsider. The Platinum Card® from American Express has such an enticing offer that, even with a $550 annual fee, it's a no-brainer for almost anyone who can qualify.
The new welcome bonus is worth pursuing, but a special offer that lets you earn 10x American Express Membership Rewards points on up to $15,000 in combined spending at US supermarkets and US gas stations in the first six months of account opening really pushes it over the edge.
There are plenty of additional reasons to consider this card regardless of your current travel plans. If you're on the fence, keep reading to learn why you might want to jump on this offer.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
New customers get the chance to earn 5x points in regular bonus categories and 1x points on all other purchases, but they will also earn 10x points on up to $15,000 in combined spending at US supermarkets and US gas stations for the first six months.
If you're able to maximize this benefit with an average of $2,500 in gas and grocery purchases each month for six months, you can earn 150,000 Amex Membership Rewards points with this promotion alone. And remember, that's on top of the welcome bonus you can earn.
Start saving Amex points for next year's travel
Why do you need so many points if you're not actually traveling right now? No matter what, the pandemic will eventually end, and you can use the Amex points you earn now to cover travel later on.
Let's say you want to take the whole family to Europe next year or in 2022, after travel is back to normal. You could do so by transferring your Amex points to the Delta SkyMiles program, where it's common to find round-trip flights to Europe on non-peak days for as little as 60,000 miles. You could also transfer your points to the Air France / Flying Blue program, which offers round-trip flights to Europe for as little as 50,000 miles.
Either way, a family of four will need 200,000 miles or more to make this trek, so planning early can help make this dream a reality sooner rather than later.
Airport lounge access alone is worth more than $400
You may not be flying at the moment, but picking up The Platinum Card® from American Express could make the experience more luxurious when you do. As a cardholder, you'll get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership which includes over 1,200 airport lounges, as well as access to Amex Centurion lounges. You can also visit Delta Sky Club lounges when you fly with Delta, and Escape, Plaza Premium, and Airspace lounges.
While it's hard to quantify the value of all the lounge access you receive with this card, a regular Priority Pass membership retails for $429.
Remember that this credit is good for the entire year and that you'll have to choose one airline to use it with. Once you are able to travel again, you'll be happy to know you have your first $200 in incidental charges covered with your favorite airline.
You'll also get up to $200 in Uber credits (good for rides and Uber Eats) each calendar year, up to $100 in Saks credits, and up to $100 in credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four years.
Score sweet hotel elite status you can use next year
The Platinum Card also offers complimentary Gold elite status with the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy programs when you enroll your card. Once you're ready to book travel again, you can qualify for elite travel perks you would normally only get if you paid for enough stays with a specific hotel brand.
What kind of perks can you get with this status? In general, you'll get benefits like bonus points on stays, early check-in, late checkout, better chances at upgrades, and — in the case of Hilton — free breakfast.
You can always cash in your rewards for statement credits, merchandise, or gift cards
Finally, don't forget that you don't have to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for travel. You can also cash in your rewards for statement credits to your account, gift cards, merchandise through Amazon.com or Best Buy (and other retailers), or statement credits.
Rewards values vary for non-travel options, but you can use this strategy as a backstop if you wind up staying at home for the long haul. As an example, you can typically redeem rewards for most gift cards at a rate of one cent per point. This means that the welcome bonus on this card would be worth $750 in gift cards from merchants like Bath & Body Works or REI.
If you redeem your rewards for purchases made with select retailers like Amazon.com or Best Buy, on the other hand, your rewards will only be worth 0.7 cents each. However, that still makes this card's welcome bonus worth $525.
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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
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