A few weeks ago, I finally caved in and applied for the American Express Business Platinum Card. Although the card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee that is not waived, the sign-up bonus I received alone is worth far more than that in my eyes; plus, when you truly maximize the card’s benefits, you’re looking at a goldmine that’s easily worth thousands. I know many BoardingArea readers have applied for or are considering applying for an AmEx Plat in the near future, and I just wanted to ensure that you all (y’all?) are truly taking advantage of what your new [or old] card card has to offer.
…So… you got an American Express Platinum Card, Now What?
- Meet the Minimum Spend: This is app-o-rama 101, a total no-brainer. With any card, in order to earn a generous sign-up bonus, you usually have to meet some sort of minimum spend requirement. For me personally, my offer requires me to spend $10,000 on the card by June 14 before I will be awarded the Membership Rewards points. I am very mindful of minimum spend deadlines – there’s no way I want to miss out on a boatload of points!
- Pay Your Bill in Full Every Month: This is another “back-to-the-basics” tip for reward credit cards; not only does paying in full each month improve your credit score and worthiness, your good behavior also gets rewarded in the form of points and miles, creating some lucrative opportunities for free travel. This practice is especially important for this card in particular because it is a charge card, not a credit card, which requires a full payment each month, period. Of course, pro-churners have this down to a science, right?
- Sync Your AmEx With Social Media: I’m sure most of you know by now that American Express takes the throne for some of the best social media card-syncing promotions. One of my favorite things about AmEx is the ability to take advantage of special offers that earn discounts and statement credits through social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare. To sync your card to your twitter account, you may go here. Be sure to also sync up your card to your other social media accounts as well.
- Choose Your Airline for the Annual $200 Airline Credit: This is one of my favorite benefits of my new American Express Platinum card. The Platinum Card allows you to receive $200 per calendar year (Jan 1-Dec 31) towards non-airfare airline incidentals/purchases. I personally have taken advantage of this benefit by purchasing a United gift card worth $200. When you call to activate your card, the agent will ask you what your airline choice is for that year (once you select, you can not modify until the following year). After you make your selection, you’ll get refunded for up to $200 on any charge incurred by the airline that is not actually a paid ticket. After my $200 United gift card purchase, I saw that a $200 statement credit posted to my account a few days later. This definitely helps off-set the annual fee while funding my future travel plans.
- Apply for Global Entry: A few days ago, I posted about my experience getting approved for Global Entry. 90% of my motivation to actually sit down and complete the application process was due to the fact that American Express Platinum card holders get the $100 application fee reimbursed by AmEx when you use your AmEx Platinum to pay your application fee. I was approved within a week, and my $100 statement credit posted in just a few days after the charge posted. Thanks for speeding up my customs and immigrations process, AmEx!
- Get Gold Status With Starwood Hotels: American Express Platinum card holders are also eligible for Gold Status with Starwood Hotels. Normally obtained by completing 10 stays or 25 nights in a calendar year, gold status grants you bonus points on paid and award stays, free wifi, room upgrades, and 4pm late checkout. Further information about the free SPG Gold Status benefit, including enrollment details, can be found here.
- Free Lounge Access for You and Two Guests: When flying on a ticketed US Airways, Delta, or American Airlines flight, just show your American Express Platinum card, ID, and boarding pass to be able to have lounge access at the respective airline’s airport lounge. More information about the lounge access benefit can be found here.
- Priority Pass Lounge Access: When activating your card, be sure to tell the agent that you’d like to be enrolled in Priority Pass for additional lounge access for yourself (guests are $27), valid at over 600 lounges across 100 countries, regardless of what airline you are flying that day. If you are not already enrolled in Priority Pass Select, you may register here.
- Car Rental Elite Status: Platinum card holders can receive special car rental benefits such as free reward days with Avis, elite status with National, and Free Hertz Gold status (includes 4-hour rental return grace period).
- Free Regus Membership: AmEx Platinum card holders also have the opportunity to take advantage of a free membership with Regus Worldwide, which offers mobile office space in over 1,500 locations, equipped with free wifi, a business environment, and printing/faxing facilities.
- Use Internationally – No Foreign Transaction Fees: The American Express Platinum Card is essential to International travel with the no-foreign-transaction fee benefit.
- Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases can be protected against accidental damage, loss or theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
- Platinum Concierge: You can use AmEx’s Platinum Concierge to take care of shopping, reservations, getting tickets or hard-to-find items, etc. Use your imagination [and Google] for inspiration. Full details about the American Express Platinum Concierge can be found here.
I’m definitely excited that I added the American Express Business Platinum Card to my wallet, and I look forward to exploring all that it has to offer!
How have you taken advantage of your American Express Platinum Benefits? Is there anything that I’ve missed that should be added to the list?