Update: Forgot to add that the AMEX Platinum also gets free Starwood Gold Status as along as you have the Card!
This afternoon, after months of debating which Cards to get, I took the plunge and did my first ever App-O-Rama!
I am going to do an entire post about that, but due to the sensitive timing of the AMEX Platinum Card, I thought I would go ahed and share why I decided to get it.
For those of you not familiar with the AMEX Platinum Card, it is the creme de la creme of Credit Cards, only surpassed by the AMEX Centurion Card aka The Black Card.
The AMEX Platinum comes with a hefty $450 Annual Fee, but when you do the math, the benefits that it comes with significantly outweigh the cost.
For signing up, if you spend $2,000 in 3 months, you get 25,000 Membership Rewards Points. Those Membership Rewards can be transferred 18 different airlines including Delta, Singapore, Swiss, British Airways, ANA, etc. Membership Rewards also occasionally offers a huge transfer bonus, which can be fairly beneficial.
While the Sign Up Bonus is nice, the real perks of the AMEX Platinum Card come from actually being a Cardholder.
As an AMEX Platinum Cardholder, you get $200 in annual Airline fees reimbursed. What people have figured out is that you can use that rebate to essentially buy Airline gift cards and then get reimbursed, potentially even buy miles.
That is really convenient because as a Cardholder you also get Lounge Access to American Airlines, Delta, and US Airways lounges.
Finally, if you don’t already have Global Entry, if you pay the $100 Global Entry fee with the Platinum Card, then AMEX will reimburse you for that too.
2 Main Reason To Get An AMEX Platinum
While the benefits for the AMEX Platinum are pretty awesome, there are 2 main reasons why I took the plunge and would encourage others to do the same.
1. $200 Airline Bonus Is Yearly
As I stated above, you get $200 annually in Airline Fees reimbursed. Similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which gives a 7% Annual Rebate), the $200 limit resets on January 1 of every year.
That means if you were to get the Card now before 2013, you could get $200 for this year and then another $200 in 2013, and potentially another $200 in 2014. As I said earlier, you can buy Airline gift cards, so basically this is $600 in Airline gift cards!
2. Global Entry Interview Wait Time
Unfortunately I am kind of dumb and signed up for Global Entry last month. The reason for this is because I am going to India in December and knew there was a lag time in the entire process, so I wanted to make sure Global Entry was all set up before I returned from my India trip.
Unfortunately I had no idea what a pain in the behind it is to try and get an Interview to get Officially Approved.
I was Conditionally Approved, so now I just need to go in and get interviewed and fingerprinted. Once I pass that, then I will be Officially Approved.
Unfortunately when I went to go schedule an interview at O’Hare Airport, it says the first available interview slot is FEBRUARY 28, 2013. In other words, another 3 1/2 months!
The ironic thing is that I looked at other Airports and in Detroit you can get an interview for this upcoming Wednesday, November 7.
This wouldn’t be so frustrating if I didn’t have 2 International Trips already planned for December and middle of February that I was hoping to have Global Entry for.
I talked to some people on Twitter and they said you can try to walk in and get an interview, but I’m not sure if that will work.
Anyways, the point of this is that if you have an upcoming trip and were thinking about getting Global Entry, I’d suggest signing up sooner than later because who knows how long it will take to get an Interview.
How To Recoup The Annual Fee
As I said earlier, there is a $450 fee on the AMEX Platinum and it IS NOT waived for the 1st year.
That being said, as I pointed out, if you got the Card now (pre-2013), you would get the following:
- Lounge Access (AA, Delta, US Air)
- 25,000 Membership Rewards Points
- $200 Airline Credit In 2012
- $200 Airline Credit in 2013
- $200 Airline Credit In 2014
- $100 Global Entry Fee Reimbursement
Ultimately, it comes down to if the value proposition is right for you. There is a $450 fee that you might not normally spend on a Card, but you get $700 back in Airline Credits + Global Entry Fee. On top of that you get Membership Rewards Points & Lounge Access!
In my book, I am still coming out ahead so for me it makes sense to go ahead and get the Card because I have travel coming up for which I could use the $600 in Airline gift cards, as well as the free Lounge Access.
As I stated last week, I plan on using my AMEX Bluebird Card to buy Vanilla Reload Packs to meet the Minimum Spend and then pay off my AMEX Platinum Card with Online Bill Pay.