Confirmed: Amex Platinum Card Will Offer 5x Points On Airfare

Update: American Express has responded to the original Tweet and indicated that this is an “old offer.” It remains to be seen whether that’s in fact the case, or if they just leaked something they weren’t supposed to (my guess is that the latter is the case).

For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors of American Express introducing a new premium credit card.

The American Express Platinum Card used to be the gold standard of premium credit cards. Then Citi came along with the Prestige Card, and then finally Chase recently introduced the Sapphire Reserve Card. While the American Express Platinum Card is still somewhat competitive in terms of perks, the lack of bonus categories is the part where it’s really lagging.

With the Citi Prestige Card you earn triple points on airfare and hotels and double points on dining and entertainment, and with the Chase Sapphire Preferred you earn triple points on dining and travel.

The rumors surrounding the American Express Platinum Card have suggested that they’ll once again make it worthwhile to put everyday spend on the card.

While we don’t know all the details of the new product yet, American Express has confirmed on Twitter that the Amex Platinum Card will offer 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines as of October 6, 2016.

https://twitter.com/AskAmex/status/783353601179529216

Wow, that’s an incredible bonus category, especially for those of us who spend a lot on plane tickets. Currently the best readily available bonus we see on airfare is triple points (on the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, and Chase Sapphire Reserve), so this would be huge.

I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that would be the equivalent of an ~8.5% return on airfare spend.

While I’m excited to see this change, I’m curious to see what else American Express has in store for this card. Hopefully there are more bonus categories and more perks, to once again make this card worth spending money on.

What do you make of the Amex Platinum Card offering 5x points on airfare?

Comments

  1. Cool. And I guess this means AMEX will enhance the platinum card instead of introducing a new product!

  2. Yeshhhhhh. So, this would indicate that they’re going to refresh the existing card, as opposed to creating a new premium one…right? TBH I don’t know how much higher they could really go with the annual fee. $450 is about my limit.

  3. Typically I like to book airline tickets through Chase as they will reimburse some of the costs if there are travel delays. This is a nice offer if true from American Express.

  4. Kinda screws the supposed value proposition for Delta AMEX cards since you earn (a laughable) 2x SkyMiles on Delta airfare.

  5. If you refresh the tweet it appears that they’ve already rescinded.
    Ask Amex ‏@AskAmex 18m18 minutes ago
    @theforwardcabin Hi there and thanks for reaching out. It appears this is an old offer. Have a great day! ^In
    0 retweets 0 likes
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    Jamie Larounis ‏@TheForwardCabin 17m17 minutes ago Fredericksburg, VA
    @AskAmex Hi there. I’m confused. You sent that Tweet out 49 minutes ago. Offer is now old?

  6. How do you know it’s the platinum card?
    The tweet doesn’t mention which card is getting the bonus spend category.

  7. To take advantage of the AMEX offer on ANA, we just used this the Amex Plat on an ANA business flight last Sunday. When the change is formally applied, Is it possible to secure message the customer service to have them retro count this purchase as 5x? Thanks.

  8. The problem with this is that Amex’s point transfer partners are weak. So 10 million points you can only use on Air Transylvania isn’t really that awesome. I’d like to see some new partners to go along with whatever increases are forthcoming.

  9. Last week I received a call on my business Amex Platinum that has monthly fee coming up next month. They asked me many questions about usage, benefits, etc. I told them I had card for benefits but I did not use because I was earning more points with Chase cards. They said we know and we hope to improve

  10. @ Alan — Tough to say, since we don’t even know if this is officially happening yet. I would guess that won’t be possible since it wasn’t a benefit at that time, but you never know.

  11. @ Tom — The Tweet was in response to someone asking about new benefits coming to the Platinum Card.

  12. @ Garrett — That would seem to be the case based on this. I doubt they’ll raise the annual fee, personally, given that the cards offered by Chase and Citi also have a $450 fee.

  13. Bring a giant sign up bonus back and you got a deal. Yep, I’m one of few that don’t have this card yet.

  14. WOW with my annual travel spend @200K this is a home run! That coupled with the 2 for 1 on biz/f works for me !

    Now that would make eating the $450 for the Sapphire a given

  15. or…. stick with me for one moment….
    buy gift cards with chase ink/freedom quarterly categories and then just spend a portion with the CP or CSR to get yourself covered for flight/luggage protection..

    Completely unnecessary to get a new $450 card just for a 5x…

  16. lucky, if this is true, would love to see an article discussing whether the extra 2x pts per dollar (over citi prestige and CSR) makes it worth booking airfare with Amex Plat when many of its travel protections falls behind those other two cards. i think there’s a decent argument to be made that it’s not wise to book with it, still.

  17. Ditto what @steven said. I don’t have the AMEX Platinum, but if I did, I would still probably book airfare on the CSR. I value the 3x UR points about as much as I’d value 5x MR points. If this really is AMEX’s “game changing” announcement they really need to re-evaluate their marketing efforts…

  18. So I spend about 10k a year on airfare (work travel not personal expenses). So for the extra 2 MR points over the CSR that would give me 20,000 extra points for a 450 AF. Yawn..

    Even if you said my annual fee is 250, because of the credit but it’s still a process to get that 200, that would be paying 250 bucks for not even enough points for a RT domestic ticket on Delta in economy.

    This is a joke. I thought Amex was actually going to try to get our business back….

  19. AX Platinum Business too? Is 5x confirmed? When does it start? Is there an email or online announcement we can view?

  20. Eh, for my travel patterns, not that exiting. As a frequent Virgin America flyer, I get change & cancellation fees waived by putting the air spend on the Virgin America Visa, which is way more valuable to me than the 5X points on airfare spend. Still considering dumping my Platinum this year unless there are additional category bonuses.

  21. They need to seriously revamp the card to stay competitive. I’m sorry I don’t see all the allure of centurion lounges. There’s like 8 of them usually in an international terminal and so overcrowded you sometimes have to wait for a seat. Granted I use them when available but I won’t go out of my way. I for one would rather have peace and quiet and the cheese cubes at the admirals club. To be honest benefits have been drastically been cut further and further for years with Amex sitting on their hands saying just wait??? Well it’s been years and their just now getting the hint! They deserve all they’re getting with citi and chase kicking their a$$. You can’t live off of your great looks forever.

  22. You will also get 1.5 points on every purchase of $5,000 or more and 50% (instead of 30%) of points back when you redeem for a trip with MR points.

  23. steven’s comment about travel protections is notable – the tradeoff may be worth it, but would have to take a closer look

  24. They seem to be really pushing their Platinum products. They just got me to sign up for the Business Platinum, which gets you a 30% rebate on AMEX point redemptions and got me another 70k bonus.

  25. Still weak!! Amex needs to include gas for car rentals, food at all airports and hotels, Uber, Lyft, trains in the 5X. They need to up the annual credit to $300 to a least march the CSR and add more partners.

    I downgraded my Platinum to the Gold.

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