American Express has launched its largest Platinum sign-up bonus to date.
The 30,000 Membership Rewards points translate into a nice standard reward of 30,000 Avios.
However, until October 25, if you spend £6,000 in the first six months, you’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points. This is usually worth 60,000 Avios or many other interesting things, which we’ll show below.
Is 60,000 points not enough for you?
How does American Express put in a £200 credit to buy any American Express travel you want?
You are now looking at an Indication Bonus worth around £200!
The American Express Platinum Card
Here are the main benefits of the American Express Platinum card that I see. However, just to be clear, there is no “right” answer to whether the Platinum card represents value for money.
It just depends on how you travel and what credit card offers are available to you. This varies from person to person. For example, most people appreciate the Priority Pass airport lounge access card the most, but I don’t because we usually fly business class and my wife has a British Airways status anyway.
On the other hand, as Londoners without a car, we disproportionately appreciate the advantages of rental car insurance and the luxury of Fine Hotels & Resorts. Guaranteed late check-out at 4pm can also be a real treat if you’re just out on a long weekend. Who wants to be kicked out of a hotel at 11am on a Sunday?
I’ll cover this in more detail below. That’s why, of all the credit and charge cards covered by Head for Points, the American Express Platinum is the one that people generally find the easiest to use.
What is the American Express Platinum Card Sign-up Bonus?
Even in normal times, the American Express Platinum Card offers the most significant one-off sign-up bonus of any UK travel card.
The Platinum card outperformed any other personal card with a double sign-up bonus and £200 credit to spend at Amex Travel until October 25th.
You must spend £6,000 within six months to clear both tranches.
Once you spend £6,000, you’ll earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, which can be converted into:
- 60,000 Avios
- 60,000 Virgin Points
- 60,000 EA, Et, F. Blue, Al, As Miles, Delta, Finnair, Qt or SAS miles
- 40,000 Singapore Airlines miles
- 120,000 Hilton Honors points
- 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
- 180,000 Radisson Rewards points
- 4,000 Club Eurostar points
And £200 travel credit
Once you’ve spent £6,000 (and not before), you’ll also get a £200 credit that can be used for American Express travel.
You book a flight or prepaid hotel through the Amex Travel website or call centre and your first £200 will be reimbursed in the form of a credit.
To be clear, this is usually only a benefit for new cardholders who sign up before 25 October, and will only be available once you’ve hit your “spend £6,000 in six months” target.
Here are the details: The £200 credit must be used in a single prepaid transaction with Amex Travel, so the transaction must be at least £200. Just spend £200 and get nothing.
Here are the key benefits of the American Express Platinum Card
Full travel insurance:
You can purchase travel insurance for you and your family as long as you are under the age of 70. You can insure another family group by adding an add-on card to your account for members of that family. Some benefits require you to purchase with an American Express card while traveling (any personal British Express card, not necessarily Platinum), but the main medical benefits are automatic. My family has this as our main family travel policy and does not pay any other insurance. American Express recently increased the number of pre-existing conditions and exercise levels covered.
Access to airport lounges with Priority Pass:
You and your primary additional cardholder will each receive a Priority Pass card. This gives the cardholder and one guest free access to 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, including the Aspire Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5, details here. The No1 Lounges in Terminal 3 at Gatwick, Birmingham and Heathrow have just rejoined Priority Pass, making it even more useful.
Get two Priority Pass cards, each for one free guest, and you’ll give a family of four access to one lounge.
Platinum Cardholders can also gain access to the impressive Plaza Premium Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 by presenting their Platinum Card – this lounge is not included in Priority Pass, but American Express and Circle Asia Airport has a direct agreement. This also applies to the new Plaza Premium Lounge at Gatwick Airport North Terminal, the old clubhouse of Virgin Atlantic.
Additionally, as long as you have a Platinum card, you’ll gain permanent status with various hotel programs:
- Hilton Honors Gold Award
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold
- Radisson Rewards Gold Award
- Melia Bonus
I’m very grateful for these cards, I usually arrange accommodation near hotels, which can give me an additional status benefit.
Access to Eurostar and Delta lounges:
Other benefits include access to the Eurostar lounges in London, Brussels and Paris, regardless of your travel class. Also, if you fly on Delta, you can get lounge access, but all guests have to pay $29.
I appreciate the benefits of Eurostar as I tend to fly in Standard Premier which has business class seats but no lounge access. Guests are not allowed, but if your partner needs to add an additional American Express platinum card to your account, they may be available. During quiet times, they would let the kids in informally.
American Express offers an exclusive event program. This is usually a mix of free events and paid specials with top restaurants or shows. Now that I have a few kids, my ability to go to any free party I’m invited to is severely limited, but I’ve had a couple of good nights during my platinum-holding years.
Exclusive benefits at luxury hotels:
There is an exclusive hotel reservation program called Fine Hotels & Resorts that provides valuable perks to your stay. If you are a frequent visitor to a 5-star hotel, you can get your full membership fee refunded by booking through FHR.
£150 UK Dining Credit once a year:
You’ll get £150 a year in credit to spend at over 150 restaurants in the UK. Achievements reset every year on January 1st.
There is no minimum spend, and you can accumulate points for multiple meals at different restaurants if you wish.
What do I earn for every £1 I spend on the card?
Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent on the box. If you choose to transfer, 1 Membership Rewards point is equivalent to 1 Avios or other airline mile per £1. Earn 2 points for every £1 of American Express travel purchases booked and purchased online.
Honestly, many of the card holders have focused their spending elsewhere — redeeming a 2-4-1 coupon on a British Airways American Express card, for example.
This is usually the best sign-up offer we’ve seen for the American Express Platinum card for two reasons:
In addition to offering the highest ever public reward of 60,000 points, American Express is offering an additional £200 credit to American Express Travel
American Express recently added a £300 annual meal credit earlier this year, as well as a £100 Harvey Nichols credit.
Even if you ignore all other credit card benefits (travel insurance, Priority Pass, Fine Hotels & Resorts, Addison Lee points, Hilton/Marriott/Melia/Radisson tiers, Eurostar lounge access, etc.), start your first One year:
- 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worst case exchange for £480 worth of Nectar points at Sainsburys, eBay.co.uk or Argos)
- £100 Harvey Nichols credits (£50 per term)
- £200 American Express Travel Credit
- £300 meal
- You’ve used more than £1,000, so the £300 food credit will reset on January 1, giving you two in the first 12 months.
- Even if you are not eligible, your partner or other loved ones may be eligible. You’ll receive an add-on card in your name that allows you to maintain hotel status, Priority Pass benefits and increase your targeted spend. You can then use Membership Rewards points in a way that benefits you, although they will only be transferred to the account in the host cardholder’s name.
Whether the Platinum Card fee is worth your money in the long run depends on the percentage of the box benefits you’ll take advantage of, although you can cancel the prorated fee at any time.
But let’s not look to the future. Focus on the short term and see if you can spend £6,000 over six months to unlock 60,000 Membership Rewards points and £200 American Express Travel Points.
Assuming you only spend £6,000 to get the bonus, worst case you just cancel after a few months and get a pro-rated refund and get 60,000 Membership Rewards points (60,000 Avios), then £200 to leave Amex Travel Credit, your Harvey Nichols goodies, and therefore £300 meal credit.