With airline bookings on the rise and vaccine distribution accelerating, this spring and summer will see many U.S. residents traveling again — some for the first time in over a year.
One of the preeminent travel cards (and also one of the most premium) is The Platinum Card® from American Express.
However, over the past year, Amex has shifted its flagship card from travel-centric to one focused on everyday spending. But as we transition away from life at home, there now exists a prime opportunity to take advantage of this card’s perks — for both the pandemic era as well as the imminent travel revival.
Airline executives and industry analysts are bullish about the upcoming resurgence of leisure travel. In fact, over the next several months, U.S. airlines may even be on track to begin making money again.
As a Platinum (or Centurion) cardholder, you’ll have exclusive access to these premium airport spaces with a wide variety of drinks, quality dining, high-speed Wi-Fi and a mixture of seating for relaxation and work.
Additionally, one of my favorite Platinum benefits is the ability to access elite-like perks when booking hotels through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program. With travel picking back up, this is one area where new (and existing) cardholders can actually benefit again.
The only permanent Platinum category bonus is travel-related — 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) or airfare and prepaid hotels through the Amex Travel portal.
However, that’s not enough right now.
Besides a generous welcome offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards points for new cardholders after spending $5,000 in your first six months of card membership, the truly unique part of the bonus is a multiplier on non-travel items.
If you’re keeping track at home, between the welcome bonus points and elevated earnings at supermarkets and gas stations in the U.S., there is the potential to earn up to 225,000 Membership Rewards points within the first six months.
Those 225,000 points are a staggering number for a welcome offer. However, this assumes that you can spend the full $15,000 at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations within six months of account opening. Even if you couldn’t max out the full $15,000, this is still a lucrative offer from Amex.
Unfortunately, this 10x bonus is only applicable to new cardholders.
One benefit, in particular, is an up-to-$30 monthly PayPal statement credit through June 30, 2021. If you apply and are approved for the card in March, that’s a total of up to $120 in statement credits with PayPal on purchases made at eligible merchants through the middle of 2021. Essentially, any merchant that accepts PayPal online will trigger the credit.
Finally, existing Platinum cardholders aren’t left out either. While you won’t qualify for the welcome bonus mentioned above, if you’re already a cardholder as of Jan. 1, 2021, you can take advantage of exclusive Amex Offers, valued at up to $1,700.
The Amex Platinum already has a ton of useful, premium travel perks and provides up to $500 in various annual credits. Since travel is coming back with a vengeance, now is an ideal window of time to apply — and take advantage of pandemic-related perks as well as the rosy travel outlook.