The sign up bonus on the American Express Platinum card has held pretty steady at 25,000 bonus points for quite some time with the exception of some targeted offers for as much as 100,000 points. It looks like American Express is making a push to attract new business with a new public offer for 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months.
This card has a lot of big perks. Some of the perks of the Platinum card include:
- $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit – for incidentals such as baggage fees, flight change fees, in-flight snacks, etc.
- Lounge Access – Including American Express Centurion lounges for you and your family or 2 travel companions and Delta Sky Club (only free for yourself, guests after May 1st, 2014)
- $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement
- Complementary Gold Status with SPG for duration of card membership
- No foreign transaction fees
While the American Express Platinum card boasts a lot of extra benefits, it also comes with a hefty price tag ringing in at $450 per year for the annual membership fee. Many will not find enough value in the card to support that kind of price tag but for those who travel frequently enough, you could do well with this card. You can recoup $200 of the fee each year simply with the annual airline fee credit on things like bag fees, change fees or in-flight purchases.
American Express Membership Rewards points actually feature a more robust list of transfer partners than Ultimate Rewards even though UR tends to hog the glory. You can transfer to 16 different airlines including Delta, British Airways, KLM/Air France, Virgin American & Atlantic and Jet Blue. The selection of hotel transfer partners is much smaller featuring SPG, Hilton HHonors, Choice Privileges, & Best Western.
One other strong perk of Membership Rewards is the frequent transfer bonus offers from American Express offering increased bonuses to certain transfer partners usually in the range of an extra 25% to 50% bonus.