The American Express Platinum card is one of the leading premium rewards cards on the market. Its highlights include memberships in the lounge programs of Delta, American, and US Airways, a $200 annual airline fee credit, and Membership Rewards points from spending. While existing cardholders rave about these benefits and many others, new applicants may be unaware that there are actually several Platinum cards offered by American Express.
Which Platinum Cards are Offered
American Express offers both a business and a consumer version of their Platinum card. Each has an annual fee of $450, and additional cards can be ordered for $175 each. Next, American Express offers a Platinum card co-branded with automaker Mercedes-Benz. While its $475 annual fee is only slightly higher, it offers extra benefits such as a $1,000 reward certificate good toward the purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle, up to 2,000 excess miles waived for leased vehicles, and a $100 annual reward certificate good toward Mercedes-Benz accessories. Also, purchases from Mercedes-Benz earn five times the normal number of Membership Rewards points.
Finally, American Express has announced yet another Platinum card partner; Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. This card, offered to customers of the brokerage, is similar in most ways to the standard Platinum card. While the annual fee is $450, cardholders can order a second card for an authorized user for free. In addition, cardholders will earn an Anniversary Spend Award of $500 each year that $100,000 is spent before the cardholder’s account anniversary date. This is obviously tailored to the highest of high end customers, as most consumers can find perfectly adequate credit card rewards offers with much lower fees and comparable rewards rates.
What Isn’t a True Platinum Card
Unfortunately, American Express tends to use the word Platinum to describe several other products that are not truly Platinum cards. For example, American Express offers several credit cards co-branded with Delta Airlines, including the Delta SkyMiles Card and a SkyMiles Business Platinum cards. While those products offer valuable benefits with Delta Airlines, they have none of the perks normally associated with the actual American Express Platinum cards. In addition, American Express also offers its Business Membership Rewards card and its SimplyCash Business card. Both cards say “Platinum” on their face, but neither offers any of the true Platinum card benefits.
While there is much to like about American Express’s Platinum cards, simplicity is not one of them. By understanding what their Platinum card offerings are, and aren’t, new applicants can choose the best product for their individual needs.
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