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Amex launches ‘biggest ever’ sign-up bonus for its Platinum Card

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

The American Express Platinum Card has relaunched as a credit product, offering new applicants 60,000 membership rewards and £200 in travel vouchers. How does it stack up?

New customers who sign up to the American Express Platinum Card by Tuesday 25 October and spend £6,000 within the first six months will receive “the biggest sign-up bonus ever offered”.

It includes 60,000 membership rewards, plus £200 credit to spend online at American Express Travel – its online business or leisure flight and hotel booking portal.

Further, another card benefit announced just last week is £300 restaurant credit split between £150 to use at selected restaurants in the UK and £150 for spending overseas.

One of the big changes to the American Express Platinum Card is that it is now a credit card rather than a charge card. Amex said this change will “remove the requirement to pay off the card balance in full at the end of the month”. However, applicants need to be aware of The Platinum Card’s 437.9% APR variable (based on an annual credit limit of £1,200), while the purchase rate is 25.7%.

However, existing Platinum Card members will keep the charge product and won’t be moved to the credit card, though they are welcome to apply, Amex confirmed.

Existing customers will also see an enhanced ‘invite a friend’ referral bonus with 24,000 membership rewards points, double the usual 12,000 points for successful referrals. New invitees will also get an extra 5,000 membership rewards points, taking the total sign up welcome bonus to at least 65,000 points, on top of the credit offering as above.

How good is this?

The first point to note is that the new credit card comes with a hefty £575 annual fee – the same as the charge card.

Rob Burgess, of frequent flyer website Head for Points, said the new sign-up bonus is worth around £800 based on his calculations, which easily covers the annual cost of the card.

Burgess added there’s “no right answer about whether the new card represents good value” as it’s solely down to how applicants travel and the benefits of the card which will attract them.

But cardholders get full travel insurance, car hire insurance, airport lounge access, select hotel status as well as access to exclusive events, £10 per month Addison Lee taxi credit and £100 per year Harvey Nichols credit to name a few.

“You are already over £1,000 of value, and the £300 of dining credit will reset on 1 January, allowing you to earn it twice in your first twelve months,” he said.

Another upside is that you can get a pro-rata fee refund if you cancel “so the cost of trying it out for a few months is low”, Burgess said.

“In fact, you’d make a decent profit as long as you managed to spend £6,000 and trigger the bonus.”

He added: “Even in normal times, American Express Platinum offers the biggest single sign-up bonus of any UK personal travel card.”

Usually, new cardholders need to spend £4,000 within 90 days to receive a bonus of 30,000 points. Now for the revamped offer, applicants need to spend £6,000 to receive double the bonus points at 60,000.

“Whilst the total sum is higher, the average monthly spend is reduced which may make it easier to hit,” he said.

Burgess concluded: “There are two reasons why this is the best sign-up offer we’ve ever seen for Amex Platinum. As well as matching the highest ever publicly available bonus of 60,000 points, Amex is throwing in an additional £200 of credit to spend at Amex Travel.

“Amex recently added the £300 of annual dining credit plus, earlier in the year, £100 of Harvey Nichols credit. Even if you ignore all of the other card benefits, you are getting 60,000 membership rewards points – in the worst case scenario these are worth £480 of Nectar points to spend in Sainsburys, on or at Argos; £100 of Harvey Nichols credit (£50 per half year); £200 of Amex Travel credit and £300 of dining credit.”