Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Point Hacks Exclusive: Amex Platinum Charge Card offers 120,000 Membership Rewards bonus points

American Express Platinum Charge - 120,000 Membership Rewards points

With a Point Hacks Exclusive 120,000 Membership Rewards points bonus available on sign up, the American Express Platinum Charge is a great card for those who want to earn Membership Rewards points on everyday spend with lots of additional benefits. Read the Point Hacks guide for the full rundown.

  • 120,000 Membership Rewards points signup bonus
  • $300 travel credit annually
  • Unlimited access to certain airline lounges - including Virgin Australia Domestic, Delta and American Express lounges globally
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts perks & discounts
  • 3 Membership Rewards points earned per $ spent at restaurants, 2 points earned per $ on travels, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
  • $1200 p.a. annual fee
  • Offer ends: 30th March 2017
  • Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Charge Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.
  • Bonus points require $1,500 minimum spend in first 3 months
  • Charge card, not credit card - balance requires payment in full each month but with no pre-set spending limit - more about this

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $330 per applicant for this card. More about this →

American Express and Point Hacks are offering an exclusive 120,000 Membership Rewards Ascent Premium bonus on the Platinum Charge card – matching the highest we’ve seen on this card since we’ve been keeping track.

The bonus is transferrable to the key frequent flyer programs in the region, including Qantas, Velocity, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Etihad Guest and more, on a 1:1 basis.

The card’s proposition is that if you travel a lot and are savvy about how you use the benefits, you’ll get at least that much value each year from the wide range of perks and deals on offer.

You can now also join our email course specifically on the benefits of the Platinum Charge – you should be able to see the opt-in form at the bottom of your screen. In the course, we break down the benefits of the card given they are very broad, and you need to be sure you’ll get the most out of the card to justify the $1,200 annual fee.

Alongside this, the Business Platinum Charge variant of the card is offering 150,000 Membership Rewards points. This has a slightly higher annual fee of $,1500, and a range of different points bonus categories targeted at high volume business spenders.

If you’re a business owner spending on advertising, IT or other business-related expenses more than dining or travel, the Business Platinum Charge Card might have the potential to earn more points than the consumer variant of the Charge card.

Card Details

CardAmerican Express Platinum Charge
Loyalty ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards (MR)
Points earned from spend3 MR points earned per $ spent at restaurants
2 MR points earned per $ on travel, and
1 MR point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
Travel benefitsAccess to American Express Travel and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts discounts
Overseas transaction fee3% of the converted amount
Minimum income$100,000 p.a.
Included insurancesTravel insurance, Purchase Protection, Roadside assistance insurance (PDS)
Annual fee$1,200 p.a.

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer ProgramDomestic SpendOverseas Spend
Qantas Points1 point / $2 points / $
Velocity Points1 point / $2 points / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles1 Mile / $2 Miles / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 Mile / $2 Miles / $

Key things to know

It’s worth noting that the Platinum Charge is, as indicated by its name, a charge card. This is slightly different to a regular Credit Card in that the balance needs to be paid off in full every month, otherwise, charges or penalties apply. American Express explain this in much more detail here.

The Platinum Charge card also requires a minimum annual income of $100,000. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Charge Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18-month period are ineligible for this offer.

Earning points from spend on the Platinum Charge

With the American Platinum Charge Card you’ll be earning Membership Rewards points.

Membership Rewards partners with the major frequent flyer programs in the region, allowing points transfers out to Velocity Frequent Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

There’s a dedicated Point Hacks guide just to this program, so check that out for full details.

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On top of the standard benefits of Membership Rewards points, Platinum Charge account holders are also able to transfer their points to Qantas Frequent Flyer – one of only a couple of cards in the market that can do this.

Be sure to read our post on when it makes sense to transfer Amex points to Qantas to make sure you’re getting the best value from your points balance.

If you do choose to transfer your points to Qantas, you may be able to take advantage of the bonuses Qantas offer occasionally to bump up your Qantas Point balance.

The earn rate on spend for the Platinum Charge is as follows:

  • 3 points per $ at restaurants in Australia
  • 2 points per $ on travel – airlines and accommodation
  • 2 points per $ on overseas spend – with 3% foreign exchange surcharge
  • 0.5 points per $ on utilities, telecoms and government transactions
  • 1 point per $ on everything else

This card is also eligible for Amex Local Champion to help pick up bonus points at local retailers.

For reference, the full set of terms for the Platinum Charge Membership Rewards program are here.

There’s also a 300,000 points per year cap at the bonus point rate, after which all earn goes down to 1 point per dollar. Total points earn is then uncapped.

Lounge Access with the American Express Platinum Charge

There are several airline lounge options you can take advantage of as a Platinum Charge cardholder.

Virgin Australia offers the primary cardholder unlimited access to Virgin Australia lounges – and you’ll also be able to bring in a guest travelling with you. You’ll need to be travelling with Virgin Australia to gain access.

Virgin Lounge Melbourne Interior-w

The Virgin Australia Lounge in Melbourne

American Express also has growing network of Amex branded airline lounges globally, including one in the Sydney Airport International Terminal.

American Express Sydney Lounge 2

Generally, you can bring two guests to the American Express lounges, as well as children travelling with you, and with the Platinum Charge you may be able to access the Sydney lounge (and others globally) on an unlimited basis.

We’ve written about the other Centurion Lounges, mainly located in the US, in our guide to the Centurion Lounge network.

The Centurion Lounge in San Francisco

You’ll also receive a Priority Pass lounge membership for you and a supplementary cardholder, and a guest travelling with you. There’s also a 10% discount on paid Priority Pass memberships here for Point Hacks readers.

The fourth lounge network Platinum Charge cardholders get access to is Plaza Premium, which operates a small number of about 50 high-quality lounges worldwide, including a great lounge in Brisbane’s International Terminal. You can read more in our Plaza Premium guide.

plaza-premium-bne-seating-4

The Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane

Finally, when travelling with Delta, a Platinum Charge cardholder can access Delta SkyClub lounges.

Access to travel booking benefits and services through American Express Travel

American Express Travel is available to all Amex cardholders, but Platinum Charge cardholders can get a lot of additional value, and may choose to use American Express Travel as their personal travel agent.

Platinum Charge cardholders will also receive a $300 statement credit each year for bookings made through American Express Travel – this was increased from $200 in April 2016, a nice increase for new and existing cardholders.

For Business Class fares, Amex Travel has competitive pricing and has access to a wide range of discounts that may not be publicly available.

This is primarily across their partner airlines – British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Australia.

There’s also a price guarantee:

Pay the best available fare in First or Business Class with our partner airlines. With our Platinum Fare Guarantee, should you find a cheaper price for the same booking class, we’ll match it.

Read the terms and conditions here.

Then there’s a major hotel program benefit: American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts.

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is only for Platinum Charge cardholders

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) is a unique benefit for cardholders, which offers even more hotel benefits when booked through American Express.

Amex FHR Website

The benefits typically are subject to availability, but can include:

  • An on-property benefit, often $100 USD in credit per stay
  • 12pm check-in
  • Room upgrade if available
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • 4pm late check-out
  • Complimentary wifi

With many FHR bookings, you’ll also continue to receive points and status with the parent hotel loyalty program too, unlike other consolidators.

I reviewed one example of the kind of treatment you get when booking hotel stays through Fine Hotels & Resorts at the Shangri-La Sydney.

Hotel Status & Membership that comes with the American Express Platinum Charge

Beyond the actual travel booking benefits and discounts, there’s also the potential to gain Gold elite status in five hotel loyalty programs:

Note: Accor Plus membership used to be a benefit of the card earlier in 2015, but this has now been removed. Some existing cardholders would still have access to this program too.

American Express Platinum Charge Concierge

As you’d expect from American Express’ high-end card, the service you’ll receive from the Platinum Concierge should be some of the best in the business. You can email, call or make requests to the concierge online.

Some cardholders try to effectively use their Platinum Concierge service like their own personal assistant, from helping organise travel plans through American Express Travel, through to arranging their activities on the ground.

You may also have access to bookings at shows and restaurants that would otherwise be difficult to get, and similarly for sports and concert tickets.

American Express also offer Charge cardholders access to events for sports, the arts and travel which are exclusive to Amex.

We’ve written extensively about the different ways you can use the maximise the Platinum Concierge in this dedicated guide.

Platinum Charge Travel and other Insurances

I always err on the side of not providing too much commentary on credit card travel insurances because everyone’s needs are different. You can and should read the PDS for the insurance benefits of the Platinum Charge here.

The insurances included are:

  • Travel insurance, including for points redemption bookings from using points earned by your Platinum Charge
  • Purchase protection
  • Roadside assistance insurance
  • Up to $125,000 of loss damage waiver insurance for rental cars

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

We have covered off some of the details of the rental car benefits and insurances offered by the Platinum Charge Card in this dedicated guide.

Downsides to the American Express Platinum Charge

Given the $1200 annual fee, you’d hope that the Platinum Charge card would be pretty much perfect – but there are some missed opportunities.

There are a few ways the card could be made better – firstly, some of the partnerships have specified end dates, giving a little uncertainty about whether they will be renewed for future years. Given the relatively high fee, it would be good to know for sure.

While bonus points are offered on overseas spend (2 points per $), a 3% foreign exchange fee is charged on these transactions. The US version of this card provides no foreign exchange fees, by comparison.

There’s also no airline status supplied with the card – although the included lounge access goes some way to making this up, airline status can help to get seats assigned and improve upgrade possibilities.

Taking advantage of supplementary cardholders

The Platinum Charge Card offers supplementary cards linked to your primary account for supplementary cardholders over 18 years of age.

The Priority Pass membership can be used by one supplementary cardholder as well as the primary account holder. The following statuses can also be registered for at least one supplementary cardholder:

  • Preferred Golf complimentary membership
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Gold
  • Club Carlson Gold Elite Status
  • Hilton HHonors Gold
  • Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle Jade Status
  • Avis Preferred
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star

Registration of status benefits for supplementary cardholders is handled mostly through the Amex website once you have set up the cardholders on the account.

You can also get itemised transaction reports for supplementary cardholders through the Amex website or your statement.

Sign up for Amex offers

By logging into your app or the Amex website, you can add promotions from certain retailers to your Platinum Charge card, meaning you could get something like $15 off when spending $75 or more at Heinemann Duty Free and paying with this card.

Using the card for business expenses

Given the annual fee of this card, and the points bonuses for dining, travel, and overseas spend, many cardholders choose to use it for as many expenses as possible.

Business expenditure can be put on the card. American Express offer a unique option to add an ‘additional’ card (this is different to a supplementary cardholder, as outlined above). An additional card is second card that’s issued in the cardholder’s name with a different card number, which makes it administratively ideal for using your primary card for personal transactions, while you keep the additional card to one side for business transactions.

When looking up your statement and transaction history online or in downloaded or paper statements, transactions are itemised by cardholders (additional and supplementary) making it much easier to reconcile.

For small business owners, Xero also handily allows import of transactions made just on one card into your Xero account.

If you use the card solely for business use the annual fee may be tax-deductible, but check that with your tax advisor to be sure.

Considering this card for Business-related transactions?

American Express offer a range of both business and consumer charge and credit cards. They do permit business transactions to be made on personal cards, unlike some other banks, but you might find some of the other business-focused benefits of the business cards to be appealing or more appropriate.

So – if you’re a sole trader or a business looking to earn points with your business spend – this card would still work for that purpose.

There’s a full list of business and personal consumer American Express cards which might be suitable for earning points from business-related transactions here.

Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express cardholders

American Express are quite specific about whether existing cardholders will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.

Firstly, if you hold a bank-issued American Express – e.g. from Westpac or from ANZ – that alone won’t affect whether you’re eligible for bonus points with an American Express branded card offer. There’s more in our guide to this here.

If you do already hold an American Express-issued card, then the type you hold impacts whether you’re eligible for a new cardholder bonus. American Express offer consumer (or personal) credit cards, consumer Charge cards, and business credit cards. If you hold a card in one of these categories and apply for a card in the same category, then you won’t be eligible for a bonus.

However if you hold a card in one category and apply for a new card in a different category, then you are eligible for the signup bonus. We’ve explained this in more detail here.

Summing up: the American Express Platinum Charge card

This card is likely to appeal most to those who travel frequently and who spend enough to earn enough points to make the most of both kinds of benefits of the card.

If you take advantage of the softer benefits, such as concierge and insurance services too, there’s also a lot of value to be had.

Ultimately these are prestige and elite cards and for those who know how to get the most out of them, they can be really lucrative. But they aren’t for everyone, so it’s important you asses whether it meets your personal requirements.

American Express Platinum Charge - 120,000 Membership Rewards points

With a Point Hacks Exclusive 120,000 Membership Rewards points bonus available on sign up, the American Express Platinum Charge is a great card for those who want to earn Membership Rewards points on everyday spend with lots of additional benefits. Read the Point Hacks guide for the full rundown.

  • 120,000 Membership Rewards points signup bonus
  • $300 travel credit annually
  • Unlimited access to certain airline lounges - including Virgin Australia Domestic, Delta and American Express lounges globally
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts perks & discounts
  • 3 Membership Rewards points earned per $ spent at restaurants, 2 points earned per $ on travels, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
  • $1200 p.a. annual fee
  • Offer ends: 30th March 2017
  • Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Charge Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.
  • Bonus points require $1,500 minimum spend in first 3 months
  • Charge card, not credit card - balance requires payment in full each month but with no pre-set spending limit - more about this

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $330 per applicant for this card. More about this →

Once you’re a cardholder, take advantage of the Amex referral program to earn more points

The American Express referral program allows cardholders to earn points by referring their friends and family to apply for other American Express cards, offering both the applicant and the cardholder bonus points for doing so.

There’s a full guide to the referral program here.

Jump back up to offer ↑

Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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We have not taken into consideration your circumstances or financial situation when providing the information on this website. It is important you read the relevant PDS from the product issuer and seek the independent advice of an appropriately qualified professional before making a decision on a product.

Comments Expand Comments

  1. Sean

    No doubt, it’s kind of creme de la creme card but with a whopping $1200 annual fee, they could do with removing the 300,ooo MR points cap for tiered earnings, foreign transaction fee, and the 0.5 MR points tier and absorb to 1 MR point.

    It does not mention about the 300,000 MR tiered points cap against the supplementary Amex Plat Edge nor Platinum Reserve. Any details on that?

  2. gdoubleu

    Thanks for the opportunity to write about the Platinum. Where to start? I have had the card since ’11 when it was $800/y I recollect. Generally it pays for itself. I travel extensively, mostly overseas.

    On the positive side:
    – Can access the Amex Centurion Lounge in the US
    – Great $/point ratio when purchasing in FCY
    – Insurances (travel, purchase)

    On the negative side:
    – Cost: the US equivalent costs US$450/y
    – Foreign currency fee
    – Appalling customer service for out of the ordinary issues (emergency card replacement, travel booking)
    – Dealing with ACE insurance for claim is slow and generally a pain.

  3. Mark

    Hi,
    I have the platinum charge card and requested the Platinum Edge Credit Card. However, I was denied because the point structure is different.

    Could be time to look for another provider if they can’t agree to a simple request.

  4. Ike

    I still personally struggle to understand the value of the Platinum Charge. Most of the top tier cards from the Big 4 banks give you lounge access (which is somewhat moot if you have a decent frequent flyer status), and their travel insurance policies are more substantial. Citibank’s Signature gives a really good point bonus for foreign transactions. The Prestige card comes in at $700 which I a, leaning towards.

  5. One thing rarely discussed imo is that additional cardholders get many of the same benefits as the primary cardholder. Handy for friends or family members that don’t share our ‘hobby’. You can also nominate one additional cardholder to receive Priority Pass Prestige membership. In a recent trip to Queenstown the dining discount from Accor Advantage Plus actually saved us money. The express pass at Sydney Airport has served my family well too. Lastly, when there’s Amex cashback offer each card can be registered separately since they bear different numbers. $10 off on $20 purchase? why, yes please.

  6. Frank

    Hi Keith,

    The Virgin Club lounge access is a great benefit of the platinum card. That said, if you have luggage to check it doesnt help circumvent queues at check in. Or is there some way I’m not aware of?

    Seriously considering relinquishing my QC m/ship for Virgin however if I want priority at check in, and in the absence of having sufficient status with Virgin to qualify for priority, it seems i would still have to join the Virgin Club even though I get lounge access via my platinum card.

    Yes?

  7. ryan

    hi keith – i have also not had any success with getting the Edge as a companion card.
    in your post it sounds like getting the Edge would have been easier than the Reserve but i got offered the Reserve straight away but got refused on the Edge.
    It sounds like this might be standard policy now as the other poster described so i’m not sure if it’s worth calling back to talk to someone else.

  8. Simon

    I weighed up the pros and cons of this card for a while before I took the plunge. It has been well worth it in my opinion. I had a Platinum Reserve Credit Card prior to signing up for the Platinum. The Reserve Card is now free, but it doesn’t look like they offer it anymore.
    1. Still get the perks of the Reserve Card – namely the domestic or NZ flight.
    2. Have saved a bundle with their offers via the app. These are multiplied out when my partner takes advantage of them AND we also can use them again on our Reserve card
    3. Remember you get $200 to spend on travel including the usual flights.
    4. They sometimes have significantly cheaper airfares in the premium economy/business/first – but not all the time. It’s always worth ringing and asking. I saved $600pp (20%) for two pax yesterday compared to the cheapest I could find anywhere online… Annual fee paid for!
    5. The customer service is excellent. I frequently use them to book restaurants for me.
    6. Insurances are very good (although the excess is a little high IMO)
    7. The ability to transfer to Qantas without paying any extra fees etc.
    8. Lounge access is very good. Used their new lounge in Sydney International – small and intimate, better than Qantas Club for sure. I already have access to Virgin lounges but can imagine this would be a massive bonus. The Priority Pass is unlimited visits with a guest – unlike most other cards (both AMEX and non-Amex) which is two visits per year, no guests. I gave my second one to my retired parents who are busy spending my inheritance….!!!
    9. Hotels – The Accor Advantage Plus has been an excellent bonus – discount hotels, and have used the dining benefit a reasonable amount. I have also used the fine hotels program in Sydney – stayed at the ShangriLa, the rate was only marginally more expensive than i could find elsewhere, got an upgrade, free breakfast and a $100 credit. I regularly stay at Accor hotels so the Platinum loyalty card means I get very well looked after with free drinks, gifts and upgrades.

    So… I definitely get my money’s worth – but it’s an individual thing. You should realistically calculate what you will use and how much it may save you.

    Remember that AMEX have affiliation with many professional occupation organisations and give discounts on their annual fee – it’s worth checking if yours or a friends does.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Has anyone had any luck recently with securing a companion card like the Platinum Edge? I’ll be ringing up shortly to try and take advantage of this. Has anyone ever tried to get access to a different companion card? The earn rates on David Jones’ cards could make them an attractive option, albeit without the free domestic flight… Happy to hear any thoughts or tips.

  10. Joy

    “The downside is that you do need to pay your account in full each month, and if you don’t, all points in your account are forfeit and large fees will apply.”

    Wait, does this mean that ALL the MR points in my account will be wiped out, or just the ones accrued for that month?

    • Keith Author

      All points are forfeit on the charge card if you don’t meet the repayments. It’s tough but that’s the deal with a charge card. You’ll be able to get them reinstated maybe once, but otherwise you need to keep on top of your balance to keep earning more points.

  11. Waz

    Hi Keith,

    My wife just got the platinum charge card yesterday. It seems that FHR is no longer available for Aus cardholders. Can you confirm? We were able to access it yesterday but today it shows you a link to apply for a US based card even though we have logged in. The Aus Amex site seems to not show FHR as one of the benefits.

    Cheers.

    • Keith Author

      Hey Was – it’s still a benefit (to my knowledge). I was just looking at rates last night.

      You were most likely looking at the directory of properties on the US site, which doesn’t recognise AU Plat Charge cardholders as you found. On the AU site you need to log into your account and start searching for hotels through Amex Travel / ‘Platinum Travel’ as it’s called in the site navigation. Have a read of this guide to FHR for more and some screenshots.

  12. I am new to Pointhacks & still trying to get my head around all of this new information. I currently have a CBA issued Diamond Amex Card, after reading your other articles I was intending to get a Platinum Edge card to make use of the 3x points earning capacity & 10,000 bonus points. Reading this article though, is it worth getting this card for a 12 mth period just to get the 100,000 points? I assume this would mean they cost 1.2c p/pt, of course if I was to use some of the other benefits of the card this p/ppt cost would decrease. Does the fact that I have a bank issued Amex card preclude me from the bonus points?

    As mentioned previously, the ultimate companion card would be the Platinum Edge (but this does not seem possible). Looking on the Amex website, I can’t seem to see where the reserve card is listed that provides the additional flight with wider scope you mention.

    Thank you for all of this wonderful information. I will certainly apply for whichever card via your links.

    • Keith Author

      I can’t recommend whether you should apply for this card over any other, and whether the benefits of this one stack up for you. But in answer to your questions…

      Does holding a bank-issued Amex preclude you from picking up the bonus? No!
      Platinum Reserve is no longer available to apply for so there is not much info about it on the Amex site. There is a list of flights here. I’ll be doing a post on the Reserve soon.

      Thanks!

  13. Hi. This is a question about the current AMEX referral July bonus (60,000 points). I recently referred my husband for the card and received one x 20,000 credit to my account, then a 60,000 credit came through the next day. Are any referrers out there able to confirm if the 60,000 points are in ADDITION to the usual 20,000? I’m guessing that is the case, otherwise it looks like someone else might have used my referral just prior to July 1 (a pleasant surprise).

    (Sorry for posting this here – but comments on July AMEX referral bonus are closed).

    • Keith Author

      Delayed reply, sorry. I am 99.9% sure this would be due to someone else using your referral rather than extra points from the one referral being credited. Never know of course but it is supposed to be 60k in July.

  14. Christian

    Hey guys. Anyone tell me how you are identified when using the virgin lounges? Of its just flashing the card what’s to stop supplementary holders doing the same? Is there differences between how the primary and sup cards look?

  15. Kelvin

    hi guys, in relation to platinum reserve I’ve rang twice, only to be told they will mail a form and nothing turns up. anybody have a copy of the Paper form available? thanks

  16. Ben

    Hi Keith,

    A couple of questions about the Platinum Charge:

    Is the sign-up bonus available to people who have AmEx-issued credit cards as long as they have no charge cards? (I have Platinum Edge and Velocity Escape.)
    What codes as a “restaurant” for triple points? Cafes? Bars? Takeaway?

    • Keith Author

      On your first question, my understanding is that any Amex issued card, Charge or Credit, would mean the signup bonus isn’t available. That said, it seems that those who apply through a referral from the Amex referral program have more luck at picking up the bonus points, but no guarantees.

      Restaurant – you got it, pretty much any food serving business, big or small. The exception are restaurants in hotels, which usually credit as hotels. Amex are also very good about crediting extra points if they don’t credit correctly on your statement and you nudge them through online messaging.

  17. Ben

    Thanks, Keith. On the first question there’s an ambiguity in the wording of the exclusion on the AmEx website. If I decide to proceed I’ll ask them to clarify.

  18. Johnson

    I have been looking at this card for some time now, but have been hesitant to grab this due to the overall cost. But over the coming months I will be travelling interstate for work purpose regularly and Virgin Lounge would be a big bonus for me and tipped me over the edge to get it.

  19. Ryan

    Hi Keith,

    Any idea if the referral bonus is active on top of the 100K points this time around? I havent been able to find anything, and an extra 10K or 20K points would help tip the scales for me to offset the cost. Cheers!

  20. Alex

    The big decider for me is the complementary reserve card with $400 travel credit. This should be at the top of the list above. Hopefully amex will just combine the credits making it $700.

    • Keith Author

      They don’t combine the credits unfortunately, you have to use them individually. The Reserve card fee is waived, but you still need to ‘apply’ for the Reserve – which involves another credit check. I would assume the chance of not being approved is low but that’s why we don’t play it up in this guide, it’s not a confirmed benefit of the Charge card and as it offers the same points earn rates, the primary benefits of holding it are to increase the points available under the cap if you’d be close to the Charge points cap, and the travel credit.

      • LLO

        Keith, I would have thought there are three good reasons to have the Platinum Edge in addition to the Platinum charge card:

        The $200 travel credit
        3 points on grocery shopping
        2 points on fuel

        Plus it’s free with the charge card.

        • Keith Author

          For sure, Edge + Charge is a potent combination. Edge is not by default free to everyone who holds a Charge card AFAIK, there isn’t a formal fee-waiver policy.

          The other comment is referring to the Platinum Reserve card which is only available to Charge card holders and does have a fee-waiver.

  21. Matthew

    Any guess as to when this offer of 100k pts may appear again?
    I’ve signed up to the Explorer card recently, used the $400 travel allowance which was good.

    Thinking to wait a while until signing up to the Platinum.

  22. Dragonbaby

    Hi Keith,

    Thank you for the nice write up. I just want to confirm re hotel status benefits e.g. the Hilton Hhonor gold status benefit with the charge card. You mentioned that the supplementary card holders CAN also register for this benefit? This would make a huge difference for me.

    • Keith Author

      Sorry for the delayed reply here – I checked the Platinum Benefits Directory in my account online and most of the status options are available to supplementary cardholders, including Hilton Honors and SPG Gold.

  23. Rob

    The points earn on the Platinum is a bit of a downside. My preferred transfer partner is SPG, but the effective earn rate outside of travel/restaurants/Intl spend is a paltry 0.5 SPG points per $1 vs a 1 SPG point per $1 on the Amex Explorer. In this instance, being part of Ascent MR has no benefit vs MR Gateway for my purposes (SPG points).

    Does anyone know if the Reserve card is still offered as a fee-free companion with the current revised Amex Platinum offer?

    Thanks

    • Keith Author

      It is still offered, but not promoted by Amex as a benefit – on request only. Read into that what you will, I suspect it may change somehow in future.

  24. Will

    Hi Keith –

    Got the Charge in January and just called in to request the Platinum Reserve. Was told they have changed the Domestic/NZ free flight to a $400 travel credit.

    Between this, the Platinum Edge switch, and the current $50 off $200 offer for purchases via Amex Travel, it’s interesting to see Amex investing / doubling down on their travel portal.

    While I was disappointed by the switch in benefits for the Platinum Edge (as I got much more value out of the flight than $200 there), I feel $400 is reasonable value for the Reserve free flight given my travel priorities (and the difficulty of finding saver redemptions to ZQN).

    Thanks!

  25. Ryan

    Can I get the 120,000 bonus points using your referral link but pay the lower Chartered Accountants annual fee as I am a member of the CA?

    Or do I have to apply directly through the CA?

    • Keith Author

      The 120,000 point bonus is only available if you click through from this page, and yes, that does mean there are no discounts on the annual fee as a result.

Links to this article

  1. American Express Membership Rewards Benefits Guide

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