American Express is offering up to 200,000 Membership Rewards Ascent Premium Points for new Card Members of the American Express Platinum Card.
The signup bonus is split into two parts, with the first 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points to be received after spending $3,000 or more in the first 3 months from approval and an additional 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points after the annual fee for the second year is billed on your account.
The Platinum Card is the top-tier publicly available card within the suite of charge cards offered by American Express. With an annual fee of $1,450, you would expect a large range of benefits to be included with the Card, and it doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
Perks include a $450 Travel Credit, complimentary lounge access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide, complimentary status, and memberships with a number of hotel loyalty programs including a paid premium membership to Accor Plus (valued at $399), a complimentary The Australian premium subscription, and a comprehensive suite of insurance cover including but not limited to medical emergency expenses, travel inconvenience, travel cancellation, flight disruption, smartphone screen, and loss damage waiver. Travel insurance coverage is available to both the Primary Card Member and up to 4 Additional Card Members.
Given that the Card has many travel-related benefits, it is aimed at frequent travellers who can derive excellent value from the Card. If you are only an occasional traveller, you may wish to look at a lower-cost American Express Card, such as the American Express Explorer Card, that is still enrolled in the Membership Rewards Program but has fewer travel-related benefits.
For business owners whose expenses are mostly business-related rather than for personal dining or travel, the dedicated account management feature of the American Express Business Platinum Card may be more suited for you.
The Platinum Card is automatically enrolled into the Membership Rewards Ascent Premium, which allows for Card Members to transfer their Membership Rewards Points to 9 frequent flyer programs including Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Skywards, Etihad Guest and more at a 2:1 ratio.
How you could use the bonus points from this card
All redemption figures above exclude any accompanying taxes, fees and charges. Points redemption price data is provided by a third-party. For an exact total redemption cost, please consult with the airline directly.
Disclaimer: These are example redemptions only and due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, some of these routes may not be currently available.
Digging into the details
|Card||American Express Platinum Card|
|Loyalty Program||American Express Membership Rewards (MR)|
|Points earned from spend||Earn 2.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases, except those in the 1 point category
Earn 1 point per $1 spent with government bodies
|Travel benefits||Access to Platinum Travel Service, Platinum Concierge,
American Express Travel Online and Fine Hotels + Resorts Program
|Overseas transaction fee||3% of the converted amount|
|Minimum income||$100,000 p.a.|
|Included insurances||Travel insurance, Purchase Protection, Roadside assistance insurance (PDS)|
|Annual fee||$1,450 p.a.|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||All spend except on government bodies|
|Qantas Points||1.125 point / $1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||1.125 Mile / $1|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1.125 Mile / $1|
Key things to know
It is worth noting that the Platinum Card is a charge card. This is different from a regular credit card in that the balance needs to be paid off in full every month as opposed to just a minimum balance in order to avoid any charges or penalties. American Express explains this in detail here.
The Platinum Card also requires a minimum annual income of $100,000.
With the American Platinum Card, you will earn Membership Rewards points.
Membership Rewards partners with the major frequent flyer programs in the region, allowing points transfers out to 9 frequent flyer programs.
With the Platinum Card automatically enrolled in Membership Rewards Ascent Premium program, it comes with the additional benefit of being able to transfer to Qantas Frequent Flyer, a relatively rare perk in the market and one that is not available to other American Express Cards that include just the standard Membership Rewards Ascent.
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 if you are looking to utilise the above-added benefit. Should you do choose to transfer your points to Qantas, you may be able to take advantage of bonus Qantas offers.
The earn rate for the Platinum Card is as follows:
- Earn 2.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases, except those in the 1 point category
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent with government bodies
There are several lounge options you can take advantage of as a Platinum Card Member.
Virgin Australia offers the primary Card Member unlimited access to Virgin Australia domestic lounges, including the ability to bring in a guest travelling with you. You and your guest need to be travelling with Virgin Australia to gain access.
American Express also has a growing network of American Express-branded airline lounges and Centurion lounges globally, including one at Sydney Airport International Terminal and another at Melbourne International Airport.
You can bring two guests to the American Express lounges, as well as children travelling with you, and is usually limited to 2 visits a year with most eligible American Express Cards. However, those holding The Platinum Card are able to access American Express and Centurion lounges on an unlimited basis, regardless of which airline you are flying.
We’ve written about the other American Express Lounges, mainly located in the US as well as one in Hong Kong, in our guide to the American Express Lounge network.
You’ll also receive a Priority Pass lounge membership for you and an Additional Platinum Card Member, with each being able to bring a guest to join them when travelling on the same flight.
The Priority Pass benefits that extend from the complimentary membership through the Platinum Card are not identical to paid memberships. Since 1 August 2019, Platinum Card members only have access to Priority Pass lounges and not eateries, which are usually found in smaller airports that do not have lounges available.
Additionally, when travelling with Delta, a Platinum Card Member can access Delta SkyClub lounges.
Access to travel booking benefits and services through Platinum Travel Service & American Express Travel Online
American Express Travel is available to all Amex Card Members but Platinum Card Members get additional benefits, which include the ability to use the $450 Travel Credit that is included as part of the Platinum Card offering.
For Business Class and First Class fares, Platinum Card Members can take advantage of the International Airline Program through Amex Travel which offers up to 20% off airfares on 14 world-leading airlines.
These include British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Hawaiin Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, United and Virgin Australia.
The benefit is available to both Primary and Supplementary Cardmembers and available on First and Business Class fares.
American Express Fine Hotels + Resort is a unique benefit for Card Members, which offers additional hotel benefits when booking luxury hotels through American Express.
The benefits typically are subject to availability, but can include:
- An on-property benefit, often $100 USD in credit per stay
- 12pm early check-in when available
- Room upgrade upon arrival if available
- Complimentary breakfast for two
- Guaranteed 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.
Platinum Card Members also have access to The Hotel Collection, which is a smaller set of high-end (as opposed to ultra-high-end) properties. Card Members get a free room upgrade when available and up to US$100 hotel credit. In addition, you may also use Pay with Points when booking a stay at properties under The Hotel Collection.
One of the most prized benefits of the Platinum Card is the granting of elite status in three hotel loyalty programs:
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite: this program has a great range of airline and hotel partners
- Hilton Honors Gold: this program has a global reach and good complimentary upgrade and breakfast benefits
- Radisson Rewards Gold: has an increasing footprint in Australia
You’ll also get car rental elite status with both Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Avis Preferred programs.
A complimentary membership to Accor Plus, valued at $399, is included as part of the Card.
Membership to Accor Plus offers benefits that includes:
- Stay Plus complimentary night at a hotel in the Asia-Pacific each year you hold the card
- up to 50% off ding at 1,400 restaurants
- guaranteed 10% off the hotel’s best available rate
- Silver membership status in Accor Live Limitless
Complimentary The Australian Premium Subscription
The Platinum Card comes with a complimentary premium digital subscription to The Australian, which gives Card Members access to The Australian’s news coverage and analysis from Australia and around the world across a number of different devices including desktop, laptop, tablets, and mobile. In addition, Card Members also receive access to The Wall Street Journal.
The premium subscription also comes with exclusive member-only features including a weekly curated eNewsletter featuring a selection of the best reads from The Australian and global news partners including The Economist and Harvard Business Review, as well as biannual virtual events featuring some of The Australian’s most experienced political and business journalists.
The complimentary The Australian Premium subscription is available to Primary and Additional Platinum Card Members.
The Platinum Card comes with a number of complimentary insurances and is one of the main benefits of holding the card. The coverage provided by American Express for Platinum Card Members, and now up to 4 of their Additional Platinum Card Members.
You can and should read the PDS for the insurance benefits of the Platinum Card here.
The insurances, once activated, include:
- Travel insurance, including for points redemption bookings from using points earned by your Platinum Card
- Travel Inconvenience Cover – up to $700 on hotel accommodations, meals, and/or clothing
- Personal Baggage, Money, and Documents Cover – up to a maximum of $30,000 per 365-day period including $5,000 for any single item/pair/set of valuables, $1,000 for money or mobile phone, and $3,000 for any single laptop
- Up to $125,000 of loss damage waiver insurance for rental cars
- Up to $500 to repair a broken smartphone screen
- Purchase protection
- Roadside assistance insurance
- Home Assistance cover up to two times per year
Disclaimer: Point Hacks Australia Pty Ltd. provides general information only. You should assess whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs and consider obtaining independent professional advice before making an investment decision. If information relates to a specific financial product you should obtain a copy of the PDS for that product and consider that statement before making a decision on whether to acquire the product.
Smartphone Screen Insurance is unique in the market as a credit card insurance offering, and it will cover you for screen repairs up to $500, with a 10% excess on the claim. If the Smartphone is paid on a monthly contract, cover will start 30 days from the date of the first monthly payment on your card.
We have covered off some of the details of the rental car benefits and insurances offered by the Platinum Card in this dedicated guide.
Unparalleled mobile wallet integration
American Express cards support Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, meaning you can use this card on your smartphone for easier payments.
With this feature set up, it means you could still use your NFC-enabled phone to make purchases with your American Express account, even if your physical card is lost or stolen and pending replacement.
Using the Platinum Card overseas
If you are looking to use the Platinum Card overseas, there is a 3% foreign exchange fee levied on all overseas transactions. This is a shortfall of the Australian version of the Card, especially given that the much cheaper US variant of the Platinum Card comes with no foreign exchange fees.
Card Member, however, will earn the full number of points for all overseas transactions, so long as the transaction is not an excluded transaction for points earn.
The Platinum Card offers additional cards linked to your primary account for Card Members over 16 years of age.
The Priority Pass membership can be used by one Additional Platinum Card Member as well as the primary account holder.
The following statuses can also be registered for at least one Additional Platinum Card Member:
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
- Radisson Rewards Gold Elite
- Hilton Honors Gold
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
- Avis Preferred
Registration of status benefits for Additional Card Members is handled mostly through the Amex website once you have set up the Card Members on the account.
You can also get itemised transaction reports for Additional card members through the Amex website or your statement.
Amex Offers is a program that provides a statement credit to your account for making an eligible purchase. Think of it as an instant cashback offer without having to deal with any paperwork.
By logging into your app or the Amex website, you can add promotions from certain retailers to your Platinum Card, meaning you could get something like $15 off when spending $75 or more at Heinemann Duty-Free and paying with this card.
Card Members can also use the card for Business expenditure. American Express offer a unique option to add an ‘additional’ card (this is different to an Additional Card Member, as outlined above). An additional card is a second card that’s issued in the Card Member’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 Card Members (additional card and Additional Card Members) making it much easier to reconcile.
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 Card Members
American Express are quite specific about whether existing Card Members will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.
Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.
American Express don’t allow existing Card Members, even for different types of American Express cards (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family.
Summing up: the American Express Platinum Card
This card is likely to appeal most to those who travel frequently and can utilise most of the travel benefits of the card. Given the high annual fee of $1,450 every year, a cost-benefit analysis should be made, especially if you are a borderline frequent traveller. For those that rarely travel, other American Express cards such as the American Express Explorer Card might be better suited.
Remember, once you’re a Card Member, take advantage of the Amex referral program to earn more points.
The American Express referral program allows Card Members to earn points by referring their friends and family to apply for other American Express cards, offering both the applicant and the Card Member bonus points for doing so.