Yes, there is a £450 annual fee, but this is refunded pro-rata when you cancel. If you acheived the £2,000 spend to trigger the bonus inside 3 months and cancelled, you would get over £300 back and still have your 50,000 Avios!
Amex has made a terrible, terrible mess of explaining on their website who qualifies for this bonus.
Sometimes it says that the only people who cannot apply are those who have, or have had in the last six months, Amex Gold or Amex Green:
– eg, in large print on the main Amex Platinum page on the Amex website (scroll to bottom)
Sometimes it says that anyone with ANY Amex-issued card (BA Amex, SPG, Nectar, Gold etc) cannot apply:
– eg, in the small print on the ‘refer a friend’ website
– eg, in the small print in the ‘View Important Information’ box on the Amex Platinum web page
Up to today, I have taken the cautious approach and have used the more restrictive terms when advising people and on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page.
I am now changing my mind and believe that the wording on the main Amex website – that only recent Amex Gold and Amex Green cardholders are blocked – is the correct version.
Why do I say this?
Well, as Keynes said, ‘when the evidence changes, I change my mind‘. And what has caused me to change my mind is:
a) I have referred two people to Amex Platinum who already had a British Airways American Express card, and both received the 52,000 point bonus
b) a reader tweeted Amex to get clarification on this issue and was told that the main website is the correct version and that only people who have had a charge card like Gold in the last 6 months are blocked
(I wouldn’t normally trust a corporate twitter person, but combined with a) I am tempted to believe it!)
So, if you do not have an Amex Gold (and have not cancelled one in the last six months) and have £40,000 household income then you should consider applying for Amex Platinum. I no longer believe that having a BA Amex is an issue.
I won’t go into the benefits of Amex Platinum, since I assume most readers would cancel it quickly after getting the bonus. However, if you do keep it, the Starwood Gold, Accor (Sofitel, Novotel etc) Gold, Club Carlson Gold, two Priority Pass cards and the Hertz and Avis status cards have value.
The travel insurance is also comprehensive as long as you are under 70, have no pre-existing conditions and are happy to pay for your flight and hotel on an Amex card. You can also issue supplementary cards to up to four family members or friends, who immediately get the full travel insurance as well.
If you have no BA status, you also get at least one year of Cathay Pacific Gold status, which gets you into British Airways lounges and gets you free BA seat selection.
I have changed the text on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page to reflect my revised position on qualification. I will keep an eye out for any attempts by Amex to change their wording again!