It seems BA Amex holders CAN get the 50,000 points Amex Platinum bonus!

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The American Express Platinum charge card has an astounding sign-up bonus at present – 50,000 Membership Rewards points.  These are worth 50,000 Avios, or a whole heap of other things.

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.

Amex Platinum

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.

You can apply here for Amex Platinum.

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!

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  1. What about the opposite? Getting a BA card and points whilst having a plat card in the last six months.

    • That’s not a problem. The BA card has no restriction on any Amex charge cards you may already have. You can have a Plat or Gold and still apply for a BA Amex (or indeed SPG Amex) and still get the bonus.

      • I am a bit confused now. I have a Amex rewards gold and assumed that I could not apply, and your statemnt in the article seems to bare this out “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.” But your reply here is that you CAN have a plat or gold card and apply.

        • louie-m says:

          Raffles is replying to Julian’s question about getting a BAPP with bonus Avios if you already have a Platinum or Gold card.

  2. Even if it doesn’t post, there’s no way the FOS would rule against the consumer in this situation.

  3. Raffles: if you held the Gold card and its only real usage was for Foursquare offers would you cancel the card wait six months and then apply for the Platinum for the 50,000 bonus (hypothetically assuming that the 50,000 stays)?

  4. DarrenT says:

    Oh how I wish I’d asked Julian’s question ages ago… I’ve been sitting here waiting for the 6 months before applying for my BAPP, and I’ve only just put a huge amount on my bmi MC. :'(

  5. I’ve got the BAPP amex and the amex gold rewards cards. I plan to cancel the gold card and get the platinum card 6 months later.

    If I cancel my amex gold rewards card what happens to the membership rewards points balance in the account? Does it remain accessible for a later transfer to avios or should I empty the membership rewards account ?

    • OK, sit down first as this is complex!

      1. If you have another MR earning card, then your MR account stays open (obviously)
      2. If you have an Amex CREDIT card (BA, SPG, Nectar) on the day you close your Gold card, you get 6 months grace on your MR account. Within those 6 months you must empty it or get another MR earning card.
      3. If you have no other Amex-issued cards at all, your MR account is closed as soon as you cancel your card and any remaining MR points lost

      Do double-check this with Amex on the phone if it matters, but this is how I understand it.

      However, the snag with 2) is that if your MR account remains open, you cannot get another sign-up bonus! You therefore need it to be emptied and closed down when you close your Gold card, even though in theory you could (as you have a BA Amex) ask for the 6 months grace.

  6. Am I right in thinking that one could opt for the Gold Charge Card and get the 20,000 miles bonus instead while already holding the BA card?

    • Yes-that is how I understand it. I’ve just hit the 20k MR bonus on the Gold Charge card and have switched to the BAPP for the 25k avios.

  7. Richard says:

    Where do ‘additional cardholders’ stand with this? That is, if someone is an additional cardholder of a BA Amex (but has never had an account as main cardholder), can they qualify for the intro bonus if referred?

    • FlyerGill says:

      Yes – because the points get credited to the main cardholder so the sup doesn’t have a MR account of their own.

  8. FlyerGill says:

    If I spend the £2000 straight away how quickly do you think I could transfer the points and cancel the card to get the max fee refund?

    • In theory, as long as the points go straight on then a month should be possible (if you put a £2,000 charge straight through)

  9. Sam Wardill says:

    Where is it documented that there is a pro rata fee refund? Although I have taken advantage of it in the past, I don’t want to enter into a £450 contract without written proof of the pro rata refund.

    Incidentally I had a gold charge card that I cancelled in November but Amex email customer service said that I could still qualify for the offer. They don’t seem to realise I had the card even tho it was registered to the online account from which I sent the mail below.

    Me: “I am interested in applying for the Platinum Card. The terms at state that “All introductory offers … are not available to existing American Express customers”. I have read on a forum that the offer (of 50,000 MR points for £2000 spend) is open to some existing American Express customer. Can you confirm whether I would be eligible for this offer if my application for an American Express Platinum Card were accepted?”

    Amex: “I can confirm because you haven’t had an existing charge card with American Express you will get the welcome bonus offer and all benefits.”

    • Uhh. I would clarify that with Amex again informing them you had the gold card until Nov before relying on that message.

    • It is the terms and conditions of the card. Go to the Amex website Plat page, click View Important Information at the bottom and a box appears. There are links in that box to the full T&C’s. The refund info is tucked away in one of those docs.

      • Premier01 says:

        What if you purchase refundable flight tickets for £2000…wait a month…then cancel?

        Would the Avios be transferred and would they be retracted….or perhaps banned from applying for Amex cards again?

        Probably some catch to it but can’t find anything about this so option perhaps.

  10. I got the Platinum sign on bonus after being referred by Raffles. I hold (and did so at the time of applying) a BAPP card.

    The points initially posted as 42k after I hit the 3k spend. After following up via the messaging system, they posted another 13k as a good will guesture. If the points don’t post correctly, I would recommend sending them a message via the website. The team that respond to those messages are quick to resolve the issue.

  11. There are no ramifications now, it seems. It seems that the wording on the main Amex Platinum webpage is the correct wording, and that having a BA Amex does not stop you getting the bonus on the Platinum card.

    You can hold 2 charge and 2 credit cards from Amex at the same time, so no problem having the BA Amex and Amex Plat together.

    Only having had a Gold or Green Amex in the last 6 months would stop you getting the Plat bonus, because these are charge cards and the rules say that existing or recent charge card customers cannot apply.

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