EXCLUSIVE: Big changes to the American Express Platinum card on the way (including a metal card and higher fee!)

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American Express is planning yet more changes to its UK card portfolio, this time on The Platinum CardFor once, you are getting four weeks notice of what is going to happen.

Whether you are a cardholder or just a potential cardholder, you have time to make your plans accordingly.

Here is the news in a nutshell:

The Platinum Card will be made from metal, not plastic – see the image below

The annual fee increases from £450 to £575, albeit with some modest improvements in benefits

The spend required to earn the 30,000 points sign-up bonus is doubling

The new fee and benefits come into effect from 11th June for new cardholders.  Existing cardholders will receive the new benefits from 11th June and will be charged the higher fee on their next renewal after 1st August.

New UK American Express Platinum metal card

Let’s look at the new package in detail:

A new Platinum card, made from metal

American Express launched a metal version of The Platinum Card in the US in 2017 and has been slowly rolling it out since.  Arguably they have missed the boat in the UK, since Curve, N26 (N26 Metal reviewed here) and Revolut (Revolut Metal reviewed here) have all launched in the last six months.

I have been using a metal Curve card for a few months.  They are surprisingly heavy and fall out of your wallet easily.  The good news is that I have never had a problem using it in a card terminal or ATM.

New cardholders from 11th June will receive a metal card automatically.  Existing cardholders will receive one when their current card expires.  If that is a long way away, I imagine that if you call after 11th June to say that you have lost your card, the replacement may well be metal …..

Platinum supplementary cards will also be issued in metal.

Looking at the image above, I image that – like Curve – your name, card number and expiry date will be printed on the back of the card to make the front look more stylish.

An increased fee, from £450 to £575

Existing cardholders will be billed £575 from their next renewal after 1st August.  New cardholders will pay £575 from 11th June.

If you apply before 11th June you will pay the existing £450 for the first year.

Additional Platinum supplementary cards go up from £170 to £285

Additional Platinum supplementary cards after the first free one will be charged at £285 instead of £170.

Whilst this is a sharp jump, the current £170 fee for additional Platinum supplementary cards is ludicrously cheap.  You can basically give someone full Priority Pass membership (admits two), Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade, Melia Rewards Gold, Eurostar lounge access, full travel insurance etc for £170 per year.  It is exceptional value and couldn’t last.

Additional supplementary cards issued as Gold cards will continue to be free but will continue to not have any benefits except for being covered by The Platinum Card travel insurance.

A sharp jump in the spend needed to trigger the sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is a generous 30,000 Membership Rewards points.  This converts into 30,000 Avios or various other airline and hotel schemes.  Airline transfer rates are 1:1.  The hotel transfer rates are 1:2 into Hilton, 2:3 into Marriott and 1:3 into Radisson.  You can also convert at 15:1 into Club Eurostar.  You can see the partner list on the Membership Rewards site here.

From 11th June, new applicants will need to spend £4,000 within three months to trigger the sign-up bonus.  This is a sharp increase on the current £2,000.  You should apply before 11th June if £4,000 would be a stretch.

£10 per month of Addison Lee credit

Cardholders will receive £10 cashback per month on Addison Lee taxi rides charged to their card.  This does not accumulate if unused in any particular month.

If you use this, you will save £120 per year which offsets the fee increase.  This is fairly easy if you live in London but far more difficult if you don’t.

This benefit is only available to the primary cardholder and not to the Platinum supplementary cardholder.  The annual benefit is therefore capped at £120.

$200 credit on EVERY onefinestay house rental

This is potentially very interesting.  You will get $200 cashback each time you spend $200 or local currency equivalent on The Platinum Card on a onefinestay house or apartment rental.

(Rentals in the UK receive £150 cashback on stays of £150+.  Rentals in the Eurozone receive €170 cashback on stays on €170+.)

I thought this would come with a catch, but it doesn’t.  I have spoken to Amex and you will get the cashback on each and every booking.  The nearest thing to a ‘gotcha’ is that you must opt-in to this benefit via the American Express website when it goes live on 11th June.  If you forget to opt in, you won’t receive your cashback.

The only snag is with onefinestay itself.  Most of their houses require a three night minimum stays – not all of them, but most.  Looking at a low cost country such as Thailand, the cheapest place I could find is $185 per night in Koh Samui with a three night minimum.  The cheapest with a two night minimum is $450 per night – although you are, of course, getting a monumentally large Koh Samui villa for this!  If you think that you will be able to book yourself a cheap $200 property and essentially pay nothing due to the $200 cashback, you will be disappointed.

Other new benefits that I won’t insult your intelligence with by pretending they are useful

You will be able to book American Express restaurant partners via the Amex app instead of calling (some of these deals are OK, to be fair, and offer benefits such as a free glass of champagne to cardholders)

You will be able to message American Express from inside the Amex app

You will be able to use the American Express Centurion Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 when it opens later this year (I have no doubt that this will be an excellent lounge – Centurion Lounges have a great reputation – but Platinum cardholders would have got access anyway and there are already two good Priority Pass lounges in Terminal 3.  There is nothing new about this.)


For existing Platinum cardholders, the key question is whether you can easily use the monthly Addison Lee credit.

If you will, the increase in annual fee is offset and you are in a similar position to where you are today.  If you can’t use the Addison Lee credit, you are facing a £125 fee increase with very little in return, unless you become a heavy onefinestay user.

For potential new Platinum cardholders, the increase in target spend to £4,000 within three months to trigger the sign-up bonus could be a deal-breaker.  I strongly recommend applying before 11th June to lock in the existing £2,000 spending target if you can.  You can apply here – note that the website will not be updated with the new details until 11th June.

(As a reminder, you qualify for the 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus if you have not had any card which earns Membership Rewards points – ie Gold, Green, Platinum, Centurion or the Amex Rewards Credit Card – in the past 24 months.)

In general, you need to look at The Platinum Card like an iPhone.  You could, in theory, save a lot of money by scrapping your iPhone and buying a torch, alarm clock, Chromebook, portable hi-fi, calculator, stopwatch and a non-smartphone separately.  Most people don’t.

Similarly, you could drop your Platinum card and:

pay for travel insurance for your entire family and the families of five random people you would otherwise give a supplementary card

pay for car hire insurance when you rent (although insurance4carhire will sell you an annual policy cheaply)

pay for airport lounge access, potentially via a Priority Pass (or buy pricier tickets which include it)

pay more for luxury hotels rather than using Fine Hotels & Resorts (admittedly you can book many FHR properties with similar benefits via our hotel partner Bon Vivant)

pay more for Eurostar tickets to get lounge access via your ticket type

pay for better quality rooms and breakfast at Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, Melia and Shangri-La hotels instead of relying on your status benefits 

pay for an ice scraper for your car rather than using the new metal Platinum card

etc etc.  You need to do the maths based on your own personal circumstances.

Should I apply for The Platinum Card NOW to lock in the £2,000 bonus spend target and the £450 fee?

Probably.  You will get a better deal than usual, because you will only pay £450 but will earn 11 x £10 Addison Lee credits before your first renewal at the higher rate.

Wait until tomorrow, however, when I will run a full article on what The Platinum Card gets you.

The Platinum Card website is here if you want to apply or find out more, although the benefits I describe above will not be shown until 11th June.

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  1. Eugene says:

    Metal cards? Really who cares? As Rob says they fall out of the wallet. I suspect most of us long term Plat holders have no interest in showing shop assistants or strangers what a lovely shiny bit of metal we own.

    To rant on further why can’t I just have a QR code, like most of my friends in Shanghai who don’t even carry wallets anymore. Even my oft derided( on this site) Tesco Pay + app gets a regular outing and I have binned the connected plastic. Amex not a market leader here, focussing on style over substance. Shame.

    • Au contraire, if they released gold in rose gold metal I’d be waiting at the door in Brighton to pick up my precious. C’mon Amex, you know you want to….

  2. Brian says:

    OT: I know it’s highly individually dependent but how much would Rob value the insurance that comes with Amex Plat?

  3. Stella64 says:

    I read a comment from Rob on another thread about bus Plat and personal Plat being ok for bonuses (at least that is how I read it)

    So should the sign up order now be

    B plat > P Plat

    Can the order be reversed (to avoid increase in fees)?

    P Plat > B Plat

    Or have I just misunderstood the comment?


    • You need to go B Plat to P Plat.

      Personal Plat now only blocks you if you’ve had a Personal MR card, so Bus Plat holders are OK.

      Business Plat blocks you if you’ve had ANY MR card, so Personal Plat holders are stuffed.

      • For business isn’t this only six months still?

        • Yes. You can cancel Personal Plat, wait 6 months and get Business Plat.

          • Stella64 says:

            Thanks Rob.

            Can I just confirm that the Bus Plat would give a partner hotel status via a supplementary card? The bus plat argument suggests this but does not stay it explicitly.

          • No idea, not got one. Certainly works for the personal card.

  4. Sam Jansen says:

    A touch OT but I have both a personal Uk Amex Platinum and a personal US Platinum. Is it possible to transfer my 980K points from the UK one to the US card before I close the UK card for good? Amex UK seem reluctant to make the transfer and I’m resigning myself to losing the points. Advice please

    • Not many agents know how to make these transfers. Keep calling back.

      Note you will lose 30% because your transfer is adjusted by the exchange rate, so you get 980k / 1.28.

      • Sam Jansen says:

        Thanks Rob and ouch!

        • ysun92 says:

          I did this a few times, and the online agents were quite familiar with the transfer. The UK points will be multiplied by the current exchange rate during the transfer.

      • Don’t you mean multiplied by 1.28 Rob? – he is going from UK to US account.

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Why not just open an alternative UK MR card to keep the points going, eg the free rewards credit card?

  5. Quick Q RE: Green>Plat…
    Thoughts on whether to pull the trigger on the upgrade straight away (accepted on 14th May), or wait until first statement?

    Heard a few things about plat fee not triggering, or is that just for Gold>Plat and been fixed now? So would it be better to upgrade straight away to benefit before the fee increase.

    • It’s been fixed. Do when is convenient for you. Can take 1-2 weeks to actually receive new card.

  6. Sam Jansen says:

    Hi Rob, Given Js comment on your reply to my original question (?!?) can you clarify if I will gain 30% or lose 30% of my membership reward points if I transfer them from my UK platinum to my US platinum card. Huge difference in outcome for me so some clarity would be much appreciated .

    • Gain

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Please see my reply above to your original query. I have suggested an easy alternative that would stop you losing the points in the event you decide not to, or cannot find a way to transfer to the US card.

      Although you would gain 30% with the transfer, you should investigate what you can do with them via the US programme, and what rates of transfer there are out from MR to air miles, hotel schemes etc.

      • ysun92 says:

        I personally think transferring the UK MR points to US account is a no brainer, even if you’d finally transfer them to BA or VS. The US scheme is also at 1:1 rate to BA, VS, and even more airlines such as ANA. Not to mention sometime they even have 30% bonus when transferring to British airways or Virgin.

  7. I’ve requested an upgrade from my legacy gold charge using this link :

    It claims I’ll get 20K bonus points for spending 1K in 3 months… which is decent considering the cuts being made to the MR bonuses at the moment.

  8. I have came across some information regarding the Platinum Charge card charges overseas.

    Apparently IF you have the Platinum Charge card, and other Amex cards that comes with charges, you only pay one annual fee– the highest annual fee of all the cards held.

    Is this the same for the UK card?

  9. I have heard a lot of people are phoning to cancel the platinum card because of the unjustified yearly fee price increase , if enough people do that maybe they will reconsider the price increase

  10. James says:

    I just called Amex and was told that current members will not be charged the new higher rate, I’m not sure how clued up he was

    • Not at all. You pay it from your first renewal after 1st August as per the fat box which dropped through your letterbox this week.

  11. Can I earn the 30k MR bonus if I had a platinum and gold rewards card in the US (US issued) in the last 24 months?? Thanks

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