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ENDS SOON: Get a huge 60,000 points bonus with Amex Platinum

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American Express is currently running an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus for The Platinum Card. It may be the biggest ‘open to all’ bonus we have ever seen.

The standard bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which converts to 30,000 Avios, was already good.

Until midnight on 2nd November, you will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend £6,000 in your first six months. This is worth 60,000 Avios or lots of other interesting things, as we will show below.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

Get a huge 60,000 points, and great benefits, with American Express Platinum

The card comes with some great travel benefits. It also comes with a chunky fee of £575 per year.

One upside is that you can get a pro-rata fee refund if you cancel so the cost of trying it out for a few months is low.  In fact, you’d make a decent profit as long as you managed to spend £6,000 and trigger the 60,000 points bonus.

What are the benefits of American Express Platinum?

Here are the key benefits of The Platinum Card as I see them. However, for clarity, there is no ‘right’ answer about whether The Platinum Card represents good value.

It is SOLELY down to how you travel and which of the card benefits you can use.  This varies from person to person.  Most people value the Priority Pass airport lounge access cards the most, for example, but I don’t because we usually fly Business Class and my wife and I both have British Airways status anyway.

On the other hand, as non car-owning Londoners, we do disproportionately value the car hire insurance and the Fine Hotels & Resorts luxury hotel benefits. The 4pm guaranteed late check-out is a real boon if you are only away for a long weekend.  Who wants to be kicked out of their hotel at 11am on a Sunday?

I run through this in more detail below.  It is why, of all the credit and charge cards we cover on Head for Points, American Express Platinum is the one that people often find the hardest to get their head around.

What is the sign up bonus on The Platinum Card?

Even in normal times, American Express Platinum offers the biggest single sign-up bonus of any UK travel card.

For another few days, until 2nd November, The Platinum Card blows every other personal card out of the water with a doubled sign-up bonus.

You receive 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which convert into:

  • 60,000 Avios
  • 60,000 Virgin Points
  • 60,000 Emirates, Etihad, Flying Blue, Asia Miles, Delta, Finnair, Qantas or SAS miles
  • 40,000 Singapore Airlines miles
  • 120,000 Hilton Honors points
  • 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • 180,000 Radisson Rewards points
  • 4,000 Club Eurostar points

….. and many other non-travel rewards.  I wrote this article on the most valuable Membership Rewards redemptions.

What is the annual fee on The Platinum Card?

The card has an annual fee of £575.

You can, of course, cancel the card at any point for a pro-rata fee refund.  This reduces the risk considerably if you don’t find it is right for you.

Remember that the Platinum card is a charge card, not a credit card.  You MUST clear your balance in full at the end of each month.

I have had one since 1999, so clearly there is real value to be had.

Get a huge 60,000 points, and great benefits, with American Express Platinum

Here are the American Express Platinum core benefits (for me)

Here are the key card benefits to me.  As you read on, you will probably say to yourself that you would value some of these at nothing.  That’s fine.  You may value some of the benefits that I never use.  As I said, there is no right or wrong decision about whether Platinum works for you.

Full travel insurance:

You receive travel insurance for yourself and your family as long as you are under 70.  You can insure five other people and their families by giving them supplementary cards on your account.  Some benefits require you to pay for your trip with an American Express card (any UK personal Amex card, not necessarily Platinum) but the core medical benefit is automatic.  My family relies on this as our core family travel policy and do not pay for any other cover.  Amex has recently increased the number of pre-existing conditions and sporting activities which are covered.

Car hire insurance:

You receive full car hire insurance.  As we live in London and don’t own a car, this is very useful for us as we hire 3-4 times per year.

Airport lounge access via Priority Pass:

You and your main supplementary cardholder will each receive a Priority Pass card.  This gets the cardholder plus a guest into 1,300 airport lounges across the world for free, including the Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed hereNo1 Lounges, present at Gatwick, Birmingham and Heathrow Terminal 3, has just rejoined Priority Pass which makes it even more useful.

As you get two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows a free guest, you can get a family of four into a lounge.

Platinum cardholders can also access the impressive Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 by showing their Platinum card – this lounge is not in Priority Pass but Amex has a direct deal with Plaza Premium.

You can also get into Amex’s own network of high quality ‘Centurion’ airport lounges for free.  These are primarily in the US but are rolling out globally – new ones opened in Hong Kong and Melbourne recently.  The first UK Centurion lounge, at Heathrow Terminal 3, opened last week – and it’s impressive.

I do not personally use the Priority Pass benefit as I have British Airways status and our long-haul travel is always in Business Class.  That said, we do occasionally find ourselves at airports where BA does not provide lounge access

Obviously if you do not have airline status then this benefit has substantial value. It is also worth remembering that BA has cancelled its lounge contracts at most European airports during coronavirus and it may take some time for access to be restored. Most of these lounges can still be accessed via Priority Pass.

Hotel status:

You will also receive permanent – for as long as you hold your Platinum card – status in various hotel schemes:

  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Gold in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in MeliaRewards

I value these cards highly and usually plan my stays around hotels which will give me additional status benefits.

Eurostar and Delta lounge access:

Other benefits include Eurostar lounge access in London, Brussels and Paris whatever your class of travel.  You also receive lounge access when flying with Delta although any guests must pay $29.

I do value the Eurostar benefit because I tend to travel Standard Premier which gets the business class seat but without lounge access.  No guests are allowed although your partner can come in if they have a supplementary Platinum card on your account.  At quiet times they will unofficially allow children in.

Exclusive events:

American Express offers an exclusive events programme.  This is a mix of free events and special paid events with top restaurants or shows.  Now that I have a couple of kids my ability to nip off to every free party I get invited to is much reduced, but I have attended a few good evenings over the years I have held my Platinum card.

The value here obviously varies massively.  Would you be interested, for example, in joining a private meal hosted personally by a high-profile chef in their flagship restaurant even if the cost was higher than a standard meal in the same venue?  Would you be interested in the best seats in the house for a high profile concert, with a private drinks reception beforehand for Platinum guests, if the cost was higher than a standard top-priced ticket (which sold out months ago)?  Some would be keen, some wouldn’t.

The Platinum events programme is now easier to book as a new app has just been launched.

Exclusive benefits at luxury hotels:

There is an exclusive hotel booking scheme called ‘Fine Hotels & Resorts’ which offers valuable additional benefits on your stays.  If you are a regular visitor at five star hotels then you can recoup your entire membership fee via FHR bookings.

I wrote more about Fine Hotels & Resorts here – for me, the guaranteed 4pm check-out on every stay is invaluable, especially for weekend breaks.  We use this benefit whenever I must have a 4pm check-out, which can make a real difference on a short break.

£10 monthly Addison Lee taxi credit:

You receive a £10 Addison Lee taxi credit each calendar month.  These do not roll over if unused.  The money is applied via a cashback credit to your American Express statement.

If you live in London this is basically free money – or free taxi rides, if you don’t usually use taxis. If you live outside London it is worthless.

$200 cashback per onefinestay home or apartment rental:

I don’t see my family using this one.  We have never been villa people.  onefinestay is high end and you won’t find much in Europe or the US under £300 per night, with a 3-night minimum stay in most cases, so the deal is not as good as it first appears.

If you are a villa or home rental person, however, you will do exceptionally well here as you can earn the cashback as many times as you want.

And potentially …. £200 to spend in a top restaurant

American Express is currently offering a £200 dining credit, valid at over 1,000 restaurants globally, to holders of The Platinum Card. It is valid until 31st December.

There is no minimum spend required. Spend £200 or less and your entire bill is covered. Spend over £200 and you receive a £200 credit. If you don’t spend £200 in one go, the balance will trigger on your next meal.

So far, new applicants for the card have been able to register for this offer as I wrote here. This is NOT a guaranteed benefit and you have no claim against Amex if they do not let you register. No-one who has applied for the card in recent weeks has been refused this offer, however.

Membership Rewards Platinum Amex

What do you earn per £1 spent on the card?

You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card.  1 Membership Rewards point is equivalent to 1 Avios or other airline mile per £1 if you choose to transfer them.  Spending with American Express Travel, booked and paid for online, earns 2 points per £1.

To be honest, many people who have the card focus their spending elsewhere – in order, for example, to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher on the British Airways American Express card.

Can I get the sign-up bonus if I have a British Airways American Express card?

Yes.  The rule is that you will not receive a sign-up bonus if you have held a Platinum, Gold or Green American Express charge card, or the Amex Rewards credit card, in the 24 months before you apply.

You WILL receive the sign-up bonus if you have a Corporate or Business American Express Green, Gold or Platinum card via your job and you receive Membership Rewards points from it.  Only PERSONAL cards impact on whether you qualify.

For clarity, you will definitely receive the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you already have a BA Amex, Nectar Amex, Marriott Bonvoy Amex or Platinum Cashback Amex.

You will also definitely receive the bonus if you are currently a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s Amex Gold or Platinum card.  As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primary cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.

Here is the official wording:

This new Cardmember offer is only available if you have not held a personal Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card within the previous 24 months.”

What is the target spend to receive the bonus?

In normal times, you need to spend £4,000 within 90 days to receive a bonus of 30,000 points.

During this promotion, you need to spend £6,000 within six months to receive a bonus of 60,000 points. Whilst the total sum is higher, the average monthly spend is reduced which may make it easier to hit.

The spend target does not include the annual fee.

Conclusion

60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points is an outstanding offer, if you qualify.

Even if you don’t qualify, perhaps your partner or another family member would qualify. You could get a supplementary card issued in your name which would allow you to earn the hotel status and Priority Pass benefits, as well as letting you run up the target spend. You could then use the Membership Rewards points in a way which benefitted yourself, although they can only be transferred to accounts in the name of the main cardholder.

Long term, whether or not the fee on The Platinum Card represents value for money long-term depends on how many of the card benefits you will use, although you can cancel for a pro-rata fee refund at any point.

Let’s not look long term, however. Focus on the short term and whether you could spend £6,000 in six months to unlock a bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points.

Assuming that you can spend £6,000 to earn the bonus, the worse case scenario is that you cancel after a few months for a pro-rata fee refund and walk away with 60,000 Membership Rewards points (60,000 Avios).

The application form for Amex Platinum can be found here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (64)

  • SammyJ says:

    Is it the cardholder only (plus supp?) that can get access at Centurion lounges? Can teenage kids be admitted for a fee if travelling as a family of 4?

    • CarpalTravel says:

      As I read it, each cardholder (inc. supp) can bring two guests. Part of the reason why they do now suffer overcrowding at peak times.

    • Andrew says:

      The supp plat also gets 2 guests (but the supp golds don’t) so potentially it’s a family of 6 that can access.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Max 4 I guess? Main & Supp – 2x each?

        • CarpalTravel says:

          No, each cardholder (main or supp) can bring 2x guests. 2x cards = 4x guests so 6.

          • Sammyj says:

            Fabulous, thanks guys!

            I was perhaps getting muddled up with the Delta lounges in the US, I think they’re cardholder only.

  • ChrisC says:

    I’ve had my new Amex plat for about two weeks now, but not been offered the £200 dining credit. Not sure if it’s a case of just having to wait longer for it to potentially appear, or if they’ve stopped offering it to new holders.

    • keith says:

      Had mine for about 5 days, nothing yet- fingers crossed

    • AA says:

      Phone up Amex, they might be able to add it manually for you.

      • Sprout says:

        Had mine for 2 days and requested by chat they add it manually. No problem, logged out and back in again and could see it saved to card.

        • Phil says:

          Same – as soon as I got the card I used the online chat to ask for it. I just said that the dining offer was the key thing that attracted me to the card.

      • aDifferentSimon says:

        I asked via chat and it was added quickly without any fuss

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Does all these stories of success mean that I could also chat with Amex and get them to permanently remove Betty?
      Just a thought… 🤔

  • Buddy says:

    Been looking online but can’t find the info: does anyone know if “refer a friend” would add a bonus to the 60,000 points as would be the norm without the bonus (normally gives 35K instead of 30K)?

  • Mikeact says:

    Insurance up to 70 only seems to me to be total nonsense this day and age.

    • ianM says:

      What – this day and age when over 70s are dropping like flies?

    • Genghis says:

      Get biz plat

      • Wollhouse says:

        Thanks Genghis, it our post made me look at biz for my friend. She’s 72, and still hikes, skis and bikes; not quite ready to drop like a fly;) IanM, I do think the age thing is a problem for insurance – yes there are people over 70 who are in poor health, but you only have to look at the UK’s obesity rates to see we also have illness across all ages. We’ll soon be at the point where your state pensionable age will mean you’re still working but you can’t get insurance for your holiday!

        The sign up bonus isn’t accelerated like with the personal card. Rob, any ideas if this might be coming or have we just missed one?

        • Wollhouse says:

          “Your post”… good grief. Must put coffee down and stop typing w thumb…

        • CarpalTravel says:

          +1, made me look too. Might be good for a family member of mine too.

  • Mark says:

    I only applied for the platinum a week ago. Just chatted to Amex via app and got enrolled into the £200 dining credit without question.

  • Dook says:

    I currently have a Biz Platinum. Being a sole trader.

    Am I eligible for this offer?

    • Rhys says:

      Only if you haven’t held a personal card in the last 24 months.

      • CarpalTravel says:

        Personal MR card you mean, non?

      • Dook says:

        Cheers Rhys, I am over 24 months since personal plat. Jumped on the 100k MR points offer for the biz plat this year.

        I thought this was correct from what was written in the article but wanted confirmation. This offer looks too good to miss!

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you don’t have a personal card offering MR points. I assume you haven’t in previous 24 months either.

  • Charlie says:

    I applied for the card at the start of this offer and spent the required £6,000. However, I still have not received the bonus 60,000 points even though I met the target over 7 weeks ago. I’m starting to wonder whether my Gold Business Card is considered a personal card as I applied for it myself as the sole director of my company, rather than being issued it as part of my job? I’ve contacted Amex twice about this and despite being promised someone would find out and call me back, I still have heard nothing.

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Took me 3 tries on my Bus Plat, in the chat did they confirm you’d be eligible for it? They did with me, just an enrolment date issue.

      • Charlie says:

        The chat was rather indeterminate, which is why I called Amex and spoke to someone who promised to call back but has not done so. Up until now, I’ve always been impressed by Amex service – but I’m beginning to change my mind!

        • CarpalTravel says:

          That is disappointing. Try calling them in the morning (if you can) and ask direct what the issue appears to be. Even if they cannot answer it they can normally go and ask so you get an immediate response.

    • Martin says:

      Same experience here. Not credited and chased on chat and phone

  • max28 says:

    Does anyone know if there’s currently a higher bonus if you are upgrading from Gold to Plat (usually it’s 20,000)?

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