Change Your Altitude

At Last! An Upgrade to the American Express Platinum Card Benefits

For the last few weeks, points and travel enthusiasts have been abuzz with the newly-released Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, among other things. Today, American Express announced that effective October 6, 2016, American Express Platinum credit card holders will earn 5 points per dollar spent on travel. 

At this time, the bonus points are limited to charges made directly with any airline or on American Express’ travel website, according to American Express spokeswoman Charlotte Fuller.

Credit: American Express

Credit: American Express

This is huge! For years, the American Express Platinum credit card set the bar for premium credit cards, but in the last couple of years, the hype has died down, what with the release of competing cards offering similar benefits.

See below for a comparison of our favorite credit cards that offer the best rewards on travel – updated with the change to the Platinum card.

 American Express PlatinumChase Sapphire ReserveCiti PrestigeRitz Carlton Rewards
Points on Airline Travel5 points3 points3 points2 points
Points on Other Travel1 point3 points3 points1-5 points*
Points on Dining1 point3 points2 points1 point
Travel Credit$200**$300$300$300
Global Entry CreditYesYesYesYes
Priority Pass AccessYesYesYesYes
Additional Lounge AccessDelta Sky ClubNoAdmirals Club ***No

*5 points on charges at Marriott and Ritz Carlton properties, 2 points on rental car charges, 1 point on everything else

**Charges limited to one airline; airline must be selected before using. Only applicable for airline fees, not tickets

***Access available through June 20, 2017


While this change certainly makes the Platinum card more competitive against its peers, I’m not sure that it’s the game changer that many people were hoping to see from American Express. Nonetheless, the slight change is a welcomed refresh to the card, and I hope this is only the beginning of the rumored update we’d be seeing to benefits.

I, for one, maintain the Platinum card for its numerous perks but don’t put many charges on it, since it doesn’t offer many benefits by way of points. With this change, I will definitely be using this card for upcoming travel purchases.


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