Amex Platinum for less

Pay less for platinum

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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    • Technically it is for you and up to one additional guest staying with you. In practice, some hotels will give the free breakfast benefit to everyone staying in your room if you ask nicely

  1. If I have a million dollars parked in an investment account, do I really care for saving couple of hundred bucks on fees? ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hopefully not!!)

    • You should!

      $1M isn’t that much and not caring about fees is a sure-fire way to waste large amounts of money.

      • $1M isn’t that much if you’re a billionaire, but it certainly is if you’re not rich. Sure, you could save $1M over the course of your entire life fairly easily if you live frugally, but the vast majority of people are so financially irresponsible it would make your head spin. Something like 66%+ of the US population doesn’t even have enough in savings to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. It’s sad, really.

    • Caring about a few hundred bucks in fees is important to becoming and staying a millionaire.

  2. So you get a couple hundred bucks in benefits if you give several other people unfettered, full access as authorized users to a credit line for which you bear legal responsiblity? Well, the tables and graphs and stuff are very convincing. Can I get back to you on that?

    • Obviously, if you don’t trust your friends then you shouldn’t do this anyway, but Amex does give the primary account holder fine grain control over how much each authorized user can spend.

    • For God’s sake, there is trust and there is not having a front door because it saves money. Whatever amount you might set for other users would have to be at least enough to make the card usable, and it will be far more than the annual fee. And it not just about trust. If one of your friends has a financial hiccup, this line will be the first to get hammered. It will be impossible to collect.

      Oh, and you will always be running around, hat in hand, asking them to pay their share, which will probably not strengthen the friendship any. Even between parents and children, such arrangements often end in ill will.

      All this to save…what…a couple hundred bucks?

      This is a spectacularly terrible idea.

  3. Don’t forget Global entry reimbursement for each cardholder. That totals $400 for me and three AU’s on the Ameriprise version. So far, that’s $600 profit which includes $200 in airline fees. I received no signup bonus but we are taking a few trips in coach so the lounge access will be very useful.

    • GE is only every 5 years. It is a known great benefit for the first year, but if you are just doing the “how much to make in the first year” calc, then it is different from this post (and has been posted on to to the point of overkill in the last weeks). The point of this post was to see if there was financial rationale to keep the card after the first year ๐Ÿ™‚

      I find the argument week (since it is really just one argument, share it with friends), but I do make the distinction between first year benefit analysis and subsequent years.

    • Question is, would you pay $100 for GE? Personally, I wouldn’t, maybe for $50 I would. GE reimbursement is worth only what you would actually pay for It not necessarily what they charge.

  4. Don’t understand your math. If the fee for each additional user is $175, shouldn’t the total fee for the case where you have three friends joining in be $425 + 3*$175. How are you getting $425+$175 in that scenario?

    • Read properly:

      “Most Platinum cards charge $175 per year for the first 3 authorized users, combined. Additional authorized users cost $175 per year, each.”

  5. Adding friends as AUs, got to be some of the worst advice I’ve ever heard. Really, if you can’t handle the fee or don’t feel the benefits are worth the fee, just don’t get the card. We’re scraping the bottom here for CC pumping.

  6. I would be interested to know the cost vs. benefits of the Amex Platinum CC vs. the Amex Centurion CC. What’s the better deal?

    • The Centurion card has huge fees and a few more perks than the Platinum card, but I don’t believe those extra perks come anywhere close to justifying the much higher fees.

  7. You forgot to mention SPG Gold as one of the benefits. Gold entitles you to participate in Delta crossover rewards, which for a heavy delta flyer could really add up. I am currently SPG platinum, but in January I moved all of my stays to Hyatt and Hilton, so I will lose the crossover rewards if I drop below SPG gold.

    The approximately $15K my company reimburses for my annual delta travel nets me 15K SPG points, which usually turns into 3-5 free additional nights each year. With Gold I still get late checkout and free wifi, which are really the only elite benefits with SPG that I highly value.

    TL;DR – Amex plat gets you SPG gold and Delta crossover rewards eligibility.

  8. All: there was a mistake in the original version of this post. I originally wrote that the Business Platinum card charged $175 for each authorized user (as compared to most other cards that charge $175 for up to 3 authorized users). I was wrong. The Business Platinum card charges a whopping $300 per authorized user. As a result, I removed this card from the scenario tables.

  9. For Completeness, you should mention that U.S. active military service members are entitled to have the AF waived for all Amex cards including the the Amex PLT. My cousin who’s in the U.S. Army has his fee waived. I can’t join as an AU and have the the $175 waived, but it’s a legitimate way for me to have an AF and only pay $175 for all the benefits you’ve mentioned as an AU.

    • Maybe it’s only family members who are authorized users or it has to be the same address but the AF is waived on my Platinum as an AU (my wife is active duty military) and on another Amex card that I am the primary cardholder and she is the AU.

  10. FM – this post has to go down as one of the most absurd and irresponsible posts ever written (share accounts????) And for why? Just so you can get a few noobs to click affiliate links to put a few shekels in your pocket? How desperate are you???


  11. It sounds like some commenters have really bad friends. Sorry to hear that.

    1. Obviously if you don’t trust your friends, you shouldn’t do this.

    2. Even if you do trust your friends, it still makes sense to setup the AU accounts to not be able to spend without your permission. Why risk it? The value of these cards is for their benefits, not to use for spend — there are much better cards for spend.

    3. As with most of my posts, I don’t see this as my “recommendation”, it is simply a write-up of some things you can optionally do to cut costs. Readers should always decide for themselves if it makes sense for them. Personally, I don’t share costs with friends: I just sign up for a different Platinum card each year (as I described in the beginning of the post).

    4. I do not have affiliate links for any of the cards in the “Summarized Best Options” section. I didn’t write this post to get affiliate commissions. I never do.

  12. Why are you recommending Charles Schwab if you’re wealthy? It is not the obvious choice at all … if you have 1 million invested in Morgan Stanley, then you can get the $450 annual fee completely waived PLUS the credits on top of that. Not well thought out this time around ….

  13. I’m not sure I would offer this to my friends, but certainly worth considering for Hubby and if any of my 5 adult kids want a card.

  14. With the new changes, the annual fee is $550, but Uber+Flight credits make the effective fee $150.

    Total costs are therefore, $150 + $175 = $325

    Split between two = $325/2 = $162.5 per person
    Split between three = $325 / 3 = $108 per person
    Split between four = $325 / 4 = $81 per person

    Compared to the other premium cards, I thinkt he AMEX plat is mediocre in terms of its tangible rewards. It’s intangible rewards are very valuable thoug, especially the Delta lounges (life saver many of times), Hotel status etc.

    I think once my year is up, I will definitely split the card with the GF, and perhaps will get other my dad in on it as well. At $100 pp per year for Delta/Centurion Lounges, Hotel status, is a good deal imo.

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