There are new welcome offers available for new applicants on both the Amex Gold Card and Amex Platinum Card (the “vanilla” flavor) good for 20% back on restaurant purchases worldwide for the first 12 months (up to $250 back on the Gold card and up to $300 back on the Platinum card). These offers are in addition to Membership Rewards points that are part of the welcome offer. Either is a very good deal and among the best we’ve seen for either card.
The Offers & Key Card Details
These offers are both very strong. We previously had a referral offer listed for the Gold Card that provided 40,000 points after meeting spending requirements, but the new offer adds up to $250 in statement credits and maintains 35,000 bonus points. Assuming you can max out the restaurant spend (which would be $1,250 over the course of a year), this offer is clearly better (especially considering the fact that the Gold card already earns one of the best category bonuses at restaurants, so there likely isn’t any opportunity cost). The best offer we have seen on the Gold card in recent memory is for 50K points, so this offer is still on par depending on how you value the points.
The Platinum card offer is particularly interesting because of the timing. Through the end of this year, the Platinum card is offering limited-time streaming and wireless phone credits, which offer the chance for extra credits worth up to $200 if you were to be approved in August 2020 ($20 per month streaming and $20 per month wireless service through the end of 2020). This means that if you were approved for a new Platinum card in August 2020 and you put credits to use right away, in the first year you could potentially earn all of the following bonuses and statement credits:
- 60K Membership Rewards points (after spending $5K in the first 6 months)
- Up to $300 in statement credits from restaurants (max is $300 on $1500 spend)
- Up to $200 in airline incidentals in 2020 + $200 in airline incidentals in 2021 before anniversary
- Up to $100 in streaming credits
- Up to $100 in wireless credits
- $100 in Dell credit (Assuming this deal is available on new cards. I expect it is.)
- Up to $200 in Uber credits
- $50 in statement credits on purchases at Saks in 2020 + $50 from January-June 2021 + $50 starting from July 1, 2021
Within the first year, that’s up to $1,350 in statement credits and 60,000 points. Granted, I wouldn’t value those statement credits at full cash value (particularly the Saks and Uber credits in my case), but even if you only get 50% of the value out of the various statement credits that is still a very good offer.
Historically, some users have been targeted for a welcome offer of 100K points (or perhaps even 125K points) on that card, but it’s hit or miss as to whether or not you’ll ever get targeted (see this post for details). Given that welcome bonuses are once-per-lifetime on Amex cards, is it worth waiting around to see if such an offer ever materializes?
A more relevant example for many people is the more common targeted offer of 75K points that I’ve seen a few times when using a new computer or installing a new browser. If you could get targeted for that offer right now (and thus would have access to all of the statement credits above apart from the restaurants offer), would you rather have the extra 15K points or $300 in statement credits for restaurant purchases? The answer there will be more personal. While our Reasonable Redemption Values peg the value of those additional 15K points at $232.50, it is certainly possible to get much more value out of them depending on your redemption patterns. There is also the opportunity cost to consider of spending $1500 at restaurants on the Platinum card at 1x — you’re giving up the opportunity to earn an additional 3x Membership Rewards on that spend (4500 points) if you have a Gold card, which puts the value closer to even. Again, it’ll be a personal decision.
Overall, I find these offers to be interesting. They certainly capture a major spending category given that travel is at a low in the current environment. If you’re in the market for one of these cards, these offers are definitely worth considering.
H/T: Miles to Memories