Your Platinum Card arrived. Here’s what to do next…

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Update: This post includes offers that were valid at the time of publication, but have since expired. Please click here to see the best offers currently available.

Thanks to the current 100K signup offer, and the ongoing 50K upgrade offer, I expect that many readers now have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.  Obviously you now need to meet the spend requirements in order to earn the signup bonus or upgrade bonus.  But, the card offers many, many more perks beyond the bonus.  Here’s what to do to take advantage of those perks…

Note: Except where noted, the following benefits apply to personal Platinum cards as well:

#1 Become Elite

Platinum Card Elite Benefits

Platinum Amex cards offer a number of elite status upgrades, but you have to actively enroll in each one:

 

  • Hilton HHonors Gold Status: Hilton Gold members receive free breakfast, room upgrades when available, and other perks at Hilton hotels.  Go to benefit page, find the Hilton HHonors Gold benefit, and click “Enroll Now”.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status: SPG Gold members receive a welcome gift with each stay, room upgrades when available, and other perks at SPG properties.  Go to benefit page, find the Starwood Preferred Guest Gold benefit, and click “Enroll Now”.
  • Marriott Rewards Gold Status: Marriott Gold members receive lounge access or free breakfast at most non-resort properties, and other perks at Marriott properties. Get Marriott Gold status from your new SPG Gold status by logging into your SPG or Marriott account and linking your SPG and Marriott accounts together.  If your accounts are already linked, then simply enrolling in the SPG Gold status benefit (above) should be enough to upgrade your Marriott account.
  • National Car Rental Executive status: Book midsize cars and select any car from the Executive Aisle for no extra charge.  Click here to enroll.

#2 Enhance your Travel Experiences

Platinum Card Travel BenefitsPlatinum cards offer many perks that make traveling easier and better…

  • Global Entry: Sign up!  Platinum cards offer full reimbursement of the Global Entry signup fee once every 5 years. Global Entry includes TSA Pre-Check, so you’ll speed through security on domestic flights, and speed through re-entry to the US thanks to Global Entry.  Sign up for Global Entry here.  Pay with your Platinum card.  Reimbursement should happen automatically.
  • Access Delta SkyClubs, Amex Centurion Lounges, and Airspace Lounges: Simply bring your Platinum card with you when you travel.
  • Airport Lounge Access via Priority Pass Select:  Priority Pass Select member is allowed free entrance. Guest fee: $27 per person. You must sign up for Priority Pass Select to get this benefit. Go to the Amex benefit page and click “Enroll in Priority Pass”.  You will receive a membership card by mail. Present Priority Pass card and boarding pass at lounge entrance.  Note that other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offer a better version of Priority Pass membership with free guest access.  If you qualify for Priority Pass this way, then there’s no reason to request the inferior Priority Pass membership from Amex.
  • Boingo Wifi: Free unlimited wifi access at Boingo hotspots worldwide. Signup here.
  • Gogo inflight internet passes: Get 10 passes per calendar year good for either domestic or international flights.  Available only to Business Platinum cardholders. Click here to enroll.
  • Book hotels through Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection: Get elite-like perks and hotel credits by booking through these specialty sites.
  • Cruise Benefits: Pay for your cruise with your Platinum card and receive $100 to $300 per stateroom shipboard credit plus additional amenities unique to each cruise line.  Participating cruise lines and other info can be found here.  The website makes it look like you have to buy the cruise through Amex to get these benefits, but some readers have told me that you can get this benefit regardless of how you book the cruise (YMMV).

#3 Earn $200 in Airline Fee Credits Each Calendar Year

Platinum Card $200

Airline fee credits are supposed to be for incidental fees: checked bags, change fees, in-flight snacks, etc. However, in practice, pretty much all small purchases (under $200 or so) other than airline tickets charged by your selected airline receive the credit. This includes gift cards and award booking fees, for example.  You must select your preferred airline before these charges hit your account in order to get reimbursed.

  1. Go to benefit page and click “Select a Qualifying Airline”.
  2. Make a plan for spending $200 on airline incidental fees with your chosen airline before December 31st, and then again next year.

#4 Use your business Platinum card only for very large purchases, or for special deals

The Business Platinum card only offers standard 1 point per dollar in rewards for purchases, but they recently added a new benefit in which they offer a 50% bonus on points earned for purchases of $5000 or more.  That results in 1.5 points per dollar for very large purchases, which is pretty good.  For other purchases, many other cards offer better rewards.  In general, the Business Platinum card is best to have for its perks, not for its rewards on spend.

Note that personal Platinum cards now offer 5X rewards for airline charges so they’re a great option for paying for flights and airline fees, but personal Platinum cards do not offer a 50% bonus on $5000+ charges.

#5 Redeem points for flights (Business Platinum only)

The Business Platinum card now offers a fantastic new perk: Earn 50% points back when paying with points through American Express Travel for a flight with their selected airline. Cardholders will also receive this benefit when booking a first or business class ticket with any airline.  This new perk makes your Membership Rewards points worth 2 cents per point towards paid flights.  That’s pretty awesome.  That means that with the 100,000 point signup bonus, it is possible to get up to $2,000 worth of flights!  For details and caveats, please see: Amex 50% bonus is a (minor) game changer . Here’s why…

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