Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial Review
02-06-19 Update: The card does not offer first year AF waiver anymore. Instead, it now comes with the standard sign-up bonus: 60k MR points after $5000 spending in 3 months. BTW, the Ameriprise Gold card is discontinued today.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points after spending $5,000 in first 3 months.
- We estimate that Membership Rewards (MR) are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 60k highest sign-up bonus is worth about $900!
- 5,000 additional Membership Rewards points for every $20,000 in eligible spending (i.e. only additional 0.25x points), up to 30,000 additional Membership Rewards points annually.
- Earn 5x MR points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Earn 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5x MR points for hotels booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Earn 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges such as checked bags per calendar year. Because this benefit resets according to calendar year instead of when you opened the card, you can actually get airline fee credit TWICE during the first year! Note that this benefit is not automatically enrolled, you need to enroll and specify an airline by clicking here.
- The airline credit is actually easy to get: although AmEx terms & conditions says airline gift cards are excluded, data points show that they actually can trigger the credit.
- $200 annual Uber credits ($15 per month, $35 in December). The credits will expire every month.
- New: $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit: That’s up to $50 in statement credits from January through June and up to $50 in statement credits from July through December. Both online and in store will work. No minimum purchase required. Enrollment required.
- Complimentary access to the following airport lounges:
- Priority Pass Select (PPS), you need to enroll on your own, and then a Priority Pass Select card will be mailed to you, free for up to 2 companions;
- Centurion Lounges, free for up to 2 companions;
- Delta Sky Clubs, you need a Delta boarding pass on the same day, $29 per companion;
- Airspace Lounges, free for up to 2 companions.
- Complimentary SPG Gold Status. Use this link to activate.
- Complimentary Hilton Gold Status. Use this link to activate.
- Complimentary membership for Avis, Hertz, and National membership. Use this link to activate.
- Complimentary Boingo membership (Airport free Wi-Fi). Use this link to enroll.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre application fee.
- Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR): if you book hotels through FHR, you can enjoy the benefits of elite members, such as: room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, etc. The benefits varies by hotels.
- Platinum Card Concierge service: for the busy or even lazy, you can use this service to book hotels or reserve restaurants and so on, the service is said to be very, very good.
- With this credit card, you can get access to Amex Offers, which often offers very good discounts at some stores. In the past we have seen offers like: Spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; Spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
- No foreign transaction fee.
- Authorized users also have access to the airport lounges mentioned above, and each of them can get complimentary hotel status. The $200 annual air credit is shared between cardholder and authorized users.
- This card is relatively easy to get approved for because it is a Charge Card, not a Credit Card. Charge card means that you don’t have the option to pay only minimum payment, you have to pay your balance in full on the due dates. Note that Charge Card applications will also result in a Hard Pull, just like Credit Card applications.
- Charge Cards have no pre-set spending limit.
- Although the terms say you need to be an Ameriprise customer to apply for this card, anyone can apply.
- $550 annual fee, not waived for the first year. Note that annual fee does not count towards the minimum spending requirement (and this is true for all credit cards)!
- For up to three Additional Platinum Cards, the total annual fee is $175.
Introduction to MR Points
- You can earn MR points with AmEx ED, AmEx EDP, AmEx Green, AmEx Gold for Ameriprise, AmEx PRG, AmEx Platinum, AmEx Platinum for Ameriprise, AmEx Platinum for Schwab, AmEx Platinum for Mercedes-Benz, AmEx Blue Business Plus, AmEx Business Green, AmEx Business Gold, AmEx Business Platinum, etc.
- The MR points you earn on different MR cards will automatically go to the same MR account.
- MR points never expire. You will not lose the MR points on one card if you close the account, but you will lose all of the MR points if you close all of the MR cards. In order to avoid losing your MR points, we recommend to keep the no annual fee AmEx ED.
- If you have any of the MR cards, MR points can be transferred to some airline miles. One of the most common and best way to use MR points is to 1:1 transfer them to All Nippon Airways (ANA, NH) miles (Star Alliance). Other good options are: Air Canada (AC) (Star Alliance), Delta Air Lines (DL) (SkyTeam), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Asia Miles (Oneworld), Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use MR in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have any of the MR cards, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate about 1 cent/point towards air tickets on AmEx travel portal.
- If you have AmEx Platinum for Schwab, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards cash. If you don't want to spend time studying airline miles, this is a pretty good way to cash out the points. If you don't have this card, you can only redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 0.6 cents/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that MR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about MR points, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to MR: How to Earn and Introduction to MR: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- You can get the sign-up bonus once in a lifetime, so be sure to apply when the historical highest offer appears.
- AmEx doesn’t care about the number of hard pulls.
- You can try to apply for it when you have a credit history of 6 months.
- You must wait at least 90 days between the application for different flavors of AmEx Platinum cards, otherwise the application will be cancelled.
Among several versions of AmEx Platinum, this is the only one that you can get your first year annual fee waived, which can save you $550! When the offer is 25k, it is a good offer! If you only keep this card for one year, you will get 25k MR points (worth about $400), two airline fee credits ($200*2), and $200 uber credit. And you don’t need to pay for the first year annual fee! So in total, the net income is about $1000! If you apply soon and keep this card for one year, you will get 60k MR points (worth about $960, and at a minimum $750), two airline fee credits ($200*2), and $200 uber credit. The cost is just the first year annual fee $550. So in total, the net income is about $1010! In order to avoid the repeat of perks, I don’t suggest you apply for this card when you have the regular AmEx Platinum Card. The travel perks are great but the earnings rate is not impressive so I wouldn’t call this card a keeper. Note that there are a lot of perks in this card, and some of them need to be enrolled by yourself, don’t forget to enroll them after receiving the card! If one day you don’t want to keep this card any more, but still want your MR points, you can apply for the AmEx EveryDay (ED) (no annual fee) to keep the MR points and use them in the future.
To Do List After You Get The Card
- Enroll in Airline Incident Fee Credit benefit and choose a carrier. You must enroll and choose a carrier prior to making a reimbursable purchase.
- Add your card to Uber or UberEats.
- Enroll in Saks Credit benefit.
- Enroll in Priority Pass Select (PPS).
- Enroll in SPG Gold.
- Enroll in Hilton Gold.
- Enroll for Avis, Hertz and NationalCar Rental Privileges.
- Enroll in Boingo American Express Preferred Plan (Wi-Fi internet access).
- Apply for Global Entry ($100 reimbursement) or TSA PreCheck ($85 reimbursement).
Related Credit Cards
Note that, although the look and benefits of the following cards are almost the same, they are different products, and they don’t affect each other’s sign-up bonus. See this post for the comparison of benefits.
- AmEx Platinum regular version
- AmEx Platinum for Ameriprise (this post)
- AmEx Platinum for Schwab
- AmEx Platinum for Morgan Stanley
Recommended Downgrade Options
- You can not downgrade this card to any card with no annual fee, so I suggest you close it when you don’t want to keep it any longer.
- Click here to check AmEx application status.
- AmEx reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083. The “real” backdoor number of Amex is well protected. Different from Chase, the representatives from this AmEx reconsideration backdoor number only have the right to help you submit requests.
Historical Offers Chart
Though you can see these words on the application page: “Your ability to have this Card product is contingent on a relationship between you and Ameriprise Financial, Inc. If no relationship exists, or if your relationship with Ameriprise Financial ends, American Express has the right to cancel your Card account or transfer your account to another American Express Card product that will have different features and benefits.” But actually, according to the data points, they won’t enforce this policy, which means actually everyone can apply for this card.