Comparing the Benefits of Different Flavors of AmEx Platinum Cards (2020.1 Update)

AmEx Platinum has several flavors. Their sign-up bonuses are independent, so you can get each one of them. The benefits are basically the same, but with a few differences. This post summarize the comparisons between all these flavors. Here are the links to the reviews of all these cards:

Comparison Table

The AmEx Platinum regular version is the basics for all other flavors, its benefits apply to all the flavors, so the common points will not be listed in this post. See the following table for the differences (The discontinued versions are not included):

 RegularSchwabMorgan StanleyGoldman Sachs
Application RequirementNone.Schwab relationship. Easy to open a Schwab brokerage account.Morgan Stanley relationship. Possible to open a Morgan Stanley Access Investing account.Goldman Sachs relationship. You need to have $10M assets to open an account.
Sign-up bonus75k (100k sometimes)60k60k???
Spending requirement$5000 in 3 months ($3000 sometimes)$5000 in 3 months$5000 in 3 months???
Annual fee$550$550$550$550
Annual fee for authorized usersFirst 3 are $175, each additional one is $175.First 3 are $175, each additional one is $175.First one free, the next 3 are $175, each additional one is $175.Each one is $175.
Redeem MR to cash-1.1 c/p1.0 c/p-
Spending bonus--$500 after $100,000 or more in spend within a card member year (i.e. additional 0.5% cashback)40,000 MR points after $100,000 or more in spend within a card member year (i.e. additional 0.4x MR)

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum regular version

Sometimes there’s 100k sign up bonus (due to glitches), or 75k bonus via incognito mode. That’s higher than all other flavors.

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum for Schwab

This is the only card that let you cash out your MR points at a ratio 1.25 cents/point. Although this is not the best way to use MR points, if you believe cash is king, then this card is indeed a good choice.

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum for Morgan Stanley

The first authorized user has 0 annual fee, so if you plan to keep an AmEx Platinum card for a long time, and you want your spouse to enjoy the benefits as well, then this one is a suitable for you.

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum for Goldman Sachs

Except that it has a “Goldman Sachs” trademark on the card and may give others a special impression, there’s really nothing good about this card.

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum for Mercedes-Benz (Discontinued)

Mercedes-Benz related benefits. [2017.4 update] Discontinued.

What’s Special for AmEx Platinum for Ameriprise (Discontinued)

This is the only one that waives the first year annual fee. So if you want to have a taste of all the benefits coming with AmEx Platinum for one year and you don’t want to pay for the $550 annual fee, this one is your only choice. [2019.2 update] The first year annual fee is no longer waived now. It’s basically the same as the regular version, just another sign-up bonus to obtain. [2019.10 update] Discontinued.

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