American Express Platinum Card Fees – In 2018, I told my wife that I intend to apply for a credit card with an annual fee of S$1.7k. She looked at me in disbelief when I said it was good value for money.
After four years, my wife suggested I write this article, so it’s safe to say she’s finally converted…
American Express Platinum Card Fees
Amex offers 3 different credit cards within its Platinum Series. As one can imagine, entry requirements and annual fees vary (see image below), but so do the benefits.
The Platinum Card From American Express
The obscure Amex Centurion card is by invitation only and we’ve included it below for completeness. We enjoy a full family portrait.
In this article, we’ll focus on the Amex Platinum Charge Card and discuss whether it’s really worth the S$1,728 annual fee (spoiler: we think it is).
The Amex Platinum Charge Card is ideal as a lifestyle card and has a host of travel and dining benefits. Apart from the stated benefits, we have also had a positive experience with the temporary offers, membership events and gifts offered by the Amex team. We believe it’s easier to get around S$4.5k worth in the first membership year and more than S$3k for subsequent years, rather than justifying the S$1,728 annual fee.
Bonus Tip: Another perk of the Amex Platinum Charge Card is the preferential conversion rate for Amex Rewards points (toward airline miles/hotel points) compared to the Amex Platinum Reserve Card or the Amex Platinum Card. Therefore, people currently accumulating Amex Rewards points on these two other cards may find it worthwhile to upgrade to the Platinum Charge Card, as Amex Rewards points can be accumulated and redeemed at the preferred rate.
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Amex uses a one-year fee policy. This means if you hold two Amex Platinum cards (ie Amex Platinum Charge Card + Amex Platinum Reserve Card), you will only need to pay the annual fee of the more expensive card, while enjoying the benefits of both cards!
However, note that the “One Annual Charge Policy” is only applicable to legacy holders of Platinum Charge Card who got their Platinum Reserve Card before November 1, 2022, and not for new incoming charge card holders. We list selected benefits of both cards below.
The above was a summary. Below, we’ve detailed a little more about the key benefits of the Amex Platinum Charge Card and the Amex Platinum Reserve Card.
Reminder: Amex uses a one-year fee policy (but only for Legacy Platinum Charge Cardholders who acquired their Platinum Reserve Card before November 1, 2022). This means if you hold two Amex Platinum cards (ie Amex Platinum Charge Card + Amex Platinum Reserve Card), you will only need to pay the annual fee of the more expensive card, while enjoying the benefits of both cards!
Reasons To Get The American Express Platinum Card
There are some overlapping benefits with the Amex Platinum Charge Card, such as access to the Tower Club, participation in the Amex Love Dining and Chillax programs.
Remember, the above is not an exhaustive list! In the next section, we’ll try to put a value on the most important benefits of having an Amex Platinum Charge Card.
In our opinion, it’s easy to get around S$4.5k in value from the Amex Platinum Charge Card in the first membership year, and more than S$3k in subsequent years. The table below provides a breakdown of how we arrived at these numbers.
The difference in value extraction between first vs. subsequent membership years is due to “Bonus Amex Points” offered only to new cardholders (this will be covered later).
Amex (axp) Redesigns $695 A Year Platinum Credit Card With Mehretu, Wiley Art
Cardholder Tip: When the card’s annual fee is due in subsequent membership years, cardholders can call the Amex Hotline to request a “Card Retention Bonus.” The bonus usually starts at 20k points, but high card spenders can be offered up to 60k points.
We have still assumed a valuation of S$1,350 for simplicity. Note that your Amex Online Portal login is required to enjoy the benefits of these statement credits.
Each year, cardholders are entitled to a 1-night stay at participating hotels (see the full list here). At the very least, you can stay local at the St. Regis (Executive Deluxe Room) or the Fullerton Hotel (Premier Courtyard Room).
As these hotels cost more than $500 in the post-Covid world, an estimate of $400 would be relatively conservative.
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Cardholders receive complimentary status for their hotel loyalty programs, and this benefit also applies to additional cardholders. Below is a list of participating loyalty programs and which major hotel chains each.
This benefit is really tricky to appreciate, as it depends on how often you travel, how likely you are to get a room upgrade, and the various benefits you may be entitled to with VIP status, which may include perks like free breakfast, early check-in, etc. Check-in and late check-out.
The most rewarding upgrade I’ve had, which I think will be once in a lifetime, is an upgrade to the Presidential Suite at the Hilton Singapore, which retails for S$2k+ per night. This happened in 2019, and I was surprised that it was only offered to someone with Hilton Gold status (Diamond status is above Gold). Of course we had to take a video of the room.
How much does that stay cost? Just S$300 net. I originally booked a King Hilton Executive Suite for ~S$500 nett (when Hilton had a 20% discount), and piled on the ad-hoc Amex Platinum Charge Card promotion (S$200 off for S$500 at Hilton).
The Amex Platinum
Cardholders are entitled to unlimited airport lounge access (1-2 guests per card for Principal/Additional Cardholders and subject to lounge rules). Participating lounges include:
While it’s not uncommon for airport lounge access to be offered (even for entry-level credit cards), three features make the Amex Platinum Charge stand out:
To assess the value of this lounge access benefit, we look at how much a Priority Pass membership costs (see figure below). The “Prestige” tier, which allows for unlimited lounge access, currently retails for US$469 per year and doesn’t even come with guest privileges.
Personally, I appreciate the airport lounge benefit at S$360. I used the lounge four times a year without guests, and assuming the value of each visit is S$30, this means an annual value to me of S$120. Since two supplementary cardholders are also entitled to this benefit, I value this benefit at S$360.
Bigger Benefits, Bigger Fee Coming To Amex Platinum Card
For incoming Platinum Charge Cardholders, you must receive a referral from an existing cardmember to receive a total of 132,500 bonus Amex points (for new Amex applicants) or 85,000 bonus Amex points (for existing Amex cardholders) for the first year. Do and spend S$6k in the first 2 months of card membership. The breakdown is as follows:
Note that you will receive base points (0.78125 miles per S$1) for the above spend.
Amex points have very flexible uses, including frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, gift vouchers or offsetting credit card expenses. It’s also worth noting that Amex points don’t expire.
Converting to Airmiles is fine and many would suggest that 132.5k Amex points translates to 82,813 Airmiles (enough to redeem Singapore Airlines first class saver flight one way to Japan). Alternatively, the 132.5k Amex points can also be used to cover S$636 in credit card spending, which isn’t as necessary.
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The Amex Platinum Charge card has been big on benefits (the latest being Comoclub membership upgrades and the addition of a $150 Fashion Credit), and the current sign-up promotion is one of the best we’ve seen in a while. To recap, early welcome gifts for new cardholders include 1-night stay at Fullerton Bay Hotel, OTO Quantum Advanced Massage Chair (retails at S$3,480), 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020 (retails at S$840), 60-80k Amex Points (equivalent to up to 50k air miles), and before that it was 2 nights at a High End hotel (we personally redeemed ours for 2 nights at Banyan Tree Bali, which retailed at S$800 per night at the time) .
While this isn’t an obvious benefit of the Amex Platinum Charge Card, legacy cardholders can rely on Amex’s “one annual fee policy” and apply for a “free” Amex Platinum Reserve Credit Card with its claimed benefits.
One such benefit is a free two-night stay at participating Frasers Hospitality hotels (see the full list here). Higher value options include Frasers Suites Geneva and Fraser Suites Paris La Défense.
Outside of the official benefits mentioned earlier, we enjoy temporary offers, member events and gifts provided by the Amex team. These temporary benefits are not factored into assessing the benefits of the card previously covered in Section 1.
Best American Express Credit Cards For October 2023
Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post. If you’ve read this far, you can already sense our genuine excitement for this card.
If you feel this card could be useful to you and would like to apply, please consider using it
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