Should You Get The Amex Platinum?
The American Express Platinum is one of those cards that seems to tempt folks into jumping to apply before they're ready. It is a question we see often in the ToP Facebook Group, should you get the Amex Platinum? I am not sure if it’s because the look of the card, the large welcome offers or for the benefits. People just seem to be attracted to it, marketing at its best I suppose. However, grabbing this card when first starting out is probably a mistake. We will discuss the 5 ToP reasons why you should hold off on getting the Amex Platinum while under Chase 5/24.
Reason 1: You’re Under Chase 5/24
So you’re just starting out in miles and points and you want the beautiful, shiny Platinum card. We get it! But because of the Chase 5/24 rule, you really should hold off when you are just starting out. The 5/24 rule is a Chase application rule that states you can only be approved for a Chase credit card, business or personal, if you have opened fewer than five personal credit cards in the prior twenty four months.
The American Express Platinum card is a personal card, so it will add to your 5/24 count. It’s important to start with Chase while you are under 5/24, as they have some of the best credit cards for earning points. This includes the one most people should start with, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Other banks, such as American Express, do not have the 5/24 rule and you can get their cards later. Because of that, there is really no need to start with the American Express Platinum. You can be approved for an American Express Platinum card when you are over 5/24.
Reason 2: Lounge Access is Over-Rated
Among some of the most popular reasons to get an American Express Platinum is lounge access. However, we never recommend getting a card solely for lounge access. This is because all too often lounge access is overcrowded, at capacity, or just not available. With a whole bunch of cards offering Priority Pass access, lounges have become exceedingly crowded. Many times you arrive at the lounge to find that they are not accepting Priority Pass visitors or that there is a long wait.
This is true of the Centurion Lounges that American Express operates too, since many times there is a long wait to enter. Once you do enter, the food and drinks options are usually lackluster, especially compared to what they used to be, and leave much to be desired. It begs the question, is it really worth it? As you get along with your Travel on Point(s) journey. you are sure to have lounge access as many cards include lounge access, meaning it is not a priority to get right out of the gate. We understand there are times where lounge access is important. If that is the case for you and you are just starting out, then consider getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead of a Chase Sapphire Preferred to gain access to lounges.
Should You Get The Amex Platinum Reason 3: There is a Business Platinum Card
The third reason not to jump for an American Express Platinum card is because there is an American Express Business Platinum card with similar benefits and a (usually) bigger welcome offer. Not sure if you are business card eligible? Give our business eligibility guide a read, as almost everyone is eligible for business cards.
One of the most compelling reasons we hear for wanting to get the American Express Platinum card is for the high welcome offer. The Business Platinum Card has had offers that are as high, if not higher, than the Personal Platinum. The 150,000 Membership Rewards point offers for a Business Platinum is a fairly standard welcome offer. It is important to mention that the minimum spending requirement is usually 2-3 times larger as well.
The Business Platinum card also includes Priority Pass lounge access, a $200 airline incidental credit, and other similar benefits that you can read about in our review. The American Express Business Platinum card does not add to your Chase 5/24 count as it is a business card, making it a wise choice. If you can meet the higher minimum spend on the business version, consider that card instead.
Reason 4: All That Glitters Is Not Gold
There is definitely some shiny-object syndrome that comes into play when we talk about premium credit cards. The Platinum card is shiny and looks prestigious; but is it worth the annual fee that it commands? At a hefty $695 annual fee, many would argue that it is not worth it. There are plenty of credits that come with that card, but it begs the question: is the Platinum card a glorified coupon book?
Many of the credits require spending more money in order to get the benefit, making the credits worth less than they appear. With plenty of low or no-annual fee options available that offer similar, if not better value, it is hard to justify the cost of holding the American Express Platinum card long term.
Reason 5: Weak Long-Term Earning Potential
The American Express Platinum card earns 1x Membership Rewards on most purchases. The one exception being 5x on flights booked directly with airlines or prepaid flights and hotels booked through American Express travel.
Other than those few instances, the American Express Platinum is going to underperform other cards in earning power just about every time. In the long term, the American Express Platinum has one of the weakest earning potentials and it would be hard to justify using it outside of the welcome offer period.
Bonus Entry: New Application Rules
There is a new entry that needs to be made after some changes to the American Express application rules. They recently created a Gold card family rule. Applying for the Platinum card before the Gold card means you will not be eligible for the Gold card's welcome offer. It is best to get the Amex Green, then Amex Gold and then Amex Platinum after getting over Chase 5/25. That ensures you can earn the bonus for all three cards.
Should You Get The Amex Platinum: ToP Thoughts
The American Express Platinum card has a lot of marketing behind it trying to convince you to grab one, but if you are under Chase 5/24 it just isn’t worth it. The benefits that the card offers are often duplicative, hard to use, or just not helpful. We understand that Membership Rewards are valuable, but with multiple business options available there is little reason to start with the personal Platinum. There is a whole slew of cards we would recommend before this card, so take a look at that list before making a decision.
Should you get the Amex Platinum? Yes, eventually…but timing is key, and it shouldn't be considered when starting out and while you are under Chase 5/24.