Platinum Perks and Benefits. They Are Upon You.
For the lucky ones out there that got on the Amex Platinum 100k train, congrats again. You probably have gotten your card in the mail or are expecting it in a few days. You are about to embark on the Platinum journey, which comes with some amazing perks and benefits that go far beyond your earned 100k points after $3k spend, especially if you are a heavy traveller!
I often tell friends that the Amex Platinum card is my favorite card I keep in my wallet that I actually never spend on (unless I’m in a crunch/bind for more MR points). That’s because while the 100k sign-up bonus is massive, the card does not come with any category multipliers for spend, so you just earn a flat 1 Membership Reward point per dollar with the card. Compare that to cards with multiplier categories, like the Amex PRG that earns 3x on travel, or the Citi Thank You Premier that earns 3x on travel and 2x on dining and enterainment.
But just having the card itself entitles you to some amazing benefits. Here’s your checklist for IMMEDIATELY taking full advantage of your new Amex Platinum. Make sure to do all these things as soon as you get your card or card number!
- Enroll in Priority Pass Select and download the app. Priority Pass Select is a global network of airport lounges that allow you comped entry with your Amex Platinum card. An awesome benefit if you are someone who travels often, especially internationally. But you cannot just show your Amex card to get into Priority Pass lounges; you must also show the physical Priority Pass card (or digital version of the card) upon entering. You get comped entry and charged $27 per guest to bring in.
- Apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. You get a $100 credit back for your GE application or $85 back for your Precheck application. I recommend applying for Global Entry because it actually includes TSA Precheck if you get approved. The drawback, however, is that the Global Entry process is more intense in terms of screening process and time to get approved.
- Enroll into the $200 Airline Fee Credit benefit and choose your carrier. Note that YOU MUST pre-select the airline carrier before spending on the airline and receiving a credit for your spending up to $200. While AMEX claims the fee credit covers ancillary fees like checked baggage fees, airline lounge passes, food/drinks on board and much more (and not actual paid ticket fare), you have some awesome alternative options, including:
- Receive $200 in Southwest gift cards. Choose Southwest as your carrier, purchase two individual $100 e-gift cards from Southwest.com with your Platinum card, get reimbursed by Amex shortly therafter. Note you need to sign up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards account (free).
- Receive $200 in Amazon gift cards. Choose United as your carrier, download the United MileagePlus X app, purchase two individual $100 Amazon e-gift cards through the MileagePlus X app with your Platinum card, get reimbursed shortly thereafter. Note you need to sign up for a United MileagePlus account (free).
- Guess what! On Jan 1, 2017, you get ANOTHER $200 credit! Just go through the process again listed in #3.
- Get your automatic SPG Gold status. Signup for an SPG account if you don’t already have one. Then call SPG at (888) 625-4988 to claim your Gold status! This is my absolute favorite Frequent Flyer/Hotel loyalty program. Gold status gets you some awesome benefits like 4pm checkout, frequent room upgrades, premium wifi, and bonus SPG point multipliers when you stay at SPG properties.
- Get your automatic Hilton HHonors Gold Status. I value HHilton Gold to be worth less than SPG gold, but there are still some nice bonuses like comped upgrades and free premium wifi.
- Enroll into the Boingo AMEX Preferred Plan to get free Boingo wifi at all Boingo locations. My favorite spot to use this beneift is at LAX! Super fast.
- Enroll into National, Hertz, and Avis Car Rental Privileges. This gives you premium status with all 3 carriers which give you some awesome car rental and insurance benefits.
- Activate your unlimited 2 day free shipping on Shoprunner. Self explanatory!
- Give the Amex dedicated Platinum concierge a call. Number on the back of your card. The dedicated Platnum concierge can get you hard-to-get reservations, show tickets, and even get flowers delivered to your wife/girlfriend (seriously). I recently went on a trip to Japan and the concierge service was a GODSEND in getting reservations at restaurants that only spoke/served in Japanese.
- CARRY YOUR CARD EVERYTIME YOU TRAVEL! Your card gets you (+2 guests) FREE comped access to the AMEX Centurion lounges. Amex Centurion lounges are located in SFO (my favorite!), DFW, LAS, LGA, MIA, SEA, and new ones on the way. You also get free entry into all Delta Sky Clubs when showing a Delta or Delta partner boarding pass. Here’s a list of all Delta Sy Club locations, but the easiest way to navigate this is through the Delta app.
As you can see, your Amex Platinum card is FULL of awesome perks and benefits. Bet you’re happy you hopped on that offer!
Happy travel hacking!