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American Express Platinum Offers 100,000 Membership Rewards Point Bonus

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I roused myself from the food coma that is the day after Thanksgiving, made the long walk to the mailbox, and found a surprising offer: a signup bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points on the AmEx Platinum. That’s worth a whopping 4 domestic flights. Happy Black Friday to you too, American Express.

I’m fairly sure this offer isn’t going out to everyone (just kids with a limited credit history, perhaps?) but if you should stumble upon it, I’d seriously consider applying for the card.

100k bonus points is nothing to scoff at. We deem Membership Rewards Points to be as good as cash, because you can redeem as few as 2,500 for gift cards at full value. You can also transfer your points 1:1 to many hotel and airline programs (click here for a full list), and if you’ve got the Platinum, you can qualify for a points advance in which you spend up to 60,000 points before you’ve earned them. So if you spend $3k in the first 3 months of holding the card, you’ll essentially receive $1,000.

To see the mailed offer, click here (PDF).

And that’s in addition to the other Platinum perks. The card is an asset to travelers, especially those who often travel abroad. Yes, the $450 annual fee is substantial, but in return, you get:

  • Priority Pass Select lounge access, which is your ticket into airport lounges in 100+ countries and is worth $400 a year
  • A $200 airline incidentals credit to offset change/checked bag fees, etc.
  • A credit to the Global Entry program, which allows you to skip customs lines coming into the US and is worth $100
  • MR Points that are worth 20% more when you redeem through AmEx’s travel center
  • Automatic Gold Elite status in the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program
  • No foreign transaction fees, saving you 3% of whatever you’d spend abroad

Oh, and there’s the less easily quantifiable perks:

  • Dedicated concierge service
  • Preferred seating for a number of events
  • Return, purchase and warranty protection
  • Travel accident and baggage insurance

Even without the 100k promo, the Platinum still gives 25,000 MR Points as a signup bonus, and as always gives 1 point per $1 spent. That’s $250 back your first year, plus $600 in airline-related, quantifiable benefits, plus the one-time $100 Global Entry credit, plus savings in F/X fees, which after the annual fee yields a $500 net gain your first year and $150 thereafter, before accounting for standard rewards.

The Platinum was always a really good value if you’re a traveler. In addition to the quantified perks listed above, you have the benefit of Starwood elite status and the assortment of other benefits. Didn’t get the 100k offer? No worries, the 25k offer is just fine. To sum it up: the AmEx Platinum was worth well more than its $450 annual fee, even before the 100,000-point promotion, and now it’s even more worthwhile.

Airline partners: AeroMexico, Aeroplan, AirTran, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, El Al, Flying Blue, Frontier, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, MileageManager,, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, TerraPass (the carbon offset program), Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic

Hotel partners: Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton, Jumeriah, Priority Club, Starwood

Car and rail partners: Amtrak, Avis, Enterprise, Mercedes-Benz financial services, National Car Rental, TerraPass

  • Dealssgm

    What code should I use to get this offer??? is there a particular website that it directs you to?

  • Bluecatjumping

    what the hell is this kind of offhand remark : “Didn’t get the 100k offer? No worries, the 25k offer is just fine”

    that’s crap

  • JK

    What is the promotion code for this deal? You blacked them out in the PDF of your invitation.

    • NerdWallet

      Unfortunately, it’s linked to your personal information. Sorry!

  • Fiscal Conservative

    I just opened the Platinum with my 100k by mail offer. Since I’m not much of a traveler the card benefits aren’t really for me so I was planning to spend the 3k in the first couple weeks, get the 100k points and promptly downgrade my account to the Premier Gold card ($175 annual fee waived the first year) so my points transfer over and I avoid the $450 Platinum fee. Then I’ll use the Premier for a year since that card gives the most in points and close the card after I’ve redeemed my points and before the $175 annual fee is assessed. In your experience – will this work? I talked to customer service and confirmed on a recorded line that I can do the downgrade by x date with no penalty but I’m wondering if they’ll still give me the 100k points I earned for opening their card and spending the money they’ve required while it’s classified as the Platinum card. Thanks for any advice.