Customers considering signing up for American Express’s Platinum Credit Card rewards have three weeks to beat an annual fee hike – and get 30,000 miles for an initial £2,000 spend.
From June 11, Amex’s card will be made from metal rather than plastic, and cost £575 a year compared to £450 now. For those who can play by the rules signing up now may be worthwhile, according to frequent flyer website Head for Points.
The company unveiled a metal version of the Platinum card in the United States in 2017, and the news means it follows Curve, N26 and Revolut as the latest provider to offer a replacement for plastic.
From June 11 American Express’ Platinum Card will come in metal not in plastic. It makes Amex the latest card provider to offer a premium card made of the material
Apple is also partnering with Goldman Sachs to launch a titanium card in America later this year, though there’s no suggestion of a UK launch just yet.
As well as the price hike and the makeover, the other headline change coming in June is that the amount holders need to spend within 90 days to unlock the 30,000 reward point bonus is doubling from £2,000.
This particular move is likely as a result of recent Amex changes that cut sign-up offers on some of its other reward cards; namely the Preferred Rewards Gold Card and the Reward Credit Card.
Those changes meant at the time that Platinum cardholders could get 20,000 more points for spending £1,000 less in the first three months compared to those who had the Gold card.
The £125 fee hike isn’t just to pay for the card’s style upgrade though, as a couple of other changes come into effect in June too.
Cardholders will receive £10 a month cashback on Addison Lee bookings made using the card, and $200 in cashback each time you spend that much or its local currency equivalent on a ‘onefinestay’ house or apartment rental.
If you were to use your card to book somewhere in London, you’d receive £150 cashback on bookings worth £150 or more.
On top of that, you get the standard Amex Platinum benefits like worldwide travel insurance for trips of up to 90 days, airport lounge access and free hotel benefits.
Free ride: One of the benefits customers who sign up to Amex’s Platinum Card after June 11 will receive is £10 a month cashback on taxi bookings made with Addison Lee using the card
Should you sign up now or wait for June?
The announcement means those considering a Platinum card who don’t already have one have until June 11 to decide whether to lock in the old offer or wait for the new one.
Those who apply before then will have to pay £450 for 12 months and benefit from the old spend threshold for 30,000 points of £2,000.
You also get 11 £10 Addison Lee credits you can use between signing up and renewing in May 2020.
However, if you do like to use your credit card to make a fashion statement, Amex is only sending out metal cards from June 11.
Rob Burgess, editor of Head for Points, said: ‘As always, whether or not the fee on the Platinum Card represents value for money long-term depends on how many of the card benefits you will use, although you can cancel for a pro-rata fee refund at any point.
‘If you think it could work for you, and you should easily come out on top for the first year when you factor in the 30,000 points, the insurance, the airport lounge access, the hotel status cards and the new £10 Addison Lee credit, then I would make a move before 11th June.’
Nicky Kelvin, from website The Points Guy UK, said that while there were ‘some benefits’ to Amex’s changes, for most card holders the changes made the card ‘less attractive’.
He said: ‘Especially if you are able to use the Addison Lee credit each month, there are some benefits to the new changes. The Platinum Card was never for everyone.
‘These changes make the group of people who might value the card, and are able to extract benefits, smaller. For those who use the insurance, lounge access and the newly introduced benefits, it’s still a great card.
‘But for most, these changes make the card less attractive.’
American Express said: ‘American Express has announced new benefits for Platinum Cardmembers, who already enjoy worldwide travel and car hire insurance, a host of hotel and travel benefits, as well as lounge access and a dedicated concierge service.
‘These enhancements reflect our ongoing commitment to continually develop new benefits and experiences for our Cardmembers.
‘The annual fee for the Platinum Card has been increased to £575 to reflect the range of existing and new benefits available to Cardmembers as part of their membership.’