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Active duty service members can have American Express Platinum annual fee waived

Enjoy benefits like travel credits and lounge access at no cost as thanks for your service


The Platinum Card from American Express offers a wide range of perks for active duty service members – including a waived annual fee.

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American Express is known for offering some of the most generous perks for active-duty military members, in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA), a federal law that provides certain rights and protections to military members who are entering service and those who are on active duty. Most notably, Amex military benefits include waiving the annual fee for qualifying service members – even on its priciest card.

If you are an active-duty military member who travels frequently, The Platinum Card® from American Express is loaded with high-value perks that can save you money and make your next trip easier. Plus, you can have the high $695 annual fee waived completely. That means you can take advantage of benefits like Priority Pass lounge access and up to $1,400 in statement credit benefits each year for free.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
American Express Platinum Card

Why get this card?

You can’t beat the Platinum card’s extensive list of luxury travel perks, including access to exclusive Centurion lounges.


More things to know:

  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5 points per dollar on eligible hotels booked with and 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • You can earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months
  • Free airport lounge access to Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Club and more
  • $240 digital entertainment credit (up to $20 in statement credits each month for Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and New York Times subscriptions, enrollment required)
  • $179 Clear annual statement credit for membership
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck credit every four years
  • Up to $200 airline fee credit (up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for fees like baggage fees at one qualifying airline)
  • Up to $200 Uber Cash credit annually on U.S. rides and eats
  • Up to $200 hotel credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings (minimum two night stay required)
  • Up to $300 Equinox credit (up to $25 back each month on eligible Equinox memberships, enrollment required)
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 semi-annually, enrollment required)
  • Hilton Honors gold status and Marriott Bonvoy gold elite status

Who qualifies for Amex SCRA benefits?

On the American Express website, SCRA eligibility is defined as follows:

  • Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) or a reserve component called to active duty (Reserve, National Guard and Air National Guard)
  • National Guard personnel under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days (for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the president and supported by federal funds)
  • Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers
  • Citizens serving with the forces of a nation with which the U.S. is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action
  • Spouses of active-duty servicemembers listed above where credit is extended to a servicemember and spouse jointly

If you meet these qualifications, you can enroll in Amex military benefits by calling the number on the back of your card or filling out a request online. Your status will be confirmed based on any documentation you provide and reports from the Department of Defense.

What do SCRA benefits cover on Amex cards?

American Express waives the annual fee for all SCRA-eligible cardholders across the Amex suite of rewards cards. In addition, some users have reported having other fees waived, including late payment, returned payment and over-limit fees. However, even if late and returned payment fees are waived, you should be careful to make payments on time to avoid damaging your credit score.

SCRA also comes with perks that are not unique to American Express. Lenders, including credit card providers, can’t charge more than 6% interest on any amount cardholders owed before entering active-duty military service. To qualify for this lower rate, service members must inform their credit card providers – including American Express – of their active military status and must submit a copy of their orders to deploy.

Service members have up to 180 days after being released from active duty to update their lenders about their active military status.

Remember that the SCRA does not require credit card providers to charge only 6% interest on any new purchases that servicemembers make while on active duty. Card providers are only required to lower the interest rate on debt that military members acquired and owed before they entered active service.

Reasons to carry the Amex Platinum

The American Express Platinum card comes with a bevy of great perks for users who travel frequently. So, if you can score the card with the annual fee waived for being in the military, it should be a no-brainer. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite perks of the Platinum card:

Lounge access

The Amex Platinum card offers the most comprehensive lounge access of any rewards card, ensuring you’ll have a plush lounge to escape to while on trips to a variety of destinations. The card includes access to all Priority Pass lounges (more than 1,200 locations), Delta Sky Club, Centurion lounges and more.

Up to $1,400 in annual statement credits

The Amex Platinum is generous with its statement credit benefits, which can save you money on both travel and everyday expenses.

Currently, the list of such benefits includes:

  • Up to $200 in hotel credits each year on prepaid bookings with Amex Travel at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties (minimum two night stay required)
  • Up to $200 in airline incidental credits each year on one selected airline to cover things like baggage fees and seat selection fees (you can pick your selected airline each calendar year in January)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credits: $100 credit for Global Entry (every four years) or $85 for TSA PreCheck credit (every four and a half years)
  • $179 Clear credit
  • $200 Uber Cash credit
  • Up to $240 digital entertainment credit each year that can be used for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, Sirius XM and the New York Times (up to $20 in statement credits each month, upon enrollment)
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 twice a year, enrollment required)
  • Up to $300 in statement credits each year on eligible Equinox memberships (enrollment required)

Hilton Honors gold status

Just by carrying a Platinum card, you can receive automatic gold elite status with Hilton Honors. This comes with perks including free Wi-Fi, late checkout and room upgrades (upon availability) while staying at participating Hilton properties.

No foreign transaction fees

While using your Platinum card in a foreign country, you won’t have to worry about paying a foreign transaction fee on your purchase. Just keep in mind that American Express cards are not accepted by as many merchants abroad as they are in the U.S.

Bottom line

With a waived annual fee for active-duty service members, it is clear that American Express is dedicated to giving back to those who serve. If you qualify for SCRA benefits, it might be worth looking into American Express cards with valuable perks, such as the Platinum card. You can enjoy travel credits, hotel elite status and more – at no cost to you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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