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What is the best time to get the Platinum Card from American Express?

Get the most savings and rewards when you get this card at the right time


You can maximize your benefits with the Platinum Card from American Express by timing it just right. Find out how you can get the most from this premier travel card by getting it at the best time.

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Timing the opening of a new credit card in tandem with certain life events could help maximize credit card benefits, plus enhance any other big plans you may have on the horizon. For special occasions or extensive travel plans, you could end up saving a lot of money, earning extra rewards points or getting access to the perfect exclusive experience.

Whether planning a big move, honeymoon or home renovation, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great travel credit card with plenty of other benefits that make it a great rewards credit card, too. If you are looking for the best credit card for impending life changes, consider the Amex Platinum for saving money and racking up rewards.

Though the Amex Platinum is one of the best American Express cards, knowing how to use it and when is the best time to apply for this card can make all the difference in how valuable this card could be for you. Keep reading to find out about the perfect timing for Amex Platinum card.

What is the Platinum Card from American Express?

The Platinum Card from American Express is a highly-coveted rewards card due to all the features, benefits and perks offered. The $550 annual fee is a pretty serious commitment, but that fee could be more than justified for the right set of circumstances. How? Here’s some information about the card that might explain:

Introductory bonus

  • 75,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 months
  • 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases) in first 6 months

Rewards rate:

  • 5:1 flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • 5:1 eligible hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Annual bonuses:

  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $100 Hotel Collection credit
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck credit every 4 years
  • Up to $200 Uber credit
  • $75-$100 hotel credit
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (enrollment required)

Who would benefit from having a Platinum Card from American Express?

This card is ideal for frequent travelers that value VIP travel experiences like elite status, airport lounge access and upgrades and more. If you spend a considerable amount of money on airfare, hotels and related travel expenses, the card will more than pay for the annual fee. Here are some other card benefits that would appeal to frequent travelers:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global lounge access at 1,300+ airports
  • Access to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program
  • Trip protection (delays, interruptions, etc.)
  • Elite status at several hotels
  • Baggage insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Cruise Privileges Program: Special discounts, onboard credits and cabin upgrades at 14 participating cruise lines

Also, this card is ideal if you prefer points over cash back. If you like earning rewards on everyday spending to, in turn, get more deals for travel, there’s plenty of chances to do so with the Amex Platinum card.

The 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases) in the first 6 months, when combined with 5 points per dollar on eligible travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else, means that you can rack up a substantial amount of points. You can redeem these points for statement credit, gift cards, shopping, travel, entertainment, merchandise or charity –  though the most valuable is travel-related purchases.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Amex now offers the Pay It Plan It payment option. Plan It is a flexible payment option that allows cardholders to make payments on large purchases over time. The feature helps cardholders avoid interest charges and pay down balances with predictable, monthly payments. And, this payment option is now available for airline purchases booked through American Express Travel.

Now that you know who could benefit most from using the Amex Platinum, it’s time to talk about how to maximize your Amex Platinum rewards and benefits. One way to do this involves timing the card’s opening so that it compliments your upcoming spending plans and financial goals.

When is the best time to get the Platinum Card from American Express?

Getting this card at the right time can make a huge difference in how much value you get from this premium travel card. Here are a few use cases that would justify opening your Amex Platinum account.

Before a large purchase

If you’ve got a large purchase coming up, consider putting it on the Amex Platinum card. If the purchase is large enough, you could meet the spending requirements for the welcome bonus. An added benefit of using the Amex Platinum cards for a large purchase is that you’ll have the option to pay it over time with Plan It and still earn rewards. Large purchases could mean plentiful rewards, and that’s always a good thing.

Before big travel plans

Suppose you coordinate the opening of your Amex Platinum card right before a big trip. With this approach, you could not only garner significant savings on your travel spend, but you could also get access to some of the elite travel experiences and benefits the Amex card offers.

If you can meet the spending requirements for the introductory bonus, you’ve already got 75,000 points that could be worth up to $750 when booking travel through American Express Travel for:

  • Airline tickets
  • Hotels
  • Cruises
  • Travel packages
  • Rental cars

Also, there are plenty of ways to save on hotel accommodations. You could use your $100 Hotel Collection credit, plus get an average total value of $550 in perks at over 1,100 properties, like daily breakfast for two, 4 p.m. check-out, and other benefits when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts® with your Amex Platinum card.

Plus, if you book a hotel with your Amex Platinum card and stay 2 or more consecutive nights, you’ll get access to the following benefits with the Hotel Collection:

  • A $100 on-site credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities
  • Room upgrade at check-in, if available
  • 5X membership rewards points on prepaid bookings
  • Use pay with points on prepaid bookings

If you ever worry about making travel plans that fit perfectly within your budget, then having to pay for cancellations or inconveniences, your Amex Platinum card can help. There’s up to $250 per covered person for personal expenses in the event that you miss departures or connections or experience delayed, canceled or overbooked flights. This applies if the covered trip has been paid in total with your Platinum card. For a special occasion

If you are celebrating any kind of special occasion, you’re likely to spend tons of money. Why not earn rewards points while you do it?

Another benefit of getting this card around a special occasion is that you can use some of the card benefits to punctuate the experience with kind gestures like gifts, exclusive event access or unique experiences.

Planning a wedding? Use your car rental and hotel elite status for upgrades and complementary features like early check-in or free Wi-Fi. Use your $100 hotel credit to save even more money when you check out. You could even go ultra high-end for your hotel honeymoon suite booking and earn 5 points per dollar spent while you’re at it.

In town for a friend’s birthday? Treat them to several fine dining restaurants in Amex’s Global Dining Collection or send them that hard-to-find gift directly to their front door with the help of Amex’s Platinum Concierge services. You could also splurge for a nice gift using your Saks Avenues $100 credit.

The Amex Platinum card benefits work well for many special occasions, whether you use the card to buy gifts, book travel or redeem points in time for a special day or special someone.

When you’ve got other Amex cards

If you’ve got one or more other Amex cards, chances are you’re already earning rewards points. If you add the Amex Platinum to the mix, you can combine points on the same account and boost your rewards redemption potential.

When your approval odds are the highest

The Amex Platinum card is aimed at borrowers with excellent credit (above 670). If you don’t meet those qualifications before you apply, you could risk a hard inquiry which could have a negative impact on your credit score. It’s really not a good idea to take the ding and not even be able to walk away with the card.

Fortunately, American Express offers preapproval on a number of its cards, including the Amex Platinum. One way to check if you have a prequalified offer on the Amex Platinum is by using the CardMatch tool.

Going this route won’t impact your credit score, plus you’ll get a list of all credit cards from our participating partners that have been matched to your credit profile, which could include cards from Amex and other issuers.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum could be a great rewards card for the right person at the right time. If you think you’ll use enough features to justify the annual fee, it’s a great card to add to the mix.

Timing the card just right is a power play that could help you get the most value from this card while enjoying the best it has to offer in terms of benefits, perks and rewards.

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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