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 $550 annual fee waived completely. That means you can take advantage of benefits like Priority Pass lounge access and up to $200 in Uber credits (for rides or Uber Eats) each year for free.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Why get this card?
You can’t beat the Platinum card’s extensive list of luxury travel perks, including access to exclusive Centurion lounges.
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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 service members 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.
On some of American Express’s pricier cards – like the Platinum card – the Amex military benefits can save you hundreds of dollars. 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, though, that the SCRA does not require credit card providers to charge only 6% interest on any new purchases that service members 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:
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 SkyClub, Centurion lounges and more.
$100 hotel credit
Each year, you’ll get a $100 on-site credit when purchasing activities such as dining or spa treatments when you book a hotel through The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel. A minimum two-night stay is required for this benefit.
Up to $200 in Uber credits per year
Platinum cardholders can receive up to $15 in Uber rides or Eats credits every month (U.S. rides only) and an additional $20 in December – for up to $200 in Uber credits every year.
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.
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.