Spend Money On The Amex Platinum Card? Here’s How To Earn More Points

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Update: These offers for the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


I’m a big fan of both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. I have the former and Ford has the latter, so together we spend $1,000 in annual fees to hold onto the cards, and I find that to be quite worthwhile, given the perks the cards offer:

Those benefits alone get us around $600 of value, and then I value the card for Delta SkyClub access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, a Priority Pass membershipHilton Honors Gold status, 10 Gogo wifi passes per year (business card only), and much more.


The Amex Platinum Card comes with Centurion Lounge access

While I find these cards to be worthwhile for the perks, these aren’t cards I spend much on. The only exception for me is putting airfare spend on the Amex Personal Platinum Card, given that it offers 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare spend. I value those points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me it’s like earning the equivalent of ~8.5% on airfare spend, which is a great deal.

People who put everyday spend on the Amex Platinum Card

I love observing (and hearing) how people use their credit cards. For example, this past weekend I had dinner with a friend who is quite savvy, yet who puts all their spend on the Amex Platinum Card. I was surprised. I don’t want to say this is strictly related to age, but the concept of putting all your spend on the Amex Platinum Card does seem somewhat generational. Many people my dad’s age seem to perceive the card as being “prestigious,” and when they put everyday spend on the card, they say “well that’s always what I’ve been doing, and I don’t want to cancel the card after having it for so long.”

That’s totally valid, in a way:

  • You shouldn’t cancel the card, because it has lots of perks that make it worth holding onto
  • However, there are very simple adjustments you can make to maximize your rewards and earn lots more Amex Membership Rewards points

You can easily combine your Membership Rewards points

One big misconception some people seem to have is that you can’t combine Membership Rewards points. People tell me “well I already have so many points with my Platinum Card, I don’t want to switch to another card.” That’s valid, though the truth is that you don’t need to. You can combine the Amex points you earn across all your Membership Rewards-earning cards. Heck, you don’t even have to combine them, it’s automatic, as long as they’re all linked to the same Membership Rewards account. This couldn’t be easier.

So in this post I wanted to share some basic cards to consider if you’re someone who currently uses the Amex Platinum Card for your spend, but actually wants to maximize your points.

Great complements to the Amex Business Platinum Card

  • The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent on the card annually; that’s right, you’ll earn double as many points for non-bonused spend as you would on the Amex Business Platinum Card, and this card doesn’t even have an annual fee
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee the first year, and it’s $175 per year thereafter; the card offers 3x points on one category of your choice from the following: airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers; you earn 2x points on the remaining four categories, and the bonus points apply for the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the categories each year

Great complements to the Amex Personal Platinum Card

  • The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year), plus a 20% points bonus when you use your card at least 20 times during a billing cycle, meaning you’re earning up to 2.4x points at supermarkets and 1.2x points on everyday spend
  • The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has a $95 annual fee, and offers 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year), 2x points at U.S. gas stations, plus a 50% points bonus when you use your card at least 30 times during a billing cycle, meaning you’re earning up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, 3x points at gas stations, and 1.5x points on everyday spend
  • The American Express® Gold Card has a $250 annual fee; the card offers 4x Membership Rewards points at US restaurants, 4x Membership Rewards points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 each year), and 3x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines; the card also offers a $100 annual airline fee credit to help offset the annual fee

Bottom line

The Amex Personal Platinum Card® and the Amex Business Platinum Card are fantastic cards for the perks. However, they aren’t cards on which I’d recommend putting a ton of spend. If you’re one of those people who puts a significant amount of spend on either card, consider getting a complementary Amex card that can help you earn more points.

Don’t want to pay an additional annual fee? Not a problem, pick up The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually, or The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, which offers 2x points at U.S. supermarkets and a 20% points bonus, meaning that a minimum you’ll go from earning one Membership Rewards point per dollar spent to 1.2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

And if you don’t mind paying a bit higher of an annual fee, you can hugely increase your points earning potential with some premium cards, like the American Express® Gold Card or The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.

Best of all, these points will be added directly to your existing Membership Rewards balance, so there’s no effort required.

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Comments

  1. This situation makes me laugh all the time. My uncle was showing off his new platinum card to me when we went to dinner. I laughed at him and said I have the card too, but would never use it on a dinner. Its a generational thing for sure. People tie status to the platinum card. When I see someone use a Chase Sapphire at a dinner I know they aren’t clueless.

  2. The Amex Plat + Amex Blue Biz Plus is a great combination. I buy all my air travel on the Platinum, and do all other spending on the Blue Biz Plus …. except for vacation hotels, which I do on amex travel and get the 5X on that, too.

  3. ” Its a generational thing for sure. ”
    lol…what an uneducated and ignorant conclusion. It’s an “ignorance thing”, not a generational thing”. People of all ages and generations who don’t understand the points and miles game easily make the same mistake.
    To make a conclusion about a generation of people based on a person’s ignorance laughable.

  4. @ jay — I’m not suggesting that not maximizing points is a generational thing. Rather I’m suggesting that the prestige associated with the Amex Platinum Card is very much a generational thing. If I had a dollar for every friend’s parent I had who has an Amex Platinum Card because they think it’s prestigious, I’d have a lot of dollars. 😉 It’s one reason that the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been so popular with millennials, and why the Amex Platinum Card has a much older cardmember base. I love the card for the perks, but I couldn’t care less about the “prestige” of it.

  5. I plead guilty to this. It could be generational – and I’m not offended if it is! I’m using my Amex Business Platinum card a lot more recently as I am really liking the 35% rebate (RIP 50% rebate) when using points to book travel. So will Amex allow me to have a Blue Business Plus card if I already have a Business Platinum card for the same business?

  6. @ travel4b — Yep, you sure can be approved. Best of all, you can still use those points towards the 35% rebate on “Pay With Points.”

  7. Back in the day, the Platinum Card was “by invitation only”. I don’t know when that stopped (maybe when the Black Card was introduced?), but that may explain some of the prestige some folks still associate with the Platinum Card.

    That said, I still don’t get it, nor did I back in the day — it’s not like you can get better service at the end of a meal when you flash your Platinum Card, and if you wave it around before the bill arrives, you’re just an a-hole. Also, it’s hard to imagine that the night clerk at the Hampton or Fairfield Inn is going to upgrade you to the jacuzzi suite at the sight of the Card. Not to mention online transactions. So I totally agree that the points/redemption options should drive use, plus benefits like Fine Hotels and Resorts.

  8. I find that many people just don’t care about miles and points, no matter how much you tell them about it. They just don’t like changing the way they do things, and dedicating cognitive resources to a relatively-complex endeavor, even if they lose money because of it.

    Reminds me of an episode from “King of the Hill” where Peggy (a teacher) says something like “I’m a teacher, I teach! I’m done learning!” Oh well…

  9. I typically get 5-12 cents per mile when using miles to book flights, so at 5x the points for airfare I get a 25%+ return on airfare, can’t beat that at all!! And for all of those who say this isn’t accurate, I just booked several flights yesterday using miles, some transferred from Amex, and spent 82,500 Avios for $4,600 in tickets.

  10. Thanks Lucky!

    I am a new Green Card holder (UK citizen) and have had the Amex Platinum for 6 months now, and after reading this have just been immediately approved for the Every Day Preferred.

    Didn’t realise the 50% extra points plus 3x on supermarket spend. This will increase my MR rewards significantly 🙂

  11. I think the a key reason why people use “the wrong card” is because many just don’t want to deal with multiple cards and remember which one is best for which category.

    I have had a Platinum for double digit years and I only use is when necessary for benefits. Consequently, I almost never get Amex Offer on this card. I retain two Amex credit cards which get all the good Amex Offers and those earn the MR.

  12. I work as a cashier at a grocery store in a resort town and it always makes me chuckle to see what kind of cards people are using to pay for their groceries. I see Platinum Cards ALL THE TIME, mostly from middle-aged to older customers, and we even have a seasonal resident who has a Centurion Card. We get a whole lot of airline cards as well, particularly from the big three + Southwest. I’ve seen a number of mid-20’s to early-30’s people with the Sapphire Reserve, although I’ve been surprised to see quite a few older people with the card as well. Rarer, but still not uncommon cards include Blue Cash cards, hotel cards, the Double Cash card, and FlexPerks cards. Interestingly, Citi ThankYou cards almost never come through. I’ve seen maybe two or three Prestige cards throughout the time I’ve been working there.

    It particularly makes me laugh when people notice me eyeing their cards and proceed to tell me about all the miles that they’re earning with them. I of course never mention it, but I’m earning a better return than almost all of them with my lowly AmEx Everyday. I feel like Ron Swanson in this GIF. https://pinodegallo.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/ron-swanson-i-know-more-than-you.gif

  13. Don’t forget about the 1.5x points for purchases over $5k on the Business Platinum card. I have a video production company and regularly need to purchase expensive equipment. So I use that benefit often. Also the card doesn’t have a set limit which is great for large purchase. I recently did a pre-authorization check and they told me I was pre-approved to up to $180k of spend. No other card I have comes close to that kind of limit flexibility for me. So even if I’m going to lease a piece of $50k equipment for example, I’ll buy it on the card first and then lease it. Instant 75k points. I couldn’t put a purchase that big on any other card I have, so I would have to lease it direct and lose out on any points.

  14. I know there is technically superior strategy, but i do about $100k – $150k spend per month on biz plat and personal plat and i think what you are missing is the simplicity of billing and quality of customer service. With that volume i have an issue with 1 or 2 charges a month and i never know which one or two it will be… so the value of “Yes sir mr customer, we see you have been one of our best customer since 2005” (probably not true but sounds nice!) is worth more to me than the couple thousand more points i could get by carrying more cards (also i have a small goyard wallet that barely holds 4 cards – something that i wouldnt trade for another 5,000 points a month!)… so there is a quality of life and simplicity of life factor that needs to be weighed agonst using 1 card for gas amd 1 card for groceries, etc etc

  15. Had someone ask me one time if I was trying to show off by paying with my Amex Platinum. Nope, never considered any of my cards as being that prestigious.
    Person was about the same age as me.

  16. Some folks might also want to add more spend to a platinum or business platinum to hit the spending threshold considered necessary to be invited to the Centurion card ($250k per year personal and / or $400k per year business). Just a thought. And that card carries ACTAUL prestige. I have had a platinum card for about six months, and all it says about me is that A) I can afford the annual fee, and B) Aemx believes I’m not a bum.

  17. I agree about the benefits, so I think the Platinum card is worth the annual fee, but I disagree with charging airfare there.

    While you can get 5x points, you are only putting a monetary value on the points, rather than a redemption value.

    I would actually put the airfare to the Reserve card because while that does not give you as many points, it costs much less to redeem the points in terms of the number of points needed and also the remaining cash value if you do a combination of points and cash.

    Although Platinum gives a certain percent back, even with that the cost of points to pay in points is much higher than on other cards, so I wouldn’t value the extra points.

    The Reserve card also has the 1:1 point ration and free transfers so that you could top up an account you plan to cash out if you are a handful of points away from a redemption, as well.

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