Why RIGHT NOW Might Be The Best Time To Get An Amex Platinum Card (AKA: How To Supercharge Your Bonus Points!)

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Forgive me for the “RIGHT NOW” in the headline, but there really are a few great reasons why now is a good time time to get an Amex Platinum even if you aren’t eligible for a sign up bonus.

Reason 1:

The current 50% Membership Rewards Points transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy is arguably the deal of the year. It runs until 31st December 2019, so you’ve still got plenty of time to apply now, rack up a load of Amex Points, and then make a transfer before the end of the year.

You can generate massive value, regardless of whether your focus is free hotel stays or flights.

Reason 2:

Christmas is coming!

I am not for a second suggesting that anyone should ever spend more than they can afford, but it’s just a simple fact that December tends to be an expensive month for most people, so it makes sense to earn some points back from that spend.

With the popular ‘Shop Small’ promotion returning, having an Amex can even save you hard cash this festive season.

Reason 3 (Tricks to boost your points balance!):

The changes Amex made to sign up bonus eligibility this year have undoubtedly hit a lot points/miles collectors in the UK hard. But, even if you aren’t eligible for a sign up bonus, you can still earn a surprising number of points – as I’ll explain in a minute.

If you haven’t held a personal Amex Gold/Plat/Green Card (being a supplementary cardholder or having a business Amex is fine) in the last 24 months, then you are eligible for a sign up bonus on the Platinum Card. Using a referral link like this one, you would earn 35,000 bonus points for getting an Amex Platinum and spending £4,000+ in your first 3 months.

You would also earn 4,000 points from spending the £4,000, meaning you would have a total of at least 39,000 Membership Rewards Points. That’s not bad, but there are a couple of ways you can supercharge your earnings.

Every time you successfully refer someone for ANY Amex Card (it doesn’t have to be for a Platinum!) you earn 12,000 bonus points, up to a maximum of 90,000 per year. At the most basic level you can therefore earn a decent amount of points by referring your partner/family member/friend and having them refer you next time you need a card.

It is also possible to ‘self refer’, as I have previously explained here (note that the amount of points you receive has changed since that article). Remember that you will earn 12,000 points when you refer someone (including yourself) for any personal Amex card – so you might fancy picking up a few of the different free cards that Amex offers…

To avoid any potential unpleasantness with Amex though (however unlikely), it’s probably best to play the game in ‘2-player mode’ and have your partner/friend provide your referrals while you provide theirs.

I like to use my Amex Points (via Marriott and American AAdvantage) to fly in Etihad’s First Class ‘Apartments’!

Over the course of a year, it would be very easy for a couple to amass 84,000 bonus points just from referrals (with the first cardholder referring their partner for 4 cards and the partner then referring them for 3).

Amex is also currently offering 5,000 bonus points for adding free supplementary cardholders to an Amex Platinum account. You can add up to 5 people and, at the moment, each supplementary triggers a different 5,000 bonus. Whether that is a temporary glitch or not, right now there is the possibility to accrue 25,000 bonus points.

Even if you aren’t eligible for the sign up bonus, it’s therefore possible for a couple to collect 134,000 bonus points in total without much effort. You could, of course, be more aggressive as regards referrals too if you wanted.

The rules governing the offers listed above could be changed at any time, which is why it makes sense to take advantage now while you can.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum comes with a whole host of travel-related benefits, including elite status with Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, Shangri-La and more. It also provides airport lounge access for the main cardholder (+ 1 guest) and 1 supplementary cardholder (+ 1 guest), as well as worldwide travel insurance for all supplementary cardholders and their families.

The downside is that it costs £575 per year – but, crucially, you can get a pro rata refund whenever you want. If you kept the card for 3 months, you would only end up paying about £145 once you take the refund into account. 3 months could be plenty of time to bag the supplementary bonuses and do a few referrals…

It really is an excellent time to get an Amex Platinum card – even if you aren’t eligible for the sign up bonus!

If the annual fee for the Platinum is too off-putting (despite the rebate), there are also some very good reasons to consider the free (in first year) Amex Gold right now, and I’ll be sharing some of those reasons tomorrow.


  1. AK says

    Is the Marriott offer targeted? I transferred some points over, but got no bonus. Also added 3 supps and only got one 5k bonus. Maybe just unlucky!

    • Joe Deeney says

      The terms state, “Please allow up to eight weeks after offer end date for the additional Marriott Bonvoy bonus points to be awarded”, so I wouldn’t worry about the bonus points until end of Feb.

      As regards targeting, the previous Hilton 50% transfer offer applied to all accounts despite only a relatively small subset of members receiving emails about it (I didn’t receive an email, but got the bonus without having to chase anything up). I’ve asked numerous Amex agents and have consistently been told that the Marriott bonus also applies to all accounts.

      In order to be 100% sure of getting the bonus points though, my advice is always to login to your amex account and ask about your own account specifically using the online chat feature. That way, you will have a written record just in case there are any technical hitches.

      Interesting about the supps – can you remember exactly how you applied for them? I wonder if you might have to go through a specific page for it to be triggered maybe? I also did mine 1 at a time, which might possibly make a difference.

      • AK says

        I’ll definitely try the online chat to confirm. Even then I know it can be a battle sometimes getting amex to honour their end of the deal.

        With regards to the supp cards, I did apply separately for each one

        • cinereus says

          Chat told me it was only for people who received the email. I said I delete all emails without reading and to please check my account. And then they confirmed it was active on my account after all 🙂

          • Joe Deeney says

            Interesting – corroborates what I’ve heard from others. If you mention an email, some agents are lazy and just say you need to have got the email. But if they actually check the account properly they can see the offer regardless of the email.

  2. Malky says

    Hi Joe – I have PRG Credit Card, and am in a quandary 🙂

    I know I won’t get any introductory bonus points if I apply to take out a NEW platinum charge card as I have another MR earning card in my PRG – but that there’s currently an offer of 20,000 MR points if you UPGRADE and spend £4,000 in 3 months, though this only applies to upgrades from another Amex charge card.

    Your input on these questions if you have any idea please would be much appreciated!

    1. Can I downgrade to Amex Green or Amex Basic charge card from PRG, or do I have to cancel PRG and apply separately for a Basic or Green charge card
    2. If I then upgrade from Basic or Green toPplatinum, do you think I could still get the 20,000 bonus points even though I’d previously held a PRG
    3. When will Scotland ever win another Grand Slam?


    • Joe Deeney says

      Haha – great questions Malky!

      It might be worth giving Amex a ring to see if they can apply the upgrade bonus somehow to the PRG (unlikely, but it does happen – perhaps by mistake. Amex calls are recorded, so even if an agent is incorrect the company will ultimately make good, though it might require a bit of chasing).

      You can’t downgrade the Gold (since the gold is now a credit rather than a charge card), but you don’t need to cancel it if you don’t want to – I currently have both a Gold and a Platinum, so there’s no reason (unless you have lots of other amex cards) why you can’t have a Green/Basic and a Gold afaik.

      Unfortunately I’m not 100% sure whether the platinum upgrade bonus applies to basic/green or whether it’s just for legacy gold cardholders, so I’d definitely get that confirmed by amex before doing anything. I’m pretty confident that having previously held the PRG won’t make any difference though – but probably still worth checking directly.

      As regards Scotland’s next Grand Slam, I wouldn’t want to put a year on it, so let’s just say my sources are clear that it will be before Italy gets one… 😉

    • cinereus says

      Is the upgrade bonus showing in your Amex account under your PRG? If so you should take it from there as mine disappeared when I manually applied for a Platinum cashback card.

      I don’t think you’d be able to go from another card other than the PRG to Plat and still get the 20k points.

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