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Even though I don’t spend much on it, I LOVE my American Express Platinum Card. It’s arguably one of the best premium travel cards that has existed for quite some time now. While all of the benefits of the Platinum Card are amazing, the fact that it only earns 1x Membership Rewards points for ALL purchases doesn’t make the card very useful on a daily basis. That’s why my primary AMEX card is the Premier Rewards Gold Card, which offers up to 3x MR points per dollar spent.
So while I don’t use the AMEX Platinum Card for every-day purchases, I value the other benefits immensely. Arguably, the best benefit is complimentary access to the AMEX Centurion Lounges, which completely blow away other lounges at U.S. airports:
Other benefits of the Platinum Card include a $200 USD airline incidental fee credit, Priority Pass membership, access to AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, SPG Gold status, Global Entry fee credit, etc. All of these benefits come with a $450 USD annual fee.. which sometimes is waived the first year if you can find an offer.
The end of the year is approaching and my personal AMEX Platinum Card annual fee is coming up. Should I pay the annual fee and move on? Or apply for an AMEX Business Platinum Card and receive a sign-up bonus and an additional $200 USD incidental fee credit? Well, duh! So I’ve done just that.
I value my relationship with American Express immensely, they’re the only bank which I trust 100% with my transactions and points; I’ve never been disappointed. Not only that, they tend to approve me more than other banks.
Anyway, I applied for the AMEX Business Platinum Card last week and received it a few days ago. I applied on the AMEX website under the standard offer for 40k Membership Rewards points after spending $5k USD in the first three months. The offer isn’t special, but 40k MR points are still very useful to me. Of course the card, like the personal one, has a $450 USD annual fee.
I activated the card, requested my new Priority Pass membership, selected my airline for incidental fees, etc. However, when I was reviewing the documentation that came with the card, I noticed this in the cardmember agreement:
Huh?! First year free?! I couldn’t believe it at first and therefore I assumed AMEX mailed the wrong materials to me.. however the last five digits on the agreement match the last five digits of my card.. interesting… Then I requested my cardmember agreement from my AMEX account online and I noticed it was exactly the same – first year free.
Now it gets more interesting. I checked AMEX’s website and it doesn’t mention the annual fee being waived for the AMEX Business Platinum Card for the first year.. just the standard $450 USD annual fee and 40k MR points offer. In fact, I don’t think AMEX has ever waived the Platinum Card annual fee for the first year through a direct offer on their website.
I know for a fact that when I applied for the card, the $450 USD fee was mentioned on the application… so I called AMEX. I explained to them essentially the same thing and they were super puzzled about it. The agents confirmed my account has a $450 USD fee, but couldn’t tell if it would be applied the first year or not. Then I asked them to pull up the cardmember agreement on their system and they weren’t able to pull up the same document I have…
Now what? Look, I applied for the card knowing the annual fee was not waived the first year… but AMEX is technically now telling me that it will be waived for the first year with the documentation that was included alongside of the card AND in my AMEX account.. So what do I do if the annual fee is charged?
On one hand, I knew I was going to be charged the fee.. but on the other hand maybe AMEX thinks I’m a loyal customer or something and they’ve decided to waive the fee for me? I haven’t decided yet what I will do if the fee posts.. should I call them and send them my cardmember agreement which clearly shows it should be waived the first year? Or should I just pay the annual fee since there was no mention of it being waived on the application?
I’m assuming if I were to “fight the annual fee” battle, I would win since I have the documentation. And it isn’t like they just included a wrong agreement in the envelope, it is also downloadable from my online account.
In the meantime… if you want a sign-up bonus and no annual fee, the AMEX Business Platinum Card is your friend… though please note that your results may vary. I really don’t know if this was just a glitch in their system or if they are “secretly” waiving the fee, or what…
Anyone else recently apply for the AMEX Business Platinum Card and is in the same situation?
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.