American Express was one of the first banks (if not the first) to introduce a premium travel card years ago with many benefits and a high annual fee. The AMEX Platinum Card has been widely regarded as one of the best travel cards in the past.. however recently, other banks (such as Chase and Citi) have been attracting customers to their new(er) premium travel cards.

We have seen Chase and Citi innovate regrading their higher-end cards, while the AMEX Platinum Card hasn’t received many new benefits at all. Instead, AMEX has reduced benefits on the Platinum Card over the past few years, though has somewhat made up for that with the amazing Centurion Lounges.

AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO

AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO

The main reason most people don’t use their AMEX Platinum Card daily is because of the lack of bonus categories whereby you could earn multiple points-per-dollar spent on purchases like airfare, gas, restaurants, etc. In the meantime, other banks have introduced bonus categories with their premium cards.

Well, after much speculation, AMEX has responded: American Express Platinum Card members will earn 5 MR points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or AMEX’s travel website. This benefit is set to be activated on all Platinum Cards this Thursday, 6th of October.

5x points on airfare is y-u-u-g-e (as one presidential candidate would say) and I think it is great that AMEX is finally adding benefits to the Platinum Card, which was once the “king” of travel cards… and still could take that spot if more bonus categories are introduced.

The current problem with the Platinum Card is that it is great for benefits such as lounge access, airline incidental fees, etc. but it’s bad for spending money on… due to the lack of bonus categories. In my opinion, if AMEX would add a few more bonus categories, the Platinum Card would once again be king.

So thankfully they’ve added 5x points on airfare. I’m hoping more announcements soon from AMEX about some other changes… because if this is the “big” change, I’m kind of disappointed. Yes, it’s an awesome change, but it still doesn’t make the card compelling for other spend. I’d like to see a bonus category in dining and gas, at least… then the card would definitely be my #1.

Either way, this change to the Platinum Card is a positive one and I’m glad AMEX is responding… somewhat. Just a few more positive changes and the Platinum Card will once again be the leader.