Shortly after rolling out new changes to the Gold Rewards Card which included a $50 NEXUS credit, American Express has now also quietly added a very similar benefit to its twin flagship premium travel credit cards: the Platinum Card and the Aeroplan Reserve Card.
Starting September 1, 2021, both the Platinum Card and the Aeroplan Reserve Card will offer a $100 NEXUS credit once every four years for both existing and new cardholders.
$100 NEXUS Credit
NEXUS is the pre-approved traveller program for frequent travellers between Canada and the United States.
Having a NEXUS card allows you to breeze through US and Canadian immigration at air, land, and marine ports of entry, and also provides automatic membership in TSA Pre-Check for smoother journeys through the security queue at US airports.
A NEXUS credit that covers your application or renewal fees is therefore a very natural benefit for the American Express Platinum Card, placing it alongside other highly valued perks like unlimited Priority Pass lounge access and Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
Meanwhile, it’s also a welcome addition to the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, pairing with the card’s Air Canada priority benefits to offer even more value to Air Canada frequent flyers who often travel to the US.
The addition of the $100 NEXUS credits hasn’t been widely communicated; instead, a new item has simply been added to both cards’ respective benefits pages on the American Express website.
The terms and conditions read as follows:
$100 NEXUS◊ Card Statement Credit – Cardmembers will receive statement credits for their total spend on NEXUS fees rounded down to the nearest dollar, up to a maximum of $100 CAD in cumulative statement credits, per account per four (4) year period, regardless of whether the NEXUS fees are charged on the Basic or Supplementary Card. American Express will not provide additional statement credits once the maximum of $100 CAD in cumulative statement credits have been issued for subsequent NEXUS application or renewal fees charged to the same eligible Card within the same four (4) year period even if the original application is rejected. For existing Cardmembers as of September 1, 2021, the first four (4) year period runs from September 1, 2021 until August 31, 2025. For new Cardmembers after September 1, 2021 , the first four (4) year period runs from the initial Card anniversary date until the day before the fourth (4th) Card anniversary date. In either case, each subsequent four (4) year period follows the period that immediately preceded it.
Compared to the new $50 NEXUS credit on the Gold Rewards Card, these $100 credits on the higher-end Amex cards make a lot more sense.
That’s because the NEXUS application or renewal fee is US$50 ($63), so if you charged your NEXUS fee to the Gold Rewards Card, you’d still be on the hook for a small amount after factoring in the exchange rate.
On the other hand, with a $100 NEXUS credit, you’d cover the full amount of one NEXUS application, and you could also get a discount on a second individual’s application too.
Indeed, a few other credit cards in the Canadian market already offer NEXUS credits as a notable card benefit, all of which are in the amount of $100 rather than $50:
|Credit Card||Best Offer||Value|
|65,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass||$1,422||Apply Now|
|25,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass||$1,176||Apply Now|
|Up to 35,000 CIBC Aventura points||$420||Apply Now|
|Up to 60,000 CIBC Aventura points||$306||Apply Now|
If you already hold one of these other cards, then the Platinum Card and Aeroplan Reserve Card’s new $100 NEXUS credits aren’t going to be of much value to you, unless you’re submitting applications for multiple travellers within your household.
Still, it’s a useful new benefit for existing cardholders who don’t hold any of the other products with NEXUS credits.
And in the Platinum Card’s case, it’s another signal that the new Gold Rewards Card is intended as something of a “mini-Platinum Card” with its less appealing NEXUS credit of only half the amount.
Is This the Only Change Coming to the Platinum Card?
With American Express keen to refresh their entire credit card portfolio this year, you might be wondering: “A $100 NEXUS credit on the Platinum Card? Is that it?”
Indeed, ever since the Cobalt Card stole the show by offering 5x MR points that can be transferred to airlines, it has made all of American Express’s other products seem less attractive by comparison.
I’ve shared my thoughts on how the Gold Rewards Card, despite its upcoming changes, still pales in comparison to its electric-blue counterpart.
But even the Platinum Card gets outshone by the Cobalt Card too, with 3x MR points on dining no match for the Cobalt’s 5x MR points on dining and groceries.
After the changes we’ve seen so far, one would expect the Platinum Card might be next in line for some potential changes to set it further apart.
Indeed, based on the timing of the new NEXUS credit being added, it does strike me as merely a matter of convenience for American Express to add NEXUS credits to all of the Gold, Platinum, and Aeroplan Reserve products at around the same time.
I wouldn’t take this as a sign that there are no further changes coming to the Platinum Card; instead, I could see those changes being rolled out a little later down the line, perhaps even in early 2022, with the NEXUS credit being advertised as a “new benefit” when the time comes.
These are much more useful than the $50 credit that’s coming to the Gold Rewards Card, as it’ll actually be enough to cover your entire application or renewal fee.
This is a time of rapid and significant change in the American Express credit card landscape. For the flagship Platinum Card in particular, I certainly don’t expect this update to be the last.