The American Express Platinum Card has traditionally been one of the most powerful travel rewards credit cards in Canada, although its welcome bonus has been sitting at a depressed level since May 2020.
For a brief period earlier this month, we saw some targeted offers for 60,000 MR points appear for the Platinum Card – but only a portion of users were able to pull up the offer, while everyone else continued to see the old offer of 25,000 MR points.
Today, American Express has officially restored the Platinum Card to its rightful place among Canada’s most powerful points-earning credit cards, with a welcome bonus of 60,000 MR points through the refer-a-friend channel just like the old days.
60,000 MR Points via a Referral Link
For many years before 2020, the American Express Platinum Card had traditionally offered 60,000 MR points when signing up via a referral link, associated with a minimum spend of $5,000 in the first three months.
Sadly, the welcome bonus was scaled down to 25,000 MR points at the height of the pandemic in May 2020 – especially with a “Double Rewards” promotion on the Platinum Card that appeared to be more costly than originally anticipated.
Now, after 10 long months, the Platinum Card’s welcome bonus has now been restored to back to 60,000 MR points, again with the same minimum spending requirement that we’re used to seeing from before: $5,000 in the first three months.
At the same time, the referral bonus for existing cardholders has also been increased.
Since May 2020, the Platinum Card had offered only a measly 5,000 MR points as a referral bonus. That’s now been bumped up to 10,000 MR points per approved referral, up to a maximum of 225,000 MR points in a calendar year.
Altogether, if you’re accumulating points in two-player mode or more, and you applied for the Platinum Card through your friend, family member, or fellow points collector’s referral link, then the total household gain would amount to a very impressive 75,000 MR points after you factor in the points earned on the minimum spending.
Note that the publicly advertised offer on the Platinum Card (outside of the refer-a-friend channel) continues to display a targeted offer for 60,000 MR points, as we had witnessed in early March.
That’s equivalent to what you’d earn by using a referral, so always consider using a refer-a-friend link if possible in order to maximize the collective gains.
Amex Platinum Card: Perks & Benefits
Over the years, I’ve written extensively about the many benefits on the Amex Platinum Card, and why the $699 annual fee may appear intimidating at first glance, but is actually more than offset by all of the benefits of getting the card.
First off, the $200 annual travel credit on the Platinum Card, which you get once every card membership year, effectively offsets against the $699 annual fee since it’s easily redeemable on any form of travel.
Therefore, in Miles & Points circles, we generally think of the Platinum Card as having an “effective” annual fee of $499.
The signup bonus of 60,000 MR points could definitely justify that effective annual fee on its own. I value American Express MR points at roughly 2.1 cents apiece, which pegs the offer of 60,000 MR points at a cool $1,260.
You could transfer the 60,000 MR points to Aeroplan and have enough miles for a one-way flight in business class from North America to either Europe or Asia, or transfer the points to British Airways Avios for two round-trip flights between Toronto and Dublin in economy class.
In addition, the Platinum Card offers a “3-2-1” tiered points earning structure, in which you earn:
- 3 MR points per dollar spent on dining
- 2 MR points per dollar spent on travel
- 1 MR point per dollar spent on everything else
It’s definitely one of the stronger earn rates among all Canadian credit cards – although it should be noted that you could replicate somewhat similar results by holding onto a mix of the American Express Cobalt Card (which earns 5 MR Select points per dollar spent on eats and drinks) and the American Express Gold Rewards Card (which also earns 2 MR points per dollar spent on travel) instead.
In my view, the Platinum Card’s premium travel benefits is what really moves the needle and makes it a card that everyone should consider holding at some point.
You’ll get an unlimited Priority Pass Select membership, which grants complimentary access for yourself and one guest to 1,000+ Priority Pass lounges around the world, in addition to several other lounge networks like Plaza Premium Lounges, Centurion Lounges, and the international Amex-branded lounges.
Furthermore, the Platinum Card confers instant elite status levels in Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite), Hilton Honors (Gold Elite), Radisson Rewards (Gold Elite), and – until March 31, 2021 – Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade).
Throw in the comprehensive travel insurance coverage, Platinum Concierge access, and the clang-clang-clang of whipping out a metal card and tossing it on the table, and you can see why the Platinum Card is a favourite product among frequent travellers.
After 10 months of offering a pitiful 25,000 MR points, it’s great to see the American Express Platinum Card returning to its former glories of 60,000 MR points – initially on a targeted basis at the beginning of March, and now officially rolled out to refer-a-friend channels.
If you’ve been thinking of picking up a Platinum Card for the wealth of travel benefits (like the $200 travel credit, the unlimited Priority Pass access, and the hotel status), then now’s as good a time to apply as any!