For those who use Air Miles as their primary travel currency of choice (which we don’t recommend), the earning structure on the American Express Air Miles Platinum Card is quite decent.
Otherwise, we recommend signing up solely for the welcome offer.
Bonuses & Fees
The American Express Air Miles Platinum Card currently offers 2,000 Air Miles miles as a signup bonus, upon spending $1,500 in the first three months.
The card has an annual fee of $120, which is a decent deal for earning 2,000 Air Miles. We generally value Air Miles at around 15 cents/mile (providing that you choose to earn Dream Rewards instead of Cash Rewards), making this offer worth $300 in our books – $180 once you net against the annual fee.
You can also earn a referral bonus of 500 Air Miles for every friend or family member you refer to this card. Supplementary cards are free.
This card doesn’t offer much in terms of perks beyond the standard American Express benefits, although we’ve seen a few Air Miles Shop the Block offers involving the co-branded cards before, and applying for this card can be an easy way to complete one of those offers.
The Amex Air Miles Platinum Card allows you to earn 1 Air Mile for every $5 spent on eligible food & drinks and eligible gas & transit in Canada, up to a maximum limit of $30,000 per year.
Meanwhile, all other purchases earn at a rate of 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent.
When comparing this earning rate to other cards, it is not very competitive against a more valuable currency such as Amex Membership Rewards points.
For example, if you were spending $5 at a grocery store, gas station, or drugstore, earning 10 MR points on the Amex Gold Rewards Card instead of 1 Air Mile is preferable. If you were to spend $10 on a non-bonus category, earning 13 MR points on the Amex Business Platinum instead of 1 Air Mile is also a better option.
It can be a good idea to use the card for purchases when there are bonus offers involved, such as during a Shop the Block or Air Miles Mega Miles event, but otherwise we’d recommend getting this card solely for the signup bonus and using other cards for your purchases.
Compared to other loyalty programs, it can be relatively tough to plan an Air Miles redemption properly due to the lack of a formal award chart, varying prices, and constantly changing availability.
There are two categories you can choose your Air Miles to go in to, and these cannot be retroactively changed: Cash Miles and Dream Miles.
Cash Rewards are typically redeemed at the point of sale in participating stores, but can also be redeemed online for vouchers. The value is fixed at 95 miles = $10; however, certain stores often have special redemption offers where they give you bonus Air Miles simply for redeeming your existing ones.
In the Dream category, Air Miles allows redemptions for a few different travel options, including flights, hotels, and car rentals.
The absolute best redemption value is for round-trip last-minute flights within North America, where the cash price will be ridiculously high and the number of miles required remains fairly reasonable, allowing you to extract value up to 40cpm.
Perks & Benefits
The American Express Air Miles Platinum Card has no perks or benefits to speak of.
Unfortunately, the insurance package on the Amex Air Miles Platinum Card is pretty lacklustre. The only notable insurance would be the Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, which would cover any car rentals redeemed with your Air Miles, as long as the taxes and fees are charged to the card.
The card also offers $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance in case of accidental death or dismemberment, but it otherwise lacks the key insurance provisions offered by other travel cards in the market, such as emergency medical insurance and coverage for delayed flights or baggage.