In mid-August 2023, American Express posted information about some upcoming changes to the Canadian-issued American Express Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express. Both cards will have an increase to the annual fee, as well as some changes to the included perks and benefits.
These changes are set to kick in as of September 26, 2023, which leaves just a few more days to pick up either card with a lower annual fee for the first year.
Upcoming Changes to the American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card will see a number of changes that take effect as of September 26, 2023.
The card’s annual fee is set to increase from $699 to $799 (all figures in CAD) per year. If you currently have a Platinum Card, this fee will come into effect on your next card anniversary date after September 26, 2023.
It’ll also cost more to add a supplementary Platinum Card to your account, as the cost is rising to $250 per year from $175. Adding up to two Gold Cards to your account will continue to come at no cost, and $50 per Gold Card thereafter.
To offset the rise in the annual fee, the Platinum Card will have a $200 annual dining credit added as a perk. Note that this is in addition to the $200 annual travel credit that comes with the card.
To use the credit, you’ll have to spend at least $200 in a single transaction at one of the restaurants listed on the American Express website.
Unfortunately, the Canadian website hasn’t been functional since the changes were announced; however, it’s possible to access the dining credit landing page from another country, and then switch the country to Canada to see which restaurants might be eligible.
The dining credit will run per calendar year, and you’ll need to initially enroll for the credit through the Amex Offers dashboard in your account. Once you’re enrolled, it’ll automatically renew for future redemption periods.
The initial enrollment period will be from September 26–December 31, 2023, which means that you should be able to use two $200 annual dining credits within a single annual billing cycle.
Unfortunately, you won’t earn as many American Express Membership Rewards points for your dining purchases, as the earning rate on dining is set to decrease from 3 MR points per dollar spent to 2 MR points per dollar spent.
Going forward, the category earning rates on the Platinum Card will be as follows:
- Earn 2 MR points per dollar spent on dining and travel
- Earn 1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Current cardholders will enjoy the elevated 3 points per dollar spent on dining until October 26, 2023. After that point, the earning rate will drop to 2 points per dollar spent on dining.
Upcoming Changes to the Business Platinum Card from American Express
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is also set to see some changes, which likewise kick in as of September 26, 2023. Some of the changes are printed on the card’s landing page, buried at the end of the terms and conditions, and others were confirmed separately through Amex and through letters sent out to cardholders.
The card’s annual fee is set to increase from $499 to $799. Compared to the personal Platinum Card, whose annual fee will increase by $100, this is a significant jump of $300.
Furthermore, adding Platinum Cards to your account will cost $250 each year, which is an increase of $51 from the current cost of $199 per additional card.
While there aren’t any other published changes on the Amex website, we could confirm through the Amex Chat feature that the card will receive a number of new additions to help offset the increased annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card will soon feature the $200 annual travel credit, which is currently available on the personal version of the card. It appears that the credit will become available to current cardholders as of their next anniversary date, and not as of September 26, 2023.
Cardholders will also benefit from a $100 statement credit for NEXUS applications and renewals every four years. This feature is also currently on the personal version of the card.
Furthermore, cardholders will receive an annual $120 wireless statement credit ($10 per month) from eligible wireless providers, up to $200 in annual statement credits from Dell (enrolment required), and up to $300 in annual statement credits from Indeed (enrolment required).
Lastly, the Business Platinum Card will have mobile device insurance added to its list of coverages.
A Major Shakeup to the Platinum Cards
The upcoming changes to Amex Platinum Cards are a bit of a mixed bag.
For the personal American Express Platinum Card, the new $200 annual dining credit arguably makes up for the $100 increase to the annual fee. If you’re able to make use of the credit each year at one of the 109 restaurants on the list, then the effective annual fee is $399, considering the $200 annual travel credit as well.
On the other hand, the other changes to the card are undoubtedly negative. You’ll have to pay more for adding Platinum Cards to your account, and the earning rate will drop to a less competitive 2 MR points per dollar spent on dining.
It’s worth noting that the American Express Cobalt Card still reigns superior for dining purchases, as it earns 5 MR points per dollar spent.
It’s a similar story with the Business Platinum Card from American Express. At first glance, a $300 increase to the annual fee is quite significant, especially since the other changes to the card aren’t currently published on the Amex website.
However, the addition of the $200 annual travel credit effectively reduces the annual fee to a more reasonable $599, and if you’re able to make use of the other statement credits being added to the card, it goes down from there.
If you don’t have either of the cards already, consider applying prior to September 26, 2023, as you’ll benefit from lower annual fees for the first year for either card.
In the case of the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll also enjoy the $200 annual dining credit for the latter part of 2023, as well as a new one available in early 2024.
Both cards are seeing the annual fee increase to $799, and the cost to add supplementary cardholders is rising to $250, too.
The personal Platinum Card will see a reduced earning rate on dining purchases, as well as the introduction of a $200 annual dining credit. The Business Platinum Card will get the $200 annual travel credit, as well as a handful of other statement credits.
The changes are set to come into effect on September 26, 2023, so be sure to apply for either of the cards before then to take advantage of the lower annual fee for the first year.