Sunday, May 15, 2016

Amex Platinum Is All About Valuable Perks — 10 Things To Do The Minute You Get Your Card

A couple of days ago, the internet — and, more specifically, points and miles hobbyists — were shocked to see an offer for the Amex Platinum of 100,000 points after $3,000 in spend in the first three months. The normal sign-up bonus for the card is 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and while we’ve seen this 100,000-point sign-up bonus before, they don’t come around very often. So, this was a great chance for anyone who’d been eyeing the card to jump at the increased sign-up bonus opportunity for the short time it was around.
If you were able to take advantage and got approved for the Amex Platinum, congratulations! The card is one of the premier travel rewards credit cards out there, and with it, you’ll be able to take advantage of new perks that you might not have had before, like Centurion Lounge access, free Boingo Wi-Fi, a concierge service and so much more. While the $450 annual fee may seem a bit hefty, the benefits that come with the card far outweigh that fee.
Now that you have the card, there are a few things you should set up to begin taking advantage of all of its perks. Read on for a list of 10 things I think you should take advantage of as soon as your new Platinum card arrives in the mail.
1. Select the Airline for Your Annual $200 Fee Credit

You can use your $200 airline fee credit toward baggage fees.
One of the best perks of the Amex Platinum card is its annual $200 airline fee credit for one airline — since you get this credit every calendar year, you can use it twice during your first year as a member, giving you a $400 return in the first 365 days. The credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more. Technically, you can’t purchase tickets or use the credit for award taxes/fees; however, depending on how the airline codes your purchase, you may get reimbursed. Note that while you’re technically limited to the airline you select for the entire calendar year, reports indicate that you might be able to change your selection by contacting customer service. You can choose your airline on the Amex website.
2. Request Gold Status from Starwood and Hilton

Stay at the Westin Grand Cayman with your complimentary SPG Gold status.
Stay at the Westin Grand Cayman with your complimentary SPG Gold status.
You have to manually enroll with each chain in order to get the benefits of Gold status from SPG and Hilton HHonors. That being said, it’s not that difficult to do. You can get your SPG Gold status by enrolling on the Amex site, and you can get Hilton HHonors Gold by doing the same. You’ll get some solid perks from each — we value SPG Gold status around $545 and Hilton HHonors Gold status around $1,310, assuming you spend a certain number of nights at each chain’s hotels.
3. Sign up for Global Entry (and TSA PreCheck)

If you don’t already have Global Entry, sign up now with your Platinum credit.
The TSA is telling travelers that wait times for airport security will be very long this summer — so much so that airlines are speaking out against the TSA because people are missing their flights. So, now’s a better time than ever to sign up for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Once you have Global Entry, you automatically get TSA PreCheck, so that’s your best option. When you sign up for Global Entry with your new Amex Platinum card, you’ll get a credit to your account to cover the cost once every five years. This is a perk you’ll definitely want to take advantage of as soon as possible.
4. Get Your Car Rental Program Elite Status

Get complimentary Avis Preferred status in time for your next car rental.
In addition to Gold Hilton HHonors and SPG elite status, you’ll also get status with several car rental programs when you enroll. You’ll get Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status. You’ll need to enroll for these benefits, and you can do so on the Amex website.
5. Register for Free Boingo Wi-Fi

Business Platinum benefits now include unlimited Boingo WiFi.
You’ll now have access to complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices.
One of the worst parts of being stuck at the airport is having to pay for Wi-Fi. With your Amex Platinum, you can get complimentary access to the Boingo Preferred Plan, which includes unlimited access to Wi-Fi hotspots at more than 1,000,000 locations worldwide. You can sync this access with up to four devices. To get this benefit, you’ll need to register on the Amex website.
6. Sign up for Free Two-Day Shipping with ShopRunner

Use ShopRUnner
Use ShopRunner for free two-day shipping.
ShopRunner gives you free two-day shipping and free return shipping on eligible items at participating online stores. This is a nice benefit if you have your eyes on something and want to get it within two days especially because expedited shipping can be quite expensive, so this is a valuable perk. You must purchase using your Amex Platinum card. To use this service, go to ShopRunner’s Amex site.
7. Book 5-star Hotels Through Amex FHR

The entrance to the St. Regis New York, the flagship property for the brand. Image courtesy of SPG.
The St. Regis New York is a property with Amex FHR.
This perk is only available to Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion cardholders. The Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program gives you benefits at a selection of top international hotels and other participating properties. Benefits include noon check-out (when available), room upgrade (when available), daily breakfast for two people, complimentary Wi-Fi, guaranteed 4:00pm late checkout and, at select properties, a third or fourth night for free. You can search for FHR properties on the Amex website.
8. Contact the Platinum Concierge for Travel Arrangements and Reservations

Make use of
Make use of your new concierge service.
Booking your own reservations can be a large, and somewhat daunting, task, especially at high-demand restaurants and events. As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you have access to a special phone service that can assist you in booking high-demand restaurants and events, as well as finding a perfect dinner spot or even delivering items on demand. You’ll need to call to activate this benefit, and make sure you sign up for texting when you do so to make things more convenient.
9. Carry Your Card When You Travel

Amex Centurion Lounge Las Vegas
Use your card when your travel to access Centurion Lounges, like at Las Vegas (LAS).
The Amex Platinum is a premier travel rewards credit card for a reason — it gives you some great benefits. For that reason, you should always carry your Platinum card with you when you travel. One of the greatest travel perks is lounge access, and with the card, you’ll get access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky ClubsAirspace Lounges and Priority Pass lounges as well (get your membership card here). You can use the card for purchases when you’re abroad, too, as there are no foreign transaction fees. There’s also dispute resolution, purchase and return protection, baggage insurance plan and extended warranty coverage.
10. Add up to Three Authorized Users

Your authorized users will also get complimentary SPG Gold status to stay at the Sheraton Taipei.
Your authorized users will also get complimentary SPG Gold status so they can stay at properties like the Sheraton Grand Taipei.
With your new Amex Platinum card, you can add up to three authorized users to your account for a total of $175 per year, but that can really help you maximize the value you’re already getting from being a cardholder. Authorized users can get lounge access, the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, SPG and Hilton Gold status, Boingo Wi-Fi access, Amex FHR benefits and more.
Bottom Line
The Amex Platinum can be tremendously valuable for frequent travelers, and if you were able to take advantage of its increased sign-up bonus for the short time it was around, there are some benefits you should start using right away. From getting an annual airline fee credit to additional perks like complimentary Global Entry and SPG and Hilton HHonors Gold status, it’s easy to get a lot of value from the card and its annual fee.
If you weren’t able to take advantage of the 100,000-point sign-up bonus but are still thinking about signing up for the card, you can still sign up for the Amex Platinum with a 40,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You’ll get all the benefits outlined above, making this card well worth the $450 annual fee that comes with it.

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