Why Now Might Be the Best Time to Get an Amex Platinum or Gold Card

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Why Now Might Be the Best Time to Get an Amex Platinum or Gold Card

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With most travel clouded by uncertainty thanks to COVID-19, this headline may seem odd. But the great travel pause of 2020 has been a chance for travelers to reset and pile up points and miles to fuel their future travels.

And if you ask us, there's never been a better time to pick up either The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card. The Platinum card is widely considered one of the best travel credit cards thanks to an amazing array of travel perks and benefits. The Gold Card, meanwhile, is one of the best all-around credit cards, period.

But both cards are out with some of the biggest welcome bonuses we've ever seen – not to give it all away, but you can earn 225,000 points or more on one of these cards. And to top it off, you can currently squeeze a ton of extra value out of these cards thanks to credits that can help zero out their annual fees.

Not sure which card is right for you? Read our matchup between the top Amex Cards!


The Biggest Bonuses Ever

This is a time to earn and not burn points. And it doesn't get any better than this.

You can currently earn at least 80,000 American Express points after spending $6,000 within the first six months.

Thrifty Tip: You may be able to get an even bigger welcome bonus by searching for the Amex Platinum in an incognito browser – or even 150,000 points via a targeted CardMatch offer! If not, we appreciate it if you apply through our links.

Amex points never expire so long as you keep a Membership Rewards card open! Read our guide to see how you can use a big Amex bonus to unlock some amazing travel for 2021 and beyond.

But it gets even better. In addition to that bigger welcome bonus, you’ll also earn 10x points for every dollar you spend at both gas stations and at supermarkets in the U.S. on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the first six months of card membership! That’s the most lucrative bonus you’ll find for spending at supermarkets or gas stations.

Add that up, and you can earn a total of 225,000 to 275,000 points on this credit card. That's one of the biggest offers on any travel credit card. And it's more than enough points for many to justify the card's $550 annual fee.

Read our full review of the Amex Platinum card!


Escape Lounge Sacramento


Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express. 


But it's not just the Platinum card out with a bigger bonus. You can currently earn 60,000 points on the Amex Gold Card after spending $4,000 within six months. That's nearly double the standard 35,000-point bonus, and you've got twice as long to meet the minimum spending requirement (terms apply). You can also see if you're targeted for an even better 75,000-point bonus via CardMatch!

To top it off, you'll always earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants all around the world. It's one of the best credit cards for your weekly groceries or dining out. And that's what makes it one of the best all-around credit cards for any traveler – and why it's fairly easy to stomach the card's $250 annual fee.
Read our review of the Gold card!


Amex Gold Card 1


Click Here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card. 


Double Dip on Valuable Credits

A big points bonus is one thing. But you can squeeze even more value out of these cards thanks to credits that cover select travel expenses, Uber rides or Uber Eats orders, shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and more.

And by applying now, you can get even more out of them. Some of these credits come in monthly installments, while the $200 airline fee credits on the Platinum Card ($100 on the Gold Card) reset each calendar year.

That means you could use up 2020 airline credits before the year ends, then use up another airline credit for 2021 all before paying another annual fee to renew the card, if you choose to. That's an easy way to zero out the card's annual fee in the first place. Read our guide to maximizing these airline credits. 

Let's crunch some numbers quick, starting with the Platinum Card:

  • $200 in airline fee credits for 2020, plus another $200 for 2021 = $400 through next December
  • $15 in monthly Uber credits (plus $35 for December) = $200 through next December
  • $50 shopping credits for Saks Fifth Avenue every six months = $150 through next December
  • Up to $20 credits for streaming services and U.S. wireless phone providers through December 2020 = another $40

Maximize each and every one of these credits, and you can pull in $790 in savings. You don't have to be a math whiz to figure out that outweighs the card's $550 annual fee – and that's before even factoring in the bonus points you'll earn.


amex points


The Gold Card doesn't have quite as many credits, but it's still easy enough to double-dip and more than offset the card's $250 annual fee.

  • $100 in annual airline fee credits = $200 through next December
  • $10 in monthly Uber or Uber eats credits starting in January 2021 = $120 through next December
  • $10 in monthly credits for Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Boxed & participating Shake Shack locations = $120 through next December

Once again, that adds up to $440 in savings – more than the card's annual fee. And while American Express is phasing out the airline credits on the Gold Card, it won't do so until 2022. That means you can get two $100 annual credits plus the new monthly credits for Uber Eats starting in January 2021.


Bottom Line

It may seem counterintuitive to pick up a premium travel credit card at a time when you're not traveling.

But if you've got the ability to responsibly earn record sign-up bonuses and can maximize the money-saving credits, the math is obvious. This is an opportunity to earn a huge stash of points we may not see again.


Escape Lounge Sacramento


Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express. 


Amex Gold Card 1


Click Here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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