There are several different flavors of The Platinum® Card from American Express for consumers to choose from, and a co-branded version from a brokerage firm just rolled out a bigger welcome bonus.
New applicants for The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley (yes, that's its name – what a mouthful) can now earn 125,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. That's up from the standard 80,000-point bonus and it's even more generous considering Amex raised the spending requirement to earn the bonus on a standard Platinum Card last month.
Just remember: Credit cards are serious business. Even with a smaller spending requirement, $6,000 is no small amount – no matter how many points you can earn.
But if you can earn this bonus responsibly, you'll need to act fast – this limited-time offer is only available through Nov. 8!
The Morgan Stanley version of the Amex Platinum Card comes with all the same great travel perks and money-saving statement credits that you get with the regular Platinum Card. But a few things could make it even better for you:
- The Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum allows you to add one additional Platinum Card user to your account for free, while that now costs $195 apiece on the standard Platinum Card after a recent increase. That makes it much cheaper to share travel benefits like lounge access with a friend or family member.
- Morgan Stanley Platinum cardholders also have the ability to “cash out” their rewards points – 1 point gets you 1 cent (50,000 points are worth $500) – by transferring to a linked Morgan Stanley brokerage account. It adds to the long list of ways to use Membership Rewards including for something other than travel … but where's the fun in that?
Not just anyone can apply, though: You need to be a Morgan Stanley client first, so keep reading for a full breakdown. If you're not up to it, you can also check to see if you're eligible for an even better, 150,000-point offer on the regular version of The Platinum Card through CardMatch.
Read on for everything you need to know about this exciting new offer on the Morgan Stanley Platinum Card.
The Platinum Card for Morgan Stanley Card Overview
If you're already familiar with The Platinum Card from American Express, the Morgan Stanley version will be quite familiar. In fact, there aren't any perks or benefits that the standard Amex Platinum has that the Morgan Stanley Platinum lacks.
The biggest difference between the two versions is that the Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum comes includes one authorized user Platinum Card for no additional cost. That's in stark contrast to the other versions of the Amex Platinum Card, which charge $195 per additional Platinum Card.
That's a big deal for travelers who want to share lounge access. Additional card members get their own complimentary access to airport lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounges and the Delta Sky Clubs. If you and a spouse or significant other frequently travel together, that could save you $50 or more each time you visit one of these lounges.
Authorized users also get instant hotel elite status with Marriott and Hilton. As well as their own TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit – a must have for any traveler looking to get through the airport stress free.
Finally, the Morgan Stanley version of the Amex Platinum Card offers cardholders the ability to cash out their Membership Rewards at a rate of 1 cent per point (10,000 points = $100). This is in stark contrast to the regular version of the Platinum Card which offers an abysmal .6 cents per point (10,000 points = $60).
Here's a full look at the card's benefits:
- Welcome offer: Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in purchases on your Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley in your first six months of Card Membership. This limited-time welcome offer expires on Nov. 8, 2023!
- Earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airlines or American Express Travel.
- Earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- Earn 1x Membership Rewards points per dollar on all other purchases.
- Complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection: Including Delta Sky Clubs, Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, and many more.
- Get up to $100 in statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years. Membership in either program is good for five years.
- Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings.
- Get up to $200 in statement credits for airline incidentals.
- Get up to $20 in statement credits each month for select streaming services.
- Get up to $200 in Uber Cash each year. You get $15 to use each month, with an additional $20 in December ($35 total in December).
- Get up to $189 in statement credit for enrolling in CLEAR Plus.
- Get up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually (up to $100 each year) for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue
- Transfer Membership Rewards to your eligible brokerage account at a rate of one Membership Reward to one cent (For example, 50,000 points = $500).
- Plus, get additional statement credits and travel benefits.
- Authorized user fee: Add one additional Platinum Card for no annual fee. The annual fee for each additional authorized user is $195.
- Annual fee: $695 (see rates & fees)
All information about The Platinum Card for Morgan Stanley has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler.
How to Open a Morgan Stanley Account
It's not as daunting as it sounds.
The simplest option for becoming a Morgan Stanley client would be to open a Premier CashPlus account. The Premier CashPlus account comes with a $15 per month fee, though that's waived if you keep an average daily cash balance of $25,000 or make monthly deposits of $2,500 or more. Think of it as alternative to a standard checking account and it also offers ATM fee rebates worldwide.
Really, it's similar to the similar to the incredibly popular Investor Checking account from Charles Schwab – another great option for withdrawing cash while traveling abroad.
Alternatively, you could open a Platinum CashPlus account with the brokerage firm. It's got a higher, $55 per month fee but some added perks – one of which is extremely relevant to the Morgan Stanley Amex Platinum Card. Plus, you can avoid that service fee by depositing $5,000 or more each month and keeping an average daily cash balance of $25,000.
While the requirements for keeping a Platinum CashPlus account fee-free are higher, a key benefit to this account is that it comes with a $695 Annual Engagement benefit for having both the Platinum CashPlus account and The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley.
That essentially wipes away the card's annual fee. And even if you weren't able to get the $55 monthly fee waived, you'd still come out ahead by only paying $660 in account fees over the course of the year rather than the card's $695 annual fee.
In addition to the $695 annual engagement bonus on the Platinum Card, the Platinum CashPlus account also comes with identity and credit protection from Experian, a complimentary membership to the GreenLight app, and a debit card for families. The GreenLight app helps parents manage their kid's spending, pay allowances, and assign chores for additional earnings.
In order to open either of these Morgan Stanley brokerage accounts, you'll need to call in or find a local financial advisor or branch to help. It can't be done online without an existing Morgan Stanley account relationship.
Is This the Best Offer for You?
While earning a 125,000-point bonus is nothing to scoff at, the barrier to entry is high.
For those who aren't already Morgan Stanley clients or simply don't want to jump through the extra hoops, it's not even an option. That said, the limited-time bonus combined with the benefit of being able to add an additional Platinum Card for free make this an appealing choice.
But it's not the only choice – or even the current best offer.
After raising the spending requirement on the standard issue Platinum Card, more and more customers are still being targeted for a much better offer: 150,000 points via CardMatch after spending $8,000 in the first six months. Others can get an identical welcome bonus via personal referral links from friends or family.
It may be hard for many travelers to justify the Platinum Card's $695 annual fee (see rates & fees). But for new applicants, earning 150,000 points right off the bat – not to mention a full year of unlimited Delta Sky Club access, among countless other Amex Platinum benefits – makes it far easier to stomach so long as you can responsibly meet the spending requirements.
Not everyone will be targeted for this massive welcome offer, but no hard credit pull is necessary to see if you qualify. Just enter your details at CardMatch and see what comes up! Your credit score will not be impacted by checking your available offers.
The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley is out with a limited-time offer for new applicants to earn 125,000 points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of opening the card.
On top of that, the Morgan Stanley version of The Platinum Card comes with some added perks like a free authorized user and gives cardholders the ability to cash out Membership Rewards at a rate of one cent per point.
If this all sounds great, the big catch is that you'll need to first be a Morgan Stanley client in order to apply – and that's no small task.