How Does Each New American Express Platinum Card Benefit Work?

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The American Express Platinum Card is definitely the center of attention this week in the miles and points community. 

American Express made a decision to add new benefits to the consumer Platinum Card and increased the annual fee from $550 to $695. That’s an increase of $145 annually. Whether this card is going to be worth keeping or not going forward, that’s completely up to you on how you value each benefit that this card has to offer you.
Please note that the change only applies to the consumer version of the Platinum Card. The annual fee on the American Express Business Platinum Card is still the same at this time though Amex also added a $179 CLEAR statement credit benefit to the business version Platinum Card as well. 
How Does Each New American Express Platinum Card Benefit Work?
American Express Platinum Card Now Offers CLEAR Membership Credit
American Express added the following NEW benefits to the American Express Platinum Card along with increasing the annual fee on the card:
  • The card’s annual fee is going from $550 to $695 – a $145 increase. 
  • Annual $200 Hotel Credit
  • Annual $179 CLEAR Credit
  • Annual $300 Equinox Credit ($25 statement credit per month)
  • Annual $240 Digital Entertainment Credit ($20 statement credit per month)
American Express advertised the value that you can get is over $1,400 in value annually from this change plus the existing statement credits benefits.

New Annual Fee $695

With the new benefits, the American Express Platinum Card now has a new annual fee of $695. This new fee is in effect upon your next card renewal on or after January 1st, 2022

$200 Hotel Credit

You get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings through Amex Travel. This benefit is similar to Citi’s $100 Hotel Credit, except that you are limited to only Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection programs. These programs offer good on-property perks that range from complimentary daily breakfast, room upgrades to hotel credits that vary based on the property and availability. 
Moreover, the hotel booking has to be prepaid to receive the credit. What this really means is that you pay upfront at the time of reservation. It does not mean that you cannot cancel or change the reservation later on. All bookings are subject to a cancellation policy that’s set by each hotel property. 
Keep in mind also, American Express Platinum Card allows you to earn 5x American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar spent on Amex Travel.

$179 CLEAR Credit 

CLEAR is another travel program that offers expedited security screening at select airports and stadiums across the United States. It costs $179 per year to get CLEAR membership. Therefore, if you use your American Express Platinum Card to pay for CLEAR’s annual membership fee, you’ll receive $179 in statement credit back from American Express. 

$300 Equinox Credit 

To be honest, I never heard of this Equinox before until today! Apparently, it’s formerly known as the Variis by Equinox! It’s a fitness app that you can join and become a member by paying for their membership access fees. 
You receive up to $300 in statement credits by enrolling and using your American Express Platinum Card to get a $25 statement credit back each month on select Equinox memberships or Equinox+. The Equinox+ fitness app costs $39.99 per month and more for the Equinox All Access, etc. So the Amex Equinox $25 statement credit does not even cover the full Equinox membership fees! 

$240 Digital Entertainment Credit

You get $20 in statement credits each month (up to $240 annually) when you pay for eligible purchases with your American Express Platinum Card for the following digital entertainment subscriptions and services: 
  • Peacock 
  • Audible 
  • SiriusXM 
  • The New York Times 

Existing & Continuing Credits Benefits

The following statement credits benefits will remain with the new $695 annual fee American Express Platinum Card
  • $200 Amex Airline Fee Statement Credit
  • $200 Amex Uber Credits
  • $100 Amex Saks Fifth Avenue Statement Credits 
  • $100 Global Entry (GE) or $85 TSA-PreCheck Credits 

My Two Cents

On the surface, the new benefits that American Express added to the new $695 annual fee American Express Platinum Card offers a significant amount in annual credits. If you are already paying for those subscriptions and services, these new and existing credits benefits indeed will offer you amazing values over $1,400 annually. 
However, for me personally, I can’t see myself using all these services. As I mentioned above, I never heard of the Equinox fitness app before and Amex credits don’t even cover the full membership cost of it. That’s out for me! The $200 hotel credit to me is something that I am not sure about because I rarely book Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection through Amex Travel. 
On the other hand, I love the $179 CLEAR credit because you’ll find more premium travel credit cards out there that offer Global Entry (GE) or TSA-PreCheck credits, but not CLEAR credit. I am sure I will be able to use the annual $240 Digital Entertainment Credit one way or another! I am also glad that the $200 Amex Airline Fee Statement Credit and the $200 Amex Uber Credits along with the $100 Global Entry (GE) or $85 TSA-PreCheck credits still remain parts of the consumer Platinum Card’s benefits. 

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