The American Express Platinum Edge credit card is great mix between points, perks and fees for everyday spenders with no annual fee in the first year, a $200 travel credit every year which offsets the $195 annual fee in future years, bonus points at supermarkets and petrol stations and no limit to how many points you can earn.
What's more, with nine airline frequent flyer partners and two hotel loyalty programs attached to Membership Rewards, you can earn points now and decide what to do with them at a later date for maximum flexibility.
While there's no backup Visa or MasterCard included for those times when American Express isn't accepted, we tend to find AMEX welcome at most major chains, airlines, hotels and more, so it's much less of an issue than it used to be – especially if you're willing to shop around.
American Express Platinum Edge card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: American Express
- Loyalty program: Membership Rewards Ascent (MR)
- MR points earned per A$1 spent: 3 at major supermarkets; 2 at major petrol stations; 0.5 at most insurance, utility and government providers and 1 everywhere else
- 1 MR point = 1 point/mile with: Virgin Australia Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Royal Orchid Plus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hilton HHonors
- 1 MR point = 0.75 miles with: Emirates Skywards
- 1 MR point = $0.01 with: Air New Zealand Airpoints
- 1 MR point = 0.5 Starpoints with: Starwood Preferred Guest
- Points capping/tiering: None
AMEX Platinum Edge: fees, charges and interest
- Annual fee: $195 (waived in the first year)
- Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (up to four)
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
- Interest rate on cash advances: Not offered
- International transaction fee: 3.0%
- Minimum income requirement: $50,000/year
- Minimum credit limit: $3,000
Earning points for free flights: 4/5
With this card in your wallet, you won't need to pile up your points before taking a flight as a $200 travel credit is yours every year to put towards an airfare with the airline of your choosing, or indeed, a hotel stay.
Beyond that, for a simple domestic hop from Sydney to Melbourne, spending $2,600 at major supermarkets, $3,900 at major petrol stations, $15,600 with the half-a-point crowd or $7,800 everywhere else earns enough points for a near-free one-way economy flight when converting your Membership Rewards points across to Virgin Australia Velocity.
With no points cap and nine airline frequent flyer partners plus two hotel chains to choose from, you'll earn points on each and every dollar you spend and can use them to fly practically anywhere that takes your fancy.
Airport lounge access: 1/5
However, like any American Express card, you can stop by the American Express Centurion Lounges in San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York (LaGuardia), Las Vegas, Miami, and soon, Los Angeles at a cost of US$50 per person, per visit.
Insurance and travel perks: 4/5
You're covered by domestic and international travel insurance whenever using either your American Express Platinum Edge card or your Membership Rewards points to book a return trip lasting 180 days or less, up to a maximum of 183 total travel days per year.
(There's no cover if you transfer your MR points to an airline frequent flyer program and book your trip via that program – the booking needs to be made directly via MR to qualify.)
That's great in one respect as it's rare for complimentary credit card insurance to cover domestic jaunts, but makes it impossible to qualify for when booking travel using airline frequent flyer points, which can often present a better redemption value.
Likely of more use is extended warranty cover when buying selected new appliances with the card, plus purchase and refund protections.
AMEX Platinum Edge card: how it compares
On the surface, the AMEX Platinum Edge card doesn't deliver as many airline frequent flyer points per dollar on everyday spend as you'd earn via some other AMEX cards, but still offers great value.
For starters, the card well and truly pays for itself after the first year through the $200 annual travel credit and has no points capping or tiering, so every dollar you spend earns points at the full rate.
Beyond that are bonus points on supermarket and petrol purchases which could prove a great earner for larger households, or savvy spenders who buy non-supermarket gift cards from Coles and Woolworths, such as for JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Bunnings, to earn extra points on a broader range of purchases.
Missing are bonus points when booking flights, travelling overseas or dining out at restaurants, but for a great 'everyday' card, we daresay the Platinum Edge provides even more value than AMEX's line-up of always-no-fee cards, provided you put the travel credit to good use!