Five secret perks of the American Express Platinum Charge Card

Five secret perks of the American Express Platinum Charge Card

The American Express Platinum Charge Card is loaded with perks – beginning with unlimited Virgin Australia, Delta, Centurion and Plaza Premium airport lounge access, just for starters – but many of the benefits aren’t widely known, let alone mentioned on the AMEX website.

Whether it’s complimentary Star Alliance Gold status, extra elite memberships with hotels and car hire companies, free restaurant meals every time you fly or $700 in yearly travel credits instead of the normal $300, here are just some of the hidden benefits an AMEX Platinum Charge Card can unlock.

1. You can get Star Alliance Gold after just three flights

Merely holding an AMEX Platinum Charge Card gets you boosted to Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status, and while that’s a great perk on its own, it comes with a lesser-known benefit: Star Alliance Gold status through the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program after taking just three flights!

It’s done by linking your Jade-grade Golden Circle membership to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer scheme, which gives you instant KrisFlyer Silver (Star Alliance Silver) status, with a boost to KrisFlyer Gold (Star Alliance Gold) for one year after taking only three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.

This is a one-off boost, not a perpetual Star Alliance Gold card, but with benefits like priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage delivery and a boosted baggage allowance across all Star Alliance airlines – not to mention lounge access over and above that already afforded to AMEX Platinum members – if you were going to take those flights anyway, you may as well Go for Gold!

AusBT guide: How to get Star Alliance Gold status after just three flights

2. Complimentary hotel, car hire, golf and wine club memberships

AMEX does a pretty good job promoting the Hilton Honors Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold and Club Carlson Gold Elite status boosts included with this card, but what you may not realise is that some of these tiers open the door to other elite cards too.

For instance, because Marriott now owns Starwood, you can take your SPG Gold membership, link it with a Marriott Rewards account and get instant Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status too for recognition at hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Marriott – and you don’t lose your SPG Gold card in the process.

Read: Linking your Marriott, Starwood Preferred Guest accounts

On top of the handy Star Alliance Gold trick above, that nifty Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade card also gets you instant Taj InnerCircle Gold status when you link your Shangri-La and Taj Hotels loyalty accounts via the chains’ Warmer Welcomes program, unlocking perks at many Indian hotels.

Read: Shangri-La, Taj Hotels forge loyalty alliance for points, status

Through the American Express website, Platinum cardholders can opt-in for a complimentary Preferred Golf Premium membership as well – providing a free round of golf when staying at participating hotels – and for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status, giving car hire upgrades among other perks.

If that’s not enough, Hertz also extends car hire discounts to AMEX Platinum members, as does AVIS when you join the AVIS Preferred program via the AMEX website, while Langton’s provides Platinum cardholders with a $50 voucher to use towards their first wine purchase.

3. You can literally dine for free at major Australian airports

Included with your Platinum Charge Card is a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which isn’t only great for airport lounge access, but also for dining at a range of Australian airport restaurants which accept Priority Pass cards for dining credit in lieu of lounge access.

You get $36 of food and beverage credit when one ‘lounge entry’ is processed on your account, but as the Priority Pass membership included with AMEX entitles you to one complimentary ‘guest’ with every entry as well, that ups your dining credit to $72 when travelling with another person.

Yes, $72 of free food and drink every time you pass through Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane airports, when travelling with any airline. Just be prepared to show your boarding pass when you order, which helps prevent this benefit from being abused (and taken away).

Read: Priority Pass offers $36 of credit at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane airports

4. You can get a free AMEX Platinum Reserve credit card

By holding the AMEX Platinum Charge Card, you’re eligible to apply for a complimentary AMEX Platinum Reserve credit card too: a card that’s no longer open to the public at large, and with an ongoing waiver of the Reserve’s normal $395 annual fee.

Why take this up? Well for starters, the Platinum Reserve offers its own $400/year travel credit – that’s in addition to the $300 travel credit included with the Platinum Charge Card – so as there’s no extra cost to have the Reserve, that’s $700/year in travel credits all up, which goes a long way to offsetting the Platinum Charge’s own $1,200/year annual fee.

Secondly, the Platinum Reserve card earns points at the same rate as the Platinum Charge Card, but has no points tiering: so while the Platinum Charge Card reduces its earn rate down to one point per $1 spent after 300,000 points have been earned in a year, the Platinum Reserve continues earning three points per dollar at restaurants and two points per dollar on travel charges, uncapped.

Finally, because the Platinum Charge Card is just that – a ‘charge card’ which needs to be repaid in full every month – having the Platinum Reserve credit card attached gives you the flexibility to carry a balance from month to month if you need to: but of course, interest charges do apply.

5. You can get a separate ‘account card’ on your Platinum Charge Card account

Not only can you issue up to four supplementary Platinum Charge Cards to other people – such as giving a card to your partner or spouse, and perhaps any trustworthy children or parents – you can also issue an extra card to yourself, which AMEX calls an ‘account card’.

It’s basically a second card linked to the same account, but with its own unique card number.

Frequent travellers might choose to leave this extra card in their passport wallet to avoid moving their regular card between their ‘everyday’ and ‘overseas’ wallets, while others might use the card to fund any direct debit bill payments, so that if their normal card is ever compromised and needs to be reissued with a new card number, their bill payments will continue as usual, without interruption.

Business owners might also use the account card for their business spend to keep those transactions separate for easy reconciliation, as the monthly statements AMEX provides group purchases by card number – making for easier integration with some accounting programs, too.

If you don't already have an American Express Platinum Charge Card, you can apply for one here.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

32 comments

  • Adam T

    AT

    18 Jan, 2018 06:47 pm

    Chris thanks. I literally learnt today that pay for your phone on the card and gives you $500 screen protection!
    No member give thanks

  • Rohit

    Rohit

    18 Jan, 2018 08:53 pm

    I didnt know about the Reserve credit card and the $400 travel credit. I have been putting off the Charge as I was unable to justify the $1,200 fee, but the Reserve and its benefits makes Charge absolutely worth it.
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    19 Jan, 2018 02:15 pm

    Called Amex today No Platinum Reserve card issued anymore only the Platinum Edge card with $200 travel credit as a free companion to the Amex Platinum Charge card ;-((
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    19 Jan, 2018 02:34 pm

    Call back and try again. ;)
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    19 Jan, 2018 03:20 pm

    Didn't need to 30 min after Amex agent called back and said he'd given me wrong info - team leader should email me application after finishes a meeting
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    19 Jan, 2018 03:34 pm

    Great to hear! Yeah, as this isn't one of the perks that AMEX openly promotes (except a mention in the Platinum Charge welcome pack which most cardholders probably throw out not long after receiving), sometimes the agents need to hunt for the perk in their system. :)

    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    19 Jan, 2018 04:06 pm

    Emailed application back after an email from Amex Hope its approved and issued soon!
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    19 Jan, 2018 04:19 pm

    BTW Already SPG Gold and Hilton Diamond so Charge card bebefit is superfluous for me - but I love the Priority Pass and Amex Lounge/Centurion Lounge benefits (HKG,SFO,LAS,LGA), as wel las the Priority Pass at SYD Domestic T3 Last week "spent" AUD$72 at Bar Roma on niece and I travelling QF SYD-MEL-ADL Better food and more peaceful than QF Domestic Business Lounge at T3 If we had been there earlier perhaps another AUD$72 at the Wok Bar at T3! Hidden benefit of access to LH Senator Lounges at MUC is superfluous as a LH Senator, but great if you are not so you avoid crammed LH Business Lounges aka German "Qantas Clubs"
    No member give thanks

  • Jade Tziavaras

    JadeTZI

    29 Jan, 2018 11:32 am

    Not sure what the travel credit your talking about is on the Charge card, as everytime I ask about this they advise its only available for US card holders. ???
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    29 Jan, 2018 11:51 am

    See here for more information on what it is and how to spend it: it's indeed available to Australian cardholders.
    No member give thanks

  • Jade Tziavaras

    JadeTZI

    29 Jan, 2018 12:14 pm

    Actually sorry Im confusing this card with the Business Amex Plat Charge Card - which for some reason is missing any travel credit perk. Might be worth swapping over...

    No member give thanks

  • visionaire

    visionaire

    29 Jan, 2018 02:40 pm

    Is the SPG Gold for life or do you need to qualify with 10 nights to keep it thereafter?
    I got SPG gold with the Westpac World MasterCard a few years ago, but after 12 months if you don't make 10 nights per year you lose the SPG gold?
    Is it the same with Hilton and Shangdi-La - is that just for one year or for life?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    29 Jan, 2018 03:49 pm

    It's an ongoing arrangement between AMEX and SPG. No need to reach the required number of nights for as long as that arrangement continues.
    No member give thanks

  • Rohit

    Rohit

    2 Feb, 2018 03:50 pm

    Just to clarify, if & when the arrangement between SPG & AmEx ends, to retain Gold with SPG, the requirement is 10 stays (has to be 10 stays of 1 night each) or 25 nights on any no. of stays. 10 nights over less than 10 stays won't cut the mustard.
    No member give thanks

  • 346

    346

    31 Jan, 2018 03:48 pm

    Whats also not mentioned on many write ups about the card is that if you're a member of CPA Australia, the annual fee is discounted to $950.
    Member who gave thanks

    Greg84

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    31 Jan, 2018 04:00 pm

    The affinity CPA Australia American Express Platinum Card is actually a separate product from the regular 'American Express Platinum Card', and has to be specifically applied for instead of the regular card. We don't write about such products because they're only available to a very small number of readers, compared to cards open to the general public.
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    2 Feb, 2018 02:32 pm

    Wow just got my new Platinum Reserve Credit Card in the post Go AMEX!!!! AMEX UEBER ALLES!!!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    2 Feb, 2018 02:43 pm

    Glad it all worked out for you!
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    2 Feb, 2018 03:14 pm

    Thx!!! Will enjoy the weekend and thanks for the reminder!!!
    No member give thanks

  • Jay

    ausJCP

    8 Feb, 2018 11:36 pm

    As an aside, does anyone know if the Australian version of the card produced in metal, like its foreign counterparts?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    9 Feb, 2018 12:11 am

    No, only the invite-only Centurion Card in Australia is made of titanium (and therefore, weighted): the Platinum charge card is plastic.
    No member give thanks

  • Dung Dinh

    betazoid

    7 Jun, 2018 05:11 pm

    Hello Chris and cbourl,

    Im currently on the platinum edge rewards card. I rang AMEX and said to them "Im aware that you dont offer the american express platinum reserve card, but is there any way for a loyal customer like myself being with AMEX for 5 years can somehow upgrade"
    The customer service officer said she will do an escalation. I really like what the american express platinum reserve card has to offer.

    Cbouri, can you explained the process of you getting one when the card was not on the market?

    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    7 Jun, 2018 07:33 pm

    Just asked when I phoned - no problems They actually issued 2 cards so $800 trave lcredit but told them I only wanted 1 card so $400 removed when I asked for the duplicate card to be cancelled

    No Muss No Fuss! Its Amex after all!

    No member give thanks

  • Dung Dinh

    betazoid

    7 Jun, 2018 08:04 pm

    What are the benefits on the card?
    I think the annual fee is $395a year, you will get $400 credit for flights, hotels.
    I also think you get 2 Amex lounge offer a year and 2 priority pass if you travel internationally which is excellent.
    I also think if you go dining out, you get 3 points per $1.

    No member give thanks

  • Dung Dinh

    betazoid

    7 Jun, 2018 08:07 pm

    Oh also I rang pretending to be a new customer wanting to apply for the Amex Platinum reserve - they said there is NO way new customers can apply.
    It is not an option.
    I thinking being on the platinum edge for 5 years they made the effort to make an escalation to management.
    I hope they approve it!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    8 Jun, 2018 12:19 pm

    As covered in the article, the only way to get a new Platinum Reserve card is to be a Platinum Charge Card customer - likely because the Platinum Reserve adopts the same points earning structure as the Platinum Charge, which no other AMEX cards offer any more (3/$1 at restaurants, for example), and the product was discontinued as a standalone card a little while back: so you can't grab the Platinum Reserve instead of the Platinum Charge to save on annual fees while earning the same number of points as the Charge. ;)
    No member give thanks

  • cbourl

    cbourl

    7 Jun, 2018 08:12 pm

    Sorry Its only for Amex PLATINUM CHARGE Card not others!! And its free for Plat Charge Card NO FEE
    No member give thanks

  • Dung Dinh

    betazoid

    7 Jun, 2018 08:14 pm

    Yeah that’s right.
    I wanted the platinum reserve card.
    Even if you google that card nothing comes up.
    Amex Said that card was discontinued late 2016 :(
    No member give thanks

  • Dung Dinh

    betazoid

    8 Jun, 2018 01:29 pm

    Hi Chris,
    AMEX staff raised it as an esculation so fingers cross I will get it.
    I’ll keep you posted.
    I think my history being with them my help
    No member give thanks

  • MR1961

    MR1961

    21 Jul, 2018 09:29 am

    Now that American Express Platinum Charge card will increase its annual fee to $1450, and change some benefits such as increasing the travel benefit from $300 to $450, does anyone know if those of us existing cardholders with the Platinum Reserve Credit Card with $400 travel benefit, will continue to receive both travel credits ?
    No member give thanks

  • Tommy Ng

    ngt

    29 Jul, 2018 09:14 am

    How does credit check work for the charge card. Do they also do a credit check when you get the plat reserve credit card? Ie two credit enquiry?
    No member give thanks

  • bradm30

    bradm30

    6 Aug, 2018 10:49 pm

    I have just recently applied for and received my 1st Platinum Charge card and can confirm it’s made from metal. In the welcome pack it says all Platinum cards issued after 17 July 2018 will be metal type cards.
    No member give thanks

Guest

16 Aug, 2018 01:11 am

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