American Express Boosts Platinum Benefits

platinumcardNEW YORK — American Express is boosting benefits for its Platinum Card members as it faces increased competition from other credit card companies like Chase’s Sapphire Card.

Beginning Thursday, Platinum Card customers from American Express will receive 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. This is up from the current one point per dollar reward.

The annual membership fee for an Amex Platinum Card is $450 per year. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is free for the first year and $95 in future years. Sapphire Card members get 2x points when purchasing travel with the card.

“Travel is an important part of our Card Members’ lives and it’s becoming even more so for a new generation who are global and drawn to the access, experiences and service that come with American Express Membership,” said Denise Pickett, president, U.S. consumer services for American Express. “Our new travel benefits come just before the busiest travel season and offer valuable rewards to Card Members. You’ll see further enhancements for Platinum and Business Platinum Card Members and new programs that leverage the expanded network of small business merchants who now welcome American Express. We also plan to continue building on the success we’ve had throughout the year in acquiring new customers across all our Card products.”

Business Platinum Card Members can now earn 50% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points through American Express Travel to book a flight with their selected airline. They will also receive this benefit when booking a first or business class ticket with any airline. In addition, Business Platinum Card Members can earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on any purchase of $5,000 or more.

Platinum Card Members and Business Platinum Card Members also have access to American Express’ Global Lounge Collection, which offers entry into the most airport lounges across the globe. With more than 1,000 lounges, in 500 plus cities, across 120 countries and counting, the Global Lounge Collection includes American Express’ award winning Centurion lounge network, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Priority Pass Select, and Airspace Lounges.

Other travel benefits for Platinum Card Members include: a $200 Airline Fee Credit for incidental benefits like baggage, with their selected airline, upgrades to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status and Hilton HHonors Gold Status, complimentary benefits when booking with the FINE HOTELS & RESORTS, access to the Delta Private Jet program, complimentary access to Wi-Fi hotspots provided by Boingo Wireless and a Fee Credit for Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓ program application.