When it comes to the top credit card providers, most individuals will tell you there’s nothing like American Express. Unfortunately, some people might miss out on these benefits due to annual fees inspite.
Some of these fees sit at around $95 annually, but then there is the American Express Platinum Card. The card, which is seen as one of the top credit cards available to those with exceptional credit, comes with a lofty annual fee of $550. The fee might seem high, but for military members and their families, the fee can be waved.
The Service Members Civil Rights Act
The Service Members Civil Rights Act (SCRA) is an under the radar act you need to pay attention to as it gives you access to a number of financial saving opportunities. The SCRA provides both active duty military members and their spouses access to lower interest rate loans and help with other monetary issues. American Express works within this act and takes it a step further by waiving the annual fee.
The $550 is naturally the largest fee you can have waived, but there are other credit and charge cards offered by the company you may want to consider. So, if you’re in the market for a new credit card, it is a good idea to not simply apply for the Platinum Card (which although AMEX will waive the fee it does not guarantee approval for the card), but to look at the other credit cards that may give you the kind of benefits you’re interested in.
Why The American Express Platinum Card
First, why would you want to apply for the Platinum Card by American Express? Now, there are individuals out there who are paying the $550 fee, so there must be something attached to it beyond the status symbol of pulling out a Platinum Card, right?
Yes, there are a number of benefits and perks to the AMEX Platinum Card. If you travel, this is an excellent credit card. First, it waives international fees that most credit card charge. It also grants you access to thousands of airport lounges around the world. It also has a special concierge service dedicated to Platinum Card holders, so if you need help booking any kind of travel, this service is at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
One of the best perks connected to the card is the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Through this program American Express has teamed with some of the top hotels around the world. When you book one of these hotels through the AMEX travel website you will receive an automatic room upgrade (when available, although unless you’re traveling during the holidays there will almost always be an available upgrade), plus an added perk, such as free $100 worth of food and drinks at the hotel, or $150 in spa services (as an example).
The Platinum Card will cover up to $200 worth of airline related fees, such as baggage charges, in-flight refreshments and other associated purchases. You also receive the same amount in Uber credits, although it is broken down into $15 per month, plus additional money for December.
When you add it all up, there is a reason why those who love to travel select the Platinum card, as you get far more out of it than you pay in annual fees.
Additional Credit Cards
Now, maybe you’re not interested in the Platinum card, or you want a way to earn more rewards (while the Platinum card is loaded with perks, outside of getting five times the reward points for travel purchases, it doesn’t earn rewards quickly).
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is great when you just want to earn cash back. You receive 6% cash back for the first $6,000 spent at supermarkets, and 3% back at gas stations. One of the newest rewards includes 6% back on select US Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, HBO, and more). Plus, as a military member, the $95 annual fee is waived.
The American Express Gold Card has an annual fee of $250 that is waived for you. It doesn’t have as many perks as the Platinum card, but you do earn more reward points (four times the reward points on restaurants and supermarkets). You also have a $100 airline fee credit.
Beyond this, there are a number of product specific cards, such as ones for Delta or Hilton Hotels, which help you earn rewards faster with these service providers (speaking of Hilton, as a Platinum card member you will receive automatic Gold Tier status in the reward program).
Some of the other credit cards include:
- American Express Cash Magnet
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards
- Learn more about this card
- The Plum Card
- Business owner? Pay early and get a 1.5% discount with no cap on what you can earn back.
- Learn more about this card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles
- Love to travel? Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases
- Learn more about earning miles on your purchases
Take Advantage Of Your Waiver Perks
American Express goes above and beyond what it needs to do when assisting military members and their spouses. So if you are shopping around for a new credit card, make sure to consider AMEX.