0 min left

American Express Adds Platinum Benefits with $695 Annual Fee

American Express Centurion Lounge Bar

The long-rumored annual fee increase for The Platinum Card for American Express is finally here. For a $695 annual fee, cardholders can access what the institution claims is up to $1,400 in benefits, including streaming credits and CLEAR membership.

After months of rumors, American Express confirmed the concerns of many travelers: The annual fee of their premier product, The Platinum Card from American Express, has increased to $695. In a press release, the financial institution justified the increase with new benefits, including credits for digital entertainment, Equinox Fitness Club and more.

New Benefits Include Hotel Credit, Digital Entertainment Credits and CLEAR

Many of the new benefits focus on travel, after the Amex Trendex Study revealed travelers plan on spending an average of $4,790 on luxury travel between now and 2022. Nearly one-third said they would spend $10,000 on luxury travel in that same period.

To respond, the Platinum Card now comes with additional travel credits and benefits. To complement the $200 airfare credit, the card now offers a $200 hotel credit for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or the Hotel Collection properties booked through American Express Travel. In addition, travelers can also get a $179 CLEAR credit as an annual statement, which grants priority access to stadiums and airport security lines. CLEAR currently operates in over 30 American cities, including New York, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas.

The new benefits also offer advantages to those staying at home. Along with the travel benefits, the new program also offers a $240 digital entertainment credit for eligible subscriptions to Amazon Audible, Peacock, SiriusXM and The New York Times. Cardholders can also get an annual statement credit of $300 for select Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+.

“Platinum has set the bar for premium cards for nearly 40 years, and it remains unmatched,” Howard Grosfield, executive vice president & general manager of U.S. consumer & global premium services for American Express, said in a statement. “Once again, we’re raising the standard to better meet the needs of our premium Card Members, from the travel benefits they’ve always loved to new benefits and experiences in dining, wellness, retail and entertainment.”

The new $695 annual fee will not go into place immediately. For cardholders who opened their account prior to July 1, 2021, the new annual fee will be reflected on their card after January 1, 2022.

Benefits For Other Platinum Cards Rumored to Devalue

While the Platinum Card from American Express is getting more benefits, other equivalent cards may devalue as a result. After talking with “representatives” from American Express, a Reddit thread suggests the Charles Schwab American Express Platinum Card cash-out benefit for Membership Rewards points will decrease to 1.1 cents per point on September 1, 2021 – a decrease from 1.5 cents per point. The rumor has yet to be confirmed by either financial institution.

Share your thoughts about the $695 annual fee and new benefits on the FlyerTalk Forums