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Morgan Stanley American Express Platinum Card (2012 - 2021)

Morgan Stanley American Express Platinum Card (2012 - 2021)

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Old Sep 24, 21, 1:12 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Dr Jabadski
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Note: If you don't have a qualifying investment account, or if your only investment account is an Access Investing account, there is no longer an Engagement Bonus in the first year of having the CashPlus Platinum account.

Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
… I’m uncertain as to the requirements and procedures for a thread to have a Wiki(post). As with the New Platinum Card: To-Do List thread, might this thread qualify for a Wiki?
Originally Posted by mia View Post
Click: Thread Tools > Create a Wikipost and start one.
Okay mia, you’re on. (Disclaimer: I have never applied for any of these MS accounts ... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once .)
Recommended step-by-step guide if goal is MS AmEx Platinum card with bonus and effectively no annual fee as of 8/1/21:

- Open MS Access Investing account (to establish the MS relationship) using online application with $5,000.

- Wait a few days.

- Open Platinum CashPlus account (requires existing MS relationship), must be opened by phone or through an advisor, cannot be done online.

- Fund Platinum CashPlus account with $25K.

- Wait a few days.

- Confirm CashPlus account's Account Fee Status page shows “Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = Yes”.

- Apply for MS AmEx Platinum Card via the link that shows up in the CashPlus account once it's open.

- $5,000 monthly deposit or Social Security deposit in any amount and $25,000 Average Daily Cash Balance in the Bank Deposit Program to avoid Platinum CashPlus Monthly Account Fee.

- Meet minimum spending requirement on the AmEx Platinum card, as of 8/1/21: $6,000 within 6 months to receive sign-up bonus.

- Confirm $695 Annual Engagement Bonus posts to Platinum CashPlus account approximately 6 weeks after credit card approval. (As of 8/1/21, considerable discussion as to whether the FIRST Annual Engagement Bonus is paid within first few months of credit card account opening or at about 1 year after credit card account opening.)

- $1,000+ yearly spending requirement on the AmEx Platinum card needed to avoid having to pay taxes on the Engagement Bonus. (This language was removed from the disclosure statement after the Engagement Bonus was increased to $695.)

- Enjoy the sign-up bonus and all other AmEx Plat perks, don’t eat or drink too much .

Notes:

All accounts can be opened the same day, best to wait a few days between account openings/applications to ensure each successive account is fully integrated into MS systems to avoid problems.

Few or no reports of MS AmEx Platinum credit card applications being declined for people with Access Investing and Platinum CashPlus accounts, seems once that MS relationship has been established, credit card approval is almost automatic.

The credit card will count toward Chase’s 5/24.

Premier CashPlus not eligible for $695 Annual Engagement Bonus for the MS AmEx Platinum Card.

MS launched Access Investing in December 2017, launched CashPlus in January 2020.













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Old Jul 31, 21, 2:05 pm
  #661  
mia
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Originally Posted by Osiris1881 View Post
....em tie up unnecessary monies and still underperform the market....
Originally Posted by Osiris1881 View Post
....hapless Access Investing platform.....
Originally Posted by Osiris1881 View Post
....Robo-Advisor and it's inane equity picks....
It appears you have some experience with Morgan Stanley's Access Investing product., which is the account that most people here will open to qualify to apply for a Morgan Stanley Platinum card. Rather than repeatedly disparaging it without evidence, it would be helpful if you related some of your experiences to help others decide if the product could be right for them, even if it isn't a good fit for you. Perhaps you could begin by telling us what benchmark you use when you refer to the market?

Last edited by mia; Jul 31, 21 at 2:54 pm
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Old Jul 31, 21, 4:17 pm
  #662  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Ignore

Last edited by Osiris1881; Jul 31, 21 at 6:31 pm
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Old Jul 31, 21, 4:54 pm
  #663  
dw
 
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Originally Posted by Osiris1881 View Post
Sure, that is a valid question. There is only one benchmark that I think if when I say "the market", the largest ETF in the world, SPY. I have had an Access Investing account from Jan 2021 until last week on a moderate mix. It was about 60-70% equities and 30—35% fixed income. I made about 7% return net of fees. In that same amount of time, SPY gained 20%.
Noted, but SPY tracks the S&P 500, so is it really a fair comparison to compare that against a portfolio that is 60-70% in equities? A balanced portfolio that is 20-30% fixed income (the conventional wisdom- I know not everyone agrees that is appropriate now, but that’s a separate discussion) is always going to lag the major stock market indexes in bull years.

I recently opened an Access Investing account and based on my profile, the recommended allocation was 80% equities, so the service can set up portfolios with a higher % of equities versus what you had.
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Old Jul 31, 21, 4:57 pm
  #664  
 
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Originally Posted by Osiris1881 View Post
Sure, that is a valid question. There is only one benchmark that I think if when I say "the market", the largest ETF in the world, SPY. I have had an Access Investing account from Jan 2021 until last week on a moderate mix. It was about 60-70% equities and 30—35% fixed income. I made about 7% return net of fees. In that same amount of time, SPY gained 20%. But don't take my word for it, try it out for yourself, you will see exactly what I am talking about. The opportunity cost really is 30k vice 25k on this deal, because the Access Investing account will cost you a bit of return on your investment as well. And if you place your mix on aggressive, it will buy 20+ different products of varying performance and rotate them so frequently, god knows what kind of hidden loading/unloading and maintenance fees you will end paying that will slowly eat into your returns and probably still underperform the SPY. Again, this is just my opinion and my limited 1 year experience with the Robo-Advisor. Perhaps they are all the same across the various brokerages and I am just being picky. But again, it is definitely still your least expensive way to obtain a MS Platinum card unless you are ok with paying the $150 AAA annual fee or the $50 BSA annual fee (with lots of work to get it converted). I am currently trading SPY and hedging with UVXY options in my taxable account with much success, so having the additional 5K capital available is worth just paying the fee in my case. Regsrds.
Regarding performance, a “moderate” allocation of 60-70% equities isn’t benchmarked to a portfolio that is comprised of 100% SP500. I deposited $5500 into the Morgan Stanley Access Investing account on the “aggressive” allocation on 9/11/20. Their aggressive allocation is 80% global equities, 20% fixed income. A relevant benchmark to this allocation isn’t the SP500, it’s more like something like Vanguards Life Strategy Aggressive Growth fund which is also 80% global equities, 20% fixed income. Between 9/11/20 and 7/30/21, my Access Investing account grew from $5500 to $6891.49. Vanguard Life Strategy Aggressive Growth fund would have grown to $6,860.32. So, the Access Investing account slightly beat an appropriate benchmark after fees. FWIW, a portfolio of 100% SP500 fund would have grown to about $7,330.

Now, the next part of your comment about trading options, etc. is completely silly. Most people are going into this account eyes open — they are taking $30k they normally would have kept cash and depositing it into Morgan Stanley. If you are withdrawing $30k from your investments and depositing it into this account then…yea you’re likely to be doing something stupid. In my case, I swapped $30k that was earning 0.50%…over an 11 month period about $140 of interest…for $550 and I happened to pick up just shy of $1400 of returns. I’ll pick up an additional $550 in a few months when the next engagement bonus posts.

Now, if you’re asking me if this is something I would put a lot of money in? No, I wouldn’t, because my actual portfolio has a different asset allocation that I couldn’t mimic in this account, and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay an extra 0.17% fee on a substantial sum of money.

Last edited by mia; Aug 1, 21 at 12:39 am Reason: Remove inflammatory introduction.
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Old Jul 31, 21, 5:15 pm
  #665  
 
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
Regarding performance, a “moderate” allocation of 60-70% equities isn’t benchmarked to a portfolio that is comprised of 100% SP500. I deposited $5500 into the Morgan Stanley Access Investing account on the “aggressive” allocation on 9/11/20. Their aggressive allocation is 80% global equities, 20% fixed income. A relevant benchmark to this allocation isn’t the SP500, it’s more like something like Vanguards Life Strategy Aggressive Growth fund which is also 80% global equities, 20% fixed income. Between 9/11/20 and 7/30/21, my Access Investing account grew from $5500 to $6891.49. Vanguard Life Strategy Aggressive Growth fund would have grown to $6,860.32. So, the Access Investing account slightly beat an appropriate benchmark after fees. FWIW, a portfolio of 100% SP500 fund would have grown to about $7,330.

Now, the next part of your comment about trading options, etc. is completely silly. Most people are going into this account eyes open — they are taking $30k they normally would have kept cash and depositing it into Morgan Stanley. If you are withdrawing $30k from your investments and depositing it into this account then…yea you’re likely to be doing something stupid. In my case, I swapped $30k that was earning 0.50%…over an 11 month period about $140 of interest…for $550 and I happened to pick up just shy of $1400 of returns. I’ll pick up an additional $550 in a few months when the next engagement bonus posts.

Now, if you’re asking me if this is something I would put a lot of money in? No, I wouldn’t, because my actual portfolio has a different asset allocation that I couldn’t mimic in this account, and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay an extra 0.17% fee on a substantial sum of money.
Actually, you know what, forget it. Do what you want. If all you want is an echo chamber to feed your confirmation bias, good luck. I will keep my opinions, my investments, and comments to myself. I don't need to be hassled in an inane online forum when I try to present the opposing side of an argument, so I am just going to leave it at that.

Last edited by Osiris1881; Aug 5, 21 at 3:02 pm
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Old Jul 31, 21, 9:08 pm
  #666  
 
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This now seems to be quite a popular thread and product. These MS accounts are relatively new (1-2 years). The procedures to successfully open all the different linked accounts, in the proper sequence, and the procedures to keep those linked accounts open and free of fees seems a bit complicated.

Several people (thank you), have graciously posted (below) their specific individual journeys on the merry-go-round to get the platinum ring (I mean essentially no-fee Platinum card).

I’m uncertain as to the requirements and procedures for a thread to have a Wiki(post). As with the New Platinum Card: To-Do List thread, might this thread qualify for a Wiki?

Originally Posted by SpaethCo View Post
Open in this order:
1) Access Investing to establish the MS relationship
2) CashPlus Platinum account (requires existing MS relationship, must be opened by phone or through an advisor)
3) MS Amex Platinum (Opened via the link that shows up in the CashPlus account once it's open, otherwise plan on making a lot of calls getting it linked to trigger the bonus after the fact)
Originally Posted by bballcards View Post
6/2/21 - Opened Morgan Stanley Access Investing Account using online application with $5k in investments
6/9/21 - Called to open Platinum CashPlus Account (unable to open account online), followed by an online ACH pull of $25k from an outside account to fund the account
6/9/21 - Opened Amex Morgan Stanley Platinum card, approved for card
6/11/21 - Met minimum spending requirement on the Amex
6/13/21 - Received the 60k bonus Amex membership rewards points for meeting MSR
6/14/21 - "Apply Now" link for Amex Morgan Stanley Platinum card disappeared from Account Summary page
- Like a previous poster, have 2x $2,500 ACH pushes from Discover scheduled for each calendar month ... followed by a $5,000 ACH pull from the same Discover account.
- I can only hope for a smooth posting of the Engagement Bonus in a couple months without any further calls. Fingers crossed.
Originally Posted by GoodOmens View Post
…April 28th signed up for Access Investing, got put in a document verification hold
May 4th Access Account Opened and funded
May 4th CashPlus Account Opened (via phone) and funded / Grace Period until June 30th
May 4th Amex Applied (via link), put on hold to verify account
May 5th account agreement signed- debit cards etc mailed
May 6th Amex Approved/opened
May 24th first Amex statement posted/ account fee charged
June 14th CashPlus Engagement Bonus posted
- In hindsight probably should have waited a day to open the Amex but we had a trip that weekend and wanted to get the card prior.
-Yes. There should be a phone number in your access investing account (remember you need this first) under contact my morgan stanley team. Call either the virtual advisor or the Access Investing group. They should transfer you to a person to open one via the phone. Takes maybe 20ish minutes (30-40ish for us as we did a joint account). If you don't have an access investing account start there first before you can open a cashplus account. If you have a normal broker/ wealth account with them then you would do it through your financial advisor - contact them.
Originally Posted by Rhodey View Post
This thread was a huge help as I navigated this process, so I wanted to try to give back by documenting my experience and adding my data points. In the end, it seems like my experience was pretty typical: a couple of dead ends and false starts, 75+ minutes on the phone with MS, 2 months start to finish, but in the end everything worked out. Hope this can help someone else down the line!
  • 01/13/2021
    • Opened the Access Investing account online in the morning
      • Wire transfer of $5,000.00+ hits the Access Investing account in the afternoon
    • Tried to open the Platinum CashPlus account online but got the "Unfortunately, we are unable to open your CashPlus account online at this time." message
      • Called 1-866-479-1844 in the late afternoon and got the CashPlus account set up in ~39 minutes
  • 01/15/2021
    • ACH transfer of $25,000.00+ hits the CashPlus account
  • 01/19/2021
    • Applied (and approved) for the MS AmEx Platinum online
      • Was able to get the card number online immediately
      • Requested an additional Platinum card (for no additional annual fee)
  • 01/20/2021
    • CashPlus debit card arrives
    • AmEx card arrives
  • 01/22/2021
    • CashPlus checks arrive
  • 01/26/2021
    • Additional AmEx card arrives
  • 01/31/2021
    • First Access Investing statement is cut
    • First CashPlus statement is cut
  • 02/05/2021
    • Annual fee of $550.00 posts to the AmEx account
    • First AmEx statement is cut
    • First monthly deposit of $5,000.00+ hits the CashPlus account
  • 02/10/2021
    • Used the Morgan Stanley Online Mailbox to send a message to [email protected] about the fact that my CashPlus account's Account Fee Status page was showing Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = No
      • Never received a response
  • 02/16/2021
    • Met the $1,000.00+ yearly spending requirement on the AmEx
      • This is apparently needed to avoid having to pay taxes on the Engagement Bonus
  • 02/20/2021
    • Paid the AmEx's first statement's balance
  • 02/23/2021
    • Called 1-888-454-0555 about the fact that my CashPlus account's Account Fee Status page was showing Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = No
      • ~23 minutes later I was told that the accounts were now linked and that I should see that status change by the next morning
  • 02/24/2021
    • Account Fee Status page still showing Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = No
  • 02/26/2021
    • Called 1-888-454-0555 about the fact that my CashPlus account's Account Fee Status page was still showing Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = No
      • ~14 minutes later I was told that the accounts were now linked (for real this time) and that I should see that status change by the next morning
  • 02/27/2021
    • Account Fee Status page now shows Morgan Stanley Investment Relationship = Yes
  • 02/28/2021
    • CashPlus monthly account fee grace period ends
    • Second Access Investing statement is cut
    • Second CashPlus statement is cut
    • For the first time, a Consolidated Account Statement (for both the Access Investing & CashPlus accounts) is also cut
  • 03/05/2021
    • Second monthly deposit of $5,000.00+ hits the CashPlus account
  • 03/08/2021
    • Second AmEx statement is cut
  • 03/12/2021
    • Engagement Bonus of $550.00 hits the CashPlus account
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Old Aug 1, 21, 12:35 am
  #667  
mia
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
I’m uncertain as to the requirements and procedures for a thread to have a Wiki(post).
Click: Thread Tools > Create a Wikipost and start one.
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Old Aug 1, 21, 4:32 pm
  #668  
 
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Ignore.
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Last edited by Stockjock; Sep 23, 21 at 10:47 pm
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Old Aug 2, 21, 11:18 am
  #669  
dw
 
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For people thinking about opening an Access Investing account, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I've tried a number of robo-advisors in addition to Access Investing-- Wealthfront, Merrill Guided Investing, Vanguard Digital Advisor and Marcus Investing. Overall, they're all fairly similar and I'd say other than tax loss harvesting (which won't work for everyone because of the wash sale rule and what you have going on in other accounts at different firms), the primary advantage is that it is an easy way for someone to put money in on a regular basis, who doesn't want to deal with having to create their own portfolio and have to monitor/rebalance every time they put more funds in. Some will find the management fee for any of these services outrageous compared to just doing everything themselves (and indeed it is going to cut into returns over time); others will find that it works for them because they want to be more hands off.

Access Investing Pros
- You are shown the specific portfolio allocation before you fund, so you know exactly what your portfolio will look like. Not every robo advisor (particularly Vanguard and ML) will do this.
- Very low cash reserve. My account currently has a balance of around $6,000 and only $30 is in cash. Some robo advisors (I'm calling out ML; and Schwab and Ally take it to an extreme) keep way too much in cash. Ideally, a robo advisor will only keep enough to ensure that your management fees are covered for awhile.
- It actually gives you metrics on performance (believe it or not, Vanguard's does not)
- You can opt into tax loss harvestings

Access Investing Cons
- No fractional shares, which will impact smaller portfolios more
- The ETFs in the market tracking portfolio have reasonable fees and are comparable to what you'd find at other robo advisors; however if you are interesting in the ESG portfolio, note that the ETF fees can be quite high (this isn't unique to MS, though)
- Some may find the 0.30% management fee high
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Old Aug 2, 21, 12:07 pm
  #670  
 
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Ignore.
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Last edited by Stockjock; Sep 23, 21 at 10:47 pm
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Old Aug 2, 21, 4:26 pm
  #671  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Couple of questions about adding Authorize User Card for my spouse.
1. Would this disqualify her for getting platinum card sign-up bonus if she plans to getting one of her own in the future?
2. Does the extra card have all the benefits of the 1st one or only selected few? (etc. Centurion lounge access, $200 uber credits, $179 clear, $100 GE, etc.)

Appreciate any inputs in advance.
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Old Aug 2, 21, 4:33 pm
  #672  
 
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Originally Posted by pstrider85 View Post
Couple of questions about adding Authorize User Card for my spouse.
1. Would this disqualify her for getting platinum card sign-up bonus if she plans to getting one of her own in the future?
2. Does the extra card have all the benefits of the 1st one or only selected few? (etc. Centurion lounge access, $200 uber credits, $179 clear, $100 GE, etc.)

Appreciate any inputs in advance.
#1 - No, it does not have any implication on her getting a card of her own or the SUB (I had an AU MS Plat card and I got my own regular Plat with the higher SUB a few months ago)
#2 - No, the AU card gets their own lounge access perks (Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta SkyClub etc) and a separate GE/TSA Pre credit but everything else is shared credit with the primary user (only one Uber, Clear, Hotel credit).
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Old Aug 2, 21, 4:34 pm
  #673  
mia
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Originally Posted by pstrider85 View Post
1. Would this disqualify her for getting platinum card sign-up bonus if she plans to getting one of her own in the future?
2. Does the extra card have all the benefits of the 1st one or only selected few? (etc. Centurion lounge access, $200 uber credits, $179 clear, $100 GE, etc.)
1. No
2. Additional card holders have most of the benefits, but some are shared with the other cardholder(s). An exception is the Uber credit, which can only be used by the primary card. The airline fee credit is capped at $200 per account, but qualifying charges can be made by either card. Additional Platinum cards are eligible for a Priority Pass membership, but it can only be requested by telephone. The terms of each benefit will mention if additional cardholders are eligible.
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Old Aug 2, 21, 7:15 pm
  #674  
 
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The biggest Pro, for points and miles aficionados like many of us here, is the $695 annual rebate (Engagement Bonus) which more than offsets 0.30% ($15) on $5,000. I suspect that for many of us here the $5,000 we put into an Access Investing account is NOT a major part of our overall portfolio. I plan to apply for all these accounts in a few months when the AF on a different AmEx Plat will be due, I consider the earning, or lack thereof, on the $5,000 (and the $25,000) to be a “cost of doing business”.
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Old Aug 2, 21, 8:25 pm
  #675  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
The biggest Pro, for points and miles aficionados like many of us here, is the $695 annual rebate (Engagement Bonus) which more than offsets 0.30% ($15) on $5,000.
Or rather $695 rebate and free additional user (additional $175 savings/benefit).

Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
I suspect that for many of us here the $5,000 we put into an Access Investing account is NOT a major part of our overall portfolio. I plan to apply for all these accounts in a few months when the AF on a different AmEx Plat will be due, I consider the earning, or lack thereof, on the $5,000 (and the $25,000) to be a “cost of doing business”.
For me and others, moving cash to these accounts gets a greater "return" or benefit than paid on a savings account. However, we virtually make a committment to keep the cash in the account in order to avoid monthly fees. So we gain some return or benefit, in exchange for less flexibility in taking cash back out. Yes it's simple to transfer the cash out, but at the potential cost of a monthly fee, which discourages using your own cash. So it becomes more an investment you don't touch for a rate of return better than savings but likely less than a typical investment.
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