You have good credit, because if you didn’t they would of never taken you into the military. You also have a stable recession-proof job that has a steady paycheck. I figure some one at amex saw this as an excellent business opportunity to attract this prime demographic by offering waved annual fees for active duty military. This is well beyond what the SCRA asks of a financial institution to do.
This card usually has an annual fee of $450, which by itself put most people off, I have colleagues stop the conversation right there. Which is unfortunate because they haven’t taken advantage of their position of good credit and eligibility for a card that essentially pays you $200 to have it. As in one of the many fine benefits of this card is to have an airline of your choice reimburse you for incidentals such as baggage fees, upgrades, and food. Additionally there have been reports of putting money in a registry and using it later for tickets.
Also there is a wonderful program the TSA offers called Global Entry that lets you use you fingerprint and photo to skip the long lines at immigration as well as use the NEXUS/SENTRI lanes between Mexico and Canada. The application fee is $100, but charge it on the Platinum and its waved for your main card and each additional card. So I got a Platinum card for all of my family members, as well as a global entry card for each. This benefit renews every 5 years on he expiration of the Global Entry Card.
But the best benefit by far is the Priority Pass Select card that comes with each additional card as well, and the fee for each additional card is waved as well for military. The Select part of this card means you have access to some 700 lounges, but no access to United Club or American Airline Admiral club, but good news is you always had access to both lounges as an active duty member. This benefit is usually $399 a year it only lets a card holder in with $27 per guest that want to join you in the lounge. The easy way around this is to get your spouse their own Amex Platinum card and Priority Pass.
Lounges are nice:
Hot noodles in Taipei
Wide open space with hot food in Singapore
Dim Sum and Beer in Singapore
Open bar in Kansai Osaka
Auto beer machine in the KAL lounge
I use an app called lounge buddy to tell me which lounges take Priority Pass. When you reach the lounge, just show them the black and gold card which they will swipe and ask for your signature. The website id cool too for priority pass, it will keep track of all the lounges you have ever been to.
Once you get your card you need to apply for The Priority Pass using this link.
So the lounges are nice to get a snack especially over long layovers in the Pacific, and pretty much everywhere in the world. What is terrible is there are very few lounges in the USA. So your pretty much stuck with the USO, United Club and Admiral’s Club. Not to nock the USO, but some times it would be nice to get a free beer.
Good news, if you are stateside and are in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas Fort Worth or LaGuardia, you cause use just the Amex Platinum card to get into a American Express Centurion Lounge with you and two guests or your immediate family (spouse or domestic partner, and children under 18) at no additional charge.
These lounges put the Priority Pass Lounges to shame:
A wall of Napa Valley wines at SFO
Hot Lunch at Las Vegas (with two more cocktails)
Last benefit is free global WiFi via Boingo which is worth $39 a month. True story, my SIM card data plan went out in Macau and I was able to switch to a boingo hot spot to save the day.
Beyond the benefits listed here I have not used my Amex Platinum because it doesn’t really earn too many points. Rarely I will use it to book a trip using the American Express Travel services to get 2x points, but I have not done so in a year. I however keep the card in my travel wallet for all the benefits above. I certainly “don’t leave home without it”, but I don’t charge too much on it either.
If you are interested in the Platinum card, please send me a message so I can send you a referral.