American Express (NYSE:AXP) has announced a number of new perks that will be added to the list for customers holding American Express Platinum cards. All existing benefits will also continue, according to a statement by the company. Janey Whiteside, general manager of Global Charge Products, Benefits & Services for American Express, said, “This is a response to listening to our customers. We are always looking at ways to bring value to our card members.”
One of the biggest additions is the Uber benefits that can now be accessed with the American Express Platinum card. Platinum card members will receive up to $200 in annual credits for Uber rides within the U.S. They will also receive $15 in Uber credits per month, with an additional $20 bonus in Uber credits in December, for adding their Platinum card as a payment method in the Uber app. They will also be able to enjoy VIP status for Uber, where available.
American Express Platinum card members receive $200 in annual reimbursements for certain airline expenses. They will also receive five times membership rewards points on eligible hotels booked on Amextravel.com and five times membership rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel. The card requires a $3,000 spending requirement in the first three months for extra reward points.
The revamped Platinum card will feel metallic, like ones provided for its Centurion card, which carries an annual fee of $2,500 on top of an initiation fee of $7,500. Platinum Card members will receive the new metal card 60 days before the expiration date of their current card or they can request a new metal card starting on March 30.
The new perks are not the only changes. The American Express Platinum card is getting a new annual fee as well. Beginning March 30, the new annual fee for the Platinum card will be $550, an increase of 22 percent from $450. The new annual fee will take effect on card members’ annual renewal date on or after Sept. 1, 2017. The company says that this is the first rise in the fee in a decade.
The changes represent AmEx’s response to increased competition in the luxury credit card business the company once dominated. More credit-card companies are rushing to offer lucrative bonuses for their most elite customers. JPMorgan Chase joined the fight with its popular Sapphire Reserve card, introduced last summer. Last year, Chase offered a 100,000-point sign-up bonus to those who spend $4,000 on the Sapphire Reserve card in the first three months. The point amount was reduced to 50,000 in January.