The American Express Platinum card is one of the most rewarding credit cards out there for travelers. It allows its cardholders to earn 5x on flights and hotels (booked either directly or through amextravel.com). With the value of these points set around 2 cents per point, there aren’t many other cards that earn that much for those type of purchases. Unfortunately, it looks like the biggest of spenders may need to make a change to their strategy.
Starting January 1, 2020, American Express will impose a cap to the amount of flights you can purchase on the Platinum card and earn the 5x rewards. The cap will be set at $500,000 per calendar year. Once the cap is reached, you will earn the standard 1x for the remainder of the calendar year. Note that, for the time being at least, there is no cap on the 5x you would be able to earn on the prepaid hotel spend.
This is a pretty interesting change. If American Express is now introducing a cap, there must have been some sort of exploit that people were able to use towards their advantage. I can’t say that this is really bad news though, $500,000 within a calendar year, within one subset of travel is pretty tough to do for just about anyone out there, even the target demographic for the Platinum card. This also comes at a time when non-essential travel is discouraged.
I wonder if this is American Express’ push for people who put that kind of spend on the Platinum card to open up a Business Platinum instead? Maybe the kind of people that put that much spend are doing it for business related expenses, and American Express would rather they be able to hide the amount of transactions they actually do? So far this only going to impact the personal Platinum card.
What do you think was the root cause of this change? Will this change your spending habits in anyway? Let us know down in the comment section below!