One of the most interesting things about the American Express Platinum Cards is that there are a ton of different ways to get it. The most obvious way to get a Platinum card is directly through American Express, but other companies, like Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab also offer the Platinum cards with varying benefits and requirements.
One of the advantages of the Morgan Stanley card is that they offer a way to waive the annual fee if you have money invested with them. Just a few years ago, you needed over 1 million invested with Morgan Stanley before they would waive the annual fee on the Platinum card; I wish! Last year, they dropped the requirement down, to opening up a Access Investing Account with only required $5,000, but also charged a 0.35% fee. Many were taking advantage of that account, by keeping it but not using it, so Morgan Stanley has made some changes that’s more in their favor.
Nowadays, Morgan Stanley has an account called the Platinum CashPlus account, which has a $45 monthly fee unless you keep an average daily balance of $25,000 AND deposit $5,000 into the account every month. Without having those two things, the monthly fee would add up to a total of $540 which is $10 less than the Platinum’s annual fee, but definitely wouldn’t be worth it.
If you are able to waive the monthly fee on the Morgan Stanley account, and you hold their Platinum card, they will give you a $550 annual “engagement bonus” which would be the way to waive the annual fee on the Platinum card.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t have $25,000 to just keep locked up in an account. I feel bad enough when I hold $1,000 in a bank account for a few months just to grab a bonus so I may not be the target demographic here… That being said, even if I did have that kind of money to just throw around, is it really worth it? You’re keeping $25,000 locked away, AND you have to deposit $5,000 every month. Over the course of 1 year, that would mean you’re throwing $60,000 into the account, plus the $25,000 to keep it open would be $85,000 the first year. I get that the rich stay rich by using advantages like this to avoid paying things, but I just feel like that if you used the $60,000 to just pay the annual fees, you’d be at 109 full years of holding the Platinum card at its $550 fee.
For me personally, even if I had millions to throw around, I can’t say that it’s worth it. I’d rather invest that money in a better way instead of worrying about the annual fee on the Platinum card. The Platinum card already offers some credits that can substantially bring the annual fee down anyway. I do have to say though, from Morgan Stanley’s point of view, these moves make nothing but complete sense. They don’t want people like me running around not paying the annual fee on the Platinum card!
What do you think about this sort of deal from Morgan Stanley? Are you able, and are you willing to take them up on it? Let us know down in the comment section below.