American Express Platinum Canada Review

Let’s get to the point, my American Express Platinum Canada review is positive since it’s easily one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. The card comes with a yearly fee of $699 which is quite high, but it comes with a huge signup bonus, amazing benefits, and plenty of airline and hotel transfer partners which gives you plenty of options when it comes to redeeming your points.

Yes, the $699 fee is high, but you get an annual travel credit of $200, so it reduces the fee to just $499 a year. If you’re considering applying for the card, I’m sure signup bonus of 60,000 points (via my referral link) will appeal to you, but so will all the other benefits. When you look at everything you get with the card, you’ll quickly realize that it’s one of the best American Express credit cards in Canada.

Get 60,000 points when you sign up for the American Express Platinum card

American Express Platinum Canada benefits

  • 60,000 Sign up bonus (when using a referral link)
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent
  • $200 Annual travel credit
  • Airport Lounge Access
  • Special benefits at Toronto Pearson
  • Premium Hotel Program Membership
  • Emergency Medical, Flight Delay / Cancellation, Lost / Delayed Luggage Insurance

The main value of the American Express Platinum Canada card comes in the form of the signup bonus. If you go to the main sign up page, you’ll see that only 50,000 points are offered for people who charge $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.

However, by using my referral link, your sign up bonus becomes 60,000 points. This isn’t some special deal I have, as long as you get a referral, you get that extra 10,000 points.  Note that with any referral, the spend requirement is $5,000 in the first three months to get the extra bonus points.

As for points multipliers, you earn a straight 1.25 points per dollar spent on all purchases. There’s no need to worry about earning more points on specific categories when you can earn additional points on all your spending. This is honestly one of the reasons why my  American Express Platinum Canada review is positive.

How Membership Rewards work

With the American Express Platinum cards, you earn American Express Membership Rewards. What that means you can redeem 1,000 MR point for $10 for travel purchases through the Amex portal or you can get a statement credit of the same value if your booked travel with your Amex Platinum Canada card. You can literally redeem your points towards a statement credit for ANY of your purchases. That effectively means your 60,000 signup bonus is worth $600. When you add the $200 credit, you’re getting $800 in value in your first year. To get even more value out of your points you could also consider booking travel through the American Express fixed points travel program where you can redeem a flight up to a certain amount of dollars for a fixed amount of points.

What really makes Membership Rewards points valuable is the fact that you can transfer your points to various partners. Right now you can transfer your MR points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 basis.

If you did that, you would have 60,000 Aeroplan points which are enough for two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. and Canada. A standard return trip to Los Angeles from Toronto is $600, so that signup bonus instantly has a value of $1,200. Plus, you’ll still have 10,000 points leftover. 

You can also transfer your points to Marriott at a 1:1.2 ratio, That means your signup bonus of 60,000 points is worth 72,000 Marriott Rewards points. That’s enough points for 5 free nights at a category 3 hotel when you factor in Marriott’s book 4 nights, get the 5th-night free promotion. Those five nights could easily have a value of more than $1,000!

Your Membership Rewards points can also be used as a statement towards any purchase. However, the ratio is only 1,000 MR points = $7 statement credit, so to get the maximum value of your points, use them towards travel purchases or transfer partners.

$200 annual travel credit

One of the reasons my American Express Platinum Canada review is positive is because you get an annual travel credit of $200 on your card anniversary. Let’s be realistic, if you’re applying for this card, you’re likely a frequent traveller so the annual credit will be incredibly useful. It can be applied at the time of booking when you’re making a reservation online via the American Express travel portal, or you can call in later to claim your statement credit.

Now, let’s say you have an off year where you can’t travel, you can cover the $200 credit into “cash” if you wanted. All you need to do is book a hotel room that is fully refundable. You get charged for the hotel right away, but the travel credit will also appear on your statement rather quickly. After a few weeks, cancel the hotel and you’ll be refunded the amount that was charged earlier.

I honestly don’t really recommend this strategy, but I just wanted you to be aware that you can still use the travel credit even if you’re not travelling.

Lounge Access

Having lounge access is a great way to start your travels. With the Platinum card, you get a Priority Pass membership with unlimited free entries at – that’s a value of US $399 (CAD $520).

Priority Pass gives you access to 1000+ lounges in hundreds of cities. The main network of lounges is Plaza Premium, but you also get access to Air France, Delta, and the Centurion Lounge.

All of these lounges will usually have hot and cold food options, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as a variety of snacks. Some will even have showers and beds available.

What makes the American Express Platinum card one of the best credit cards with airport lounge access is that it also gets you into premium lounges such as Centurion by American Express and Delta lounges when you fly on Delta.

I hate to admit it, but ever since I got lounge access, I hate sitting in the common wait areas at airports. Lounge access is one of those perks that are often overlooked, but once you’ve sat in an airport lounge, it completely changes the flying experience.

If you happen to be flying out of Pearson International airport in Toronto, you get additional benefits such as priority security lanes and complimentary valet service.

Plaza Premium Lounge

American Express Platinum Canada Insurance

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft Damage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel Emergency Assistance
  • StandbyMDSM Travel Medical

That’s 11 different types of insurance you get with the American Express Platinum credit card. American Express is known to have the best travel insurance of all credit card providers, but you’ll need to read the policy to find out what exactly you’re covered for. One thing to note is that your insurance covers 15 days of consecutive travel, whereas most other credit card providers max out at 10 days. This included travel insurance package us one of the best when compared to the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada.

Instant hotel status upgrade

Another major perk of the American Express Platinum credit is the instant hotel status upgrade at many of the major chains. The value of the status is subjective, but generally speaking, you would need to stay 25 nights at each chain every year before you qualify. Here’s what you get right at each brand

  • Hilton HHonors – Gold
  • SPG/Marriott – Gold
  • Club Carlson – Gold

Most of these programs give you free Wi-Fi, room upgrades, bonus points, as well as early check-in and late check-out. You’ll also get Fairmont Platinum Status after charging 5 Fairmont stays to your card.

American Express offers

One final benefit that I wanted to highlight that comes with the American Express Platinum card are the exclusive offers that are available to cardholders. These offers aren’t advertised much since they’re catered to you specifically based on your spending, but they can be incredible.

For example, just recently there was a dining experience at Micahel’s steakhouse where American Express Platinum cardmembers would get a $100 statement credit when they spend $100 at the restaurant. You’re literally getting a fine dining experience for free.

Another recent promotion was where you would get a $200 statement credit when you spend $200 at the YYZ duty free shop. That’s right, you could literally get $200 for free by shopping duty-free.

There’s also American Express invites where you get front of the line access to some of the most popular dining, entertainment, and sporting events.

Final word

My American Express Platinum Canada review is positive. The signup bonus is massive, the Membership Rewards program is flexible, and American Express offers can be incredibly jealous. Honestly, if you love to travel or to live the good life, then you need to apply for the American Express Platinum Canada card.

Apply now for the Amex Personal Platinum card
By |2018-10-16T15:43:16+00:00June 16th, 2018|Credit cards, My Money, Personal Finance, Travel|


  1. Ken Ku January 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I used to have this card when I was travelling a lot for work. The lounge access and skipping the line was great. Also at the time it was one free North American flight per year. My wife and I used this to go to New York one summer.

    This card doesn’t make sense for me anymore because I don’t travel all that much for work anymore. I could no longer justify the annual fee. Although what you are saying with the reduced annual fee seems interesting.

  2. Ken March 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    In regards to what one can do with the 50K or 60K account opening points, you wrote, “60,000 points are enough for two round trip tickets to anywhere in North America. A standard return trip to Los Angeles from Toronto is $600, so that sign up bonus instantly has a value of $1,200. Plus, you’ll still have 10,000 points leftover. ”

    I logged into the Amex travel rewards website. I can see the rewards chart. But what I see is a Canada/US “long haul” ticket will cost 40K points. In what you wrote, you are saying that 60K points will get you 2 long haul tickets and still 10K points leftover. So you are saying that a long haul flight only costs 25K points? I can’t seem to find that at all?

    Do you have a link to the rewards chart?


    • Barry Choi March 6, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Hey Ken,

      I answered this privately already, but just including it here in case someone else has the same question.

      The trick is to convert your American Express Member Rewards to Aeroplan since it can be done on a 1:1 basis. You would then use Aeroplan’s redemption chart which is the numbers I used.

      However, note that Aeroplan does have blackout dates as well as taxes so those are things to consider.

  3. Ken March 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Further to my note above. You also say that the 60K points can get you a round trip ticket to South America or Europe. But the same rewards chart I am looking at shows a European ticket and a South American ticket to cost 60K and 100K points, respectively.

  4. Sam March 27, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Hi there. Just received my Platinum card and found this page.
    A question about using the $200 travel credit. Is it ok to wait for my statement to show the $699 fee, then call Plat travel to book and apply the credit and later do what is mentioned to make my annual fee down to $499!

    • Barry Choi March 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Sam,

      I don’t think it matters when you use the travel credit. When you do use it, it shows up as a statement credit of $200 which is applied usually right away. If you want to turn that into “cash” just book a fully refundable hotel, wait for the credit to post, then cancel your hotel.

      You can also claim the travel credit directly from the American Express travel portal which is located within your account.

      • Sam March 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

        Thanks very much for your advice Barry!
        The card itself has many travel perks that I’m gonna be looking forward to use!
        The application process was very easy for card members, as I already have the Aeroplan Plus Platinum. It just took a few clicks to verify and after submitting the approval right away!
        I’m not too worried about the sign up points as I wanted to keep the Aeroplan Plat for exclusive AC lounge access and my new Plat for other I’m pretty much covered!

        • Barry Choi March 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm - Reply


          The biggest advantage is the referrals. For every referral, you get 15K bonus membership reward points while the person you refer gets an extra 10K.

          I absolutely love the lounge access that the Platinum card gives you. If you’re flying out of Pearson, the Maple Leaf Lounge access from your Aeroplan Platinum card is better than what’s offered from Priority Pass members, but in other airports having priority pass is great. In Portugal, it gave me access to the ANA lounge which was wonderful.

          Although the “$499” annual fee is high, I really think the benefits are worth it if you’re a frequent traveller.

  5. Sam March 27, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,
    Thanks again for your great insight!
    Yes, the Prestige level of Priority Pass is a great balance with my Maple Leaf Lounge as I do plan on trips into Europe and Asia where I’m using another airline!
    Love the Fast track out of YYZ as well!
    All the best for now and yes, I’ll be thinking of referring both my Aeroplan and Personal Platinum! I guess I’ll get both Aeroplan miles and Membership Rewards Points!
    Take care,

    • Barry Choi March 27, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply


      The nice thing about Membership Rewards points is that you can convert them to many airline rewards points (including Aeroplan) at a 1:1 ratio.

  6. steven April 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. Can you provide the benefits of the supplementary card. The $175 charge is hefty and I cannot find many details about it. If the Priority Pass provides free entry (as opposed to just membership and then a $27 charge) that is good. If it allows Hilton Gold that is good too. I would hope it provides enough spousal benefits to make it worthwhile.

    • Barry Choi April 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Steven,

      I personally don’t think the supplementary card is good unless your partners spends a lot on their own or also travels a lot on their own. My wife always travels with me so she automatically gets access to lounges since card holders are allowed to bring an extra guest.

      The instant upgrade in hotel status is definitely a nice perk. I have yet to take advantage of companion fares, but I believe that’s only available when booking tickets in business or first-class.

  7. Connor May 18, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Have had an amex gold rewards for over two years now and love it – received an offer to upgrade to plat and am very intrigued especially after reading your tips to reduce annual fee etc. One question – can you advise how to self refer for an added 5,000 points? From my Gold rewards account I can only seem to refer the Gold Rewards card?

    • Barry Choi May 18, 2017 at 9:01 am - Reply

      Hi Connor,
      After clicking your own referral link, you should see a button that says “view our other cards.” Then it should show you the Platinum card. Definitely self-refer instead of upgrading for the bonus points.

  8. Steve May 21, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I can’t find an answer about the supplementary card. Does that cardholder get the same priority pass benefits as the basic cardholder – that is, free access for the holder and a guest? So a family of four could get access for free if they have both the basic and supplemental card?

    And just to confirm, supplementary card holder get gold tiers in both Hilton and spg.

    • Barry Choi May 21, 2017 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Hi Steve,

      I actually don’t know the answer to that since I don’t use supplementary cards. I would advise calling Amex directly for an answer.

  9. Hasan June 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,
    Thanks for the amazing insight! I’m thinking of getting this card as I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the next year and the lounge access will be quite handy. If I only get the primary card, will my wife have access to the lounge as well or does she have to pay the $27? The priority pass prestige membership page says guests have to pay $27 to enter.

    • Barry Choi June 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Hasan,

      Once you have lounge access, you won’t want to go back. The Canadian lounges are kind of meh, but wait til you try the ones abroad. As for your question, with you Priority Pass, you’re allowed to bring one guest with you. This can be your wife or any other travelling companion. If you bring 2 guests (one will have to pay), but at least they get access since you’re a member.

  10. NL July 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hello Barry,
    Do you know if the card gives you priority boarding? It says priority check-in but does not mention boarding.

    • Barry Choi July 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm - Reply


      As far as I know, this card does NOT give you priority boarding.

  11. K August 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Hi- Just to say your tips on the refundable hotel booking to get the credit is very smart and for that alone I will be signing up via your referral link as a thank you! Cheers!

    • Barry Choi August 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm - Reply


      It’s an easy trick to do. to be honest, I love this card now and don’t mind paying the $499 yearly fee moving forward (after doing the $200 credit trick).

  12. Norine August 12, 2017 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I’m curious to know if the card is metal? I would also like to know whether the priority pass card is automatically renewed per annum, or if it is just complimentary for the first year? I read somewhere else that the number of complimentary guests may be up to 2, but see in your previous comments it is 1. Has the number of allowed complimentary guests changed at all recently?

    Thank you,

    • Barry Choi August 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply


      The card is plastic. I’m not sure if memberships are automatically renewed. With the card, you need to manually signup for Priority Pass as well as the higher status programs with all the hotels. I would hope things auto renew, but it’s not like those other loyalty members know if you still hold the card. That’s something I need to look into.

      I’ve only had the card for about 8 months and during that time I’ve only been allowed one complimentary guest. Not sure if that’s new or not.

  13. Sammy September 12, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Hi Barry… Great article. Just wanted to know if this card is churnable. For some personal cards amex stopped giving bonus if you had owned a card like spg and gold. Does this applied to platinum also or we can churn and get bonus points again?

    This is the main reason I didn’t apply yet.

    • Barry Choi September 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Sammy,

      Since you have not owned this card before, you would qualify for the signup points. Now if you cancel it in a year, and they try to reapply; there’s a good chance you wouldn’t get the points the second time around.

  14. Sammy September 13, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Ok so in short…..The platinum is good for 1 time only to get the sign up bonus points. Churn only if you want the lounge access, insurance and the travel credits to keep the fees low. Thanks!

    • Barry Choi September 13, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply


      Correct. The other benefit is referrals. You get 15K points for every referral. so you need 2-3 referrals a year to wash that large annual fee.

  15. Mark January 18, 2018 at 7:23 am - Reply

    One thing you did no mention, and maybe can confirm but I think the hotel status level gives you free breakfast at the member hotels.

    • Barry Choi January 18, 2018 at 7:58 am - Reply


      I believe the breakfast only applies to Platinum members. The Amex Platinum only gives you Gold status.

      • Angela February 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm - Reply

        @Mark and @Barry, with the Preferred Gold Membership in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, doesn’t it give you a status match with Marriott Gold Elite Benefits, if you’re a member of both programs?

        If so, the Marriott Gold Elite Benefits are fantastic and even better than SPG Preferred Gold:

        Guaranteed Lounge Access/Breakfast.
        Free daily continental breakfast, light snacks and beverages for the Gold Elite member and one guest in the Executive Lounge at JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® and Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels® (resorts excluded). In the U.S. and Canada, select hotels will provide 750 or 1,000 points in lieu of breakfast in the event the lounge is closed.

        Another great feature of this AMEX Platinum card!

        • Barry Choi February 20, 2018 at 7:22 pm - Reply


          Interesting, breakfast is included for Gold Elite members at Marriott properties but at SPG you need to be Platinum.

  16. Angela February 11, 2018 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry! If I apply and receive the AMEX Platinum card March 15/18, I understand will receive and can use $200 credit immediately.

    If I use the 2nd $200 credit immediately when it posts in Jan/19 … and go to cancel the card before the 2nd annual fee posts in March, will there by any issues with owing AMEX for the 2018 $200 credit used? Thanks!

    • Barry Choi February 11, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply


      No issue whatsoever. It’s basically a hack to lower the annual fee down to $299 the first year while getting 60K Membership Rewards points (with referral).

      • jon March 9, 2018 at 9:33 pm - Reply

        Have you tried this Barry? They do in fact charge your card for the second $200 when you cancel before the end of your first year, as of 2017.

        • Barry Choi March 10, 2018 at 6:44 am - Reply

          Hi Jon,

          As far as I know, this trick still works since it does not violate the terms and conditions. However, Amex has charged back the $200 to some people so you would have to call into customer service to ask for an explanation and to get the chargeback removed. I’ve updated the info my post for best practices.

  17. Felix March 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Thank you for the post, it was a very interesting read. I was wondering if your referral link is still working, one year later? And also, I’m leaving in 12 days from now, I was wondering if the delivery of the card should be fast enough for me to get it before I leave, so I can rest in the VIP lounges. Any clues / tips?

    • Barry Choi March 21, 2018 at 6:56 am - Reply

      Hi Felix,

      The referral code is still good! Amex sends their platinum cards out by courier so you’d likely get it in 3 days. For your PriorityPass, download the app so you can get access quicker.

  18. Aron March 26, 2018 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Hi. I’ve had the Amex Platinum card for many years. I was surprised when I saw that they give 1.25 points for every dollar spent, because I was under the impression that I was receiving 1.5 points. So I checked a recent statement and confirmed that I do in fact, receive 1.5 points for each dollar spent.

    • Barry Choi March 26, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply


      You should only be getting 1.25 points per $1 spend with the Amex Platinum. Is it possible that there was a promotion which is why you got 1.5?

  19. Aron March 26, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I don’t think so. I recall that going back perhaps 10 years, users were given a choice of two different types of rewards that they could get using the card. Once the choice was made you couldn’t switch. You writings have to reapply for the card.

    • Barry Choi March 26, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

      I looked at the terms just now and it states 1.25 MR per #1 spent. It’s possible that you were grandfathered into the old program?

  20. Grace April 6, 2018 at 10:08 am - Reply

    So many places don’t take American Express, especially overseas, that I don’t think this card is a reasonable option for travellers.

    • Barry Choi April 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Grace,

      I wouldn’t depend on just American Express when travelling. I personally use this card at home to maximize my earning potential and book travel with it. When I’m abroad, I use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

  21. Jaclyn April 11, 2018 at 1:48 am - Reply

    So if you decide to get the card, meet the monthly minimums, get your 60k bonus, apply your travel credits, and then cancel the card after all that, what happens to your points? Or if you plan to churn the card, should you book something to use up your 60k+ points before you cancel it?

    • Barry Choi April 11, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply


      You can transfer the points to one of their partners e.g. SPG or airlines before you cancel. Technically speaking, your login will still be active, but I honestly don’t remember what happens to your points if you cancel as I’ve always had an active account.

      • Jaclyn April 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm - Reply

        I read up on another blog that they will cancel your points if you cancel the card actually. I think one would have to have another amex open to maintain the account and the points accrued from the other.
        Another question I was going to ask was about the “book a hotel then cancel it” thing. In order to get the 200$ credit, do you have to book through amex travel? Or can you just book any hotel, on expedia say, and then call amex and say you want to apply the credit?

        • Barry Choi April 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

          Hmm good to know, that’s for sharing.

          Yes, the credit is through Amex travel, you can book and apply your credit online, but when I last checked, you had to call in to cancel the reservation. I personally just wait a few weeks so it’s not obvious that I cancelled it just for the statement credit.

  22. R April 16, 2018 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    With today’s Marriott announcement, I wonder which elite status, if any, Amex will provide. It looks like current gold SPG is lower tier than the new gold merged program

    • Barry Choi April 17, 2018 at 8:04 am - Reply

      If you currently have the card and Gold status, you’ll be upgraded to Platinum, but I’m pretty sure next year it’ll be gold.

  23. Tina April 21, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for the post!

    I already have amex spg card, will I still get 60,000pt ?

    Also, how long does the bonus pt get posted to account? I am thinking to charge airfare ($3000+) using this card and get $200 travel credit, then transfer point to spg right away. Will amex cancel my point if I cancel the card before 2nd year annual fee kicks in?


    • Barry Choi April 22, 2018 at 4:56 am - Reply

      Hi Tina,

      Yes, you’ll still get the points since this is a different card from the SPG Amex.

      The points normally post as soon as you reach the minimum spend, but technically speaking, it can take up to 8 weeks.

      Amex will not cancel your points, if you cancel before the start of year 2, but I do advise using your 2019 travel credit ASAP before cancelling.

      Please use my referral link if you found this info useful.

  24. M.Beauregard May 3, 2018 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I just joined American express platinum last February. They had an offer , for each person that you add to your card, you will get 5, 000 points. I added 5 persons to my card. Each person had to pay 175.00 for the extra card . So here is my problem , so far , they gave me only 5, 000 points for one person .I have called A.E. many times to check about the points for the other 4 persons .They kept telling me that they were working on it and will get back to me. Last week, I called them again , only to be told that there was a note on my file that says … do not give him those 5, 000 points per extra card holders !!!
    I was so upset but the supervisor told me that there was nothing she could do .I just received by mail a letter about the details to complaint and all the procedures .
    I am so upset about the whole thing .Is there something else I should do? Thank you for your help .

    • Barry Choi May 3, 2018 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hi M.Beauregard,

      If American Express is only giving you 5,000 points for one person and won’t give you those points for the other 4, I would advise cancelling those additional cards and demanding a refund on the fees.

      If you still want those points, you could refer one of those people who just cancelled for their own card which would give you 15K points.

  25. Job June 7, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    I am not sure if you had the same issue, Barry Choi, but I have noticed that American Express is intentionally not sending the card in a timely manner. I had about six, seven calls after my card was approved to ask why I haven’t received my card yet and no one could honestly answer the question. I was initially told that the card was send about 7 business days ago from Markham, Ontario (I live downtown Toronto) and that I should receive it by today (which is the 8th business day past the approval date), but ironically another customer service representative told me that it wasn’t even dispatched yet.

    The clock of spending $3,000 starts from the approval date rather than the day of delivery of the card. I have already lost about 2 weeks, leaving me with 10 weeks (rather than 12 weeks) to spend $3,000. I am not sure how common that is, but I thought to ask you, Barry, whether you had such issues?

    If you have noticed such a pattern as well, there may be room to sue American Express for engaging in a fraudulent activity.

    • Barry Choi June 7, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Job,

      I recently applied for a business platinum card and it took about 7 business days to arrive. That being said, I once had a card arrive in 3 days so it could be random.

  26. Gus July 20, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Great site Barry. I am just going through your posts. Is the hotel status kept for the duration of having the card or is it first year only?

    • Barry Choi July 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Gus,

      As long as you have the card, you keep the status.

  27. Jan July 24, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I had an American Express Platinum card about 3 years ago. If I reapplied, do you think I would get the sign up bonus?

    • Barry Choi July 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Jan,

      Technically speaking, there’s a once per lifetime signup bonus, but the odds are you would still get the bonus since quite a few years have passed. That being said, if they don’t award it, you can’t really fight them over it.

  28. E July 29, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I’m an AMEX Gold card member – can I refer a friend to the platinum card, or do I need to be a platinum card holder myself to do that and get the referral bonus?

    thanks! enjoying your insights.

  29. E July 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    p.s. I should add that I’ve tried the self-referring option and the only other card option it gives me is the Cobalt,

    • Barry Choi July 29, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      With the personal gold, you can only self refer (or refer someone else) to the personal gold or Cobalt card.

      To get the 60K signup bonus with the personal platinum, you’d have to use someone’s referral link (hopefully mine). Once you have the personal platinum you can refer the personal platinum, business gold, and business platinum.

      • E July 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Barry. If we go the platinum route, we will gladly use your referral to start us off!

  30. Bobby August 5, 2018 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I noticed U.S. Amex is offering a 100,000 sign up bonus until Aug 8th. Is this available to Canadian businesses if we spend to a certain amount? My company is based in Vancouver and we plan to spend at least $1 million per year on the card. We would be able to provide our financials to Amex upon request. We have never had an Amex card before. Thanks!

    • Barry Choi August 5, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Hi Bobby,

      The signup bonuses aren’t as high in Canada. The most points you can get is 60,000 points when using a referral link.

      If you’re using this card for business purposes, you’re likely better off applying for the Business Platinum card.

      It’s specifically aimed at businesses and offers you similar benefits to the personal platinum card but with lower fees.

  31. marcel beauregard August 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    When it comes to emergency medical travel protection , does the American Express Platinum cover everything that I should look for or should I take additional coverage through a personal insurance company ? And if I only have 1 card , does it cover my spouse as well ? Thank you !

    • Barry Choi August 15, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Marcel,

      You would only need additional insurance if you’re travelling for more than 15 days. If that’s the case, you can just extend your coverage via Amex for an additional charge.

      The Amex Platinum certificate of insurance states the following (she’s covered).

      Insured person – means any of the following persons who are under the age of 65 years of age and who have a valid government health insurance plan: the cardmember, the supplementary cardmember, the cardmember’s spouse, the supplementary cardmember’s spouse, the cardmember’s dependent child or the supplementary cardmember’s dependent child.

  32. Jon Weigand August 22, 2018 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Greetings Barry,

    Have you done a comparison of the Personal vs the Business Platinum Cards? It appears that they are ow very similar, and the business card can get lounge access now. Assuming you have both, and you where to keep ony one, which one would you keep? If churning, which one to cancel and reapply for later?

    • Barry Choi August 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      Hey Jon,

      They are indeed very similar. Technically speaking, you need a business to get the business card, but I know people have been approved without a formal business setup.

      Most people who churn end up applying for both cards (referring themselves to the second card).

      I personally prefer the personal platinum just because of bragging rights.

  33. Melina Jefferson August 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry — I can’t seem to get your referral link working. Is it still valid? Thanks for the super helpful post!


    • Barry Choi August 26, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Melina,

      The Amex referral site is down for maintenance right now. It’ll likely be back up tomorrow (Monday)

  34. Viviene September 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry

    If I cancel the card just after i get the bonus points, will I get a refund on the annual fee? Also, if I get the card now, will I get a $200 travel credit this year and again next year before the 12 months are up? And finally, do you see any good reason to keep the card beyond the first year?


    • Barry Choi September 15, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Hi Viv,

      There have been various reports, but some people have been able to get a partial refund with their annual fees after collecting the sign up bonus. That being said, you would almost definitely be flagged by American Express so you could possibly be denied any future applications.

      The travel credit is per calendar year. However, if you claim it in January and then cancel the card in February, there’s a good chance that it’ll be clawed back. Your best bet would to claim it in January and cancel the card 4 – 6 months later if that’s your intention, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll let you keep the credit.

      As for keeping the card past the first year, there are plenty of reasons. You get unlimited lounge access, status at various hotel chains, a premium travel insurance package, access to Amex platinum services and more.

      • Viv September 21, 2018 at 4:25 am - Reply

        Thanks for the response. I am very tempted by the platinum card but I am concerned that I may find it difficult reaching the spending requirement. I live in Montreal and have been to a number of major supermarkets in the past week (groceries are largest monthly spend) and none bar Metro take Amex. I am also looking to buy a new car but the one dealer I have been to said they do not take Amex. I would appreciate any tips on how to spend on Amex in Canada (and Montreal specifically) without increasing my overall spending. Thanks

  35. William October 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Looks like the Fairmont Platinum membership after 5 nights have now been removed with the purchase by AccorHotels?

  36. Chris November 1, 2018 at 9:12 pm - Reply


    Did you notice the blurb in the Amex Platinum statement this month? Starting in 2019 you receive the $200 travel credit on your anniversary date. The credit is no longer based on calendar year.

    So if your anniversary is in December, you will pay the $699 fee in December 2018 and not receive your travel credit until December 2019 when another $699 fee is due.

    I understand that they are trying to plug the loop hole where you can get two $200 travel credits in first year of account ownership but this new policy seems to punish their existing client base.

    Have you heard from AMEX on this issue?

    • Barry Choi November 2, 2018 at 7:45 am - Reply

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, this change happened last month. I do agree that it’s a bit odd that they didn’t grandfather the calendar year travel credit to existing cardholders, but that was likely a bit of a pain to do.

      Amex has confirmed that the credit is now given every calendar year.

      • Viv November 5, 2018 at 3:15 pm - Reply

        I understood the calendar year travel credit to mean one $200 credit per calendar year which then does not renew until the anniversary date. So if I received card in November, instead of the calendar year deal which allowed me to claim a credit in November and again from Jan 2019 and then again from Jan 2020, with the anniversary deal, I could claim my credit in November but then would have to wait until November 2019 to claim another. The issue is that I can claim in at any time during the year (even before they bill me for the annual fee) only the offer won’t renew until after anniversary date, at which point I can claim the credit at any point in that year.

        • Barry Choi November 5, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply


          That’s pretty much how it is now. Amex just changed the rules since there was a lot of abuse with people claiming two travel credits in the first year and then cancelling the card.

  37. Job November 5, 2018 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Regarding the point Viv has raise, wouldn’t it be illegal that Amex just canceled a promised promotion for existing customers? If Amex is keep changing such policies randomly, then how should we be able to rely on their promises when we sign up for a new card? I am not sure if it is only me, but I think this was an unacceptable move taken by Amex.

    • Barry Choi November 5, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply


      The Amex terms and conditions state that they can change benefits at anytime so they’re within their rights. I have no problem with this change as it was always meant to be a credit you get once a year which has been abused.

      • Job November 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm - Reply

        Thanks, Barry. Even if I would get referral bonuses as you do via your blog, I wouldn’t recommend anyone any longer to sign up to Amex Platinum given that they are keep changing the benefits that one was hoping to receive when they signed up for the card. It is at the end of the day all about trust, transparency and keeping up their word to provide the benefits that are promised initially. Anyone can write a lengthy legal document and trick people into traps as Amex did here, but losing the trust of customer hurts companies in the long-run.

        One pays up front a hefty $699 price tag for services that are canceled later on. I signed up to Amex after reading your recommendation here and I regret that I signed up for Amex since they keep reducing their benefits.

        • Barry Choi November 5, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply


          Well with new people signing up, it’s now clearly stated that the travel credit is given annually so it’s not deceptive IMO. Now for people who currently have the card, it probably should have been grandfathered per calendar year, but that was Amex’s decision. They haven’t reduced their benefits with this change. For the last year, people who tried to get the credit twice in one year were often clawed back since it was a loophole.

          • Job November 5, 2018 at 4:23 pm

            I am in total agreement that it is perfectly ethical to change this benefit for people who sign up for a NEW card. However, existing customer shouldn’t be impacted by this change since they already signed up for the card with the expectation that they will receive ALL promised benefits. How will I know in the future that Amex will not cancel other benefits if I decide to sign up for another card? This is a very short-termist behaviour by Amex.

            When I read your blog in late May this year, I got the impression that I could claim the credit anytime during a new calendar year rather than waiting to pay for the new annual fee to obtain my new credit. For the sake of transparency, it would be very helpful to make this clear in the blog as well. I know that you are trying to help out the community and we all appreciate it.

          • Barry Choi November 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm


            I totally agree that the old benefit should have been grandfathered. I’m not 100% sure about this, but it seems to be a recent trend where any new changes to credit cards would also affect current cardholders. I know that MBNA World Elite cardholders saw their cards devalued, the same thing happened to BMO WOrld Elite Mastercard and the Tangerine money-back card.

            I definitely understand your frustration, heck it annoys me too.

          • Viv November 8, 2018 at 11:03 am

            Actually, I applied and received my card in October and they called me to inform me of the change but also honoured the travel credit conditions offered at the time of application. So I have a travel credit that I can (and have collected) to the end of 2018 and another that I can collect from January next year. Then yes, I will have to wait for next credit to kick in after October 2019, after which I can collect it once a year as promised. IMO, that is not a bad deal and exactly what they promised.

            As far I understand there was only ever one opportunity to collect 2 rewards in any 12 month period and thereafter the rewards were limited to one per 12 month period. The new rules gets rid of the possibility of have 2 rewards for the initial 12 months which new applicants will be aware of prior to submitting application.

            One issue I am having however is with the transfer of points once I have hit the $5000 spend. I was expecting it to happen within a week but customer service is telling me it could take 8-10 weeks. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but I really want these points before the end of the month to meet the BA Avios transfer deal. I feel as a platinum card holder, having paid such a high fee, that they should be able to expedite the transfer. When I held an (basic) Amex card in the UK, the points were transferred almost immediately. What is your experience?

          • Barry Choi November 8, 2018 at 11:07 am

            Hey Viv,

            My sign up point have almost always posted immediately after I’ve reached the minimum spend. That being said, technically speaking customer service is right and it could take 8-10 weeks to post. There’s no way to expedite the process.

  38. JD November 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Hey Barry,

    Can you confirm if supplementary Platinum cards earn points? or is it just the primary cardholders card that earns the points?

    • Barry Choi November 19, 2018 at 1:40 pm - Reply


      The supplementary cardholder earns points for the primary account holder.

  39. JD November 19, 2018 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Perfect! That’s what I assumed. Just want to make sure my kids are getting me points! LOL

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