Military members get Amex Platinum with no annual fee in 2020 - Business Insider
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The Amex Platinum is available to active-duty servicemembers at no annual fee — but even with the fee, the credit card is a great value

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This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

  • If you're an active-duty servicemember, you can get the annual fee waived for all (See Rates) waived for The Platinum Card® from American Express.
  • The easiest way to get the fee waived is to call the number on the back of your card and request it. The fee will be waived for every year you remain on active duty.
  • You get a number of shopping and travel benefits, including annual The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees of any consumer credit card — $550 each year, starting when your first billing statement hits. However, the card is easily worth that annual fee if you travel, because you get more value than that back. For example, I got more than $2,000 of demonstrable value from the card my first year.

    However, if you're an active-duty US military member, Amex will actually waive the annual fee for the Platinum card along with all other Amex cards.

    We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    The Platinum Card® from American Express

    Apply Now Rates & Fees
    Annual Fee
    $550
    Regular APR
    See Pay Over Time APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.75 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $550
    Regular APR
    See Pay Over Time APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.75 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening
    Intro APR
    N/A
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That's an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
    • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    How US military can get the Amex Platinum annual fee waived

    As reported by US Navy veteran and rewards expert Richard Kerr of The Points Guy, service members must request the benefit by calling the number on the back of the card — it isn't applied automatically. Amex uses an automated program to confirm your service, and refunds the annual fee in the form of a statement credit.

    Amex will waive annual fees on its cards for active-duty military members who already have an eligible card, and for those who open an Amex card after beginning active duty. The annual fee is waived for existing cardholders under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and for cardholders who apply after beginning active duty under the Military Lending Act (MLA).

    This can be particularly useful for military members who find themselves traveling frequently, either as a part of their service or during leave periods — or for traveling spouses and children, who can be added as ized users. 

    Keep in mind that the fee waiver only applies to active-duty servicemen and women, according to Kerr. Reservists, he says, won't be able to get the fee waived unless they're actively deployed.

    Top Amex Platinum card benefits

    The card can be incredibly valuable even for non-service members who have to pay the whole fee. Here are some of the benefits that make that the case. 

    Airport lounge access

    Airport lounges are exclusive areas where you can enjoy seats, an internet connection, food, drinks, and sometimes other amenities. Although lounges were traditionally reserved for first-class and business-class passengers, many are accessible to any traveler who holds either a lounge membership or certain credit cards — and the Platinum Card offers access to various airport lounge networks.

    The first type is Amex's own proprietary Platinum Card or more than 30 locations, Sky Clubs offer snacks, complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks (with more "premium" drinks available for purchase), fast Wi-Fi, and a place to unwind. Some locations also feature showers.

    amex centurion lounge phoenix
    Amex Centurion lounges offer high-end food and drinks at several airports around the country.
    Zach Griff/The Points Guy

    Finally, the Platinum Card comes with a Platinum Card earns Platinum Card offers up to Platinum Card benefits. US card members can enroll to get Platinum Card, you can earn it before you've stayed a single night.

    The Platinum Card comes with a few other benefits that help offset the annual fee. 

    Amex offers Platinum Card members access to the Amex Platinum Card cardmembers, too. While the services are complimentary, you're responsible for paying for any services booked or purchases made on your behalf (don't worry, the concierge will always ask for approval first). The service can come in helpful for things like getting tickets to shows or making reservations at exclusive restaurants.

    The Platinum Card® from American Express

    Apply Now Rates & Fees
    Annual Fee
    $550
    Regular APR
    See Pay Over Time APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.75 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $550
    Regular APR
    See Pay Over Time APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.75 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening
    Intro APR
    N/A
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That's an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
    • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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