In the time that I’ve had the card, I’ve had fun digging into some of the lesser-known benefits, but only recently became aware of one unpublished benefit that could be the best of them all.
The One Annual Fee Policy
AMEX’s policy is that Platinum Charge cardholders will only pay one annual fee– the highest annual fee of all the cards they hold. In other words, a Platinum Charge cardholder will only ever pay a maximum of $1,712 in annual fees. This is subject to a maximum of 3 cards, 2 credit and 1 charge. In other words, you can get the annual fee of up to 2 more cards absolutely free.
This creates a great opportunity to “upsize” your Platinum Charge benefits by signing up for a few other American Express cards…
AMEX Platinum Reserve
The AMEX Platinum Reserve normally carries an income requirement of $150,000 per year and an annual fee of $535. Platinum Charge card members will presumably already met the income requirement, and with no annual fee to pay, getting this card is a no brainer.
I applied for the card online (too bad the AMEX Platinum Reserve has no member-refer-member mechanism) and got it within two days.
The Plat Reserve comes with a big stack of welcome vouchers, including the following:
- $100 Tower Club F&B voucher
- $50 Marriott dining voucher
- Marriott Cafe 50% off high tea certificate for 2-6 pax from Mon-Fri
- Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore 40% off for 4-20 pax from Mon-Sat lunch
- 50% off bill for 8-10 pax at Asian Market Cafe, Ellenborough Market Cafe or Cafe Swiss
- 2 x Complimentary cake or house wine at any FAR card restaurant
- Complimentary bottle of house wine with 4 pax at buffet lunch/dinner at Marriott Cafe
- Complimentary bottle of wine at Napolean Food & Wine Bar, Praelum Wine Bistro, and Burlamacco Ristorante
- Discount spa vouchers at Spa Rael, The Ultimate and Adeva Spa
- Complimentary 2 night stay at any participating Frasers Hospitality property
- $190 nett stay at Amara Sanctuary resort, Hotel Fort Canning, The Quincy Hotel, YOTEL Singapore Orchard Road
- $150/190 nett stay at Dorsett Singapore and M Social
- $150 nett stay at Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, The Sultan
- Discounted weekend rate + complimentary room upgrade vouchers at both Fairmonts and Swissotel
The pick of the litter is undoubtedly the 2 night complimentary stay at a participating Frasers Hospitality property, a voucher you’ll receive each year you renew your AMEX Platinum Reserve membership. You can see the list of participating properties here, and make your booking online using the code AXPLAT.
[Edit: AMEX has clarified that the 50K MR sign up bonus does not apply if you get your Plat Reserve card fee waived by virtue of Plat Charge membership]
Moreover, I’m currently seeking to rack up as many Membership Rewards points as I can, in light of the amazing transfer bonus that AMEX is running with Hilton Honors (1 MR to 3 Hilton points, until 20 December). The AMEX Platinum Reserve card offers 50,000 bonus MR points when you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months, so if I play my cards right I’ll be able to get a total of 156,250 MR points for $25,000 of spending, which is broken down into: 56,250 MR (50,000 bonus + 6,250 base) for spending $5,000 on the AMEX Plat Reserve 100,000 MR (75,000 bonus + 25,000 base) for spending $20,000 on the AMEX Plat Charge That’s just under 470,000 Hilton points, for $25,000 of spending.
The Near Away vouchers provided to AMEX Platinum Reserve cardholders provide access to discounted staycation rates in Singapore, with no room costing more than $190 nett. Other highlights include the $100 Tower Club voucher, $50 Marriott dining voucher and some additional group dining discounts (most of which you’d already have thanks to your AMEX Plat Charge membership).
All in all, a pretty nice haul at no incremental cost to AMEX Platinum Charge Cardholders. I think I even have a $20 NTUC voucher coming my way for applying through the SingPass MyInfo system…
AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend
The AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend normally has an annual fee of $337.05. This fee is not waived for the first year, but is waived for subsequent years for Platinum Charge members.
Assuming you’ve not held the card before, you’ll be eligible for 43,000 KrisFlyer miles when you spend $10,000 within 3 months of approval. Even if you’re not, you’ll at least enjoy the four complimentary lounge vouchers (although as a Platinum Charge cardholder you’d have unlimited lounge access anyway) and the complimentary night stay at selected Hilton Properties in Asia Pacific.
You can sweeten the deal even further by applying for the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend card via SingSaver, which gets you $150 of cash upon approval. Remember to fill out the rewards registration form after you apply so your gift can be properly credited to you.
The catch, if you want to call it that, is that you have to be a Platinum Charge cardholder first. With a $200,000 income requirement and a $1,712 annual fee, the pool of people willing/able to apply is likely going to be small.
But if you’ve already taken the plunge, then applying for the Platinum Reserve and Ascend cards can net you some additional free hotel nights and dining vouchers. Why not?
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