American Express has launched a new welcome gift for the AMEX Platinum Charge, valid for approvals received by 30 September 2021.
The existing gift of an OTO Quantum massage chair has been replaced by a 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020, presumably to cater to the work-from-home crowd.
|💳 Previous Platinum Charge Welcome Gifts|
While I’d personally prefer a hotel stay or MR points, I suppose there might be some who value this sort of thing.
AMEX Platinum Charge new welcome gift
The full annual fee of S$1,712 must be paid in the first statement, and cardholders must not have cancelled an AMEX Platinum Charge card in the past 24 months (it’s fine if they hold/held other AMEX cards however; there’s no “new-to-bank” requirement).
Eligible cardholders will receive a redemption letter within 12 weeks after payment of the annual fee, and the Omnidesk Pro must be redeemed within two months from the date of the redemption letter.
It’s important to separate the welcome gift (which has changed) from the sign-up bonus (which hasn’t):
|Welcome Gift||Sign-up Bonus|
|Spending||N/A||S$20,000 in first 6 months|
|Reward||48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020||75,000 MR points|
The sign-up bonus remains unchanged at 75,000 MR points with S$20,000 spending in the first 6 months.
In addition to this, applicants who apply through the MGM program will receive a further bonus of 40,000 MR points with S$5,000 spent in the first 3 months. This S$5,000 will double count towards the fulfillment of the S$20,000 spend for the sign-up bonus.
In other words, new cardholders who spend S$20,000 in the first 6 months will receive:
- 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020
- 75,000 MR points (sign-up bonus)
- 40,000 MR points (MGM bonus)
- 25,000 MR points (base points @ 2 MR per S$1.60)
What’s an Omnidesk?
Omnidesk is supposedly the Rolls Royce of standing desks, as their website would have you believe:
In 2018 we revolutionised the standing desk experience in the region and our flagship Omnidesk Pro became a symbol of the modern workspace. 2 years on and we’ve taken feedback from our community and implemented them into our latest flagship Omnidesk Pro.
Introducing our new and improved flagship Omnidesk Pro. Featuring the same aesthetic and functionality that we know and love but our 2020 iteration feature a suite of upgrades that will truly reimagine your space.
The specs certainly sound impressive. Fully adjustable via electric motors to anywhere between 60cm and 125cm, anti-collision technology (which prevents the desk from squashing things below it), cable management options and all manner of customizations.
Now, the AMEX T&Cs value the 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020 at S$840 (that’s the penalty you’ll pay if you cancel your card within six months of approval), but the official website sells it for S$760. You can get a further S$25 off during the GSS period (ends 7 July) with the code GSS25, so that’s a nett cost of S$735.
Leaving aside the actual utility of the gift, it isn’t nearly as generous as the previous OTO Quantum (retail price: S$3,480). Even if you didn’t fancy a massage chair, you could get a four-figure sum flogging it off. Indeed we’ve seen OTO Quantums flooding Carousell over the past few months, with the asking price for a brand new unit starting from S$1,250.
The resale price of a 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020 isn’t going to be anywhere near that, and unless you’re really interested in a standing desk, I might wait and see what the next gift is.
I do wish that American Express would revert to offering hotel nights or MR points as the welcome gift. Like I said previously, I understand that the indefinite suspension on travel reduced the attractiveness of a 2-night Banyan Tree/Mandarin Oriental stay, but 75,000 MR points was a good compromise.
75,000 MR points could be converted to 46,875 airline miles with nine different airline partners, for those holding out hope for travel. Alternatively, it could be exchanged for 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy or 93,750 Hilton Honors points, enough for a couple of nights at a high-end hotel.
75,000 MR points could also be redeemed for S$450 of credit at Pay with Points+ merchants like Audi, Challenger, Grand Cru Harvey Norman, Lee Hwa Jewelry and more. Heck, you could select something else from the Membership Rewards catalogue– it probably wouldn’t be good value, but you’d at least be able to pick.
The problem with electronics and lifestyle gadgets is that they’re highly personal. I may have no interest in a standing desk, or I might not want this particular brand, model or color. Unless it’s something with mass appeal like the latest iPhone, it’s tricky to get this kind of gift right.
The new welcome gift for the AMEX Platinum Charge will be a 48″ Omnidesk Pro 2020 until at least 30 September 2021. If your life has a hole that only a standing desk will fill, knock yourself out. Otherwise, it might be worth waiting and seeing what the next gift will be.
Standing desk. Yay or nay?