Back in August 2018, American Express relaunched the AMEX Platinum Charge and threw open the previously invite-only doors to the general public. But perhaps “threw open” is the wrong term to use, since they weren’t taking just anyone. The minimum income requirement was S$200,000, which would put cardholders at the 91st percentile of all resident taxpayers.
However, it soon became apparent that this figure was not set in stone. The website would process applications with declared income as “low” as S$150,000, and those who could demonstrate high net worth through other means were also accepted into the fold.
American Express has now gone one step further and unpublished the income requirement altogether.
AMEX Platinum Charge unpublishes income requirement
About a month or so ago, American Express updated the eligibility section on the AMEX Platinum Charge’s landing page.
Note the rightmost column relating to income requirements, which reads as follows:
“For Cards with no preset spending limits, latest income documents with minimum income of S$120,000 p.a. is required. Application is subjected to customers meeting the regulatory minimum income requirement and internal assessment.”
Some have taken this to mean that the AMEX Platinum Charge’s income requirement has been cut to S$120,000, but that’s an incorrect interpretation. Rather, S$120,000 is merely the MAS-mandated minimum for a credit cardholder to have no preset spending limit.
What this does imply that American Express is willing to consider applications with incomes below S$120,000, even though an AMEX Platinum Charge with a preset limit is kind of an oxymoron (since “Charge” implies that (1) there’s no preset spending limit, (2) the balance must be paid in full every month).
So in other words, it’d be more accurate to say that the AMEX Platinum Charge no longer has a published income requirement. The online application portal now allows the submission of applications with a minimum annual income of S$30,000 (it was previously hardcoded to give an error message for any figure below S$150,000).
I’ve heard some complaints that the AMEX Platinum Charge is “going mass market” by removing the income requirement, but that’s a strange thing to say for two reasons.
First, the filter for the AMEX Platinum Charge has always been the S$1,728 annual fee, not the income requirement. It’s challenging enough for someone earning six figures a year to justify, let alone less than that.
Second, even when the official income requirement was S$200,000, it was common knowledge that cash rich, income poor individuals could get approved by showing proof of other assets. The removal of the published income requirement has presumably been done with this group in mind, rather than a fresh graduate starting his first job.
That said, I think there are definitely legitimate concerns that American Express is taking on more cardholders at the expense of experience. I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of service over the past 12 months; longer hold times and forgotten call backs are two of my biggest peeves. Who knows, perhaps the larger ranks were also the reason why Platinum af’FAIR didn’t happen in 2022 (and what does that say about 2023?).
I really don’t care what the income requirement is, quite frankly. If you only sign up for a credit card because it has a six-digit income requirement, well, that’s some small PP energy right there. I do, however, care about experience, and that requires staffing up to maintain good service as card membership grows.
Current sign-up offer
If you’re considering signing up for an AMEX Platinum Charge, do refer to the article below for the latest sign-up offer which runs till 31 January 2023.
In summary, applicants who get approved in January 2023 and spend S$20,000 in the first 3 months will get a sign-up bonus of 110,000 MR points. They will also be able to double dip on two sets of statement credits: the existing S$800 airline and hotel credits (remember to use them by 31 January), plus the upcoming S$1,200 dining, lifestyle and travel credits that are launching in February.
American Express has removed the published income requirement for the AMEX Platinum Charge, presumably to facilitate applications from asset-rich individuals who don’t draw a regular income. You can now submit an application online so long as you earn at least S$30,000 a year (though whether you’ll get approved at that level is another question).