Premium Travel Cards Pivot Benefits in a Coronavirus World: Update

Updated 6/9/20 with Citi's latest addition to the Prestige Card.

In an attempt to keep you as a customer in a world where travel is severely limited, banks have been changing the benefit profiles of their credit cards that previously rewarded behavior centered primarily around travel.

Those of you most concerned with what to do with your travel cards are likely paying big annual fees for the premium transferrable point cards--the Chase Sapphire Reserve, The Platinum Card from American Express, and the Citi Prestige--so let's compare those changes.

The Basics of American Express Membership Rewards

We began this series with an introduction to the three types of credit card reward programs frequented by travelers: transferable point cards, airline- and hotel-branded cards, and fixed point value cards. Next we'll dive a little deeper into the first type, transferable point cards. There are five major types of transferable points:

American Express Membership RewardsChase Ultimate RewardsCiti ThankYou PointsCapital One Venture MilesMarriott Bonvoy

The subject of today's article is American Express and its travel reward program known as Membership Rewards.

100k & 125K Targeted Bonuses for Amex Platinum

There is a targeted offer available through creditcards.com’s CardMatch Tool for 100,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 on your new Platinum within three months of account opening. This 100k offer resurfaces periodically. It is worth checking again if you weren’t targeted the last time as they target different rounds of customers each time.

Even more exciting is word of a new, bigger targeted sign up bonus of 125,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months on the Amex Platinum.

Hey Procrastinators! Final Day to Spend the Platinum’s 2019 Travel Credits

One of the most valuable benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express is its $200 per year--calendar year--of incidental travel fee credits. You get a couple other credits as well this month, at least another $85 worth of Saks Merchandise + Uber credit, that would be a shame to forget about.

Choose Designated Airline for Amex Platinum by Today

I'm bumping this up to the top of the blog roll as a reminder to make a change by TODAY.

Digital Priority Pass Card: Who Can Get it & How

The Priority Pass membership is a standard perk these days for premium credit cards. It grants you access to Priority Pass' network of lounges (and even some restaurants, where you get a free set tab) located all over the world. Not all Priority Pass lounges are created equal, but thanks to sites like Lounge Buddy you can vet a lounge before travel.

Priority Pass memberships (with varying levels of free access) come with all the following credit cards:

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Citi Prestige
American Express Platinum
American Express Business Platinum
Chase Ritz-Carlton Card
U.S.

TIP: Use Desktop, Not Mobile to Buy Delta Gift Cards for Platinum Credit

Are you scrambling to spend all your incidental travel fee credit for your Amex Platinum before the year ends? Is Delta your designated airline? Then be careful how you buy Delta gift cards. Gift cards bought through the mobile version of Delta's site are coding as actual gift cards, and therefore aren't being reimbursed by Amex.

[100k ENDS TODAY] Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Citi Prestige vs. Amex Platinum

The sign up bonus that currently comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card when you apply online, 100,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 on the card within three months of opening it, will drop to 50,000 Ultimate Rewards for the same spending requirement this coming Thursday, January 12.

150k Point Sign Up Bonus on AMEX Platinum Business Card Ends Tomorrow

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is offering 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $20,000 in the first three months.

There is no application link, so you must apply by phone. To apply call 877-628-6736 and give offer code L081-994-816-5743. This offer code expires tomorrow May 15; the exact time is unknown. When you call, you may also be offered 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first three months.

The publicly available offer is only 40,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

150k Point Sign Up Bonus on AMEX Platinum Business Card Ends Tomorrow

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is offering 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $20,000 in the first three months.

There is no application link, so you must apply by phone. To apply call 877-628-6736 and give offer code L081-994-816-5743. This offer code expires tomorrow May 15; the exact time is unknown. When you call, you may also be offered 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first three months.

The publicly available offer is only 40,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.