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Currently American Express has a promotion with the American Express Platinum Charge Card. This is in my opinion the flagship card of Amex. The promotion is that you receive 80,000 Amex points when you spend $500 in the first 2 months. How good is this do you ask?

It’s as good as getting a business return flight on Cathay Pacific which requires 80,000 points. That alone would cost you an average of $5000.  The bad thing about this card is the high annual fee of any card I’ve ever seen at $1200 per year.

So why you get this card? If you are like me and thinking that paying $1200 for a $5000 business class flight is a deal – then we are on the same page! Usually it costs $800 when on special to fly to Hong Kong.  So to get a business class flight for a few hundred dollars is a bargain to me!

Also as Cathay Pacific was rate the number one airline in the world for 2014 by Skytrax – taking up this offer is a great deal if you are planning to travel to South-east Asia in the next 12 months.

It only requires about 93,000 Krisflyer points to fly on Singapore Airlines business class as well – so you are nearly there by signing up.

With the Amex Platinum Card – it also entitles you to a $200 travel credit per year when you book with Amex travel – www.amex.com.au/travel. So this is good when booking a hotel or flight and also getting $200 off.

Amex Platinum also provides you access with Virgin Australia lounges, it includes Priority Pass and also instant elite status with hotel groups such as Accor and Starwood (Gold membership). Just recently as well you are entitled to have access to the American Express Airport Lounge across the world. Sydney just opened up a couple of months ago – so giving you more options.

There is also Fine Hotels and Resorts by American Express where if you book on this websites – by booking the base room – you will receive free breakfast, upgraded room and lounge benefits (subject to availability of course). This is similar to the Visa Luxury Hotels website if you have a Citibank Signature Visa card. Useful if you don’t have any status but would like the benefits of an elite member.

Unfortunately the earn rate compared to the Platinum Edge is not as good. For restaurants it is 3 points per dollar – but only their selected restaurants. 2 points for travel products and 1 point per dollar for most other items. Compared to the Platinum Edge where it is 3 points per dollar for supermarkets and 2 points for petrol and everything else is 1 point – the earn rate for most people will be better for a Platinum Edge.

Platinum Edge though does not have as many travel benefits as the Platinum Charge card – so again it really depends on how much you travel during the year and the number of benefits you can get out of it to either break even or get more bang for your buck.

Now $1200 is a very high price – paying it for the first year is worthwhile as you get the bonus points enough for a business class return flight. The second year and thereafter I am not so sure – I would prefer to cancel it before the year is up unless you travel a lot through the year and love the access to the airport lounges and the elite status of at least a couple of the hotel chains (doesn’t have my 2 favourites which is Hilton and Hyatt). 

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