This is my review of the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card.
I’ve been taking a closer look at the cashback credit cards offered by American Express in recent weeks. The first part of this mini-series covered the Amex Platinum Everyday Cashback Credit Card – you can read that review here.
The Platinum Cashback Credit Card offers 5% cashback on all of your purchases (capped at £125, versus £100 on the Everyday Cashback card) in the first three months of card membership.
This card carries a £25 annual fee.
Like other American Express card products with an annual fee, the £25 fee is refundable pro-rata if you choose to cancel your card at any point during your card membership year.
Representative 28.2% APR variable. Based on purchases rate 22.9% p.a. variable and a £25 annual fee.
Am I eligible for the welcome bonus?
American Express have made significant changes to their sign-up bonus rules in recent months.
To be eligible for a sign-up bonus on the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card, you cannot have held a personal American Express card of any kind in the last 24 months.
- Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card (Amex Gold)
- The Platinum Card
- Green Card
- American Express Rewards Cards
- British Airways Credit Cards
- Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card
- Nectar Credit Card
There are NO minimum income requirements to apply for any cards issued by American Express. That restriction was removed a number of years ago.
Day-to-day earnings rate
After your first three months of card membership, you’ll earn up to 1.25% cashback, depending on how much you spend on the Card:
Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases
Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases
Unlike the Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card, there’s no minimum annual spend requirement to be eligible for cashback on this card.
Refer-a-friend for extra cashback
Like most other American Express cards, this card offers a refer-a-friend bonus scheme. You’ll receive a £30 bonus for each approved referral. You can earn a maximum of five referral bonuses per calendar year.
In comparison, a British Airways Premium Plus cardholder earns 9,000 Avios for every successful referral that they make, up to a maximum of 90,000 Avios per calendar year (i.e. nine referrals). An Amex Platinum (charge card) cardholder receives 12,000 Membership Rewards points per successful referral, with a maximum of 90,000 (referral) Membership Rewards points possible each calendar year.
When do I receive my cashback?
As I highlighted in my review of the Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card, earned cashback is only paid once a year, in the month following your card anniversary.
For me, this is a major negative compared to miles and points-earning Amex cards. On those cards, the points are available to use within a few days – in the case of Membership Rewards, or at worst swept across to your British Airways or Marriott account(s) once a month.
Which is better – cashback or earning miles and points?
If you were hoping for a clear-cut answer to this one you’re going to be disappointed. This is highly subjective, but here are several factors you may want to consider.
- Cash is king. There are no restrictions on how you can where/when you can redeem £125 cashback for example.
- On the other hand, using just 9,000 Avios for return flights within Europe at peak times can offer massively outsized value.
- Collecting airline miles is appealing from an aspirational perspective. They allow people to travel in business or first class when they would/could never pay the often sky-high cash prices for those seats. I.e. you wouldn’t pay £6,000+ for First Class flights from London to Hong Kong but you would consider redeeming 100,000 miles + ‘taxes’.
- Similarly, hotel points bring luxury hotels within reach. You wouldn’t pay £1,100 a night to stay in the St. Regis New York but you would think about using 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. In both of these cases, cashback doesn’t help you in that sense because you’re unlikely to be able to justify using it to pay for business class travel/luxury accommodation if you wouldn’t otherwise do so.
I’ll readily admit that I choose to focus my attention on airline miles and hotel points. It keeps me motivated and I’m confident that the value I get from redeeming my points comfortably exceeds the equivalent cashback that I’ve chosen to forgo.
Cashback cards have traditionally been less of an attraction than some of the other more popular points-earning Amex cards, at least in terms of their sign-up bonuses. But as I said a couple of weeks back, the ground has shifted somewhat.
The Amex Gold card was my previous benchmark and used to offer a 20,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus (worth 20,000 Avios). However, that bonus has been reduced to 10,000 Membership Rewards points.
£125 cashback versus 20,000 Membership Rewards points was a no-brainer. But with the equation now £125 cashback v 10,000 points, it’s a very different calculation.
The main downside of this card for me is that cashback is only paid annually. But if you’re happy to wait a year for something back on your spending then this card may well work for you. The Amex Platinum Cashback credit card does offer a solid return especially considering the minimal annual fee.
What is it for you – cashback or miles/points?
Disclaimer: The information provided by Tricks of the Trade is intended solely as a helpful guide to relevant travel rewards card products and their various features and offers. You should always conduct your own research as recommendations provided within may not be suitable for your personal financial circumstances.