Update: Some readers are reporting a similar offer but with the chance to earn 100,000 points after $6,000 on purchases in the first six months.
A reader in our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group has reported on an interesting targeted upgrade offer he received to upgrade his Gold card to a Platinum card that includes both a nice stash of points and 5x in select categories on up to $15K in combined purchases during the first 6 months. This could certainly be an interesting offer for some, though ultimately I think it makes me more hopeful for other creative offers to come than excited about this specific offer (YMMV). Note that there are two different upgrade offers being reported — see both below.
Upgrade Offer #1:
Upgrade Offer #2:
- Amex has sent out the following targeted offers to upgrade the Gold card to the Platinum card:
- Offer 1: Earn 75,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months plus earn 5x on eligible purchases at US supermarkets, US gas stations, and restaurants worldwide on up to $15K in purchases during the first 6 months.
- Offer 2: Earn 100,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months plus earn 5x on eligible purchases at US supermarkets, US gas stations, and restaurants worldwide on up to $15K in purchases during the first 6 months.
The reader who reported this offer previously had the Platinum card and cancelled it in 2020 due to the pandemic. He currently has a Gold card and received the offer above to upgrade to the Platinum card. Keep in mind that upgrade offers typically do not exclude those who have or have had the card before (unlike new card welcome offers, which typically have once-per-lifetime language).
At first glance, this looked pretty exciting to me. I imagine that many people could hit most of the $6,000 spending requirement in the included 5x categories and come out with about 105,000 or 135,000 total points (75K or 100K from the targeted upgrade bonus offer and 30,000 points from $6K spend in the included 5x categories). From that perspective, this is a great upgrade offer. Keep in mind that you’d also get all of the other Platinum card benefits like the $200 annual Fine Hotels & Resorts credit, $200 airline incidental credit, up to $200 in Uber credits ($15 each month and $35 in December), up to $100 in Sak’s credits ($50 Jan-Jun and $50 Jul-Aug, enrollment required), Centurion lounge access, Delta Sky Club access when flying Delta, etc. For more details on Platinum card perks, see our Amex Platinum Card Complete Guide.
On the other hand, the Gold card already earns 4x at US Supermarkets and restaurants, so (apart from the 75K / 100K bonus component of the offer) you’re really only earning 1 additional point in those temporary bonus categories with the upgrade. From that angle, the 5x categories on the upgrade offer may seem less appealing. On the other hand, it is nice that you temporarily don’t lose out on those category bonuses with the upgrade offer and you do pick up the chance to earn a nice number of bonus points and other Platinum card benefits mentioned above. The opportunity cost of the spend required for the upgrade offer is essentially nullified.
Do also keep in mind that if you upgrade you will be on the hook for the Platinum card’s annual fee. When upgrading, Amex gives you a prorated refund on your Gold card annual fee and then charges the full Platinum card fee. As an example, if you are exactly six months into your Gold card year, you would get a refund of $125 (half the Gold card fee) and then you would be charged the full Platinum card fee. The reader who reported this just had his Gold card fee post a couple of weeks ago, so he should get a full refund of the fee and then owe the new Platinum card fee which would post soon thereafter.
Ultimately, I’m glad to see Amex continue to throw out more bonus points and to make spend more rewarding with these first-six-months bonus category offers and happier yet to see that it hasn’t resulted in a reduction in the bonus points typically associated with upgrade offers.
H/T: Reader Jeff