Settling for 350K Amex points with one new card

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Ever since the amazing Resy Platinum offer appeared, I’ve been itching to jump on it.  It’s an offer for the generic Amex Platinum card that’s only available through the Resy website.  And the offer is fantastic: 125K points after $6K in purchases in the first 6 months plus 15x at restaurants worldwide and when you shop small in the US on up to $25K in combined purchases in the first 6 months.  If you spend $25K on eligible restaurants and shop small purchases during the offer period, you’ll end up with a total of 500,000 Amex points!  Even better, I’ve found that nearly all of my spend seems to count as either dining or as shop small purchases (I have a separate active offer for 5 points per dollar for dining and shop small purchases).  Even some very large transactions have counted.  So, I’d really love to earn 15X instead of 5X!

Unfortunately for me, I signed up for a Platinum card about a year ago and so I’m not eligible for another.  And my wife signed up for one on June 30th of this year.  That was the day before the Resy offer premiered.  Great timing.  And my son is in Amex pop-up prison: whenever he tries to sign up for a personal Amex card, a pop-up says that he’s not eligible for a welcome bonus (as an aside, this doesn’t happen when he applies for business cards).

My son’s pop-up prison.

With no hope of getting in on the Resy offer in my household, I turned my eye instead to the Schwab Platinum offer: 100K points after $6K in purchases in the first 6 months plus 10x at restaurants worldwide and when you shop small in the US on up to $25K in combined purchases in the first 6 months.  If you spend $25K on eligible restaurants and shop small purchases during the offer period, you’ll end up with a total of 350,000 Amex points.  That’s awesome, unless you compare it to the Resy offer!  Note: there’s an identical offer for the Morgan Stanley Platinum card.

I already had the Schwab Platinum card so I wasn’t eligible.  My wife, though, was eligible (including having a Schwab Investment account).  She first tried applying for the Schwab Platinum card in July, but was denied.  It turns out that Amex has a strange rule that applies only to the three variations of consumer Platinum cards (Platinum, Schwab Platinum, and Morgan Stanley Platinum): They won’t approve you if you’ve opened another card in that group of 3 cards within the past 90 days.  And, as I wrote earlier, she had opened the Platinum card on June 30th.  After learning about that rule, I sent myself a reminder for my wife to apply.  I used Gmail’s Schedule Send feature (thanks to Nick for telling me about that!) so that the email reminder arrived on September 30th.

My wife then applied and was instantly approved.  Yay!

Now, if we spend $25K on dining and small businesses within the next 6 months, we’ll earn 10 x 25K = 250K points from spend plus the 100K welcome bonus for a total of 350K points.  That really is amazing for a single welcome bonus.  Plus, since I’ve been an authorized user on some of my wife’s other Amex accounts for more than 90 days, we can transfer points to my loyalty accounts.

What will we do with all of those points?  I’m not sure, but our post “How to use your Amex Point fortune” is a good place to go to start dreaming.  Here are the recommended uses from that post:

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