The best Amex Platinum and Gold welcome offers ranked

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Update 9/20 – The Platinum, Gold and Business Gold referral offers are all back, so I’ve added those and re-ranked accordingly.

Over the last couple of years, American Express has been barraging us with unprecedented welcome offers for both the personal and business versions of their Gold and Platinum charge cards.

For years, these cards all had a “once-in-a-lifetime rule,” meaning that you were only eligible for the welcome offer for each card once per lifetime (in practice, this actually meant 5-7 years, then Amex would “forget” that you had the card). Occasionally, a link would come around without the lifetime language (NLL or “No Lifetime Language”), allowing those who’d already had the card to get another one. Historically, these were infrequent, coming around maybe once or twice per year.

That all changed in 2020.

Greg getting buried by Business Platinum Benjamins

Suddenly, people were getting targeted to “expand their membership” or “bundle their Gold/Platinum cards,” Amex’s spin on “we know that you already have this card, but we want you to sign-up again and we’ll pay you for it.” These were especially common with Business versions of these cards and some people were being targeted mere weeks after completing the spend on the same card. It was madness.

At the same time, Amex started drastically increasing the value of these targeted offers. We used to get excited about seeing 100,000 point offers but now we started seeing 150,000, 180,000…even 250,000 point offers. We developed back issues from constantly picking our jaws off the floor. We’ve unofficially branded it the “points parade,” because these offers just keep on marching past with no end in sight.

But it can be confusing (and exhausting) as well. Keeping track of the offers and which ones have lifetime language while trying to sort through the best options has been difficult for many and we’ve had several folks reach out, asking us to compile them in one spot and give our impressions on which is best.

Here it is.

As an aside, none of the business card offers below are featured on our best offers page. That’s because the offers on that page are the best publicly available ones that we know of. We don’t put targeted offers there, as we want anyone to be able to look at the offers listed and be able to click through. The business offers below are all targeted. Some require trying different browsers and a couple even require calling-in to find out if you’re eligible. Not everyone will be able to get them. That’s why they’re not on the best offers page.

The personal card links ARE on the best offers page, but that’s because they are available via the reservations website Resy or via reader referral links that we collect and cycle through the application page. None of the consumer card offers below are affiliate links.

Amex
App
Tips
1 welcome bonus per lifetime Better offers may be available. Click for details. Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day You can have max 5 Amex credit cards and 10 Pay Over Time cards
Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at earning a new welcome bonus offer. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application (and they don’t usually issue a hard pull when approved if you’re an existing Amex cardholder).  Plus, they’ll warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.
Max 2 credit cards in 90 days, but no known limit for Pay Over Time (charge) cards
Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)

 

The Offers

NLL – “No Lifetime Language,” TGT – “Targeted,” Fresh Browser – in order to make the offer appear, it will probably be necessary to try different browser configurations.

  1. Personal Platinum Referral – 150,000 Membership Rewards after $6K spend in 3 months
  2. Personal Platinum Resy – 125,000 Membership Rewards after $6K spend in 6 months + 10x on restaurant spend for 6 months up to $25K
  3. Personal Gold Referral  – 90,0000 points after $4K in purchases in the first 6 months
  4. Personal Gold Resy – 75,0000 points after $4K in purchases in the first 6 months + 20% back at restaurants for the first 12 months up to $250
  5. Business Gold Referral – 130,000 Membership Rewards after $10K spend in 3 months (fresh browser, TGT)
  6. Business Platinum – 170,000 Membership Rewards after $15,000 spend in 3 months (NLL, Widely TGT)
  7. Business Gold – 100,000 Membership Rewards after $10K spend in 3 months, including $1K on authorized user card (NLL, Widely TGT)
  8. Business Platinum – 160,000 Membership Rewards after $15,000 spend in 3 months, including $1K on authorized user card (NLL, Widely TGT)
  9. Business Platinum – 260,000 Membership Rewards after $30,000 spend in 6 months, including $1K on authorized user card (TGT)
  10. Business Gold – 190,000 Membership Rewards after $20K spend in 6 months, including $1K in authorized user card (call-in only, TGT)

If you see the message below or see a screen with no offer listed, it means you’re not targeted. If you get a pop-up telling you that you are not eligible for the welcome offer, you aren’t.

Key Card Details

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
The Platinum Card® from American Express

FM Mini Review: This card is absolutely loaded with high end perks. Depending upon your situation, those perks may be worth the annual fee or much more.


Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel

Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline ⚬ $200 prepaid hotel credit annually valid on Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection bookings. ⚬ Up to $300 in Equinox credits. ⚬ Up to $20 per month rebate for select digital entertainment services (NY Times, ESPN+, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, Sirius XM, Audible) ⚬ $189 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually. ⚬ Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status for Basic Member only ⚬ $300 credit when buying a SoulCycle bike directly from SoulCycle (up to 15 bikes per year) ⚬ $12.95 monthly credit for Walmart+ monthly membership subscription credit. ⚬ Complimentary Uber Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months (must enroll by 12/31/21) ⚬ Up to $100 in credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 in credits semi-annually, enrollment required) ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement or $85 TSA Precheck reimbursement once every 5 years ⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ Rental car elite status ⚬ Marriott Gold status ⚬ Hilton HHonors Gold status ⚬ Free Gold card AUs. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
American Express® Gold Card

FM Mini Review: This card offers an awesome return on US supermarket and worldwide dining spend, putting it at or near the top-of-class in both categories. Dining credits and Uber / Uber Eats credits go a long way towards reducing the sting of this card's annual fee.


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ⚬ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ⚬ 4x at restaurants worldwide ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

Noteworthy perks: Up to $10 in statement credits monthly with participating dining partners (Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, Shake Shack, Seamless/Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory) ⚬ $10 monthly Uber or Uber Eats credit (use it or lose it each month) ⚬ $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges on stays of 2 nights or longer, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc ⚬ Enrollment required for select benefits.

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

FM Mini Review: This card is absolutely loaded with high end perks. Depending upon your situation, those perks may be worth the annual fee or much more.


Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Other

Earning rate: 5X flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com ⚬ 1.5X points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5000 or more (on up to $2 million of those purchases per year) ⚬ 1.5x on US construction/hardware stores, US electronic goods, and US shipping ⚬ 1X elsewhere ⚬ Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: Up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees ⚬ Up to $400 a year in statement credits for Dell purchases ($200 Jan-June; $200 July-Dec) ⚬ Up to $120 in wireless services credits per year ($10 per month) ⚬ Up to $360 per year in credit with Indeed (up to $90 per quarter ⚬ Up to $150 per year in purchases with Adobe for annual prepaid plans for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement.⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ Rental car elite status ⚬ Marriott Gold status ⚬ Hilton Gold status. ⚬ $189 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually ⚬ 35% Airline Bonus: Get 35% points back after you Pay With Points for flights with your selected airline (or premium cabin with any airline). Enrollment required for select benefits

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
American Express® Business Gold Card

FM Mini Review: This card is pricey for one with few perks. Keep only if you make good use of one or two 4X categories.


Annual Fee: $295

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Biz

Earning rate: Earn 4X on the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from the following categories: ⚬ US purchases at restaurants ⚬ Airfare purchased directly from airlines ⚬ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ U.S. purchases at gas stations ⚬ U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 4X applies to first $150,000 in combined purchases in your two categories each calendar year, 1X point per dollar thereafter and on other purchases. Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: 25% Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you Pay With Points for flights with your selected airline (or premium cabin with any airline). Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Quick Thoughts

The top four positions are all lifetime language offers, meaning that they aren’t available to folks who have had the card within the last 4-7 years. If that’s NOT you, then these should be the place to start. Both the consumer Platinum offers are terrific and would qualify as the best offers available on a personal card right now.

The 150K referral offer is the current standard, in my opinion. Although it’s a referral offer, this is what you’ll find listed on the Best Offers page as we collect working reader referrals via our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook page and cycle them through. Membership Rewards are valued at 1.55 cents per point in our most recent reasonable redemption values (RRV), making this welcome offer worth $2400, including the 6,000 points from the minimum spend. That’s a whopping 40% return. If you haven’t gotten this card and are eligible, why haven’t you gotten this card?

The alternative Resy offer is great also:125,000 Membership Rewards after $6K spend in 6 months + 10x on restaurant spend for 6 months up to $25K. The welcome offer is worth $2000 including the 6,000 points from the minimum spend (33% return on spend)…and that’s without even taking into account the 10x on restaurants component. Spending even $2k over 6 months in restaurants will get you an additional 18,000 points and it only goes up from there. Theoretically, this could end up being even better than the referral offer IF you can maximize the restaurant portion. The breakeven point is $2777 in restaurant spending out of the initial $6K at which point you’d end up with the same 156,000 points as the referral offer. If you’re a big restaurant spender and can get well beyond that in 6 months, this could be very lucrative indeed.

The consumer Gold referral offer of 90,000 MR after $4K spend is another bell-ringer, yielding a minimum return of 94,000 MR. This would be valued at about ~$1500 according to RRV, a 38% return on spend. Wowza. This can go up even more though, as the Gold has the best spending categories of all these cards, with 4x on groceries and dining. If you can do even half of the spend in those two categories, you’ll end up with 100,000 MR on only $4K spend. This is another instance where we curate working reader links, so you can find it on our Best Offers page.

The Resy Gold offer of 75,000 MR after $4K spend in 6 months + $250 back on restaurants in the first 12 months is almost as good as the referral offer, yielding a minimum return of 79,000 MR. This would be valued at about ~$1500 according to RRV, and including the $250. That’s about a 37% return on spend. Again, this can be maximized by doing some or all of the the minimum spend on groceries and dining. If you can do $2K in those two categories, you’ll end up with 85,000 MR after $4k of spend.

After that, we head into the NLL business card offers, which are the wild west right now. My wife and I have been getting new cards every 1-2 months and just keep getting targeted for more. My favorite right now (and the one I used a couple of days ago) is the 170K offer. It’s simple in that it doesn’t require any authorized user cards, it seems to be almost universally accessible and it’s got a great ratio of points/spend, at ~11.3/1, effectively giving you a 17.5% rate of return on $15,000.

You may notice that the biggest point totals are at the bottom of the list. I’m less excited by these, as they require more spend with less overall return, and there are varying reports as to whether or not they are NLL offers…for some they are, for others, they aren’t. Amex does have a pop-up that warns you if you’re not eligible for the welcome offer on a card, and it’s pretty accurate. That said, I’d rather take the lower 170K and 100K offers with half the spend and then have the option to re-up with different offers or switch to something else entirely when I’m done. They’re very good offers, I just like the other ones better.

Keep in mind that both the Business Platinum Dell and the various airline credits reset on the calendar year.  This means that in the first year of card membership, you can get at least 3x Dell credits and 2x airline incidentals, adding an additional ~$200-400 in first year value if you only pay the annual fee once and cancel after the first year. While the various perks and credits on Amex cards can feel a little “coupon booky,” I find it pretty easy to get full advantage of these two without much effort.

Let us know if you see a better offer that’s not included here, if you’ve signed-up for one (or more) of these offers and, most importantly, if you agree or disagree with the rankings!

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Rob A.

Was just lucky enough to have a surprise in the snail-mailbox today – 250k points for $30k spend over 6 months…. Awesome start to the week!

TravelerMike

Any news / finds on increased offers for the Schwab / MS versions of the Platinum (currently have the vanilla Platinum)?

Amex newbie

Are the referral bonus caps of 55k MR per card or per account (if you hold more than one Amex card can you earn 55k referral bonus per card)?

TravelerMike

Also interested in this question

James

Are there any links/offers with the 0% intro APR for the first year? Haven’t been able to find that anywhere in any of the links anymore.

2808 Heavy

The Personal Plat Resy offer is currently $6k in 6 months (not 3) and 10x on dining on up to $25k in the first 6.

Justin pogodzinski

How come the 150k Amex 10x for restaurants AND 15x small business offer wasn’t on this list? I believe this was given in January 2022

Last edited 12 days ago by Justin pogodzinski
Sam

It’s dead. It’s now 125k & 10x at restaurants via Resy.

kayexalate

Darn, waited too long. the 260k and the 170k biz plat offer are both dead.

Kayexalate

Nice summary Tim. Do you know if using link for the 260k biz platinum offer is ok?

Even in your previous post about it you heeded “ But be cautious. These sorts of links can be dangerous and there have been reports of them leading to an Amex shutdown. “

When I click on the link AND login my account the offer is there. Does that mean I’m ok or should I call in?

Also for the authorized user card in order to get the additional 10k is there a charge for that additional card? Thanks.

Biggie F

I don’t think anyone knows really… I think we are all just fumbling along together until the bubble pops (speaking as someone who just bit on the 170K offer link)… or doesn’t pop.

Calling in is pointless and/or counterproductive. Pointless because in the most famous recent serial shutdown, cards were instigated over the phone by a genuine Amex rep gone rogue. Counterproductive because non-rogue reps are often more clueless than we are, plus a non-rogue, non-clueless rep could put eyes on your account(s), and who among us really wants that?

Linda

I have a personal platinum and am thinking about getting a gold. My question: I have the platinum on my Uber account, will I get the $10 per month Uber benefit for the Gold if I don’t have the gold card attached to the Uber account?

Frank

We get $30 a month for P1+P2. Also, the Audible seems to be cumulative, meaning you get 1 for each card or 12 a year and they don’t have to be used each month.

Cal

Nice summary; getting a lot of business platinum offers too! Does anyone know how many business platinums you can get with Amex and how much time between applications?

Frank

I don’t know how many, at least 5 I can vouch for, will try for #6 soon.

Looks like you need to wait 91 days between apps.

Also, 2 x 150,000 or 160,000 is much better than a 260,000 offer.

Christian

I’m pretty much in the same boat as Cal. Thanks for the data points. The 91 day information is particularly salient. I have 2 x Biz Platinum and have closed 2 this year and a few days ago got an invite for another at 160,000 that is sorely tempting. My 2 that I have from this year show activity starting early March and mid-June so maybe waiting until I’m past the 91 days would keep things more low key.

Frank

I found option #8 worked for me, 91 days spot on.

Stacey

Are those all for the same business? I have a biz plat for my main business but have a separate DBA that I don’t have any Amex cards for… wondering if I should still wait 91 days between apps if I’m applying for a separate business?

Frank

Mine are for the same business. I think you still have to wait. They don’t seem to care about which businesses or how many you have. I used to have two businesses.