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 the 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. None of the offers below are affiliate links.

 

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

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

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

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

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 three 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. The Personal Platinum 125K Resy offer is the current standard, in my opinion. Membership Rewards are valued at 1.55 cents per point in our most recent reasonable redemption values (RRV), making this welcome offer worth $2000 including the 6,000 points from the minimum spend. That’s a whopping 33% return on spend, an insane value 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. If you haven’t gotten this card and are eligible, why haven’t you gotten this card?

The consumer Gold offer of 75,000 MR after $4K spend is marvelous as well, yielding a minimum return of 79,000 MR. This would be valued at about ~$1500 according to RR, and including the $250 back at restaurants. That’s about a 37% 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 85,000 MR on only $4K 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!

By AKDSEO