Amex MR 25k Bonus to Upgrade to Amex Business Platinum

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Introduction

This offer pops up every once in a while. The first time I received the offer was about six months after I applied for the American Express Business Gold Card. I received an email about the offer. The time it takes until you receive it will vary. I got an email last month and decided to go for it this week after speaking with Jamison (Points Summary).

Offer: Get 25k MR points on first purchase when upgrading to the Business Platinum Card. From flytertalk posts, it seems as if the annual fee of $395, which is not waived, is charged for the part of the year left on your Business Gold card.

There are numerous benefits to the Platinum Card. Here are the few I would be using:

  • $200 airline fee reimbursement per calendar year (resets Jan 1st)
  • AA and Delta Lounge access when flying on that airline
  • Free Priority Pass Select Membership, free lounge access for you and $27 for a guest
  • American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts

Just as a reminder, there is a $395 yearly fee, which many other posts have shown that it is worth it.

As I will be upgrading part way through my Business Gold membership year that started on Feb 1st, I would only be paying for part of the $395 fee for October-Feb 1st, which would only be about $120. If I were to maximize my profit off of this card, I would upgrade the card in November, get the $200 airline fee for this year and next year and then cancel before the fee comes up for the full year next year. I would still be considered a card member for about a year as I had the Gold card for this time.

In practice, you can also sign up for a card late in the year and cancel early the following year to minimize the yearly fee, but this is not recommended. Many would recommend you keep a card 9-11 months before cancelling. Keep in mind that they charge you the $395 fee when you apply, but if you cancel it part of the way through your membership year, the unused portion is refunded. You can also downgrade it to Gold or Green and get the difference in annual fee back as a credit.

The Priority Pass membership is pretty nice. It is similar to the Lounge Club membership for Chase Ink cards, but there is no limit on how many times you can use it. However, you will need to pay $27 per guest you invite. The first two complimentary lounge visits on the Lounge Club card includes one guest.

Another reason why I decided to upgrade is because I want to avoid the Business Gold Card Fee of $175 coming up at the end of January 2014. It’s not really worth it and doesn’t have a lot of the benefits of the Platinum card. The only thing I used was 3x MR points for any booked flights, 2x for gas or supermarkets, which is not on the American Express Platinum Card. There are no bonus categories on the Amex Platinum Card. There are other cards that can get you similar bonuses in those categories but this is the best card for booked flights. I was going to downgrade it to Green but that is still $95 a year and there are no MR category bonuses either.

As this is a business card, they have OPEN savings program, which gives you a certain percentage back on certain retailers. Many people have really took advantage of it by using this in combination to other offers like online shopping portals but I have not leveraged it.

I got the Business Gold card on the 75k MR point offer back in January. I was disappointed I didn’t sign up for the 100k Platinum Card offer in early January. However, with this offer, it essentially makes my Platinum card 100k total MR offers and I would only have to pay for part of the yearly fee. I flew a lot of international tickets as AA PLT so I got to use most of the lounges anyway so I wasn’t missing out on much by not having the Platinum Card.

AMEX Business Platinum Application Process

Here the direct link for the 25k upgrade AMEX Business Platinum offer. I received mines in an email but others have used this link to sign up:

https://www257.americanexpress.com/openplatinum/benefit.do?benefitTemplate=template_a&tab3=global&benefitId=open.platinumupdates#01

 

American Express OPEN   Upgrade to Business Platinum

I would click on “Upgrade Now” and get an error message. I called in customer service and all they can find is the current offer at 30k points.

The current Business Platinum upgrade offer is 30k points for $10k spend over 5 months. Not worth it in my opinion.

I also called the number in the email that is supposedly an auto phone upgrade and that was patched to a representative once I put in my account number. I declined the 30k offer and I spoke with another representative, who said that the 30k offer was no longer in my account. She also noted that it takes about 30 days for it to reappear if you decline so don’t worry about not getting it again.

The instant she said she didn’t see the 30k offer, I went online and tried the link above again.

It worked this time! So 25k MR points, 1st purchase as seen in the screen shot below. I believe that you need to clear your account of any upgrade offer before the one in the above link works.

American Express

 

The only problem is that I need this card by the end of the week for my 3rd Fall mileage run this weekend. However, I got the card in time. Here is the timeline:

  • Tuesday: Successfully upgraded the card at ~4pm.The American Express representative says that it usually takes 24 hours for the change to happen so I will need to call in the next day to request they overnight my card to me.
  • Wednesday: Called in ~3pm and request card to be overnighted to me.
  • Thursday: Received the card by noon as we get UPS deliveries in the morning.

It was definitely a lot harder than I expected to upgrade to the Business Platinum card but in the end, I got the offer I wanted. How was your upgrade experience?

Save at least $400 on your next trip using one of my favorite credit cards, Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard! 40K points with no fee first year. See the Credit Card Deals page for more offers. Thanks for your support!

30 comments for “Amex MR 25k Bonus to Upgrade to Amex Business Platinum

  1. Ryan
    October 2, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Great writeup on this Rom! However, regarding the lounge benefits – Loungeclub and Priority Club are MUCH different. If you download the apps – they look identical but offer much different access. Access to Priority Club is far more valuable.

    • October 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

      Thanks, but actually Simon wrote this article so all credit goes to him!

  2. October 2, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for your comment, Ryan! I may have downplayed the difference between Priority Pass Select and Lounge Club access. I just got the platinum card so I have not had much experience with PP Select. PP select seems to offer a few more domestic lounges, mainly US Airways Club. PP Select offers more lounges worldwide compared to Lounge Club. Even though the app lists United Club, you cannot get in with the Priority Club Select through American Express Platinum card.

    • Ryan
      October 2, 2013 at 9:20 am

      @Simon – I’m a bit of a newbie with the platty as well but I’ve been on the road since I got it and been using this perk quite a bit! For Asia – PP has a pretty big edge, 7-2 in PEK, 5-3 in NRT, 5-4 in SIN (the extra one covered by PP is the best lounge I’ve been to).

      • October 2, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Seem’s like someone’s been lounge shopping lately.
        Here is what I found on FT (leonard016, May 8, 2012):

        * Priority Pass: the paid membership, over 650 lounges in over 300 airports.
        * Priority Pass Select: the membership bundled with credit cards issued by US financial institutions, over 600 lounges in over 300 airports. Priority Pass Select = Priority Pass – United Club.
        * Lounge Club: a subset of Priority Pass Select, over 350 lounges in over 200 airports. Lounge Club = Priority Pass – United Club – US Airways Club – many international lounges.

        So it looks like 650 lounges vs 350 lounges.

        Since then, they have opened a few more for both lounge club and Priority Pass.

  3. choi
    October 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

    can you have to have two platinum cards with two running business and the Gold cards as well ?

    • October 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

      I believe it is possible to have two business platinum cards or two business gold cards. However, you will only get the bonus points for one of them. You also cannot get the bonuses for the business platinum if you already have the business gold. Also, you need to cancel the cards 12 months before you reapply to get the bonus points.

      I personally have a (new) business Platinum and a personal gold card right now. You can get one bonus for a personal card and business card.

  4. Ted
    October 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Are we sure that we only have to pay a pro rata amount of the annual fee for the time between now and when our renewal would come up? If so, this is a great deal for those of us with less than six months left and the ability to get the $200 incidental reimbursement in 2013 and 2014.

    • October 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      I have read in a few places on flyertalk that this is the case as it is based on the membership year, but I will confirm this as I have not been charged yet. It is supposed to hit on my first statement after the upgrade.

      I had a free green card for my wife but her’s was also upgraded to a platinum card. I will need to verify what the fee would be for her card as that would be pro rated as well. As she is the only card holder, she can also get the $200 fee for this year and next for the additional cardholder fee. Could be a huge profit.

      Unfortunately, we both already have global entry before getting the Platinum card.

  5. Gaurav
    October 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks for the write up guys. When I click on the link I see an annual fee of $450 and it shows the same on your screen shot. Are you seeing a $395 listing elsewhere? I’m thinking of applying for a few cards in the next couple of days so any information would be helpful. Also, any idea if this “upgrade” will result in a hard credit pull?

    • October 7, 2013 at 6:18 am

      Sorry for the typo! It is supposed to be $450. Not sure where I got $395 from.

      From the few comments and posts I’ve read online, it doesn’t require a hard pull. Checking my own credit history on Credit Karma, there have been no hard pulls relating to the upgrade.

      A bit more history: Some people on FT have received 50k upgrade offers last year. From the online activity, this seems to have stopped. Some have reported the 50k on first purchase while others reported 25k first purchase, and another 25k bonus after $40k spend.

  6. Gaurav
    October 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thanks Simon. It still says 395 in the post so you guys might want to correct. In your experience does the bonus for the platinum go significantly higher? Is it worth it to wait and apply a while after canceling my gold business account or better to use this offer with no minimum spend requirement? I’ve been planning to get global entry and the airline paybacks will easily cover the cost of the card so the cost isn’t a big factor. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • October 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      I don’t have access to edit the post so I’ll contact Rom to adjust it.

      I’ve did some more searching and it seems as if the 50k offer was about two years ago and hasn’t been around since. There were two different offers in my post. I would guess it wouldn’t get much better than that. If there was a 50k I would guess there would be spend requirement.

      Remember that you need to cancel the card 365 days before reapplying to get any kind of bonuses. Amex does not count approval date, but rather account closure date. I would get the upgrade, use it up until early next year and then cancel. Its the end of the year, so perfect time to cash in on the GE and also $200 statement credit. This was my initial plan as I got the original Gold card in February but may keep it for the lounge access.

      How long did you have your Amex Gold Card?

      • Gaurav
        October 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        I opened it April 17 so about six months now.

        • October 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

          I think you should go for the upgrade, get the GE and 2x $200 statement credit. Thats about $500 worth of value for 1/2 of the $450 fee. Also, you’ll get to use the lounge for that time. I would cancel it either in March or April. I wouldn’t recommend cancelling it as soon as you get the statement credits in 2014.

          • Gaurav
            October 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

            I think I will. Do you know if AmEx Platinum charges for additional card members to be put on the account?

  7. October 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I actually have an additional card holder as a green card on my original Gold Card. That has also been upgraded to Platinum card once i upgraded my own card. I am pretty sure I will also be charged for the additional card holder, but the fee is only $175 and they also get their own GE benefits and $200 credit yearly, which is shared between all additional card holders.

    I have not gotten the charges yet but I believe I will once the statement is up. I will update the post with new information regarding the additional cardholder as platinum.

    • Gaurav
      October 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Oh wow. I know that additional card holders got the GE benefit but I didn’t know that they got thier own $200 travel discount. So the primary card holder could get $200+$200 and the additional would also get $200+$200? That sounds pretty fantastic.

      • October 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        I was wrong about the airline statement credit. It’s per account so just one. Sorry for the error.

  8. Gaurav
    October 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Is anyone else having problems applying for this? I get to the upgrade offer and click on the upgrade button. It brings me to the log in screen. When I put in my credentials it gives me a message saying “We’re sorry. We are experiencing a temporary system outage. Please try again later or call the toll free number on the back of your card”. Been going on for a couple of hours. I can log into my Amex account just fine. When I do that and then click the upgrade button, I get a message saying Sorry, the system is not currently responding, please apply later… “

    • October 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Read my post as I had the same problem. Call in.

      • Gaurav
        October 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        Simon, thanks for helping me with this. When you said errors, I didn’t realize you were getting the same messages.

        I called american express thrice and declined the standard 30k offer but can’t make any progress with the application. For whatever reason, it seems to keep jumping back onto my account because when I call back it is right there. I’ll try again tomorrow, see if I have any better luck.

      • Gaurav
        October 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        Simon, by any chance would you happen to have the phone number from the original email? I’ve tried calling the number on the back of my card and can’t get the current promo off for some reason.

        • October 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          Or call 1-866-305-2094 to upgrade by phone.

          In my case, it may have taken a few minutes for it to get off my account. Try calling in tomorrow and see if its off. You need to decline the offer.

          • Gaurav
            October 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

            Thanks Simon. I think I’m going to give up on this, it has been a pretty frustrating experience. I don’t know if they have fixed the loophole but everytime I call (six at last count), they say they are declining the 30k/10kspend offer but it shows right up again the next time I call. Of course they also want to know why I want them to decline it and get it off my account. The last time I called, the agent noted that I had called about this before and they had declined the offer but they couldn’t get it off my account. It will sit there in deactivated status and they can reactivate it for me if I like. Sigh. Oh well.

        • October 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

          I did get the email about this offer less than 30 days before I signed up for it. You may need to have receive the email in order to get the offer.

  9. Trish
    October 8, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Do you know if you get complimentary SPG personal gold status if you get approved for the upgrade on
    Amex Bus Plat?

    • October 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I believe that you would as you are a full Platinum Cardholder. There are other posts on how to sign up for SPG gold.

  10. October 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I got an offer of 30K points to upgrade

    • Gaurav
      October 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Was that with a minimum spend requirement?

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