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American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card – Is It the Right Card for Big Spenders?


The first thing to notice about the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card is that it is clearly targeted at individuals who spend high amounts of money and pay the balance off every month. The company offering the card, Ameriprise, is an investment firm; because card holders must be clients of Ameriprise, it is assumed that they have disposable income and the ability to invest. Ameriprise also offers three MasterCard options and an AMEX Gold Card in addition to the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card.

Because it caters to a wealthier clientele, the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card is an expensive card to hold but also offers a lot of perks for those who can afford it.

Benefits of the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card

One of the stand-out rewards perks is the addition of 5,000 points each time the card holder hits a $20,000 threshold in eligible spending on the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card. This bonus tops out at 30,000 points annually, which equates to $120,000 in eligible purchases during the year. (Eligible purchases would generally equate to the net purchases of goods and services, not to account fees or cash advances, etc.) This perk helps set the Ameriprise version of the AMEX Platinum Card aside, as it is exclusive to the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card. Points do not expire and may also be transferred to seventeen different frequent flier and five other travel rewards programs, if not used for retail, dining, entertainment or travel rewards through the AMEX program.

To sweeten the perks, some types of purchases offer double rewards points to the account holder. Purchases for travel booked through the American Express travel web site and paid on the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card are eligible when made for airline tickets, pre-paid hotel or vacation packages or reservations for cruises. Points already earned can also be redeemed in conjunction with the purchases being made (but of course no points are earned on the portion of the purchase for which points are redeemed). Points can be redeemed beginning with amounts of 5,000 points and up to purchase travel.

While there is no fee for the first year as part of the introductory offer, the card then costs $450 annually. Additional cards are available with the same no-fee initial year and then up to three cards can be added to the account for a total of $175. Any additional cards beyond the first four (the primary and three additional cards) may be added at $175 each per year. All additional card holders must be over fifteen and have a clean history with American Express, while the master account must be held by an individual at least 18 years of age.

For the right individual, this fee will pay for itself. If the card holder is a frequent traveler, the access to two airport lounge programs may be just the ticket. Membership is offered in both the Airport Club Access Program and the Priority Pass Select program, which offers over six hundred lounges worldwide. Accounts also are eligible for a credit of up to $200 in statement credits each year (across all cards on the account) against various incidental fees associated with air travel, such as in-flight purchases or bag check fees. Card holders must choose an eligible airline, however, www.americanexpress.com/airlinechoice and credits only count toward charges by the airline (no third party providers) which are not directly associated with the ticket purchase or upgrade.

On the retail side of things, the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card offers Return Protection, which is good for refunds on items valued at $300 or less and a total of $1000 or less annually. Roadside protection offers free towing up to four times each year, or the service calls can be used for fuel delivery, jump starts or more. Rewards points may also be redeemable through the Amazon.com web site. The card also offers purchase protection and extended warranty perks.

The typical Platinum Card benefits of a phone concierge, the Global Assist hotline and exclusive deals on luxury items and travel also apply. Rewards points can be redeemed for retail goods and travel offers through the membership program. The American Express Preferred Seating program is available with offers for many events and performances. Car rental benefits are available through Avis, Hertz and National, offering upgrades and discounts when activating membership in each company’s program. Discounts and upgrades are also available on special cruise offers. Each card holder on the account may also apply for a $100 statement credit toward a Global Entry application. Global Entry membership, if it is approved by US Customs and Border Protection, is good for five years and the statement credit can be claimed once every five years per card.

The American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card also offers the Premium Private Jet Program, which offers access to special rates and services for travel on private flights. Other travel perks include baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, vehicle rental loss and damage insurance and event ticket protection.

Fees for the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card

In addition to the annual fee(s) mentioned above, there are not many fees to mention. The American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card charges zero foreign transaction fees, for instance, which may be a large savings for frequent foreign travelers who might otherwise have to pay an additional 2 or 3% on every transaction. Returned payments cost $35, as do initial late payments. If payments have been late for several cycles, the cost is the higher of $35 or 2.99% of the amount past due.

There is no interest charged on purchases, but all purchases must be paid in full each billing cycle. The American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card may offer account holders the option to pay some charges over time, for which interest would need to be paid, but this is not part of the standard initial offer.

Bottom Line for the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card

This card offers quite a bang for the buck, but only for big spenders. It’s not a card for occasional users and is not a card for those who need to carry a balance. The perks are realized through consistent use and consistent spending on travel and entertainment, as well as luxury lifestyle items. Because some of the perks are only available on this card and because this card is only offered to individuals with an Ameriprise account relationship, if the account holder’s Ameriprise accounts are closed the AMEX perks may be changed. For the right user, however, the combination of services and rewards provided by the American Express Ameriprise Platinum Card are among the best in the industry.

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