Don’t let the cost of living hold you back. With the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card, your daily expenses can actually take you places. This travel card is designed specifically to convert all your regular purchases into cool trips, free stuff, and deep discounts through one of Canada’s most popular rewards programs. A generous welcome bonus and the aggressive AIR MILES earn rate make the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card a mainstay in the wallets of travel-loving Canadians. But even if you’re a homebody, you can still live your best life with member perks and exclusive access to special events. In fact, this card might actually be a better fit for those who prefer to party local.
- Welcome to the AIR MILES Platinum Card from American Express
- Earning AIR MILES with your Amex Platinum Card
- Redeeming your Amex AIR MILES
- American Express AIR MILES Platinum rates & fees
- Hack your way out of interest charges with PLAN IT™
- Your built-in AMEX AIR MILES Platinum card benefits
- Who is eligible for the AMEX AIR MILES Platinum card?
- Who is the American Express AIR MILES Platinum card for?
- American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card Rating
Annual Fee: $120
Interest Rate: 20.99% for purchases, 21.99% on advances
Welcome to the AIR MILES Platinum Card from American Express
New American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card members get 2,000 Bonus Miles when they spend $1,500 on the card in the first 3 months. That’s a cash value of $200 towards your next purchase with AIR MILES Cash. Unfortunately, that hefty annual fee is not waived for the first year, unlike other credit card welcome bonuses. When you subtract the annual fee from the value of your welcome bonus, that nets you $80 in free money. Still, you’re ahead of the game so we can’t complain.
Earning AIR MILES with your Amex Platinum Card
You don’t really need to “hack” your way to more rewards with this Amex AIR MILES card because they actually tell you how to maximize your rewards. The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card gives you four ways to stack those miles hella fast. Plus, there’s a 5th way to play this game if you don’t mind a little risk.
Annual bonus miles
Let’s start with the bonus AIR MILES you get every year. The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card provides cardholders with an Annual Travel Redemption. You can earn up to a maximum of 750 bonus AIR MILES each year when you use your Dream Miles to book your first flight or vacation package of the year through airmiles.ca or vacations.airmiles.ca.
AIR MILES on purchases
The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card has one of the best AIR MILES earn rates on the market. You get 1 Mile for every $5 you spend on qualified food, drinks, gas, and transportation up to a total maximum annual spend of $30,000 combined across all eligible categories. Once you reach the total spend threshold, the earn rate drops to 1 Mile per $10. All other card purchases also earn 1 Mile per $10.
Double-dipping AIR MILES
You can earn up to twice as many AIR MILES with your American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card as well as your AIR MILES Membership card. When you make a purchase with your credit card at an AIR MILES partner merchant, present your membership card at the same time to earn the same rewards twice. Download the AIR MILES app so you can scan your membership card on your phone and stay up to date on the latest rewards offers.
Bonus miles on referrals
You can earn up to 4,500 bonus AIR MILES each year when you refer friends and family. Your referral must result in an approved application, they must agree to let you receive the bonus miles, they must opt-in to receive emails from American Express, and your account must be in good standing.
A clever way to get more miles
The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card offers you up to 9 additional cards at no extra cost! People as young as 13 years old can have an additional card on your account. Attention parents: why not take this opportunity to teach your kids how to use a credit card responsibly and earn even more Amex AIR MILES in the process? Having said that, purchases made by additional cardholders are your responsibility to pay and could impact your credit score.
Redeeming your Amex AIR MILES
So how much are your Amex AIR MILES actually worth? That depends on how you earn them, and how you redeem them. There are two different kinds of AIR MILES you can earn: Dream Miles and Cash Miles.
Dream Miles are the traditional AIR MILES you’re accustomed to, and they can be redeemed for travel expenses like flights, hotel rooms, and even items on the AIR MILES website. Dream Miles offer the best redemption value on travel, especially on last-minute flights. However, they typically expire after about 5 years.
Cash Miles are a new addition to the AIR MILES program that give members more redemption flexibility. Cash Miles never expire and can be redeemed for things like in-store discounts, rebates, gift cards, free stuff on the AIR MILES website, and even donated to charitable organizations. Unfortunately, Cash Miles have a lower redemption value than Dream Miles.
Your AIR MILES are worth the most when you redeem Dream Miles for travel through the AIR MILES website. Having said that, value is in the eye of the beholder. Earning points on your spending habits and redeeming them for the stuff you actually want or need makes the most sense from a utility perspective. You can choose to collect Dream Miles, Cash Miles, or a mix of both based on your goals and needs. Just be aware you cannot swap between the Miles, once you earn a type of Mile you are stuck with it.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum rates & fees
The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card interest rate is pretty standard at 20.99% for card purchases, and 21.99% on cash advances. If that seems steep, it shouldn’t. The only way to benefit from a rewards card is to pay the balance off in full every month. Otherwise, interest charges negate the point of your rewards, and you should avoid cash advances at all costs. As long as you don’t carry a balance or use a cash advance, the interest rate is irrelevant.
Having said that, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card does come with a pricey annual fee of $120. But the fee means you get a more aggressive earn rate of 1 AIR MILE per $5 spent on qualified purchases; one of the highest AIR MILES earn rates on the market. In addition to the higher earn rate, you also get several complimentary benefits built right into the card.
Hack your way out of interest charges with PLAN IT™
While it’s ideal to pay your balance off in full every month, best-laid plans often go awry. If you need to make a big-ticket purchase that you can’t pay off in full by the due date, but don’t want to miss out on the Miles, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card offers a creative solution. PLAN IT is a flexible payment program that allows you to convert a portion of your eligible balance into a monthly installment payment plan.
Instead of paying 20.99% revolving credit card interest that compounds daily, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee instead. The fee is equal to 0.9% of the balance you’re converting and added to each monthly payment. While a flexible payment plan is a great way to save money on interest, it’s not always the best solution. You should use the Hardbacon Credit Card Repayment Calculator to compare the potential interest charges against the total PLAN IT installment fees to see which strategy saves you the most money.
Your built-in AMEX AIR MILES Platinum card benefits
About those benefits! the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card offers a suite of complimentary card features for extra protection and exclusive perks.
For the jet setters:
- Travel Accident Insurance: coverage up to $100,000
- Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance: coverage up to $85,000
For the sharp shoppers:
- Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan: extends the manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year for items purchased on the card
- Purchase Protection Plan: insurance coverage up to $1,000 to compensate for stolen or damaged items purchased on the card in the last 90 days
For the good-vibes only crowd:
- American Express Experiences: exclusive perks, offers, and access to things like front of the line ticket presales for high profile events, preferred seating, backstage access, advanced screenings and theatre packages, food festivals and trendy dining events, wellness packages, access to reserved lounges and VIP seating areas, and more.
Who is eligible for the AMEX AIR MILES Platinum card?
On the upside, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card is fairly easy to get. The only eligibility requirements disclosed are that you must be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence and a Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file. There is no minimum income required, nor are there any specific requirements around credit score or history of bankruptcy.
That indicates those with a lower credit score or a history of bankruptcy in the last 7 years could qualify for this card. Having said that, your approval is never guaranteed because it depends on your unique credit file and circumstances. You must submit to a hard credit check when you apply. Generally speaking, a good credit score is far less likely to result in a rejected application.
Who is the American Express AIR MILES Platinum card for?
I don’t know about you, but when I hear “AIR MILES” I immediately think of plane-hoping to cool places. So it’s kind of ironic that AIR MILES aren’t the best travel rewards out there, nor is the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card a particularly great credit card for travel lovers. Having said that, there are tons of other perks that make the Amex AIR MILES program a fan-favourite in Canada.
If you’re an avid AIR MILES collector, you’ll be thrilled to know that the American Express AIR MILES Platinum card is one of the best AIR MILES credit cards in Canada. Not only is the rewards earn rate super aggressive, but it’s easier to get than competing premium rewards cards because there is no minimum income requirement. Why should those with lower or no incomes get shut out from premium points and perks?
Sure, it skimps on the travel benefits. But it goes hard on the cool events and experiences. The exclusive American Express Experiences® alone are worth keeping the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card in your wallet. Add in the complimentary purchase protection, and you can shop till you drop with peace of mind too. So whether your heart belongs in a mosh pit, or retail therapy is part of your self-care routine, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card can help you live your best life.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card Rating
|Purchase Interest Rate||3/5|
|Cash advance interest rate||3/5|
|Extended warranty insurance||5/5|
|Emergency medical travel insurance||n/a|
|Benefits and perks of the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Mastercard:|
* Earn up to 1 Mile per $5 spent
* Redeem AIR MILES for travel, products and experiences
* Travel accident insurance
* Rental car insurance
* Purchase protection
* Extended warranty
* American Express Experiences
* PLAN IT repayment plan
* Up to 9 free additional cards
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About The Author: Heidi Unrau
Heidi Unrau is the senior Finance Journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she got her first bank job as an entry-level teller. She moved up the ranks to Credit Analyst, Loans Officer, and now a Personal Finance Writer. In her spare time, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to Freakonomics podcasts, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a pint of Häagen-Dazs. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, she's in the hot tub or arguing with her husband over which cash back card to use for date night. She’s addicted to coffee, crypto, and obsessively checking her credit score on Borrowell.
Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada, loves her free Tangerine bank account, and will never cut back on Starbucks. Like ever.
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