Amex Platinum Card: How Authorized User Fee and Spending Requirement Changes Affect Cardholders


The American Express Platinum card is among the select prestigious personal credit cards in the market, primarily sought after by frequent flyers. This card comes with an annual fee of $695.

While this figure may seem substantial, its sign-on bonus and additional card perks, including the option to add authorized users, effectively offset this cost and extract more value from the card.

But there have been recent changes that have stirred a sense of reconsideration among its customers.

These shifts in the credit card landscape prompt an important question: Does the card’s new policy align with the cardholders’ evolving travel and financial goals?

The New AmEx Platinum Card Rules

Here’s the scoop on the new AmEx Platinum changes:

  1. American Express has revised the fee structure for authorized users of The Platinum Card®. Previously, the fee stood at $175 for up to three authorized users, with an additional $175 per user beyond that limit. The update? A uniform fee of $195 for EACH authorized user.

    This tweak translates to a substantial increase, ballooning the cost for three authorized users to a whopping $585 from the previous $175.

    The authorized user perk was a hidden gem, offering coveted benefits akin to those of the primary cardholder. This encompassed lounge access (including Centurion and Priority Pass Lounge networks), The Hotel Collection’s $100 hotel credit for a two-night stay, and a statement credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications.

  2. While the Amex Platinum’s sign-on bonus fluctuates, the spending requirement to unlock it remained constant at $6,000. The bar has now been raised considerably. New cardholders need to spend $8,000 in the first six months to snag the 80,000 Membership Rewards Points—an impressive 33% surge!​

  3. The Digital Entertainment credit, valued at $240, remains intact, covering services like Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and SiriusXM.

    BUT, Audible loses eligibility after October 1, 2023.​

Is It Worth Holding On To The AmEx Platinum Card?

For most Amex Platinum cardholders, this will be perceived as a devaluation of benefits that already demand some extra legwork. But, is it really as terrible as it sounds?

Let’s break it down.

To begin with, these changes will definitely impact Audible subscribers by eliminating a convenient way for people to enjoy books and other content while on the go.
An unfortunate change that has no work-around now.

Additionally, these modifications might unsettle potential AmEx Platinum Card holders who are not happy with the initial spend requirement. Requiring a minimum spend of $8000 to attain the enticing 80,000 Membership Rewards points is undeniably substantial.
Ultimately, it remains the customer’s prerogative to determine if the card’s benefits and perks align with their financial goals and if such an expenditure can be justified.

Lastly, and most significantly, these changes have caused confusion among authorized users. If an AmEx Platinum Card had just one authorized user, the increase from $175 to $195 might not seem substantial.

However, for a card that already had 3 users, each contributing $175/3=~$58 individually, the leap to $195 becomes staggeringly significant. The question emerges: What could justify retaining this card?
Consider this: Would you opt to invest $695 in a new card, spend $8000, and relish all its perks? Or does sticking to the $195 fee while still enjoying a substantial portion of the benefits you require seem more prudent?

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that these changes leave a bitter taste. While some may find solace in the potential reduction of airport lounge congestion, a primary perk for authorized users, the prevailing sentiment remains subdued.

These shifts underscore a critical juncture, prompting cardholders to balance the revised benefits against their personal objectives, ultimately deciding the card’s relevance in their journey ahead.

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