American Express has made major changes to one of its best travel credit cards, and it’s shaping up to be a decent value proposition for new cardholders. The Platinum Card® from American Express recently went through a major overhaul to expand card perks and benefits, including the welcome bonus.

What is the new welcome bonus for the Amex Platinum Card?

The Amex Platinum card previously offered a welcome bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points but has bumped it up to 100,000 for cardholders who meet the requirements of spending $6,000 on their new within the first six months of opening the card. If you use the card just right, you could definitely justify the new $695 annual fee.

There’s also a bevy of Amex credits, valued at over $1,400, now available to new cardholders:

  • up to $200 airline fee credit
  • up to $200 hotel credit
  • up to $200 Uber credit
  • up to $179 CLEAR credit; plus, fee credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck ($100 or $85 every 5 years)
  • up to $240 digital entertainment credit
  • up to $100 Saks credit
  • up to $300 eligible Equinox memberships credits

Travel protections and global airport lounge access are other card benefits to note.

American Express Platinum card bonus history

If you are new to the Amex Platinum, you might not know much about the card’s bonus history. Here’s some information that might give you some perspective on how the bonus has changed recently:

Change date Introductory bonus
July 1, 2021 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in first 6 months

Terms apply

November 12, 2020 75,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 months

10X points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases) in first 6 months

Terms apply

Previous 60,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months Terms apply

Who’s eligible for the introductory bonus?

New cardholders that apply for and are approved for an Amex Platinum are eligible for the introductory bonus. To actually get it, you’ve got to spend $6,000 on your card within the first six months of card membership.

Also, you should know that there are other restrictions. Amex limits introductory bonuses to one per card per lifetime. So if you’ve ever had an Amex Platinum card, you will not be eligible for this bonus.

How can I make the most of the Membership Rewards points earned with my Platinum Card?

Take advantage of flexible redemption options

Amex offers different options to redeem your rewards points. Depending on how you redeem them, point values could be worth more or less than 1 cent per point. Here’s a list of ways you can redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points:

  • Statement credit
  • Pay with points at checkout with select merchants and prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel
  • Redeeming points for gift cards
  • Shopping with points at partner merchants

Strategic redemption for travel

Depending on how you redeem your points with Amex, the 100,000 bonus points could be worth $1,000. But if you choose to redeem them more strategically, say, with American Express Travel Partners, your welcome bonus could be worth up to $2,100, according to Bankrate’s latest points and miles valuations, which estimates Amex Membership Rewards points to be worth each with the right high-value transfer partner.

Boost your welcome bonus with the CardMatch tool:

You could also vie for a bigger bonus by applying for the Platinum Card® from American Express via the Bankrate CardMatch Tool. In some cases, you could be eligible for up to 150,000 in rewards points using this tool to apply for the card, though targeted offers will vary from person to person.

Even if you aren’t quite ready for the Amex Platinum card, the CardMatch tool is a great way to gauge your approval odds for many different credit cards. Another upside of using CardMatch is that there’s no hard inquiry on your credit. This soft pull doesn’t affect your credit score, but you could still get matched to one or more targeted credit card offers.

If you decide to use CardMatch for an elevated bonus with the Amex Platinum card, you should know that the personalized offers or matches you may receive may not include prequalified offers. Also, if you decide to apply for a card after receiving a targeted offer, the card issuer would run a hard credit inquiry which could affect your credit score.

Should I apply for the Amex Platinum Card?

The Amex Platinum card requires good to excellent credit (670-850), so if you are in that range, you should have a good chance of being approved. If you will use enough of the features to justify the annual fee, earn the welcome offer and take advantage of additional perks and benefits, the card could be a win.

If you aren’t yet sure if this is the right card for you, it can’t hurt to use CardMatch to explore your options for the best credit card that suits your lifestyle. After all, there’s nothing to lose—especially since there’s no hard pull on your credit.