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Active duty military members can take advantage of one very valuable benefit for the Platinum Card: a complete waiver of the $550 annual fee!
This article will explain how the Amex Platinum military fee waiver works and some of the benefits that this card offers.
What is the Amex Platinum military fee waiver?
If you are a qualifying active-duty member of the military, you’ll be able to have the $550 annual fee of the Platinum Card waived.
This is not a required federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefit but is a special perk offered by Amex. It’s worth noting that other banks offer this perk as well. For example, you can get the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee waived as well.
Interested in the Platinum Card? Click here to find out more about the offer!
Who qualifies for the Amex Platinum military waiver?
- Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) or a reserve component called to active duty (Reserve, National Guard, and Air National Guard).
- National Guard personnel under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days (for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by federal funds).
- Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers.
- U.S. citizens serving with the forces of a nation with which U.S. is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action.
- Spouses of active duty Service members listed above where credit is extended to a Servicemember and spouse jointly.
This means that retired veterans do not get the benefit and if you are a reservist you’ll need to be called to active duty in order to take advantage of the be benefit.
Amex Platinum benefits
In order to understand how great it is to get the $550 annual fee waived, you need to understand all of the amazing benefits that you’ll get.
Here’s a rundown of some of the major benefits that you’ll get with the Platinum Card:
- 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months (75K offer in Google Incognito and there are even methods to get 100K offers)
- $200 Uber credit
- $200 airline credit
- Priority Pass access for you and two guests
- Centurion lounges access for you and two guests
- Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta
- Hilton Honors Gold elite status
- SPG Gold Preferred elite status (and therefore Marriott Gold and Ritz-Carlton Gold), and rental car status as well
- 5X on airfare and 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
- TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry $100 credit
The welcome offer for the Platinum Card is 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. This is one of the best welcome offers for any credit card.
You’ll get a $200 Uber credit and a $200 airline credit with the Platinum Card. In most cases, getting $400 worth of credits helps to offset the high $550 annual fee. But in this case, the annual fee is already waived for military members so that means they are getting $400 worth of free travel credits, which is an exceptional bargain.
The Platinum Card is probably the best credit card for lounge access. You’ll get Priority Pass access for you and two guests, Centurion lounges access for you and two guests, and Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta.
Most other premium cards only offer Priority Pass access so you get enhanced lounge access. And not only that but Centurion Lounges are some of the top lounges in the US, offering great cocktails, hot food items, free wifi, and comfy seating to relax in.
Lounge access can easily be worth several hundred dollars so the fact that you can get this benefit for free is huge for military members.
Hotel elite status
The Platinum Card will offer you hotel elite status with Hilton, Marriott/SPG. Now that the Marriott/SPG merger has taken place, Marriott Gold status isn’t as valuable as it used to be. However, Hilton Gold status is still a solid hotel elite status.
Hilton Gold status will provide you with things like free breakfast, upgrades, late check out, and even lounge access in some instances.
5X on airfare and hotels booked through Amex Travel
The Platinum Card also earn 5X on airfare when purchases directly with the airline which is a huge way to capitalize on earnings. You can also earn 5X through the Amex Travel portal when booking pre-paid hotels but you’ll also likely lose out on your elite perks and elite credits so I don’t generally recommend it.
Additional SCRA benefits
- A maximum of 6% APR on eligible pre-service balances
- Other waived fees (overage fees, late payments, returned payments, etc.)
Amex Platinum military credit score
To my knowledge, being an active duty military member does not increase your approval odds. You’ll still need a solid credit score to get approved for the Platinum Card. You can read more about the qualifications for the Platinum Card here.
Amex Platinum military authorized users
The Amex Platinum military waiver also extends out to authorized users on your account so their annual fees should be waived. There are also reports that if you an active military member and an authorized user on a Platinum account of your spouse, that annual fee will be waived for the primary cardholder.
How to request SCRA benefits
You can put in your application for SCRA benefits online, via phone, or via fax.
Submitting your request online is the fastest way to request SCRA benefits.
You may also submit any relevant documents through the Document Center: this includes paperwork establishing active duty, such as documentation prepared exclusively by a branch of the military, the Department of Defense or your commanding officer which indicates that you are on active duty (e.g., active duty orders, change of station orders, DD-214 forms, letters from commanding officers, etc.).
Please note that SCRA benefits can only be requested online if the Card account you’ve selected is enrolled in American Express Online Services. If it is not, you may enroll your Card now.
Call the number on the back of your Card or 1-800-253-1720 to submit a request.
If you are outside the United States, you can call us collect at 1-336-393-1111.
Fax documents establishing your active duty to 623-444-3000.
Send a copy of documents establishing your active duty to:
- American Express, Attn: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
- PO Box 981535
- El Paso, TX 79998-1535
Make sure to include the applicable American Express Account numbers.
SCRA benefit review process
Amex will determine eligibility and confirm active duty by reviewing any military documents provided and by checking the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) website.
If Amex is unable to confirm active duty, they will send you a written request to obtain a copy of acceptable military documents. You will receive a response within 60 days regarding the status of your request.
Amex refer a friend
Amex refer a friend allows you to earn extra Membership Rewards when other people are approved for the Platinum Card when using your referral link. Don’t forget to consider the additional value you can get from this perk. To find out more about Amex refer a friend click here.
Amex application rules
There are some specific rules and restrictions for applying for Amex cards and you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of them before you apply. You can read more about these rules here.
If you’re an active duty military member, you should definitely take advantage of the waived annual fee. There aren’t many bargains that are better than getting the $550 annual fee waived and you’ll be able to come out on top big time, especially if you can take advantage of the waiver during multiple years.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.