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American Express Bonus Rewards Points with Mapworld

by Christopher O'Keeffe April 04, 2017 5 Comments

American Express Bonus Rewards Points with Mapworld

110,000 rewards points with a new Platinum Business Charge Card

American Express has very kindly made a fantastic offer available for business card applications that are referred to them by Mapworld. You will receive 10,000 more points with a Platinum Business Charge Card.

If you would like to receive the bonus points please contact me at chris.okeeffe@mapworld.com.au and I will lodge your referral and have American Express contact you on a number and time of your choosing.

Platinum Business Charge Card Offer:

Typically a successful Platinum Business Charge Card applicant will receive 100,000 rewards points. If you are referred by us you will receive 110,000 rewards points - that's 10,000 more rewards points.

Platinum Benefits:

This offer was the result of conversations between Mapworld and American Express when we recently chose the American Express Platinum Business Charge card as our preferred business card.

Since we started using the card, I have been very impressed with every aspect of the American Express experience. I will outline some of the key benefits that make this a stand out card for the travel focussed business. I will speak primarily to the Platinum benefits, as they are the card that I have first hand experience of.

Quality of service:

In this day and age of having to run the gauntlet of automated phone systems only to be cut off when you do finally get through to an actual human being, American Express is a a breath of fresh air.

When I first contacted American Express about applying for the card, I was dealt with by the same individual who has now become my personal point of contact. I have a direct number, and if they are unable to immediately take my call they phone me back on my mobile within a couple of hours, and if I send an email I receive an almost immediate response. I cannot adequately put into words what a difference this makes to how enjoyable and efficient I find my interaction with American Express to be.

110,000 Rewards Points:

This is a serious amount of points. For example, a Perth to Sydney Business class flight is either 36,000 Qantas points or AUD$2105. So the first benefit of the card is that it is the roughly the equivalent to AUD$6000 of domestic business class travel.

I should also mention that only the Platinum Charge Card gives you access to the Ascent Premium rewards program, this is important, as if you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer this is the only Amex rewards program that lets you transfer points to Qantas. This was a major factor in my decision to move to this card, as my previous Amex card did not give me this option. Though I am currently finding it very useful to be able to transfer points to Singapore and Emirates for international travel.

The card itself is $1500 a year to hold, which by credit card standards is on the high side, but with the 150,000 bonus rewards points even if at the end of the first year you do not continue with the card, you will still come out significantly ahead, and this does not even begin to take into consideration the other benefits.

Travel Insurance and Supplementary Cards:

One of the aspects I really like about the Platinum Charge Card is that every card holder receives comprehensive travel insurance, and this applies to supplementary card holders.

With most credit cards there is a charge for every supplementary card, but with the Platinum Charge Card you can have up to 99 supplementary cards at no extra cost. So you can pretty much nominate who you would like to be covered with travel insurance.

Some of the insurance benefits include:

  • Overseas Medical Emergency and Repatriation Cover
  • Loss of Income Cover
  • Baggage, Money and Documents Cover
  • Loss Damage Waiver Cover
  • Money and Documents limit
  • Roadside and Home Assistance Services (domestic Platinum services)

From my understanding, the family of the primary card holder is covered and then the individual supplementary card holders themselves are covered. 

Companion American Express Reserve Credit Card:

 

An additional benefit, which you are eligible to receive with the Platinum Business Charge Card is a complimentary Platinum Reserve Credit Card.

The Platinum Reserve Credit Card is now no longer available to apply for through normal channels as is now exclusively a companion card. The card fee for this card used to be $395 a year and as of 31 March 2017 it now comes with a $400 travel credit.

So now when you login to your account you will be able to use your travel credit to pay for flights (international & domestic, hotels, car hire and cruises) booking through American Express Travel. 

I have also found that this is a very good way to seperate business and personal transactions as well as earning 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants.

Access to Airport Lounges:

A really nice benefit of the Platinum Charge Card is the number of lounges that you can access. They break down into three distinct types: Virgin Australia Lounges, American Express Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges.

The Virgin Australia Lounges, the primary card holder (plus guest) are entitled to access the lounge upon presentation of their card. The lounges are generally large, stylish and have comfortable seating. The refreshments are very good, with a great range of beers (domestic & imported), wines and spirits. I really like the food option, as it tends to be make-your-own toasted sandwiches with a side salad, and there is a dedicated barista to make you a coffee any time you feel like one.

I have tried the ones in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and have been very impressed, as I normally use the Qantas Lounge and they are of a comparable quality. To give you an idea of the value of this benefit, you can pay to access the Virgin Lounge, and the cost is $60 per person, so the first time you use the lounge with a partner you save yourself $120, and there is no limit on the number of times you can use the lounge.

The American Express Lounge, American Express has recently opened its first Australian airport lounge, run by Plaza Premium, at Sydney's T1 international terminal. Platinum Charge Card holders can access it whenever they travel, and can be joined by two adult guests at no charge, along with their children aged 2-17. I have not tried the lounge yet myself, but will give it a go in the New Year. To enter all you need to do is present your card to the service counter. 

Priority Pass Membership, Priority Pass is a membership-based program that gives you access to over 1000 different lounges in over 130 countries. When you first receive your Platinum Charge Card and activate it, tell the customer service representative that you would like to also activate your Priority Pass membership at the same time, and in a week's time a thick envelope will arrive with a black and gold card and a welcome letter. 

Included is a comprehensive directory, containing all the different lounges in different countries. This is not a necessity, however, as there is now a simple app you can download onto your phone and you tap on it to show the nearest available lounges.

To access the lounge you simply present your card - entry is unlimited, and if you would like to bring a guest the cost is US$27. If you were to join the Priority Pass program at the equivalent level, which is Prestige the annual membership is US$399. But that is not all, as you can also nominate one supplementary card holder to have a Priority Pass membership as well, so a value of US$798.

To get a better understanding of the Priority Pass membership I recommend having a look at their website www.prioritypass.com

Fairfax Digital Subscription:

A really great feature I have enjoyed with the Platinum Charge Card is that it comes with one complimentary annual digital multi-device subscription to either The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au) valued at $300, The Age (theage.com.au) valued at $300, or The Financial Review (afr.com.au) valued at $680. All you need to do is select which subscription you would like and American Express takes care of the rest.

Herz & Avis Car Upgrades and Discounts:

With the Platinum Business Charge Card also comes membership to both the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program, and the Avis Preferred Membership. Both programs offer car upgrades and a faster pick up and drop off service. I recently used the Avis program in Melbourne and was very pleased with the speed of service and the fact they try to make sure you receive the newest vehicles with the lowest milage. Furthermore, having booked a car through Herz in the US using the Gold Plus Rewards Program, I received a 20% discount. So I would definitely add them to useful travel benefits that come with the card.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Gold Status:

Another feature of the Platinum Business Charge Card is that it includes Gold membership to Starwood's Preferred Guest program, which you would normally have to stay 25 nights at a Starwood Hotel or Resort in a year before reaching.

The benefits include:

  • Three Starpoints for every eligible dollar spent - 50% more than base-level partners
  • Complimentary upgrades to enhanced rooms when available
  • 4.00pm late check out subject to availability so you can savour your stay for a few more hours
  • No blackout dates on free-night redemption

Supplementary Card Members can enjoy these benefits too, and there does not appear to be a limit on how many can apply for Gold Status. Starwood Hotels and resorts include Sheraton®, W Hotels®, St Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Le Meridien®, AloftSM, ElementSM and Four Points® by Sheraton.

Bonus Air Miles from Virgin Australia and Qantas:

A very interesting benefit I came across in the last month is that both Virgin Australia and Qantas were offering a 30% points bonus if you transferred your rewards points into their frequent flyer programs within a set time period. So, if you transferred 100,000 points to Qantas or Virgin, they would credit your account another 30,000 bonus points.

This was an offer which did not apply if your credit card automatically deposits points into the frequent flyer program, so by having greater control over which frequent flyer program receives your points you are offered points inducements. Another very good reason to choose an American Express style rewards program that does not tie you to one particular airline.

Pay using your Amex, whether the payee/merchant accepts card payments:

American Express has now made it possible for you to pay anyone with a bank account using a company called Payment Logic, this means that you can earn 1 reward point for every dollar spent. To learn more about Payment Logic here is a link to their website www.paymentlogic.com.au

Also, with more and more people accepting payment from PayPal, you can link your Charge Card to your PayPal account and pay for goods and services that way, even if they do not accept American Express directly.

Other benefits:

Due to the huge range of other benefits that both cards offer, I am not going to explore them all, however I do recommend checking out the amex site. 

Conclusion:

I have found the Platinum Charge Card to be exceptional - the service and benefits are brilliant, and the rate at which points are earned is significantly faster than on other cards. Whilst I initially thought that the $1500 card fee was high, after having lived with the card I have found that the travel and lifestyle benefits more than compensate. And, as I mentioned previously, with 110,000 bonus points for trying the card for a year you will still come out ahead even if you do not renew next year. 

If you would like to receive the bonus points please contact me at chris.okeeffe@mapworld.com.au and I will lodge your referral and have American Express contact you on a number and time of your choosing.





Christopher O'Keeffe
Christopher O'Keeffe

Author


5 Responses

Christopher O'Keeffe
Christopher O'Keeffe

February 05, 2017

Hi Justin,

To apply for either the Platinum or Gold Business Charge Cards you will need to have an ABN number. However you might like to consider the personal Platinum Charge Card by American Express as it comes with 100,000 bonus points and many of the benefits of the Business Platinum Charge card. You can have a look at the features and benefits of the Platinum Charge Card here https://www.americanexpress.com/au/content/the-platinum-card/cm/?s_tntref=https://www.google.com.au.

Regards,

Christopher

Justin
Justin

February 03, 2017

Im the same as leonie i have a amex velocity platinum and would change over for the 150k points , i dont run a business will that matter?

Christopher O'Keeffe
Christopher O'Keeffe

February 01, 2017

Hi Leonie,

I will put you in contact with my account manager at Amex and he can go through with you if the Business Charge Card is the right option for you and then if you want to swap over he can arrange that as well as giving you a prorated discount on the card fee depending on when you were last charged your annual card fee. Then when you swap over to the other card you will receive your 150,000 points.

Regards

Christopher

Leonie Miller
Leonie Miller

February 01, 2017

I already have a Platinum Amex Card and would like to be subscribed for the points how do I do that???

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton

February 01, 2017

Hey thanks for this Chris, my card came through a week or so ago and so did my bonus points. You guys made it pretty easy so much appreciated.

Regards,

Andy

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