LAST CHANCE: Now is the Best Time to Get the Platinum Card

This is a repost as a final reminder.

There’s less than two weeks until the end of 2016. Most people think about getting fit, travelling more, or being a kinder person. While lofty goals, I’m more excited about something else for 2017 – annual travel credits!

The Deal

The American Express Platinum Card in Canada offers a $200 travel credit per calendar year. That means on January 1, 2017, you’ll have a new $200 credit to use. This post is titled “now is the best time,” so why is it? Well, after being approved for the Platinum Card, it’ll take a maximum of a week to be shipped over. So if you applied today, you should expect your new card by December 23. This gives you about a week to use your 2016 travel credit. Remember: if you don’t use your annual credit, you lose it when the clock strikes midnight for the new year.

Source and Copyright: Amex Bank of Canada, retrieved from on 2016-12-04
Source and Copyright: Amex Bank of Canada, retrieved from on 2016-12-04

The annual fee for the Platinum Card is $699, with an amazing sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in 90 days. These points convert 1:1 into Aeroplan and British Airways, and is enough for a round-trip ticket in Economy from North America to Europe. The annual fee usually posts at the end of your first billing cycle. If you got the card now, you’ll be able to use both $200 credits likely before your first statement is due.

Converting Travel Credit into Cash

It’s simple to convert your $200 credit into cash. All you have to do is book a fully refundable hotel on the American Express travel website. There will be an option to use your travel credit. The system will charge your card for the full amount of the reservation, then issue a $200 credit on your account. After you receive the credit, simply cancel the hotel reservation. The travel credit will remain on your statement. This means that you can bring that $699 fee down to $299 immediately.

Not only are you getting the 60,000 point sign-up bonus, which is easily worth more than $1,000, you’re also going to get access to Centurion Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other lounges throughout the world from Priority Pass.


Note that the terms of the sign-up offer state that if you previously held an American Express Platinum Card, you won’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus. While the language is there, anecdotal evidence from Flyertalk and Red Flag Deals shows that American Express isn’t enforcing this term. This could change in 2017, so you might want to get the card now before American Express enforces their once-in-a-lifetime rule.


  1. This is terrible advice. This would leave 1 week for someone to claim the credit for 2016. Wait a few weeks and then get the credit for 2017 and 2018 without stress. Might want to change the blog title to don’t “trust the blogger” (he’ll tell you anything for card referral bonus) 🙂

    1. I believe my readers are generally competent and are able to manage their timelines well. If you have a problem paying $699 up front, this really is the best time to get the card, since you’re only gonna have to pay $299.

      1. Not true anymore. If you cancel after $400 TC is redeemed (vs $200), Amex will give you a hard time. If your readers are doing this, and they wait for the annual fee to post for next year, Amex will only refund $499 of the $699 fee when you close the card.

        1. If you cancel before the fee posts, no problem. If you cancel after the fee posts, all you have to do is cancel via the automated system (press 7 to cancel) within 30 days and you’ll get a full refund. Again, I assume a level of competence.

  2. Yes, I would agree with LF in that it’s the end of the year and you don’t know what’s going to happen with Christmas and family and the postal service is not going to deliver mail regularly. This is the WORST time to get the card!

  3. Points, Miles, and Martini’s blog did the same thing last year and I posted that it was bad advice and they had the gall to erase my post after it posted. I will never read their blog ever again.

    1. I approve almost all comments, and am happy to have a discussion! Obviously my opinion is different, but I encourage you to disagree!

  4. I applied for the card this month (Dec) and they wouldn’t let me use the travel credit. They kept insisting that it starts from Jan 2017. I had to speak with the manager and they kept refusing to let me use.

  5. You do realize he is most likely pushing this card because he gets compensated by Amex (please correct me if I am wrong here) for clicking on the links here and getting people signed up.

    Perhaps that agreement is ending December 31? Perhaps he is getting bonus compensation for December referrals? I agree that pushing this card again as a ‘reminder’ on December 17 is self serving to say the least.

    It’s a $700 card. You’ll get your first statement in January with that fee to pay. You know, along with all the Xmas bills you need to pay off. Spinning this as a way to end up only paying $299 is stupid. To do that you need to book two hotels (fhr for instance in 2016 and 2017) and then cancel them after the $200 credits are applied.

    Give me a break. A lot of work in a short period of time during the busiest time of the year.

    If he was in this to ‘guide’ his readers to help them in the points game this should never have been two posts within two weeks.

    You get $200 each year to play with. And it is true, Amex will charge you that $200 if you use it then cancel. Amex is getting tougher with churning and such.

    Get the card when you are ready.

  6. Subscribed in early dec after seeing the first post. Got the welcome package and card next dayof instant approval. 200 credit applied but got a little surprised today when I received the email saying my statement was ready. Fee posted along with the 200 credit for 2016. I was going to apply for this card anyways and I’m not 200$ close to not making month end but the fact the statement came in short of 1full month and time to apply 2017 credit; is false advertisement for someone trying to pull this one of. Beware..

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