Now is the Best Time to Get the Platinum Card

There’s less than a month 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 12. This gives you about two weeks 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.

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  1. Would the Amex Platinum card exclusion apply to the Platinum Air Miles card? I signed up for that in Nov 2015 and cancelled it a few months ago. Also which credit agency does Amex pull from?

    1. You’re good. Each product is treated differently, so having had the Amex Air Miles Platinum doesn’t exclude you from the Platinum Card. Amex typically pulls from Transunion

  2. Excuse my ignorance, but how is “now the best time” to get this card? If the annual bonus is every year, would it not be just as beneficial if not more to get it say mid year, giving you 6 months to spend the current year bonus, and 6 the next? Am I missing something?

    1. Because for many people, it’s hard to bear $699 annual fee. Because we’re at the end of the year, you can fit both $200 fees in the same billing statement as your annual fee, meaning you’re only paying $299 right away.

      1. Ah got it. Thanks for the quick reply. If the annual fee gets posted the month after would you be able to use 2018’s annual bonus and cancel prior to the fee being charged?

  3. They may raise the spending requirement for the card. I got an email from AMEX asking me to upgrade to the Platinum card. The spend requirement change to $3000 in order to earn the 50,000 Membership reward within the first 3 months.

  4. Hi.

    I thought you will get 600. 200 for 2016, 200 for 2017, and 200 for 2018 as the credit is by calendar year and fee is not due until Jan, 2018.. no?

      1. So what you’re saying is…
        Apply now, get card mid-December 2016. Use 2016 travel credit prior to 2017. The annual fee will be posted in January 2017 statement.

        Use the 2017 travel credit during 2017.

        In January 2018, use the credit during the first few days…then cancel afterwards before you get the January statement with the annual fee?!

        Surely Amex must have discovered this loophole…

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