The American Express card has quite a few benefits associated with it, but unfortunately you have to register for many of them in order for them to become effective.
- Register and activate the card. Unlike a lot of cards, you won’t have to listen to annoying commercials or smarmy pitches for credit insurance, credit protection, or other insidious financial products. One phone call and done.
- Register additional cardholders. You can request 3 additional platinum cards for $175.
- Register your airline preferences for the $200 annual credit. You must select an airline before American Express will credit your purchases back to you. This benefit runs from January 1 through the end of a calendar year. You can switch in January if you want to change airlines. Note: American Airlines gift cards purchased directly from American Airlines will get reimbursed.
- Register for the Priority Pass Select. This pass allows you access to additional airlines for a fee of $27 per person. This can be done online or over the phone (Personal: 800-525-3355 / Business: 800-492-8458).
- Apply for the U.S. Custom’s Global Entry program. This program is one of the government’s trusted traveler programs and the $100 fee is immediately credited back to you (you must charge it on the Platinum card). Simply register with the U.S. government’s website, create an account and submit a very long application and pay with the platinum card. Once accepted you can bypass the long immigration lines and you will no longer have to take off your shoes and belts at some of the TSA security checkpoints. Note: you will have to put your GE numbers in your profile for each of the airlines your fly in order to use the expedited TSA security lines.
- Apply for Starwood Gold status. This is a complementary benefit from Starwood for American Express Platinum card holders, but since someone posted the code on the InterWeb, hundreds of scammers applied for gold status. As a result, you now have to either: call American Express and ask to be transferred to SPG (a special phone number), or fax your account details directly to SPG. Benefits include: 50% bonus on SPG points earned, 4pm late checkout, express check-in, automatic room upgrade, and check-cashing privileges up to $300.
- Sign up for Rental Car Programs. I signed up for Hertz #1 Gold Club. I passed on the rest. Hertz is the first car rental company that hasn’t shafted me with bogus damages or put the hard sell for insurance. Renting from them is hassle free.
- American Express Tripit Pro. You can get a complementary upgrade for Tripit Pro by simply registering for a Tripit account, then downloading the Amex Travel app for iPhone. Login and you will be upgraded automatically.
- There are several other near worthless benefits such as Neiman Marcus InCircle, Sony, and a few others.
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