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Ultimate Guide To Amex Charge Card Upgrades (Extra Bonuses)

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American Express Gold and Platinum Cards

The Amex Platinum and Gold cards are both fantastic cards in their own right. If you’re interested in American Express charge cards I highly suggest you start with the American Express Gold card just as I did. It has great perks that essentially pay for the annual fee through two distinct $120 a year dining credits, a $240 in total value for a $250 annual fee card! If you’re like the average American you’ll easily be racking up well over 30,000 to 40,000 points a year through their 4x points multiplier on groceries and supermarkets.

Not to mention, there is currently a 60,000 Rewards points sign-up bonus you can get right now. That’s possibly an ability to earn over 100,000 points in the first year, more than enough for a round-trip business class ticket on All Nippon Airways from New York to Tokyo (currently my dream trip and hopeful use of my American Express points).

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to go even further and achieve up to 200,000 points by year two through upgrading your American Express Gold Card to an American Express Platinum and then a future strategy on how to lower your annual fee costs.

Why Should I Upgrade My Amex Gold Card?

Besides being able to get yet another signup bonus, the main reasoning is that American Express charge cards are special in the credit card world since there is no free version of these cards so you ideally only ever want to carry one and keep it open as long as possible.

Also, with American Express you can only ever get a credit card bonus once in your lifetime so it’s worth targeting the bonus for both cards while only ever paying the annual fee for one of them by choosing a card down the ladder and working your way up.

Can I Upgrade My Amex Gold to Platinum?

Yes, you can upgrade your Amex Gold Card to an Amex Platinum card after one year of having the card. As soon as your annual fee hits you should go ahead and call up American Express customer service (the number on the back of your card) and ask the representative about the current offers to upgrade your American Expres Gold card to a Platinum card.

American Express Platinum Unboxing

When you upgrade, your card will immediately switch to being an American Express Platinum and they’ll ship you out your new card (with this fancy wooden stand). You’ll want to start using as many of the new perks as possible to extract value out of the $695 annual fee that the Platinum card currently has. Each year you’ll receive a $200 Uber credit, $200 airline fee credit, $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, and a few more as well.

In addition to all the credits that you’ll receive with the American Express Platinum, you’ll be able to get status at multiple hotel chains (Marriott and Hilton) and Hertz, National Avis rental card companies.

Amex Platinum Upgrade Offer

You should target the most up-to-date American Express Platinum card bonus – currently standing at 100,000 American Express points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months of opening the card.

Remember that when you’re on the phone with the American Express representative you’ll be able to negotiate to some degree and you can push them by asking for a higher upgrade offer or potentially threatening to cancel your card (though be careful as they may take you seriously). Also, if the negotiation ever doesn’t feel like it’s going in the right direction just hang up and call again (HUGA) until a reasonable offer is made.

Downgrading to the Amex Gold

Finally, something that I’ve been thinking about after having the American Express Platinum card for a few years and experiencing the annual fee increase from $450 to $695 is a switch back to the American Express Gold Card with its reasonable $250 annual fee.

Just as you’re able to upgrade, you can downgrade the same way by talking to a customer service representative. The key issue though is that you can not do this in year three when the annual fee hits. American Express is known to dissuade customers from doing this by threatening to claw back the bonus if you refuse to pay the annual fee the year after upgrading. So if you’re going to upgrade to the American Express Platinum card expect to have it for at least 2 years.

When you do ask to downgrade as well you may have a particularly helpful American Express representative that will offer you a large credit for holding onto the American Express Platinum for one more year. I had this occur to myself in 2020 and received a $500 statement credit right as my $550 annual fee had hit my account. So it’s always worth a shot to try to optimize your card setup whenever you can!