Check out this month's best credit card bonuses for US military personnel. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. It's free and creates a one stop shop for checking your portfolio.

amex-premier-rewards-gold-military-scra-mlaIn June I picked up the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold (PRG) card. Right now you can get 25,000 points for only $2000 minimum spend in 3 months with my referral link. I will get 10,000 MR points if you sign up through my link: thanks!

At first glance this card does not seem that special. The spending category bonuses aren’t great, the sign up bonus could be better, and the benefits are not as extensive as the AMEX Platinum.

However, with no annual fee, and a few tricks, this card becomes quite powerful for military servicemembers. Here are the features making this card worthwhile:

  • 25,000 Membership Reward Points sign up bonus with only $2000 spend (easy minimum)
  • $100 annual airline credit towards the airline of your choice (can be used for gift cards)
  • You can product change (PC) or upgrade this card to an AMEX Platinum card after 1 year (details below)

AMEX Membership Rewards

Membership Rewards are one of two of the most flexible credit card reward systems. Other than Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Membership Rewards allows the most valuable transfers to airline and hotel partners. This allows you to book awesome business and first class tickets on great airlines.

You can also use the points for Amazon purchases, booking travel through AMEX’s portal, and buying gift cards. Usually though, you should save your points up for a transfer to a travel partner for the most valuable redemptions. MR points are frequently valued at 1.5-2.5 cents per point or 100 points = $1.50-2.50.

$100 Airline Credit w/ AMEX PRG

Similar to the $200 airline credit offered on the AMEX Platinum, the PRG offers a $100 airline credit. The fine print says it’s not good for airline gift cards, but check the FlyerTalk forums and Reddit for data points.

Many cardholders report airline gift cards ARE reimbursed by a statement credit within 3-4 days after purchasing the gift card. This is my experience as well. This year I purchased an American Airlines gift card on July 2 and received reimbursement on July 7.

Combined with a few AMEX Platinum card airline credits, you could rack up a significant number of gift cards on a single airline.

Upgrade (Product Change) PRG to a Platinum

Military SCRA MLA AMEX PlatinumThe best part of the PRG is one year after you open the account you are eligible to upgrade to the American Express Platinum card. This is true even if you already have another AMEX Platinum.

As long as you keep the PRG on a separate login for your AMEX online account, you should be offered the upgrade link online. Even if you added the PRG to your current login on AMEX, you can drop the card from your login and create a new login to manage the card. As long as the AMEX online account doesn’t have another Platinum card attached to it, you should be able to upgrade your PRG card.

This is an awesome way to add more AMEX Platinum cards to your inventory. Since military servicemembers pay no annual fees on AMEX cards, you can stack all the benefits on the AMEX Platinum.

AMEX Platinum Benefits for Military Members

Let’s say you and your spouse both have a “vanilla” (regular) AMEX Platinum, a Schwab Platinum, and an upgraded PRG to Platinum. That’s six AMEX Platinum cards with no annual fees, saving you $3300 in annual fees.

You’ll also get all the sign up bonuses for these six cards as you build your Platinum Portfolio, which could be worth 300,000+ MR points.

But wait, there’s more. Since each Platinum card comes with it’s own benefits, every year you’ll get:

  • $1200 in Uber credits (6 x $200), also valid on Uber Eats
  • $1200 in airline fee credits (6 x $200)
  • $600 in statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue (6 x $100)
  • Free Priority Pass access to airport lounges and Centurion Lounges
  • 2 Free Global Entry membership ($200 value)
  • Free Hilton Honors and SPG Gold Statuses

This is free money you’re leaving on the table by not building your Platinum card collection as a military member. Start building your collection today with the American Express Premier Rewards Gold and pick up the easy sign up bonus now. Then, after a year upgrade the card to a Platinum and reap the Platinum benefits.

If you have done this trick, let me know in the comments!

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Upgrade the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to an Additional Platinum With This Tip

7 thoughts on “Upgrade the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to an Additional Platinum With This Tip

  • July 17, 2018 at 04:28
    Permalink

    Is there any kind of associated bonus to upgrade from the PRG to the Platinum? I am currently deployed and wouldn’t be able to reach the spend minimum. However if there is no bonus then I would like to take advantage of the airline credit before the year ends.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2018 at 04:41
      Permalink

      Great questions, I will investigate and get some answers.

      Reply
  • July 17, 2018 at 05:36
    Permalink

    Additionally, how do you drop a card from its current login and give it a new login. Do I go the “Remove a card account” and select the PRG. Then create a new online account and register the PRG as a new card on that account? Thanks!

    Reply
    • July 17, 2018 at 05:49
      Permalink

      Yes, that should be the procedure. Please try and let us know how it goes! I created a separate online account when I got the PRG, so I don’t have personal experience with this method.

      Reply
  • July 17, 2018 at 23:39
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    Well, it worked. The application immediately said I was approved and would receive a card in 7 – 10 days. It took about 12 hours for my account to show that it had changed to a Platinum and a couple hours longer for the Shops Saks and Airline credit to become available for enrollment. The only slight problem is I have to enroll my card with Uber but it won’t let me use my email and cell phone number since they are associated with my other account. Hopefully, I can use a second email address and a home phone number to enroll the card and then I will add the card in the Uber app and the credits should appear.

    Makes me wonder if I could apply for the PRG (since I don’t have it anymore) and then keep upgrading it….But I’m not trying to fly too close to the sun.

    Good catch on finding out you can upgrade your card.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2018 at 23:43
      Permalink

      Awesome data point! Thank you for playing guinea pig. Were you offered a Membership Rewards sign up bonus with minimum spend? I’m looking forward to one year from now when I can upgrade my PRG.

      Reply
      • July 18, 2018 at 01:46
        Permalink

        No offer. I looked on other websites and didn’t see any current offers going around to upgrade to Platinum so I went for it. I’m curious if I would be able to add my Platinum back to my original online account but I don’t want to risk the airline/UBER/Saks credit being taken away.

        It’s also nice that it keeps the same number as my previous card and doesn’t count as opening a new account. I’ll be elligble to apply for the Sapphire Preferred in February based on the 5/24 rule and opening another card would have delayed my efforts.

        Also, don’t know if you’ve seen the AMEX Hilton Aspire card but it would be another awesome card for military members.

        Reply

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