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The Platinum Card® from American Express card is annual fee waived for military.
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The American Express® Gold Card card military benefits include a $250 annual fee waiver. This card easily upgrades to an additional The Platinum Card® from American Express, with all the recurring benefits that come with that card. Benefits like a airline fee credit, hotel credit, Saks Fifth Ave credit, etc.
In June I picked up the American Express Gold Card with no annual fee due to my active duty military service.
Learn how to apply for the Amex Gold Card and the Amex Platinum active duty military fee waiver.
- Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card
- $250 Annual Fee waived for US military and spouses
- Earn 60,000 Membership Reward® Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of Card Membership
- Earn 4x points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US
- Earn 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x points) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
- Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on amextravel.com
- No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
- $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 annually.
- $120 per year Dining Credit: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits when you use your Amex Gold at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Molk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
- Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
- Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply
American Express significantly increased the value proposition of this card. They added great new spending category bonuses and an opportunity to earn an increased welcome bonus. This card now deserves a place in your wallet right next to the military annual fee waived AMEX Platinum.
The AMEX Gold Card also waives the annual fee for military servicemembers. Here are the features making this card worthwhile.
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.
4X Points at Restaurants and Grocery Stores
This is an awesome benefit. You can get 4 Membership Reward points for every dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and US grocery stores. DECA Commissaries OCONUS qualify for the “US” grocery store category, because of the way they process credit card transactions.
The 4X points at restaurants is great when you can find a place that takes AMEX internetionally. Most places I have seen overseas definitely take Mastercard and Visa but AMEX is not as widely accepted.
If you're travelling internationally better have the Chase Sapphire Reserve in your wallet as backup and receive 3X Ultimate Rewards. The CSR recently updated it's military policy and now has no annual fee for military members and spouses.
$100 Airline Credit w/ AMEX Gold Card Military
Similar to the $200 airline credit offered on the AMEX Platinum, this card 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 a $100 Southwest gift card on March 2 and received reimbursement on March 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) Gold Card to a Platinum
The best part of the Gold Card 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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site
- Annual fee of $695 waived for US military personnel and spouses
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year
- Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, and other participating providers. Enrollment required.
- $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards, enrollment required
- 40 Centurion Lounges and 1200+ Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
- $189 CLEAR® Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back each year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
- Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply
As long as you keep the Gold Card on a separate login for your AMEX online account, you should be offered the upgrade link online. Even if you added the card 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 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 each have a “vanilla” (regular) AMEX Platinum, a Schwab Platinum, and an upgraded AMEX Gold Card to Platinum. That's six AMEX Platinum cards with no annual fees, saving you $3300 in annual fees.
You may also earn all the welcome 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 Gold Card and earn the easy welcome bonus now. Then, after a year upgrade the card to a Platinum and reap the Platinum benefits.
If you have upgraded your Gold Card to a Platinum, let me know in the comments! Marcus upgraded his Gold Card and described how easy it was in the comments below.
60 thoughts on “Upgrade Amex Gold Card to Amex Platinum With This Secret Tip”
I’m active duty and have the Amex plat, Gold and Everyday cards (Everyday was my first CC back in the day). I want to get the Schwab Plat, however when I applied, Amex said I’m not eligible for the SUB. It just gave some generic reasoning: “Based on your credit balance transfer history, previous welcome offer redemption, or number of current credit accounts you are ineligible to receive the welcome offer…”
I’ve never done a balance transfer, opened my last Amex card (Gold) over a year ago, and I thought you could get the SUB for the Schwab despite also getting it for the vanilla Plat. Any thoughts on why Amex is saying I’m ineligible for the Schwab SUB?
You can definitely get the SUB for the Schwab Amex Platinum and the vanilla Amex Platinum. You are ineligible right now for a welcome bonus because you’ve fallen into the Amex pop-up jail. Check out the article. Unfortunately there’s no secret, quick way to get out of the Amex jail. The only things I’ve seen work are a little bit extra spending across all of your Amex accounts and waiting a few weeks. That usually does the trick and then you’ll be out of the Amex jail. In the meantime, take a look at the Chase military credit cards with no annual fees. You definitely want to add a Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to your line up.
Gotcha. I’ll read up on the pop-up jail, thank you. And I also have the CSR and Venture X. Trying to expand to Schwab Plat mostly because they won’t hard pull my credit like Chase. Tracking the 5/24 rule but since you can’t have both the CSR and CSP, I don’t really see any other attractive Chase cards. I don’t particularly care for hotel or airline cards. The Schwab Plat will probably be my last new CC for a while.
I ignored the hotel credit cards for a long time as well and that was a big error on my part. Free hotel and resort nights can be extremely valuable, plus some cards have restaurant and airline fee credits. Don’t ignore them too long!
I already have a platinum card. If I upgrade from gold to platinum I just need to have the gold on a separate log in, correct?
Can I then add it back to the original log in? And will I get the digital entertainment credit twice?
Yup you got it.
Just as a data point. I called Amex this week to upgrade my Gold card to a 5th platinum card. Not only was it accepted, but they gave me an upgrade offer despite the fact that I was already going to upgrade regardless. Things you love to see.
You love to see it :)
This site is amazing, thank you for all the hard work and time you’ve put into it!
My husband is AD and I didn’t realize I didn’t have to add him as an authorized user to my platinum account to get the fee waived. Is it possible to upgrade his gold card to platinum since he is linked to my platinum an authorized user? TIA.
Thanks for the kind words :)
Yes, it is possible to upgrade his Amex Gold card to an Amex Platinum card even though he’s on your Amex Platinum card as an authorized user.
If this is his first Amex Platinum card, make sure he opens a new account to earn the welcome bonus. Then he can upgrade his Amex Gold to an additional Amex Platinum card.
If you have a referral link, I recommend you refer him so you can earn a referral bonus and he can earn the welcome bonus. If you don’t have a referral link, you can use my link on my Amex Platinum page.
If I got my gold card when I was in the military and got my fee waived and now recently got out but want to upgrade to platinum and avoid the annual fee is that possible since they still think I’m active or as soon as I decided to upgrade they would recheck the status resulting in me having to pay the Annual fee.
I would tread carefully. They will probably not recheck your status… But if they do, you’ll be on the hook for the annual fee. If that’s worth the risk to you, go for it. If not, don’t. Is this your first Platinum card or an additional one?
Yes this will be my first I currently have a gold card and am able to upgrade
Is there any trick if I don’t see an option to product change? Both my Gold and Green cards have been open for over a year and are in an online account that has no Platinum cards associated with it.
How long have they been in a different account?
So I recently upgraded my gold card to a platinum. (Got it in the mail today) Amex only offered me 25,000 welcome points if I spend 2 grand in 2 months after upgrading. Now that I have the card, I see the offer where it was giving the 100,000 welcome points for opening… can I still get that if I actually apply for platinum since all I did was upgrade my gold? Also my husband is an authorized user on my account, if he gets his own where he is the primary can we still get those welcome points? I’m so upset I missed out on them. I called Amex and they said I would have had to clear cookies to see it.
I always recommend starting with the top tier card first. So apply for an Amex Platinum, collect the welcome bonus, and then apply for the lower tier card (Amex Gold), collect the welcome bonus, and then upgrade to the Amex Platinum.
You may not be eligible for Amex Platinum bonus now because you upgraded. It won’t hurt to try applying and see if you can still get it. Amex will give you a pop-up message saying you are not eligible if you are not eligible.
Your husband can open up his own accounts. Make sure you refer him if you have a referral link! Check out podcast episodes for more information:
Once you upgrade your Gold AMEX card to a platinum card, do you lose access to the 4* points on restaurants and delivery? Is that benefit worth losing in order to have 2 platinum cards? I’m asking because I feel the Gold card offers benefits which compensate for areas the platinum card does not incentivize spending (Platinum values travel, gold values food) together I feel these may be better than 2 cards that incentivize travel. That being said, if you have a way to continue getting those benefits on groceries and restaurants I’d be interested to know what you do.
After you upgrade your Gold to Platinum you just open another Gold card account.
Love your stuff but aren’t you worried that with five amex platinum cards that amex would get suspicious and pull the rug out of all of this and just ban you and wife? I just have the single amex card now and I want to do this too but I am just legitimately concerned about the potential consequences.
Lots of people have even more cards than me.
Followed all of the instructions but the website is only offering 25k points for spending $2k in six months. Am I missing something or has the 100k bonus expired?
That’s a standard upgrade offer. Have you also opened an Amex Platinum card?
I already have one as well as my wife. I moved the gold over to its own login on the app and when I clicked on specials and offers, the upgrade came up with the offer I mentioned.
The 25k offer is probably the best you will get for an upgrade offer, I would take it.
I got an AMEX plantinum card 3 months ago as my first AMEX card, to reap the 6 months benefit and the 75k sign-on bonus.
Do I need to wait a year before I can apply for gold?
I believe you said somewhere in your blog that we have to wait at least a year before you can do any upgrades.
Also, I do not have any travel partnerships and I want to start. Do I need to get credit cards through the different types of airlines, or is there a way I can do it without impacting my credit to pair my miles to.
No, you only need to wait 5 days before applying for the Gold card. See the Amex application rules here.
The Gold card has to be open for about a year before you can request the upgrade. I recommend opening another Gold card then since the Gold benefits and bonus categories are so good.
You can just open frequent flier or hotel loyalty program accounts for free. Just go to the hotel or airlines website, open a free account, connect your Amex Platinum account to it, and then transfer the points.
In addition – would I have to open a new account each time I get an Amex Platinum Card under a different username. How would you recommend doing it?
I am trying to accrue several American express platinum cards using your method, however it is a little confusing with the upgrades or downgrades. Thanks!
Create a new Amex login or open a new Platinum account? I’m not sure I understand your question. Once you have the upgraded Gold (aka, another Platinum) you can move it back to your main login. For instance I have 5 Amex Platinum cards on my main Amex login.
Great blog, I enjoyed reading it. A question for you : I have an offer to upgrade AMEX green to platinum (I already had platinum in the past). I am also interested in getting the AMEX Charles Schawb. If I want to get both, what is the best course of action and timeline. I was thinking to first apply to Schwab, than in the same day or few days after upgrade the green to platinum? Do you agree? Also, do you think it will be beneficial to create a separate login for the AMEX green prior to applying to the schwab or upgrading the green to platinum?
Some background about my situation, I have the schawb investor card and 100k in investment with them, green card, hilton honors surpass, amazon business prime, and delta skymiles blue card/
Thanks for the help Spencer and keep up the good work
I recommend opening an Amex Platinum to earn the welcome bonus first. Here’s my link to apply. Once you’ve secured your Amex Plat, then go back and upgrade the Green to Plat. You might need to put the green on it’s own Amex login by dropping it from your current login. Or just put your new Amex Plat on a new login. Once you’ve finished minimum spend for your new Amex Plat, then open a Charles Schwab Amex Plat and earn the bonus on that as well. How to open multiple fee waived Amex Platinum cards details in this post.
If you can reapply for an amex gold/green after upgrading one, can you then infinitely upgrade to platinum and repeat? (Mind you me and my wife are both active duty and have 6 platinums between us currently).
Yes. I also have 6 Platinums between me and my wife. You can get multiple Amex Platinums in the military. There is a rumor that Amex is adding a 10 charge card limit to their credit card application rules, similar to their 5 credit card limit. This would limit you each to 10 charge cards per individual and would put an eventual cap on the number of Platinum cards you can have. I think you should probably limit yourself to a maximum of 5 Amex Platinum cards each or risk highlighting yourself for account closure.
Can you upgrade your Amex Gold/Green to a Plat even if you already have a reg Plat? By reg Plat I mean non-branded Plat so not talking about Schwab or Ameriprise Plat. If you can, and you’ve waited a year since opening the account and dont see it as an option, what can you do about it? Thanks.
Yes you can. You need to move the card to another AmericanExpress.com login.
You just need a separate AMEX login username, like if john1 is your primary, make a new account john2. You can use the same email and password.
Go to your john1 account, find the card you want to remove (AMEX Green or Gold) and go to account or card services, card management and remove from online management.
Log out of john1, login or create john2, and add the card you just removed card to john2. You should be able to upgrade to another Platinum within a few hours or instantly. You can then add the newly upgraded card back to your main john1 account.
You need to hold the AMEX Platinum for 1 year before it’s eligible for upgrade.
I use the same email for all accounts.
Once the account is upgraded you can apply for another Green or Gold card, since you no longer have that account type open. However you will not be eligible for the bonus again for 7 years. Or if you find an offer without a lifetime bonus in the terms and conditions, you may be able to get around the 7 year restrictions.
Once you’ve waited a year, where do you go to actually upgrade? Do you have to call it in or can you do it on the website?
You can call but it’s easiest to just add the card to separate AMEX login (details in another comment below) and then upgrade by going to “Other cards recommended for you” and then click “Request Upgrade” on the card you want to upgrade to.
How do you make a separate login for the card? Where do I go on the amex website to do it?
1. Login to americanexpress.com
2. Go to account services option
3. Under the “Card Management” section, look for “Remove Card from Online Management”
4. Once you’ve removed the card you want from the account, just log out of americanexpress.com and create a new profile and add the card you just removed to it.
My Wife Is Active Duty –
1. She applied for Biz Plat 75k offer and was accepted (can she still get AF waived?)
1a. I owns a business, can I get the Amex Plat Biz AF waived as a military spouse?
2. She applied for Personal Plat 60k and was accepted, will follow steps to waive AF.
3. She just upgraded her Amex Gold to Amex Plat. There are no “welcome” benefits, right? Just the yearly credits, no AF, etc.
1a. Yes, if you’re in a common property state. Otherwise you’ll need to add your wife as an authorized user to the card to get your annual fees waived.
3. Usually no welcome offer just annual benefits like you said. There will be a clear welcome bonus offer before you upgrade. Usually on lower tier hotel (SPG or Hilton) or other cobranded cards.
Hey Spence! How did you manage to get Biz card AF waived? I tried and was told only personal
Amex used to waive Business card annual fees before Jan 2020. If you had your fees waived on a business card before Jan 2020, the fees keep getting waived. But if you open up an business card account today, the fees won’t be waived. Only personal cards.
Yes. The PRG just added a bunch of new benefits including 4% on restaurants and grocery stores. Huge. I probably won’t convert it to a Plat now.
You could convert to Plat and pickup a new PRG (name changing to American Express Gold Card). That’s what I’m going to do. Especially since the card is rumored to have 4% back on restaurant purchases.
Marcus, thanks for the reply. If you are not prompted when opening the new login to upgrade the PRG to Plat, where do you find it on the AMEX site? Also, please let us know how this SCRA claim that was submitted to AMEX two weeks ago turns out.
To be honest I don’t remember if it says it on the side of the account home page or if I had to go to credit offers to get the updgrade. Either way I know you can always call in to upgrade to the Platinum. If you call make sure to ask if you can get a bonus introductory offer as those show up every once in awhile.
So as an update I just checked my Platinum and I was charged an additional membership renewal fee of $504.16 and then reimbursed $178. I don’t know exactly what’s going on. My SCRA request is still in progress, so I am tempted to wait and see if they are still figuring it out, but if my fees aren’t reimbursed within the next 1.5 weeks I’ll probably try and call to get it figured out.
I finally had my SCRA go through for my new Plat but it took an extra 2 days for me to get reimbursed for all the annual fees. However, now they have overcompensated me by about $175 and I’m sitting at a $338 balance on my card. I also saw a data point the other day about someone getting a replacement PRG for the one they converted to a Platinum and so I decided to go for it and was accepted. It wouldn’t allow me to add it to my login that had the Ameriprise PRG so I just created a separate account for it.
Great to hear, thanks Marcus.
Marcus, were you able to register your “new” AMEX Plat with Uber? I am looking to do the same thing that you did. So, you just unlink it from your main AMEX login, create a new login just for this card and right away it asks you if you want to upgrade this PRG to an AMEX Platinum? Have you received the new Plat? Had any issues with AMEX? I, too, do not want to “fly to close to the sun.”
Thanks a lot.
All data points suggest that you can remove, add to new login, upgrade to Platinum, and add to Uber for credits. Also you get airline fee credits as well, as it is a full up Platinum card. I don’t think you need to keep the PRG-now-Platinum on separate logins after upgrading, but I would be interested in Marcus’s experience as well.
So my card still says that I need to “enroll with Uber” but when I added the card to my Uber account it gave me the credits. I think I missed July since the credits come out at the beginning of the month. But yes I followed all the same steps you mentioned above. Though I don’t remember if it prompted me to upgrade to the Plat or if I had to search for the link. Everything has worked well though. I already got my $200 Southwest gift card reimbursed to my account as well as my Saks $50 credit for this half of the year. The only strange thing was about 3 weeks ago I was charged the PRG annual fee. I had applied my SCRA benefits to my card when it was a PRG and I guess it got taken off the card? I submitted my claim for SCRA benefits on the Plat version 2 weeks ago and the claim is still in progress. I feel like it is taking a little longer than usual, but we’ll see.
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.
Awesome data point! Thank you for playing guinea pig. Were you offered a Membership Rewards welcome bonus with minimum spend? I’m looking forward to one year from now when I can upgrade my PRG.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Great questions, I will investigate and get some answers.