*Check for updates at bottom of blog.
A lesser known card within the American Express system. In my opinion, this card is many times better than the Vanilla Platinum card, or the regular one. It has more benefits without removing any existing benefits from the Vanilla Platinum card such as the new $300 Equinox credit, $200 hotel credit, $100 Saks credit, $200 Uber credit and $200 airline credit.
The most popular benefit is that the Charles Schwab Platinum card allows you to convert your Amex MR points to cash at a rate of 1.25 cents-per-point(cpp). This takes some of the category spend in the Amex ecosystem to another level. For example:
Groceries (Gold): 4 MR points —> 5 MR points
Dining (Gold): 4 MR points —> 5 MR points
Travel (Green): 3 MR points —> 3.75 MR points
Uncategorized (Blue Business Plus): 2 MR points —> 2.5 MR points
The SUB for this card has recently been updated since Amex has increased the annual fee along with adding more benefits across their Platinum lineup, and is set at 100000 MR points after $6000 spend in 6 months plus 10x points at restaurants in the first 6 months.
Another benefit that this card provides is another way to lower the annual fee of $550. If you have over $250,000 with Schwab, you get a $100 credit, or if you have over $1,000,000 with them, you get a $200 credit, every year. This may seem like a lot especially the $1,000,000 mark, but the $250,000 mark is definitely attainable after a decade or so of investing.
On top of these added benefits, you will still get the $100/year to Saks Fifth Avenue and, you will still get the $200/year to Uber. The insurance and protections still stand pat. For all these reasons, I would easily put this card above the Vanilla Platinum card. The ONLY slight disadvantage is that there are no referral links that can be used to get more points, but aside from that, there is no reason, in my opinion, to not get the Schwab Platinum card for the annual fee of $695. But until next time…
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Checking out, Kenny
[UPDATE: 6/23] It has been confirmed that the redemption rate WILL change starting September 1st, going from 1.25 cpp to 1.1 cpp.
[EFFECTIVE: 7/1] Numbers and credits have been updated to reflect the new annual fee plus extra perks.