There is one special American Express Platinum card military perk; the $695 annual fee is waived. That benefit applies to spouses, too. There’s one catch, though. You need to have “active duty” status, so veterans can’t get this benefit.
Here’s who qualifies for the American Express Platinum card military benefit:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard members on active duty
Reserve, National Guard and Air National Guard members called to active duty
National Guard members on duty for 30+ days for a national emergency
Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officers
U.S. citizens actively serving with U.S. allies
Spouses of all of the above
If you qualify for this perk, you should definitely take advantage of it, as you’ll save yourself a lot of money every year. But you need to request it in order to get it, since American Express doesn’t automatically know your military status.
Here’s how to request your American Express Platinum card military benefit:
Online:Log in into your American Express account. Submit any required documents, like proof of orders for active duty, at the document center. American Express says this is the fastest method.
Phone: Call the number on the back of your card. Once you get to an American Express representative, tell them you’d like to request your active duty benefit. They’ll ask you for the necessary info.
Fax: Send your active duty documents, along with your account number, to (623) 444-3000.
Mail: Send a copy of your active duty documents, along with your account number, to:
Attn: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
PO Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535
Once you send in your request, it’s possible that American Express will ask for more documents. Otherwise, you’ll get an official response, approving or denying your request, within 60 days of Amex receiving it. Thank you for your service!
Clarification - it seems that the fee waiver no longer applies to officers of the PHS and NOAA. If you request the card while in active duty status, SCRA does not apply and the MLA data base does not include PHS or NOAA officers. Sad, but apparently true.
You do get your annual fee waived, but I think that's about it. There are other issuers that roll out better stuff (like NFCU and USAA), so I'd argue see the Platinum as a good card on its own, not through the military perspective.
The American Express Platinum card credit score requirement isn’t the only thing that determines whether you’ll be approved, though. Your credit history, income and any debt you’re carrying will also play a role in your approval odds. In fact, reports around the internet suggest you can get approved with slightly lower credit score if you have high enough income.
To gauge your odds of approval, you can also check to see whether you pre-qualify for American Express Platinum card offers. Unlike an actual application, pre-qualification is only based on a soft inquiry on your credit report, and does not affect your credit score. Just keep in mind that while pre-qualification indicates good odds of approval, it does not guarantee it.
If you don’t meet the American Express Platinum card credit score requirement, there are plenty of other credit cards you can get. They likely won’t be from American Express, though, since Amex cards require good or excellent credit. The best credit cards for fair credit also have rewards that fit various spending habits. Once you get a credit card, be sure to make all of your payments on time, and try to keep your credit utilization below 30%. This will help raise your credit score so you can get approved for a card like American Express Platinum card in the future.
To get American Express Platinum’s annual fee waived, call the American Express retention department at 1 (800) 452-3945. State that you’re considering cancelling or switching cards because of the high annual fee.
American Express typically does not waive annual fees entirely, but it may offer a side benefit to offset the Platinum card’s $695 annual fee. Retention offers traditionally include statement credits, bonus points or spending bonuses. If there’s no offer, a customer can always cancel the card. Downgrading to an American Express card with a lower annual fee is also an option.… read full answer
If you’re requesting an annual fee waiver because of financial hardship, American Express offers a financial relief program for eligible cardholders. If you qualify, American Express will waive the annual fee, but depending on the program, you may not be able to use your Platinum card while you’re enrolled.
There is still another way you could possibly get American Express Platinum’s annual fee waived. If you’re a military member who meets the requirements for benefits under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), American Express will waive Amex Platinum’s $695 annual fee every year that you’re on active duty. You’ll still get all of the card’s benefits, which include 5 points per $1 spent on airfare booked through Amex Travel, $200 annual credits for both airline fees and Uber rides, and more.
Many credit cards waive the annual fee for military members, including certain cards from American Express, Chase, and Citi. The most notable credit cards that waive annual fees for military personnel are The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Both of these cards normally have a high annual fee, but active military personnel do not have to pay it. The American Express Platinum card and Chase Sapphire Reserve are therefore great offers for military members, since the luxury perks on these cards can be enjoyed at no cost.… read full answer
Credit Cards that Waive Annual Fees for Military Members
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Airport Lounge Access
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Travel and Dining Rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for Introductory Bonus
Citi Prestige® Card: Best for Hotel Perks
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Best Airline Card
Card issuers are required to give some benefits to military members with SCRA-eligible accounts. Yet many credit card companies go above and beyond these requirements by waiving annual fees. In particular, American Express, Citibank, and Chase are among the best credit card issuers for active military members because they offer some high-end cards that military personnel can take advantage of without the price tag.
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