021 was the year when many people began traveling and increasing their spending again.
The major credit card issuers also stayed busy, revamping or launching a variety of credit card products throughout the year. There was a new or refreshed product for everyone, from no-annual-fee, cash-back cards to high-end, premium rewards cards.
Let’s look at some of the significant card launches and permanent refreshes of 2021.
In July, Amex revamped its consumer Amex Platinum Card with a host of new benefits, a new welcome offer, and, yes, an increase of its annual fee. Later in the year, the issuer also added two more benefits to the Platinum Card: one for Walmart+ and another for SoulCycle.
With the revamp in 2021, it’s clear that the Platinum Card is no longer focused exclusively on travel or travel-adjacent perks.
In addition, the annual fee went from an already high $550 (see rates and fees) to an even more expensive $695 (see rates and fees). That may have given current and prospective cardholders pause since the card has been at $550 for only four years, up from $450 in 2017.
Although Amex added a host of new Platinum perks and raised the card’s annual fee, it didn’t eliminate or change the card’s existing benefits. In total, there is the potential for $1,800 in value by maximizing every single credit card perk to its fullest. However, that assumes you’ll know what those perks are, and more importantly, care about each specific benefit and the services it covers.
Even though the overall value for the card can certainly still be there, be sure to keep track of all of those new credits and put them to good use.