American Express is adding two subscription-based benefits for U.S. platinum cardholders, just three months after announcing other major upgrades. In the latest round of upgrades, American Express is adding health and wellness benefits. These include a statement credit equal to the full cost of a Walmart+ monthly membership and a statement credit on purchases of the SoulCycle at-home bike purchased through Equinox+. The SoulCycle benefit complements a previously-announced $300 credit toward eligible Equinox Fitness Club memberships or a digital membership to Equinox+.
Howard Grosfield, executive vice president and general manager, U.S. Consumer & Global Premium Services, commented on the new benefits for U.S. platinum cardholders.
“Convenience and flexibility are more important than ever for our Card Members,” said Grosfield. “With Walmart+, Platinum Card® Members can get what they need, delivered to their door, quickly and seamlessly. The SoulCycle at-home bike gives them access to another fitness program that fits their lifestyle.”
When consumers in the U.S. use their American Express platinum card to purchase a Walmart+ membership, they’ll receive a statement credit of $12.95 per month plus taxes. After years of experimenting with variations of the Amazon Prime membership, Walmart launched its paid membership program, Walmart+, in September 2020. The service is $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, and it gives members unlimited home delivery of more than 160,000 items and same-day delivery on groceries and other products on orders of $35 or more, gas discounts at Walmart gas stations, and more.
In July, American Express offered an annual statement credit of $300 on eligible Equinox Fitness Club memberships or a digital membership to Equinox+. American Express has expanded their partnership to offer a statement credit on the purchase of SoulCycle at-home bikes.
American Express platinum benefits expansion
In addition to the Equinox Fitness Club statement credit added in July, American Express announced other upgrades to platinum cardholders, along with an annual fee increase from $550 to $695. For new cardholders, the fee increase started immediately. For existing cardholders, the new fee goes into effect January 1, 2022.
Here are a few of the new benefits (refer to our July 6, 2021 article for the full list):
- 100,000 membership reward points for new members
- 10X membership rewards, available on eligible purchases
- $179 CLEAR credit
- $200 airline fee credit per calendar year for incidental airline fees charged to an eligible card on qualifying airlines (Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and United). Customers must choose one airline
- $200 hotel credit per calendar year on eligible, prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® and The Hotel Collection bookings made through American Express Travel
- $240 digital entertainment credit: Platinum cardholders re eligible for up to $20 per month in statement credits toward subscriptions including Peacock (paid plans start at $4.99 a month), Audible (paid plans start at $7.95 a month), SiriusXM (paid plans start at $5 a month), and The New York Times (digital or print, prices vary).
American Express estimates these perks to be worth more than $1,500 in value per year.
The payments market is very competitive, and American Express wants to stand out from the crowd by offering its platinum cardholders as much value as they can for the $695 annual fee. These extra perks have a combined value of about $455. When paired with other benefits, like digital entertainment and travel credits, cardholders can easily cover the cost of their pricy annual fee, while accessing subscription services and other benefits they might not otherwise take advantage of. It’s a win for all parties. American Express shows their platinum cardholders extra value, the subscription services get in front of potentially new audiences, and platinum cardholders can cover the cost of their annual fees by accessing credits, discounts and perks.