This is quite possibly the next best thing! I received an email invitation to apply for this card when my FICO score skyrocketed to 826 after getting rid of my mortgage and revolving debts. It was a targeted offer of 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. And it just so happened that my wife was about to do some international traveling, so the minimum spending requirement was much easier to swallow. However, when I saw the $450 annual fee in the fine print, my immediate reaction was "WTF?!" Additionally, since the offer was only targeted at me, I would have to pay another $175 a year in order to enlist my wife as an unauthorized user with an additional card. But after doing some research and calculating the costs versus the rewards, I realized that even the combined annual fee of $625 would be a joke. Here's why:
1. Although I cannot directly purchase airfare with it, the $200 airline credit can be redeemed by linking your account to a domestic airline like Delta or Southwest, and then using the card to purchase gift cards from your chosen airline's website. For example, I linked my account to Delta, and I purchased 4x $50 Delta gift cards in four separate transactions. And within days, $50 statement credits appeared on my account four times. Those cards can then be used for booking Delta flights!
2. The $100 TSA Global Re-entry fee can be reimbursed for EVERY card holder (primary and additional). So between my wife and I, we can each apply for this program, and we would each get $100 credited back to our cards. This was confirmed by a representative of the Platinum customer service team.
3. For the 50,000 MR signup bonus, I valuate them at roughly $800 if I transfer the points to a partner airline with a one-to-one transfer rate.
So right off the bat, that's $1200 in savings. Even though I realize that I would be not be getting the same amount of rewards the following year, I have not even begun to mention other Platinum benefits such as free airport lounges and Gold status to Hilton and SPG programs where I would be getting free room upgrades most of the time. Really, the annual fee is an investment which would guarantee much greater returns if you use the benefits. And this is a card that carry many benefits right out of the box. However, where it falls short is in the MR earnings potential. You get 2x MR earning for booking flights from AMEX Travel, and that's it. If it was not for the superb Platinum customer service where you can almost immediately talk to someone from the US 24/7, I would have given this card four stars instead.