Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
While some truly excellent credit card bonuses are available right now, sometimes the most lucrative offers are reserved for targeted individuals. One of the best places to look for these elevated targeted offers is by using the CardMatch tool, where you might find introductory bonuses that are much higher than those posted elsewhere.
Here are two to look out for right now.
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for up to a 150,000-point welcome offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express offer or a 75,000-point American Express® Gold Card offer. These offers are subject to change at any time.
Top CardMatch offers
If you haven’t visited the CardMatch site recently, now’s an excellent time to check your CardMatch offers. Great offers are available on two of Amex’s top cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.
Amex Platinum 150,000-point offer
For the Platinum Card, you could be pre-qualified for an offer of 150,000 points after you spend $8,000 on purchases within your first six months of card membership. The card has an annual fee of $695 (see rates and fees).
This astronomical bonus number is worth grabbing if you’re eligible, as the highest publicly available welcome offer for the card is 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
Amex Gold 75,000-point offer
We also see possibilities for a 75,000-point targeted welcome offer on the American Express Gold Card available for some through the CardMatch tool. This offer is pre-qualified, and the card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Targeted cardmembers can earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first six months of account opening.
What’s more, if you’re targeted for either offer, you’ll have the option of the traditional Gold option or the swanky Rose Gold version.
TPG values 75,000 Membership Rewards points at an impressive $1,500. Others may see a pre-qualified 60,000-point offer, which matches the current publicly available offer on the Amex Gold card.
Cardmatch offers vs. public offers
All of these offers through CardMatch are significantly better than those publicly available for these cards. Here’s a snapshot for comparison:
- The Amex Platinum Card‘s public offer is 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership. That means you can get an additional 70,000 bonus points if you’re targeted for one of the CardMatch offers.
- The public offer on the Amex Gold Card is 60,000 bonus points for making $4,000 in purchases in the first six months of account opening. So you can get up to 15,000 extra bonus points if you’re targeted for an elevated welcome offer via CardMatch.
Note that all offers are subject to change at any time, and not everyone will be targeted for an elevated offer.
American Express welcome offers are also “not available to applicants who have or have had this product,” and that limitation is also found on CardMatch offers. So, if you have had either of these cards in the past (including the Premier Rewards Gold card, the previous version of the Amex Gold), you might be out of luck, even if you are targeted for these offers through CardMatch.
While there are some reports of being able to get a welcome offer for the same card many years after closing the account, this “once-per-lifetime” welcome offer limitation is an important restriction to keep in mind.
Finally, be sure to check your offer closely. Some potential cardholders have reported seeing different offers through the CardMatch tool than those reported here.
How to use CardMatch
CardMatch is straightforward to use, but you may wonder how it works if you haven’t used it before. Here are the simple steps to check your offers:
- Go to the CardMatch tool
- Enter your first name, last name, home address, last four digits of your social security number and email address
- Click “Get matches”
- Check the box to accept the terms and conditions and click “Submit”
- After a 60-second or less search, your preapproved offers will appear
Note that this process generates a “soft” credit inquiry on your credit report. This means that the inquiry will show up on your credit report but won’t impact your credit score — similar to if you checked your credit report through a free annual check or a paid service.
Other ways to get targeted offers
No one knows the exact criteria that banks, airlines and hotels use to target certain customers for elevated bonus offers, but many people may not realize their accounts are eligible.
Be sure to go into your account settings for all of your cards and loyalty programs and opt in for marketing communications and emails, as this is often how targeted offers are communicated.
Opting in is just the first step, though. While no one likes wasting time reading through junk mail, it’s important to at least skim emails or snail mail sent from banks, airlines and hotels to see if they contain any elevated offers. Some targeted offers require you to apply with a unique invitation code or a specific link. If you throw away the letter containing that code, you might never be able to get it again.
Is the American Express Platinum Card worth it?
The Amex Platinum’s 150,000-point welcome bonus through CardMatch is quite spectacular.
Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, the 150,000-point welcome bonus alone is worth $3,000. Once you learn to maximize the value of your Membership Rewards points, you can potentially get even more value than that.
Even without the sky-high welcome offer, the Platinum Card is one of the best cards available for frequent travelers.
On the spending side, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly through the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotel bookings made with American Express Travel.
The card rewards frequent Uber users with up to $200 per calendar year in Uber credits (only in the U.S.). You’ll get up to $200 in statement credits for airline fees on your selected airline and up to another $200 in annual statement credits toward prepaid hotel bookings made through Amex Travel at Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection properties (the latter requires a minimum stay of two nights). Enrollment required for select benefits.
In fact, there are more than $1,500 in annual credits that you can unlock with this card.
Related: Amex Platinum card review
Then there are the lounges. Cardmembers are granted access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Amex’s own fantastic Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling on same-day Delta flights).
The card has a $695 annual fee, but it can be well worth it if you utilize these perks to their full extent. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Is the American Express Gold Card worth it?
The Amex Gold’s 75,000-point welcome bonus through CardMatch is also much better than the current public offer of just 60,000 points and is worth around $1,500 based on TPG’s valuations.
With a lower annual fee and more varied bonus-earning categories, the Amex Gold is more versatile than the Amex Platinum for everyday spending.
With the Gold card, you’ll earn 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and on dining at restaurants, plus 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with an airline or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
You’ll also get a solid lineup of perks, including up to $120 in annual dining credits (available as up to $10 in monthly statement credits for eligible dining partners), $10 per month in Uber Cash credit (up to $120 Uber Cash annually) that you can use for U.S. Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. and access to The Hotel Collection booking benefits. Just make sure you add the card to your Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
The card does charge a $250 annual fee, but that is easily offset when you take full advantage of the card’s built-in perks. Terms apply.
Other CardMatch offers
While the Platinum and Gold offers are likely the most appealing, you may see other appealing offers through CardMatch.
Previous cards have included American Express Cash Magnet® Card and the American Express® Green Card. Compare any offers you see to the publicly available offers to make sure that the targeted offers through CardMatch are better.
The information for the Amex Cash Magnet and Amex Green cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Other ways to find good welcome offers
Targeted offers can be a great way to get extra bonus points on a card you already planned to apply for, but they aren’t the only way to find a good deal. Banks often extend limited-time, elevated bonuses that are publicly available to anyone who wants to apply for them, and you can check our list of the best elevated bonuses available right now — which is updated regularly.
You can also always check out our top cards page to see the best credit card offers that are currently available. If you’re looking to fill a specific hole in your points and miles strategy, you may want to consider the following curated lists:
- Best credit cards for travel
- Best credit cards for dining
- Best credit cards for groceries
- Best credit cards for everyday spending
Be sure to check the CardMatch tool today to see what offers are available for you.