Your Amex Platinum Now Comes with Walmart+. Yes, Really.
Back in July, the Platinum Card from American Express underwent a revamp that saw the card increase its annual fee from $550 to $695 per year while adding a number of credits to offset that cost. If you’ll recall, that trade-off ended up being a win for me as the incoming credits more than made up for the fee hike without much work on my part. Well, this week, American Express added two other credits to the card (sans fee increase this time) that are pretty, pretty interesting: Walmart+ and SoulCycle.
That’s right — the premium Platinum card now has an association with the low-cost king, Walmart. Get all of your jokes out of the way now because we’re going to assess this for real, I promise. I’ll readily admit I did not see this particular partnership coming and do find it to be a bit strange, but I’m definitely not opposed.
So, now, U.S. consumer Platinum cardholders can have the full cost of their Walmart+ subscription fee covered by a statement credit. Normally, the service would cost $12.95 per month or $98 per year paid upfront — although it’s unclear if this latter option is covered by Amex, even though it would save them money. And what does Walmart+ get you? Free delivery from stores (where available) on orders of $35 or more, free shipping with no minimum order amount from Walmart.com, discounts on prescriptions and gas, and access to Walmart’s Scan & Go feature.
Funny enough, I actually wrote about Walmart+ briefly when it first launched and decided it probably wasn’t worth my money. But, now that it’s free to me, I’ve already signed up and had a chance to try out the Scan & Go feature last night at my local Walmart Neighborhood Market. As expected, this feature wasn’t quite as convenient as the Sam’s Club version where you pay on your phone and head straight to the receipt checkers at the exit. Instead, after scanning all of your items, you still need to go to a self-checkout lane to scan the QR code and confirm your payment. Nevertheless, despite this extra step, it was pretty cool to speed our way out of there. Meanwhile, when it comes to the other perks, I may get around to trying them eventually. By the way, on the same day that the Walmart+ perk popped up, I also got an Amex Offer for 5 bonus points per dollar spent on Walmart.com purchases, so there’s some nice double-dipping to be done until this one expires.
Before I wrap up, I should probably mention the other new benefit too, right? Cardholders can now earn a $300 statement credit when they purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike through the Equinox+ app. Interestingly, this perk can be used up to 15 times per year if you’re…outfitting a gym or giving everyone you know exercise equipment for Christmas, I guess? Of note, this perk is separate from the Equinox or Equinox+ membership credit that also adds up to $300 but is doled out in increments of $25 a month.
When the Platinum changes came this summer, a common criticism I saw was that card was becoming more of a coupon book than anything. I’d kind of have to agree with that — and, ironically, adding more credits to the card only furthers that case even if they do bring more “free” value to cardholders. Personally, I don’t see any reason to get bent out of shape about either of these offerings as you don’t have to use them and the price of the card didn’t change as a result of their addition. Will I use the Walmart+ subscription? A little. Will I buy a SoulCycle. Almost assuredly, no. Yet, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on $300 (or $4,500 if I bought the 15 maximum per year) by skipping it. Ultimately, I don’t suspect that these new benefits will do much to convince new cardholders to give the Platinum a try, but additional perks are always welcome in my book.