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The Platinum Card® from American Express card is annual fee waived for military.
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The Amex Trifecta is less well known than the Chase Trifecta, but can be equally as powerful for earning flexible American Express Membership Rewards points.
Usually, the Amex Trifecta consists of:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Green Card or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Credit card reward points, whether they are Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, or Capital One Miles, are the most valuable and flexible forms of credit card points.
You can cash out points, use them to pay off charges, or transfer the points to travel partners like hotels and airlines to maximize the value of the points.
My recommended 3 Amex trifecta cards are The Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card, and the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
I believe that you should also add the American Express® Green Card to maximize your Amex points earning potential and to earn the welcome bonus on the card.
In this post:
Amex Trifecta Military
American Express waives the annual fees on all of their personal cards for US military servicemembers, military spouses, and Guard and Reserve on 30 day active orders. The military annual fee waiver is one of the best parts of the Amex Trifecta for Military Lending Act covered borrowers.
You can confirm your eligibility for the Military Lending Act fee waivers but checking your status in the Military Lending Act database before applying for a card. I recommend everyone checks before applying so there is no question if your fees will be waived.
If you want to learn how to maximize your Military Lending Act credit card benefits, check out my Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. It's 100% free and designed for absolute beginners to military travel hacking.
I explain everything I wish I had known before I started opening up fee waived cards, including the best order in which to open new cards.
The Foundation Card: The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Trifecta starts with the foundation card: The Platinum Card® from American Express. The Platinum Card earns 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year.
The Amex Platinum card offers a range of travel benefits like airport lounge access and statement credits for travel-related expenses.
Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card to learn more. You can also add the American Express Platinum Card®for Schwab which adds the ability to cash out Amex Membership Rewards points at a value of 1.1 cents each. This adds a lot of flexibility to your Amex points if you don't have an upcoming trip or you prefer cash back.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site
- Annual fee of $695 waived for US military personnel and spouses
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year
- Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, and other participating providers. Enrollment required.
- $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards, enrollment required
- 40 Centurion Lounges and 1200+ Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
- $189 CLEAR® Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back each year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
- Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply
The Daily Driver Card: American Express® Gold Card
To further amplify your rewards and gain access to premium travel benefits, you'll want to add another card to your Amex Trifecta mix: the American Express® Gold Card.
With its impressive earning potential, this card is a powerhouse for dining and grocery purchases. You earn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1X).
- Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card
- $250 Annual Fee waived for US military and spouses
- Earn 60,000 Membership Reward® Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of Card Membership
- Earn 4x points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US
- Earn 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x points) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
- Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on amextravel.com
- No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
- $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 annually.
- $120 per year Dining Credit: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits when you use your Amex Gold atGrubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Molk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
- Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
- Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply
Earn a Minimum 2x Amex Membership Rewards Points on Every Purchase
For small business owners, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is an essential component of the Amex Trifecta. With this card, you earn 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases per year (1x thereafter).
The Blue Business Plus Card provides a simple and effective way to accumulate points on your business expenses, helping you maximize your rewards potential and unlock business-focused benefits.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressLearn how to apply on our partner's secure site
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
- You've got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
- *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
- No Annual Fee
- Terms Apply, see rates and fees.
Add More Membership Rewards Points with the American Express® Green Card
The American Express Green Card earns 3X Membership Rewards points on travel and dining, making it a versatile option for frequent travelers.
American Express® Green Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
- $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
- $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express(R) Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
- Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It(R) to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit – you'll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
- Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you're traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
- $150 annual fee waived to $0 with Amex MLA benefits
- Terms Apply.
Amex Trifecta Synergy: How It Works
Now that we've introduced the key players of the Amex Trifecta, let's explore how they work together seamlessly to maximize your rewards. By strategically utilizing these cards, you can earn points at an accelerated rate in various spending categories.
The Amex Membership Rewards points you earn on all your Amex cards combine across all of your accounts into one Membership Rewards account.
For example, the 4x points you earn with your Amex Gold card at US supermarkets combines with the 5x points you earn with your Amex Platinum card on airfare booked directly with the airline.
Keeping track of just a few bonus spending categories will rapidly accelerate your accumulation of Amex points. Using your Amex Platinum card for airfare (5x points), your Amex Gold card for US supermarkets and restaurants (4x points), and then your Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Power of Membership Rewards and Transfer Partners
The Amex Trifecta allows you to earn heaps of Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to a multitude of travel partners. American Express boasts an impressive lineup of transfer partners, including airlines and hotels, allowing you to leverage your points for premium travel experiences.
Transferring your points strategically can often yield a higher value compared to other redemption options, providing you with greater flexibility and the opportunity to unlock extraordinary value of your points.