AMEX Trifecta: Details & Point Calculator

Membership Rewards Points Calculator
See how many points you can earn when you combine The Platinum Card, American Express Gold, and Blue Business Plus to form the AMEX Trifecta. Compare results side by side other card combos and find out which earns you the best return.
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Last Updated 2022-04-06

The AMEX Trifecta is a 3-card combination of credit cards that earn Membership Rewards Points. The goal of a trifecta (or any combination) is to find which card combination earns you the best overall return and value.

The most common and popular AMEX Trifecta consists of:

This page focuses on this particular 3-card combination, but you can build your own trifecta, quadfecta, or any combination of credit cards from AMEX or other card providers using the Credit Card Comparison Tool.

Card Details At-A-Glance

Issuing Bank
Card Network
Rewards Earned
Rewards Avg Value
Annual Fee
Authorized User Fee
Foreign Transaction Fee
Income Requirement

The Platinum Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a luxury travel card.

In role of The Platinum Card in the trifecta is to provide elite travel benefits along with 5X earnings on airfare purchased directly with an airline and both airline and pre-paid hotel bookings made through American Express Travel.

The card offers a very long list of travel benefits, but the benefits that stand out for the card consists of:

  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Complimentary Elite Status w/ Marriott, Hilton, Avis, Hertz, and National
  • Hotel Benefits via Fine Hotel + Resorts
  • US$100 to US$300 when booking cruises via the Cruises Privileges Program
  • Platinum Concierge
  • Fantastic Purchase Insurance

Along with these benefits (and many more), The Platinum Card also offers $1,400 in annual credits. If you're able to use at least half of the credits, you'll make up for The Platinum Card's annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees).

Even if you ignore the annual credits, the value of the benefits offered on The Platinum Card far exceeds that of the annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee: $695
100,000 Points
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
See if you're pre-approved for this card using the CardMatch™ tool.

AMEX Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card's role in the trifecta is to earn 4X Membership Rewards Points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.

The card also earns 3X Membership Rewards Points on airfare purchased directly with an airline, which is a solid return in the case that you omit The Platinum Card from the trifecta..

Benefits of the American Express Gold Card include $120 in annual Uber Cash and $120 in annual dining credit. Both of these benefits add significant value to the card and can easily make up for the card's annual fee.

American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Annual Fee: $250
60,000 Points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
See if you're pre-approved for this card using the CardMatch™ tool.

Blue Business Plus

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card is used for all card purchases that aren't covered under the bonus categories featured on The Platinum Card and the American Express Gold Card.

It earns 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases made per year (then 1X). Instead of earnings 1X using The Platinum Card and the American Express Gold Card, you'll use the Blue Business Plus to earn the higher return.

No matter which trifecta or card combination you end up building with American Express, the Blue Business Plus is going to be the best card for miscellaneous purchases. If you can't pick up a business card (or don't want one), the American Express Everyday® Preferred Credit Card is the next best option.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $0
15,000 Points
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.

Points Value

Redemption Option Average Value (in cents)
Point transfers to airline and hotel partners 0.6 - 2
Booking flights through American Express Travel 1
Booking other travel through American Express Travel 0.7
Paying with points at checkout 0.7
Using points for card charges (statement credit) 0.6
Redeeming points for gift cards 0.5 - 1

Membership Rewards Points earned with these American Express credit cards are worth 1 cent each on average when redeemed for airfare through American Express Travel.

If you want to maximize your point value, transferring your points to AMEX's airline and hotel partners is the route to take. You can also redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards, and at checkout with top retailers, but these will typically give your points less than 1 cent in value.

Points Transfer

Points earned with American Express credit cards can be transferred to 20 travel partners, with the majority of these partners having a 1:1 transfer ratio.

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Transferring points to partners is the best use of Membership Rewards Points as you'll be able to obtain redemption values higher than the average 1 cent you can get redeeming them directly through American Express Travel.

Point Calculator

Find out how many Membership Rewards Points you can earn with the AMEX Trifecta Point Calculator as well as the cash value of those points. Results can be compared side-by-side credit cards featured on the site to see which earns you the most rewards.

Any spend entered into the primary card column (the first column) will carry over to all credit card calculators on the site, so there's no need to re-enter spend when viewing other credit cards.

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Maximize Points With Rakuten

If you frequently makes purchases online and you're looking to earn more Membership Rewards Points, you should consider using Rakuten Rewards.

Rakuten is an online shopping portal that pays you for shopping online. Basically, they run a website full of affiliate links to different retailers and pay you, the user, some of their commission when you make an online purchase using those links.

The best thing about Rakuten is that they are partnered with American Express Membership Rewards. So instead of earning cash back on your purchases, you can opt in to earn Membership Rewards Points.

So if Rakuten is offering 10% cash back with a certain retailer, you'll be able to earn 10X Membership Rewards Points. Sounds amazing, right? That's because it is.

I've been using Rakuten Rewards as my main online cash back shopping portal since the start of 2017. Once the ability to earn Membership Rewards Points became available, I never looked back.

I use the portal for all of my personal and business online purchases... from buying gifts to booking travel. Since Rakuten uses affiliate links, you're always dropped off on the retailers website. So you're not booking or buying through a third party.

For example, if I click on the Marriott affiliate link on the Rakuten website, it's going to take me to Marriott.com. I can then book my travel as normal and Marriott will notify Rakuten that I have done such. So I still get to earn my Marriott Bonvoy Points from my Marriott booking as well as earn additional Membership Rewards Points based on what Rakuten is offering for Marriott.

You can sign up for Rakuten Rewards for free through our affiliate link and earn bonus Membership Rewards Points (or cash back) on your first purchase. If you're looking to get the most out of the Membership Rewards program, you don't want to ignore this program.

If Rakuten doesn't offer an affiliate link for the retailer you're shopping with, there's many other online shopping portals available. My backup to Rakuten is usually TopCashback or TopCashback.co.uk (to earn British Airways Avios on purchases).

Check out our reviews on all of the popular online shopping portals.