Amex Platinum cardholders will get $200 in free Uber rides every year

The annual fee will be lifted as well, to $550 from $450 - the first increase since 2007. You will also have access to most airport lounges from any USA credit card in 500 cities and 120 countries.

The American Express Platinum Card will also allow customers to quality for five points per each dollar they spend, which they can use on eligible hotels booked through the company's online travel service.

The new card launches on March 30, and current Platinum customers can start taking advantage of the added benefits on that date.

Platinum cardholders will also be able to give additional cardholders like a spouse or family member the American Express Gold Card (though not the Premier Rewards Gold Card) for free. This is in addition to $200 in reimbursements for certain airline expenses.

And the iconic card itself is getting an upgrade - a transformation from plastic to a stainless steel design. The higher fee will be in place as of September 1 of the current year.

"It's a suite of new and enhanced benefits that translates into a new Platinum Card for a new generation of customer", said Janey Whiteside, who heads the Platinum Card division at American Express. The Wall Street Journal notes that the enhancement may help American Express better compete with Chase's new Sapphire Reserve Card, which still has a $450 annual fee.

American Express effectively created the market for high-end credit cards more than 30 years ago when it introduced the Gold and Platinum Cards.

But the market AmEx once dominated has become increasingly competitive.

JPMorgan Chase joined the challenge with the popular Sapphire Reserve card the bank introduced last summer. Since 1999 it has been using metal for its Centurion card which carries an annual fee of $2,500 on top of an initiation fee of $7,500. It might well be, but if you do little travel, there may be less expensive rewards cards - and cards without an annual fee - that make more sense.

All existing benefits will continue, the company said.

Other travel benefits include access to more American Express and partner lounges at airports around the world, access to a new Global Dining Collection, and more events.

  • Zachary Reyes