American Express has been giving this card several new makeovers throughout the past few months to stay competitive in the ever-expanding market of ultra-premium travel rewards cards.
This card comes stacked with lots of exclusive benefits (which we’ll explain in detail), but be aware that these benefits do come with an upfront cost. The annual fee is $550 a year, so let’s see how these benefits stack up and decide if it’s worth the cost (hint: we think it is!).
Table of contents
- Platinum Benefits You Need to Know
- Bonus Points – 5X on Airfare and Hotels
- Airline Credits – $200
- Uber Credits – $200
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit – $100/$85
- Saks Fifth Avenue Shopping Credits – $100
- Airport Lounge Access ($700+ Value)
- Stay Connected With Boingo Wi-Fi ($468 Value)
- Hotel Elite Status
- The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Elite Status With Car Rentals
- American Express Concierge
- Special Access to Events
- Amex Offers
- Amex Purchase Protections and Travel Insurance
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Platinum Benefits You Need to Know
- 1. Bonus Points – 5X on Airfare and Hotels
- 2. Airline Credits – $200
- 3. Uber Credits – $200
- 4. Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit – $100/$85
- 5. Saks Fifth Avenue Shopping Credits – $100
- 6. Airport Lounge Access ($700+ Value)
- 7. Stay Connected With Boingo Wi-Fi ($468 Value)
- 8. Hotel Elite Status
- 9. The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts
- 10. Elite Status With Car Rentals
- 11. American Express Concierge
- 12. Special Access to Events
- 13. Amex Offers
- Amex Purchase Protections and Travel Insurance
- Final Thoughts
Platinum Benefits You Need to Know
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a laundry list of benefits, and some of these require you to put in a bit of extra effort to take full advantage of all this card has to offer. We’ve created this in-depth guide so you can make sure you’re not missing out on any of these exclusive perks.
One of the best benefits is that this card earns points in a flexible rewards program: Membership Rewards®. With Membership Rewards, you can transfer directly to some of the most popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, or use your points directly with American Express for gifts, shopping, or booking travel through Amex for ultimate flexibility.
This rewards program includes lots of other cards from American Express too; we’ve highlighted some of the best Membership Rewards® earning cards to help you increase your points balance! Be aware that bonuses on American Express cards are once in a lifetime.
There are no foreign transactions fees on this card (like many others), and some of these benefits also apply to any additional authorized users on your account.
You can add up to 3 additional Platinum Cards for $175 a year, which allows those users to take advantage of the lounge access, hotel elite status, global entry credit, and a few other perks.
1. Bonus Points – 5X on Airfare and Hotels
One of the most recent upgrades of this card is the bonus earning category for airfare and hotels booked with your Platinum Card® from American Express.
This card earns 5X Membership Rewards® points for all airfare purchased with your card directly with the airline or when booking on Amex Travel.
When booking hotels, you will only earn the 5X bonus if booking prepaid rates directly on Amex Travel; it will not apply for any hotel bookings made with the hotel directly. This is now being extended to Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings, only if they are booked online and prepaid.
Hot Tip: Be aware that when you are booking hotels on Amex Travel, you will most likely not earn hotel points or receive any perks for your elite status (as opposed to booking directly with the hotel).
2. Airline Credits – $200
This card comes with an annual airline fee credit worth up to $200 per calendar year. You will need to select the airline in advance with American Express to earn the credit with that particular airline, but once you’ve selected your preferred airline, the credits will come automatically.
These credits will appear for incidental fees charged by the airline and are not meant as a straight travel credit like some other travel rewards credit cards offer. These fees include baggage fees, change fees, lounge passes, and more.
You can re-select your preferred airline each year, so look for an annual email from American Express if your loyalty bounces around between your preferred airlines.
Hot Tip: Reports from other cardmembers state that purchasing an airline gift card with your selected airline will trigger these credits too, in case you want to use your credits for flight purchases.
3. Uber Credits – $200
Another perk recently added to The Platinum Card® from American Express is a $200 annual credit for Uber.
Your Uber credit gets applied to your account throughout the year as a $15 credit each month, except in December when it increases to $35.
This means you can’t utilize the full $200 credit during your first year if you are approved for this card anytime after January, but is a nice benefit for those who use Uber regularly.
Remember that you will also have to make sure your card is one of the methods of payment in your Uber app so you can take advantage of these credits. (By the way, this benefit only applies to the primary cardholder).
4. Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit – $100/$85
One of the most popular (and easiest to get) credits from The Platinum Card® from American Express is up to $100 for applying for Global Entry (or $85 for TSA PreCheck) and paying the fee using your card.
This credit will apply to all cardholders, including authorized users, and can be used every 4 years. Once enrolled in either program, your membership will last 5 years.
Already have Global Entry? Don’t worry, you can still take advantage of this credit if you like — just pay the application fee for another person and receive the credit from using your card!
5. Saks Fifth Avenue Shopping Credits – $100
Earn up to $100 per year in Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credits, enroll your card here.
Receive a $50 credit January-June and another $50 July-December for purchases in-store and online at Saks Fith Avenue.
- Dining in stores
- Outlet locations (Off Fifth)
- Bill pay for Saks Fifth Avenue credit card
- Purchases of Saks Fifth Avenue gift cards
- Purchases shipped outside the US
- Purchases at stores or country websites outside the US
Once enrolled, primary card or authorized users cards can be used, however max credit per account of $100 per year.
6. Airport Lounge Access ($700+ Value)
Another amazing travel benefit is the access this travel card grants you in airports across the globe, with thousands of exclusive lounges welcoming cardmembers to relax in style during their travels.
Cardmembers have unlimited access to all Centurion® Lounges for themselves and 2 additional guests when traveling in select airports. These lounges are awesome.
If you want to bring in more than 2 guests, it’s $50 per person. You can therefore reasonably value each visit at $50, and let’s say you only visited 6 times per year, that’s $300 in value right there!
Centurion® Lounges are exclusively available for American Express cardmembers — and offer complimentary gourmet food and drink in a very comfortable environment.
This card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which partners with over 1,000 airport lounges around the world and grants access to 2 guests when traveling together. This membership is even better than the $399/year you’d pay if you bought directly at Priority Pass!
To take advantage of this benefit, you have to enroll and wait for your Priority Pass membership card to arrive in the mail.
Cardholders are also granted access to all Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on Delta Airlines, as well as to some lesser-known lounges operated by Escape and Airspace Lounges.
For a limited time you also get access to Lufthansa Lounges in Frankfurt (through March 31, 2019) and Munich (through May 31, 2019). You must be flying on a Lufthansa Group flight (Lufthansa, Austrian, and Swiss). Travel in any class will give access to Lufthansa Business Lounges. Business class passengers can access Lufthansa Senator Lounges in Frankfurt Airport T1 Concourse B and Munich Airport T2 Satellite area T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt Airport.
7. Stay Connected With Boingo Wi-Fi ($468 Value)
Enrolling in the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan grants you complimentary access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. You can connect up to 4 Wi-Fi devices to these hotspots and pay no roaming fees while you’re traveling abroad!
8. Hotel Elite Status
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers the opportunity to enroll and elevate your elite status with Hilton and Starwood hotels.
After contacting American Express and connecting your loyalty accounts to your card, you will be upgraded to Hilton Honors™ Gold status and Starwood Preferred Guest® Gold status, which normally takes quite a few nights/stays to earn.
Gaining instant hotel elite status with 2 major hotel chains will offer fantastic benefits that include free breakfast, guaranteed late-checkouts, room upgrades, and flexible options without having to stick to just 1 hotel brand.
Hot Tip: With the Starwood and Marriott merger, you can link your loyalty accounts and get access to Marriott Gold benefits in the Marriott Rewards program.
9. The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts
Participating hotels in The Hotel Collection booked through American Express Travel Services (including Amex Travel) offer cardmembers a $75 credit for incidentals on stays of 2+ consecutive nights. You will also earn an additional 2X points!
Participating hotels now earn 5x points when booking prepaid rates online.
The Fine Hotels & Resorts benefit is available exclusively for cardmembers, and it offers special perks at over 975 luxury hotels participating in the program.
These benefits include things like early check-in and late check-out, complimentary daily breakfast for 2, free Wi-Fi, room upgrades, and a special amenity gift valued up to $100 per stay. Some properties participating in the program will also offer a complimentary night depending on the number of nights you’re staying.
10. Elite Status With Car Rentals
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers you the ability to register for special benefits and elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National Car Rental. This provides you with an exclusive rate code for cardmembers with special discounts and status. These companies often grant complimentary upgrades and expedited services to get you on the road faster.
11. American Express Concierge
The American Express Concierge service connects cardmembers with professionals in times of need at no additional cost.
From hard-to-get restaurant reservations to popular tickets to your favorite concerts and events when they’re first released, the team at American Express Concierge service will do their best to accomplish your goals.
The travel professionals with the Platinum Travel Service by American Express can also help you tailor and customize any dream vacation you want to put together. Further, you’ll get access to some of the best luxury travel professionals to ensure you are making the best decisions for an unforgettable trip.
12. Special Access to Events
American Express partners with some of the most popular event venues and entertainment experiences to provide their premium cardholders with the best choices and service when looking to attend these events.
The Platinum Card® from American Express will grant you access to American Express Preferred Seating at select venues and events when using your card to purchase your tickets. These seats are reserved especially for American Express elite cardholders.
All Amex cards also offer Entertainment Access® for special events that partner directly with American Express, giving you early access to some of the most popular events to ensure you get the tickets you want.
13. Amex Offers
One of the best money-saving shopping benefits offered by a credit card issuer is Amex Offers. You can earn special discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, and more from select merchants! Sometimes Amex Offers will even provide an opportunity to earn bonus Membership Rewards points.
All you have to do is register for the specific offer that’s tied to your card, meet the terms of the offer by using your card, and you’ll start saving in no time – it’s so easy!
Amex Purchase Protections and Travel Insurance
American Express cards are well-known for their excellent insurance protection that will cover all the important purchases and travel arrangements made using your card. The Platinum Card® from American Express covers the following:
14. Extended Warranty
This benefit adds additional warranty protection to your purchases that have a warranty of 5 years or less from the manufacturer.
Once the manufacturer’s warranty expires, your Platinum Card® from American Express adds up to an additional year of warranty coverage, up to $10,000 per item with a $50,000 maximum per year.
This is perfect for protecting all your valuable purchases, especially with its high coverage limit.
15. Purchase Protection
Accidents happen, but your card protects eligible purchases from theft and accidental damage for 90 days from your original purchase date.
This covers up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per calendar year, making it great coverage for new phones and other high-value items that are most prone to these types of accidents.
16. Return Protection
This covers all purchases made using your card and guarantees that you can return eligible items within 90 days of your original purchase. Your return protection works in addition to the store’s normal return policies, and it will cover up to $300 per item and a total of $1,000 each calendar year.
17. Premium Roadside Assistance
Don’t get stuck on the road! The Platinum Card® from American Express pays for select roadside assistance up to 4 times per year. Whether you’ve got a flat tire, need a tow, or just ran out of gas, this card will make sure you get back on the road quickly.
Having this complimentary service and American Express picking up the tab on eligible fees is a huge benefit.
18. Amex Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
You can save costs on most rental cars with additional insurance protection offered by the Platinum Card® from American Express. This covers eligible car rentals that are paid entirely with your card if you decline the collision damage waiver coverage from the car rental company.
Eligible rentals are covered for theft and damage up to $75,000 without increasing the cost of your car rental. However, unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card that provides primary insurance, this card only provides secondary coverage, which means it kicks in after your own insurance.
19. Amex Baggage Insurance Plan
Your baggage will be covered with additional insurance if the loss of either checked or carry-on baggage occurs during travel booked using your card. This coverage will also extend to spouses, domestic partners, and dependents on the same reservation.
Amex baggage insurance will cover up to $2,000 for the replacement cost of items lost in checked baggage and up to $3,000 for the replacement cost of items lost in carry-on baggage.
Be aware that there is a limit of $1,000 for coverage of high-value items, which would include computers and other expensive jewelry. Most of the time these policies also require a lot of documentation when submitting a claim.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most rewarding premium travel rewards cards available. If you’ll use most of the benefits mentioned above, we think it is definitely worth carrying this card in your wallet even with the high annual fee.
The annual credits alone almost match what you would pay out of pocket for the annual fee. All the other exclusive benefits and high-limit insurance protections added on make this card one of the best.
It’s important to remember to take advantage of all the benefits listed above, especially since some of them require you to register. If you’re planning on adding authorized users, make sure they are taking advantage of the benefits made for them as well!