We’ve written a great deal about the attributes of The Platinum Card® from American Express, a top premium travel rewards card that delivers an incredible package of benefits for cardmembers. We’ve spoken far less about the equally impressive American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab.
Today we’re changing all of that and focusing our article on how these 2 premium cards stack up with a side-by-side comparison.
We’ll look at how each of the cards earns rewards, the options you’ll have at redemption time, and all the additional benefits and protections you can expect to receive with either card.
While the cards have a great deal in common, there are a few striking differences that could influence which card delivers more bottom-line value for you.
If you want a card that fits a traveling lifestyle and can make use of the long list of perks that come with these cards, you’ll want to stick with us as we look deep into how these cards compare.
The Value of a Welcome Offer
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Platinum card! (The current public offer is 100,000.)
|Credit Card ||Benefits and Info|
|Amex Schwab Platinum card|
- Generous welcome offer after meeting minimum spending requirements
- Statement credit up to $200 based on Schwab account holdings
- Redeem Membership Rewards points for 1.1 cents each to your Schwab account
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
- Travel/shopping benefits and protections
- $695 annual fee
- Terms apply
Both the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card offer the opportunity to earn an initial welcome offer after meeting minimum spending requirements on the card within the first months after card approval.
Bonuses are earned in the form of Membership Rewards points that are generally worth 1 cent each. However, transferring points to travel partners can result in much greater potential value. We’ll cover more on that shortly.
Welcome offers and the time frame for completing minimum spending requirements can change, so be sure to check for the most current information before applying for any card.
Hot Tip: You could receive up to $200 in statement credits after card approval and at each card anniversary with the Amex Schwab Platinum card. If you have $250,000 or more in holdings in an eligible Schwab account at card approval, you could receive $100 in statement credits, or $200 in statement credits, if your account holdings are $1,000,000 or more.
Amex Platinum Card vs. Amex Schwab Platinum Card — Overview
Overall, the Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card have the same earning potential and benefits. However, there are a few key advantages of the Amex Schwab Platinum card that can offer additional benefits.
Here’s a high-level overview of the offerings for both cards, but stay tuned, as we’ll expand further on each of these card benefits:
|Benefit||Amex Platinum Card||Amex Schwab Platinum Card|
- Good to excellent credit, applications open to the public
- Good to excellent credit, must have an open eligible Schwab account to apply
- 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on Amex Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases), and on prepaid hotels via Amex Travel
- 1x points for all other purchases
- Receive up to $200 in statement credits based on qualifying holdings in your Schwab account
- Redeem Membership Rewards points for select travel via Amex Travel
- Transfer points to airline or hotel partners for award flights or free hotel nights
- Bid for flight upgrades on existing flights with your preselected airline
- Gift cards, statement credits, shopping, merchandise, or donate to charity
|Additional Redemption Options|
- Transfer Membership Rewards for 1.1 cents each in value to eligible Schwab accounts
|Travel Benefits and Protections|
- Global lounge access
- Complimentary hotel and car rental program elite status and benefits (upon enrollment)
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
- $189 CLEAR credit
- Up to $200 prepaid hotel credit each year
- Up to $200 airline incidentals statement credit each year
- No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)
- Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection benefits
- Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay
- Baggage insurance
|Additional Travel Benefits and Protections|
- Unlimited reimbursement of foreign ATM fees
|Shopping Benefits and Protections|
- Cell phone protection
- Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit each year
- Up to $240 digital entertainment credit each year
- Up to $155 Walmart+ membership reimbursement
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash (terms apply)
- Up to $300 in Equinox membership credits
- Up to $300 SoulCycle At Home Bike purchase credit
- ShopRunner membership
- Amex Offers
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Return protection
|Annual Fees and Authorized Users|
- $695 annual fee; add up to 3 authorized users for $175 total, $175 for each authorized user after that, $0 for additional American Express® Gold Card authorized users (rates and fees)
First, it’s recommended that you have a high good to excellent credit score to apply for either the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Schwab Platinum card — generally, a score of 700 or better. That’s not to say you wouldn’t be approved with a score slightly less than that, as other factors are considered, but the higher your score, the better your chances are for approval.
Other than having the appropriate level of credit profile meeting American Express criteria, applying for the Amex Platinum card is open to the public. The Amex Schwab Platinum card, however, requires that you have an eligible Schwab account in order to apply.
An eligible Schwab account is defined as a Schwab One account, general brokerage account, or a qualifying traditional, Roth, or rollover IRA account.
Bottom Line: Anyone with good to excellent credit can apply for the Amex Platinum card. Applying for the Amex Schwab Platinum card requires having an eligible Schwab account in place prior to applying.
The earning structures for the Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card offer the same elevated bonus earnings on flights and prepaid hotels. Additionally, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Here’s how you’ll earn rewards on either card.
- 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or on Amex Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases each calendar year)
- 5x Membership Rewards points for prepaid hotel bookings made via Amex Travel
- 1x Membership Rewards points on all other purchases
Additional Earnings — Amex Schwab Platinum Card
Amex Schwab Platinum card members who have $500,000 to $1,000,000 in holdings will receive up to $200 after card approval and at each card anniversary.
Bottom Line: Both the Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card have the same earning potential when spending on the associated card. The Amex Schwab Platinum card offers a statement credit of up to $200 each year based on the amount of holdings in your Schwab account.
Earning all those Membership Rewards points can be somewhat satisfying, but the real treat is redeeming your rewards for something of value. Both the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card offer several flexible options at redemption time, but the latter card has 1 key advantage when redeeming points.
Let’s look at the redemption options for both cards:
- Redeem for Travel via Amex Travel — Your points are worth 1 cent each when you redeem for select travel via Amex Travel.
- Transfer to Airline and Hotel Partners — Transfer your Membership Rewards points to airline or hotel partners to receive the best potential value for your points. Although travel partners can change, you currently have 18 airline and 3 hotel partner choices to select from.
- Upgrade With Points — Use your Membership Rewards points to bid for upgrades on existing flight bookings.
- Additional Redemption Options — Redeem points for gift cards, statement credits, shopping, merchandise, or donate to charity. Note that some of these redemption options can result in poor value of less than 1 cent per point.
Keep in mind that you can use a combination of points and cash to make travel purchases with Amex Travel. You’ll also earn up to 5x points on the transaction.
Hot Tip: Watch your American Express card account for promotional bonuses when transferring points to travel partners. Bonuses are frequent and can increase the value of your points by as much as 40%.
Additional Redemption Options — Amex Schwab Platinum Card
- Link your Amex Schwab Platinum card with your eligible Schwab account and have the ability to redeem Membership Rewards points for 1.1 cents each when transferring the funds to your account.
Bottom Line: The Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card offer the opportunity to redeem Membership Rewards points for travel via Amex Travel, transfer points to airline and hotel partners, and to bid for flight upgrades. You can also use rewards for shopping, gift cards, or donate to charity. The Amex Schwab Platinum card offers an additional option to redeem points for 1.1 cents each when transferring funds to a qualifying Schwab account.
Travel Benefits and Protections
Travel benefits can save you money on select travel-related purchases and help elevate your trip experience by making it more comfortable. Travel protections can provide assistance or reimbursement should things go wrong during your journey.
Here are the travel benefits and protections you can expect from both the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card:
- Global Lounge Access — Enjoy complimentary worldwide access to more than 1,400 airline lounge properties including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta.
- Complimentary Hotel Program Status — Receive Gold Elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy upon enrollment.
- Car Rental Program Benefits — Enjoy the discounts and upgrade benefits of Avis Preferred Plus, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive elite status.
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Reimbursement — Pay for your application or renewal fee with your card and receive up to $100 as reimbursement.
- $189 CLEAR Credit — Pay for your CLEAR expedited security membership with your card and receive up to $189 each calendar year in statement credits.
- Up to $200 Prepaid Hotel Credit — Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your card.
- Up to $200 Airline Incidentals Reimbursement — Select your preferred airline via the benefits page in your online account and receive up to $200 in statement credits each year when using your card to pay for your purchase of incidentals such as baggage fees with that airline.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees — Save when you use your card during travel with no foreign transaction fees added to your purchases (see rates and fees).
- Fine Hotels + Resorts Benefits — Book a 2-night or greater stay via Amex Travel with your card and enjoy elite-style benefits such as daily breakfast for 2, room upgrades when available, $100 amenity, 4 p.m. checkout, noon check-in when available, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
- The Hotel Collection Benefits — Receive an upgraded room, when available, and a $100 amenity on a 2-night or greater stay booked via Amex Travel with your card.
In addition to the long list of travel benefits, you’ll find these travel protections on both of our featured cards.
- Secondary Car Rental Insurance — Pay for your entire rental with your card, decline the rental agency’s coverage, and receive coverage for up to $75,000 for damage or theft of the rental car. You also have the option to purchase Premium Protection for 1 low price ($12.95 to $24.95) that offers broader primary insurance and extends coverage up to 42 days versus 30 with card coverage.
- Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation Coverage — If your trip is interrupted or needs to be canceled for a covered reason, you could be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip, $20,000 per eligible card each 12-month period for each coverage.
- Trip Delay Insurance — If your trip is delayed 6 hours or more, you could be reimbursed up to $500 per trip with a limit of 2 claims per 12-month period.
- Baggage Insurance — If your baggage is lost or damaged, you could be reimbursed up to $2,000 for checked baggage when traveling on a common carrier, or up to $3,000 for carry-on baggage.
Please note that this is not an all-encompassing list of benefits and protections. Additionally, we have abbreviated the descriptions. For full terms and conditions, and more information, please check each card’s Guide to Benefits.
Additional Travel Benefit — Amex Schwab Platinum Card
- Link your Amex Schwab Platinum card with your eligible Schwab account and enjoy unlimited reimbursement of foreign ATM withdrawal fees.
Bottom Line: If you travel frequently, you’re sure to find plenty of travel benefits and protections on the Amex Platinum card or Amex Schwab Platinum card that can provide economic value or peace of mind during your travels. If you utilize the worldwide lounge access, airline incidentals statement credit, prepaid hotel credits, and CLEAR benefit, you’ll find great value with either card.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
You don’t have to be a frequent shopper to appreciate the economic value of shopping benefits provided by the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card.
Here are the savings opportunities and perks offered on both cards:
- Cell Phone Protection — Receive up to $800 per claim for damage or theft with a limit of 2 claims per 12-month period. A $50 deductible applies to each claim.
- Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Statement Credit — Pay for your purchase with your card and receive up to $50 in statement credits for purchases January through June and an additional $50 July through December.
- Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Statement Credit — Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your card on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- Up to $155 Walmart+ Membership Statement Credit — Pay for the $12.95 membership fee (plus applicable taxes) with your card and receive reimbursement in the form of a statement credit each month, up to $155 each year.
- Up to $200 Uber Cash — In addition to Uber VIP status, you can receive up to $200 each calendar year in Uber Cash. The credits are deposited monthly into your Uber Cash account and are valid for Uber Eats or Uber rides in the U.S. Add your card to your Uber account and you will receive $15 in credits each month from January through November, and $35 in credits for the month of December for a total of $200.
- Up to $300 Equinox Statement Credit — Receive up to $25 each month when using your card to pay for a qualifying Equinox or Equinox+ membership.
- Up to $300 Credit for SoulCycle Purchase — Use your card to purchase a SoulCycle At Home bike and receive up to $300 as a statement credit.
- ShopRunner Membership — Enjoy free 2-day shipping and promotional offers at 100+ retailers with your complimentary ShopRunner membership. Enrollment required.
- Amex Offers — Scroll through up to 100 valuable offers to find extra earning and statement credit opportunities when making purchases with specific retailers and service providers. Adding the offer to your card is required to activate each offer.
It can be daunting to keep track of all the shopping offers on these cards, especially those that require registration or adding your card to an outside account. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the terms and conditions of each offer to ensure you’ll receive the full value. You’ll find offer descriptions and instructions on how to use each offer by logging into your online card account and clicking on Benefits at the top of the page.
You can also follow the links provided for more information on how to utilize each benefit.
In addition to shopping benefits, you’ll find several shopping protections that can provide economic relief if something goes wrong with your eligible purchase. Here are some of the key shopping protections you’ll find on the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card.
- Purchase Protection — If your eligible purchase is lost, damaged, or stolen within 90 days of the purchase date, you could receive up to $10,000 per item, $50,000 per eligible card each year.
- Extended Warranty — For covered items that have a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less, the warranty is extended by 1 additional year. Coverage limits of $10,000 per item, $50,000 per eligible card account per year apply.
- Return Protection — If a merchant won’t accept the return of an eligible item purchased with your card, within 90 days from the purchase date, you could receive up to $300 per item, $1,000 maximum per card account each calendar year.
Additional terms and conditions apply to each shopping protection.
Bottom Line: Both the Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card come with several purchase benefits and protections that offer statement credits, shopping discounts, bonus earnings, and protections that can provide economic benefit if something should go wrong with your eligible purchases.
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
It’s important to understand any fees you’ll incur with the Amex Platinum card or Amex Schwab Platinum card.
Both cards charge an annual fee of $695.
You will be able to add up to 3 additional authorized users to either card for a total fee of $175 each card year. Adding more than 3 will incur a fee of $175 for each one. There is no additional fee to add users receiving the Amex Gold card option.
Amex Platinum card and Amex Schwab Platinum card authorized users receive global lounge access. Both Platinum card authorized users and those with an Amex Gold card receive Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement and The Hotel Collection benefits.
You’ll find a lot of similarities between the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Schwab Platinum card, but there are some striking differences between the 2 cards. The most obvious is the need to be a qualifying Schwab customer to apply for the Amex Schwab Platinum card.
Another key difference between the cards includes the ability to receive up to 1.1 cents in value for each Membership Reward point with the Amex Schwab Platinum card. If you were to earn just 200,000 Membership Rewards each year, that’s $200+ in extra value should you choose to redeem your points with this option.
Additionally, the Amex Schwab Platinum card offers the economic benefit of being reimbursed for foreign ATM fees. The reimbursements are unlimited and allow you to access your cash wherever and whenever you wish. You will also not be charged foreign transaction fees. If you’re an international traveler, these could be valuable benefits.
If you have no interest in opening a Schwab account, the Amex Platinum card is a premium travel rewards card with the potential to deliver value well beyond the amount of the annual fee.
Learn more about the Amex Platinum card and its potential overall value.
The information regarding the American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance, the maximum benefit amount is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Trip Delay Insurance, you coverage is up to $500 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Baggage Insurance Plan, coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Cell Phone Protection, coverage for a stolen or damaged Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per Eligible Card Account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per Eligible Card Account per 12 month period. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Purchase Protection, protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Extended Warranty, when an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For The Platinum Card® from American Express’ Return Protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and benefit level caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.