The Amex Platinum Card – Full Review [2021]

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The Amex Platinum Card – Full Review [2021]

U.P. Rating ? The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

"Luxury travel benefits and 5x points!"

This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From lounge access to fee credits to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.

Learn More (at Amex's secure site)

Is the Amex Platinum Worth the Yearly Fee?

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most recognizable credit cards out there. You’ll often find the card associated with symbols of prestige, status, and luxury.

Make no mistake: the Amex Platinum is a premium card with a premium price tag. Some might consider it to be overhyped and overpriced — but when used effectively (and considering the benefits and perks received with the Amex Platinum card) it can prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.



  • $695 Annual Fee (see rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)

Amex Platinum Card — Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder for the Amex Platinum

Couple Eating Breakfast Poolside
Make luxury travel possible with points earned from your Platinum Card. Image Credit: fokke baarssen via Shutterstock

The Amex Platinum card is tailored toward frequent travelers who want luxury perks and can regularly take advantage of the card’s premium benefits.

For example, this card is the best of its class when it comes to lounge access — cardholders get access to Amex Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Airspace Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta the same day.

When you combine this lounge access with 5x earnings on airfare and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel, Gold status with Marriott and Hilton, access to Amex’s Fine Hotel & Resorts program, and credits for airlines and Global Entry, and you’ve got a package that makes for one of the best travel cards in the industry.

Virtually every benefit offered with the Amex Platinum card is tailored toward enhancing your travel experiences, and it shows.

Are You a Business Owner?See our in-depth review of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and our article that digs into the best benefits of the Amex Business Platinum card.

Great Card If

Don't Get If

  • You don’t travel often
  • You aren’t interested in the perks and annual credits
  • You prefer a card with more bonus categories

Amex Platinum Card — Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $695
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Interest Rates
    • Pay Over Time Feature: 15.99% to 22.99% Variable
  • Late fees
    • Up to $40
    • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 25.24% variable
  • Additional Info

How To Earn More Amex Points

Woman Working in Airport Lounge
If you’re a frequent traveler, why not have a card that makes travel even better with access to over 1,300 airport lounges? Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk via Shutterstock

Airfare and Prepaid Hotel Purchases

With the Amex Platinum card, you will earn 5x Membership Reward points per $1 spent directly with airlines, as well as airfare and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. The earning is capped at $500,000 in purchases per calendar year.

So the best way to maximize your points earning with the Amex Platinum card is to use this card for all of your airfare and prepaid hotel purchases. If you’re someone who travels often, this will allow you to earn a ton of points.

Amex Offers

By virtue of being an American Express cardholder, each month you’ll receive dozens of Amex Offers that you can attach to your Amex Platinum card, which helps you earn more Membership Reward points.

These offers can provide you with some excellent value by allowing you to earn additional points or cash-back for shopping with select merchants. Simply add your offers of choice from the bottom of your card’s home screen, and you’re ready to start earning.


American Express allows you to earn points for referring your friends to their credit cards. Just send your friend your unique link — if they are approved, you’ll receive a point bonus added to your account.

Hot Tip: You can receive a bonus even if your friend doesn’t apply for the card you hold. For example, if you have the Amex Platinum card and you refer a friend who decides to apply for the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll still receive the point bonus.

Adding More Membership Rewards Cards

If you’re a fan of the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem, then adding more Membership Rewards cards to your wallet is a no-brainer.

Take the Amex Gold card for example, which earns 4x Membership Reward points per $1 spend at U.S. restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets. With this 2-card combo, you’ll be earning tons of points for all your airfare, dining, and supermarket purchases.

There are plenty of other personal and business American Express cards, too, with varying bonus categories.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for even more ways to earn more Membership Rewards points for your next redemption, check out our comprehensive guide on the best ways to earn Membership Rewards points.

How To Use Amex Points for Max Value

When it comes to using your Membership Rewards points, you have a few main redemption options that all vary in value and their usefulness.

Travel Partners

American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable point currencies out there because they can be transferred to one of Amex’s many airline transfer partners.

This is easily the best option to get the maximum value out of your hard-earned points, as you could use them to purchase business and first-class flights that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars!

Hot Tip: It’s a common misconception that using transfer partners is way too complicated and takes too much time to master. It’s a lot easier than you might think — check out our guide to Amex transfer partners and how to use them.

Amex Travel

You’ll also have the option of using your points to offset airfare and hotel purchases you make through the Amex Travel portal (though you won’t get great value).

When using your points toward an airline ticket you’ll receive just 1 cent per point — and an abysmal 0.7 cents per point when redeeming toward a hotel stay.

Statement Credit

American Express will also give you the option to use your points to cover eligible charges you’ve made with your card. However, when doing so your points will only be valued at 0.6 cents each — which is terrible for points as valuable as Membership Rewards!

Gift Cards

American Express offers plenty of retailers where you can cash in your points and get a gift card in return. But in doing so, you’ll receive anywhere from 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point toward the gift card.

Again, this is not a method we advise, as you’ll be losing huge value in the form of travel rewards.

Shop With Points

Lastly, you can use your Membership Rewards points to offset the cost of your purchases with retailers like Apple, Best Buy, or Saks Fifth Avenue.

There are dozens of merchants to choose from, but we don’t recommend it as using this method will only earn you 1 cent or less per point in value.

Bottom Line: At Upgraded Points, we highly recommend using your points with American Express transfer partners — that is where the big value is found. Due to this, we do not advise anyone use their points for gift cards, statement credits, or any option that only earns 1 cent per point or less. 

Amex Airline Transfer Partners

Amex Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
AeroMexico1,0001:1.62-12 days
Air Canada1,0001:1Almost Instant
Alitalia1,0001:1Almost Instant
Aer Lingus1,0001:1Almost Instant
ANA1,0001:13 days
Avianca LifeMiles1,0001:1Almost instant
British Airways
1,0001:1Almost Instant
Cathay Pacific1,0001:1Up to 1 Week
Delta Air Lines1,0001:1Almost Instant
Emirates1,0001:1Almost Instant
Etihad Airways1,0001:1Almost Instant
Flying Blue Air France/KLM1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hawaiian1,0001:1Almost Instant
Iberia1,0001:11-3 days
JetBlue2501:0.8Almost Instant
Qantas5001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines1,0001:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1,0001:11-2 days

Amex Hotel Transfer Partners

Amex Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
Choice Privileges1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hilton Honors1,0001:2Almost Instant
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:1Almost Instant

Alternative Cards to the Amex Platinum Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers 3x points per $1 spent on all travel and dining purchases, with the travel definition being extended to include airfare, hotels, Airbnb, even Uber/Lyft.

Combine that with a $300 travel credit and a Priority Pass membership, and it makes for a compelling option.

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t feature nearly the level of elite benefits that the Amex Platinum card does, this could be a good option for you if you’re after a more well-rounded travel card.

Citi Prestige® Card

The $495 Citi Prestige card earns 5x Citi ThankYou Points on airfare and dining purchases and comes with a $250 travel credit, a Priority Pass membership, and a fourth-night-free hotel benefit that can be used twice per year.

Again, the Citi Prestige card does not feature nearly as many luxury benefits or hotel elite status as the Amex Platinum card, but the 5x earnings and fourth-night-free benefit make it worthy of considering.

We’ve also compared the Amex Platinum card to a number of other popular cards:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Amex Platinum card hard to get?

Most travel credit cards require applicants to have good credit in order to be approved. American Express does not publish a set benchmark score needed, but if you have a strong credit score then it’s likely your application will be approved.

However, keep in mind that the annual fee will be due on your first billing statement — so if that isn’t something you can afford, you should consider another card.

Why get the Amex Platinum card? Is it worth it?

While the annual fee is quite high, when you factor in the number of benefits received from the card, the question of “is it worth it?” for many people is “yes.”

The card comes with up to $200 airline incidental credit, up to $200 prepaid hotel credit at Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection, up to $240 digital entertainment credit, up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and up to $300 Equinox credit, which effectively cancel out much of the annual fee.

Then add in the 5x earnings on flights and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel, Gold status with Hilton and Marriott hotels, and access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.

Given the number of luxury benefits you receive from having the card, if you can afford the annual fee, then yes, the Amex Platinum card is definitely worth it.

Is the Amex Platinum a credit card or a charge card?

The Amex Platinum is a charge card, not a credit card.

The 2 main differences between a charge card and a credit card are that charge cards have no preset spending limit and balances must be paid in full each month.

Many people think charge cards have no credit limit, but this is not true. American Express does not give cardholders a set spending limit for their charge cards, but they will start declining purchases if they believe your balance is becoming higher than you can afford to pay each month.

Similarly, with a charge card, your balance must be paid in full each month. This is not the case with most credit cards, as they allow you to make a minimum or partial payment and carry the rest of the balance over while being charged interest. However, if your charge card is not paid in full, you won’t be able to use your card for any other purchases until it is.

What is the Amex Platinum card annual fee? Can I add authorized users?

See the card summary table above for the Amex Platinum card annual fee. If you wish to add authorized users to the account, you can add up to 3 for an additional $175 per year. Each authorized user of the Amex Platinum card will receive all of the same benefits as the main cardholder.

You also have the option of adding up to 99 Amex Gold cards for no additional annual fee. Keep in mind that while these cards have the same earning rate as the Amex Platinum card, they receive none of the elite benefits.

What airport lounges do you get access to with the Amex Platinum card?

With the Amex Platinum card, you receive access to all of the American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta the same day), Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Airspace Lounges, and Escape Lounges.

This is by far the most extensive list of eligible lounges you can visit offered by any travel credit card on the market.

Note: Priority Pass memberships from U.S.-issued American Express cards no longer include restaurants (“non-lounge airport experiences”).

Is the Amex Platinum card metal?

Yes, the Amex Platinum card is a metal card.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Noirin garrett November 30, 2020

    Very upset and disappointed that Amex is corrupting the insurance policy by hopping on the back of covid. The insurance policy says rental car excess insurance is covered by Amex. Now Amex informs they will not cover this excess during Covid. Why are we paying such high membership with this corrupt insurance coverage change?


  2. Sanjosemike June 18, 2021

    I called up Amex recently (6/18/21) and they affirmed that they will be making their excess liability coverage available now.


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