On the go all the time, you hardly ever have time to take care of your day to day items. You love the rush of the job and traveling around, but you really wish there were a way to make your experience better.
You only need one credit card to change your whole travel experience: The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Card Provider
- Card Type(s):
- Card Focus:
- Annual Fee
- Rewards Center
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- Typical UsersBusiness Owners, Frequent Travelers, International Travelers
- Customer Service Number
1-800-528-4800 (Available 24/7)
- Login Link
- Multitudes of airport lounges (including Centurion), Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), Boingo, airline partners (international airline program)
- American Express Platinum benefits work with most airlines and hotels (as far as collecting points and upgrades), transfer points to participating airlines mileage and hotel points programs 1:1
- Interest Rates ?
- None. This is a charge card, meaning that your full balance is due upon your statement
- Late fees ?
- Up to $38
- $38 or 2.99% (whichever is greater) if using the Pay Over Time feature, which essentially acts like credit
- Balance Transfers
- N/A since this is a charge card
- Cash Advance APR
- N/A since this is a charge card
The Ideal Cardholder
The benefits offered by this card will ensure you are more than comfortable on the road and can focus on the important things, and as of 3/30/17, the benefits have been updated!
Sign-Up Bonus, Points Earning, and Rewards
You can earn The Platinum Card® from American Express sign up bonus after spending the appropriate amount of money in the allotted time as mentioned above. These reward points accumulate in your Amex Membership Rewards account to be used as you please.
There is now a $550 annual fee on this card that will be applied right away, so expect to start off with a balance.
Compared to other credit cards, this hadn’t traditionally been a big hitter in the points category since you would only earn 1x points for most purchases on the card.
However, as of March 30th, 2017, cardmembers will receive 5x points when purchasing airfare directly through the airlines and through the American Express Travel Portal, and 5x points for hotels when purchasing through Amex Travel!
This new addition comes after the recent release of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card came onto the scene, fierecly competing with The Platinum Card® from American Express luxury traveler market.
These points pool into your Membership Rewards account, though, so if you use other Amex cards, you can add to your pool of points that can be used for great American Express travel rewards.
While that may not seem worth it to some, this card was not intended to be a points builder. Sure, the sign-up bonus is nice, but the card is a behemoth in the benefits category.
It’s important to note that this card’s benefits are in the luxury category. If you aren’t interested in luxury perks, then you may want to stick with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Card Benefits Review: Air Travel
First, this card offers a $200 per year airline fee credit for incidental charges. This means that $200 of the $550 card fee is already given back to you if you fly.
While this doesn’t cover ticket costs or upgrades, it does cover other incidental charges by the airline like baggage, in-flight purchases, change fees, and so forth.
Also note that the airline credit only works with one airline that you choose, and not a third party service.
To receive this credit, you sign up for your chosen airline through your account. Then, whenever you spend money through that airline, the charges are automatically credited up to the $200.
You will only be able to change your airline once per year in January, so choose wisely!
Yearly Credit When Riding With Uber
Another benefit of the Platinum Card is the ability to get up to $200 in credits with Uber back by the end of the year. This is another great way to offset $200 of the $550 annual fee.
The credit is available in $15 chunks each month of the year, with a $35 credit available in December ($15 plus a bonus $20). For those of you with Uber in your city, this makes for a great card!
Next, you will get access to nearly every airport lounge available. Not only do you get complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges, but also Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges, and over 1,000 Priority Pass lounges worldwide.
Then, you get enrollment in the Global Lounge Collection, which is a unique lounge access program that gives you complimentary access to their proprietary range of lounges. Bringing a guest only costs $27 per visit to a lounge.
If you need to grab Wi-Fi somewhere on the go, you can use Boingo WiFi Hotspots. The card offers complimentary membership in the program to access Wi-Fi worldwide on up to 4 devices.
To speed up travel, there is also a credit for those who sign up to Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) services, which renews every 5 years. However, the credit is only good for one program (not both).
Perhaps the largest benefit is the companion ticket, although it’s not for everyone. When you purchase a qualifying international Business or First class ticket, you can get a companion ticket for the cost of the taxes and fees.
You must purchase travel through Platinum Travel Service, AmexTravel.com, or another similar Amex channel to be eligible for the credit.
The cost of these tickets vary, so always check the discount portals before booking to ensure your discount is worth it!
Card Benefits for the Ground Traveler
For the hotel traveler, you’ll receive complimentary Gold status in both the Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs. Because SPG is now linked to Marriott, you will status match for Marriott as well!
You also get access to the Hotel Collection benefit, which gives you free upgrades in participating hotels as long as you’ve stayed longer than 2 nights. For each stay, you’ll also get a $75 credit to use for services.
This benefit alone can make up for the annual fee if you frequent hotels. Note that you must make travel reservations through the Platinum Travel Service or other Amex travel sources like AmexTravel.com to get your benefits.
If you book through Amex Travel, you will also get 5x points for airfare and 2x points for other purchases instead of 1x points! Additionally, you still get to utilize your loyalty accounts to earn points and status, so it’s definitely a win-win.
For rental cars, you get to enjoy premium status with three rental agencies: Avis, Hertz, and National. This allows you to receive premium upgrades when available, making rentals more fun and less hassle.
Additional Travel Benefits
While the above benefits more than make up for the card fees if you’re a heavy traveler, there is actually more. Other travel benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express include a variety of insurances and assistance services.
Platinum Travel Service, mentioned a few times above, is a travel concierge that helps you make bookings, like a travel agent. You must use this service (or a similar Amex service) to take advantage of some of the travel perks.
There are no foreign transaction fees on the card, which makes foreign travel great. If you’re a cruise lover, you’ll enjoy having access to the cruise program through Amex.
When you are far away from home, you can access the Global Assist hotline to get advice on medical, legal, or other emergency services. There is also a Roadside Assist program.
Travel insurance card benefits offered include car rental, baggage, and travel accident insurances.
Other Card Benefits
As if the above list wasn’t enough, there are a few more to discuss! For those who like a concierge service, you get access to the American Express Platinum Concierge to help you with every day tasks.
Also included are the Platinum Dining Program (for top notch reservations), the By Invitation Only program (for unique, tailored experiences), and Preferred Seating (for tickets to big events).
Great Card If
- You like the luxury travel lifestyle
- You will utilize enough benefits to pay back the $550, such as Global Entry fee credit, airline fee credit, and airport lounge access (see card math for details)
- You utilize Boingo WiFi, want Gold status in Honors and SPG / Marriott, or enjoy rental car upgrades
Don't Get If
- You don’t travel enough to bother earning the value of the card fee in benefits (see card math)
- You’re looking for a good card to use to earn Membership Rewards Points (although with the 5x reward points addition to airfare, this could change the game!)
- Luxury travel doesn’t interest you
U.P. Pro Tips
Don’t like traveling alone and want to share your benefits? Add up to three authorized users on this card, each for $175 per year! They get access to the majority of your benefits, which more than makes up for the cost of the card if used.
Amex Platinum benefits that additional cardmembers are entitled to include lounges (including Global Lounge Collection), Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credits ($100/$85 respectively), and Honors and SPG Gold status.
The $200 airline credit is shared among cardholders, so if you were worried about making that spend for the year, then your additional cardholder can help collect on that card benefit.
Reward points accrued go into the primary cardholder’s Membership Rewards account.
How To Use This Rewards Card: The Upgraded Way
Best Way to Maximize Points
As we’ve stated before, this card isn’t typically used to earn points since most of its value comes from its benefits.
That being said, you should at least know how to earn points more efficiently if this is going to be a card you’ll use!
Tip #1: Book all travel through the AmexTravel.com portal. You can earn 2x points on travel purchases, although this specifically excludes car rentals and non-prepaid hotels.
Included categories are airfare, prepaid hotels, vacation packages, Amex Vacations, and cruises. You ALSO get to earn points through the loyalty programs of any carriers you use, which isn’t the case in some travel portals!
Tip #2: Book all flights with your card to earn 5x points for airfare. Note that it must be purchased directly through the airlines, or on AmexTravel.com.
Tip #3: Use the Auto Purchase Program. If you’re going to make a big purchase that you can’t normally put on a card, you may as well take the opportunity to do so when you can.
Tip #4: Add additional cardmembers. It costs $175/yr to add up to three additional cardmembers. While this is a lot, remember they get to utilize the card benefits such as the lounge access and Gold status.
Then, when they make purchases, all reward points go into your account, helping you earn faster. Just be sure they pay their own balances!
Best Way to Redeem Points
Points earned with the American Express Platinum card will accrue under your Membership Awards account. This account is shared among all points-earning American Express non-partnered cards.
There are a few tips we’ll share on maximizing your redemptions:
Redemption Option 1: Travel Partner Transfers
This is your most valuable option overall. Transfer your points earned to one of the airline frequent flyer or hotel partners; most all come with a 1:1 transfer ratio (except SPG, EL AL, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Elevate, and Honors).
The rest of the partners are as follows, with links on how to redeem miles in each of the programs after you’ve transferred:
Airlines: Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Club Premiere Aero Mexico, Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, MilleMiglia Club Alltalia, Iberia Plus, Singapore KrisFlyer, British Airways Executive Club, Hawaiian Airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad Guest.
Hotels: Choice Privileges
Note that all transfers of points cost $0.0006 per point, up to $99. That means a 10k point transfer costs $6.
Redemption Option 2: Pay for Travel With Points
While similar to option 1, in this option you are directly paying for travel through the Amex Travel portal.
You don’t receive as good a value for your points as you would by transferring points (or compared to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal), so we don’t typically recommend this.
Redemption Option 3: Shopping
You can utilize any points you can’t use elsewhere on a number of shopping networks. This includes using Amazon, the Membership Rewards Shop, Pay With Points (basically statement credit), Ticketmaster, and Uber.
There are many more options, but we won’t cover them all here. In general, your reward points will be worth $0.01 or less utilizing these methods of redemption.
Here are the travel partners through Membership Rewards (links to their loyalty pages):
Airlines: Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Club Premiere Aero Mexico, Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, MilleMiglia Club Alltalia, Iberia Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, British Airways Executive Club, Hawaiian Airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin America Elevate, Etihad Guest.
Note that this card has recently been updated, and these values may not reflect all available card benefits.
We will mention up front: This card is not for everyone.
Exploring the specifics of how you would like to use this card and having a plan for doing so will help ensure you utilize the card to its full potential.
For those who will use the Amex Platinum benefits, it’s also good to know that the value of these benefits far exceeds the cost of the card when used to their fullest.
If you try to make up for the value of the card in points alone, you’d have to spend $45,000 each year just to break even. Even high spending individuals may struggle to do that!
The card’s sign up bonus is usually almost enough to break even on the cost in year one, but you won’t have that luxury moving forward.
If you’re intrigued, continue reading.
Putting a Value to the Amex Platinum Benefits One by One
Since this card isn’t one typically used for points, we will skip any further math valuing the points here, focusing instead on the value of the Amex Platinum benefits to determine if the card is worth it to you.
In order to not get bogged down by details, we will only explore the following most common benefits:
- $200 airline fee credit
- American Express Card Lounge Access Program
- American Express Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credits
- Gold Status for Honors and SPG (SPG status now matches in Marriott Rewards)
- Boingo WiFi
- International Airline Program
- Hotel Collection
- Car rental privileges
Goal: To prove that the value of all benefits far exceeds $550 per year.
$200 Airline Fee Credit Valuation
While this is a $200 credit, don’t immediately deduct it from the cost of the card. You only get what you use. You must travel enough to rack up $200 in fees and other expenses if you want to get the full $200 value.
Things that count under this category include baggage fees, change fees, and in-flight amenities (drinks, snacks, and so on). But it also covers things like pet fees, lounge passes/memberships, and seat assignments.
Note that fees aren’t covered for third party services, including in-flight WiFi (provided by GoGo) or non-airline lounges. So before splurging, double check that the fee will be reimbursable!
Also note that you can only select one airline per year, and you can only change your selection each January. So choose wisely!
If you travel a lot and have status, then ironically you may already get some of these things free. Therefore, this credit is most valuable when used somewhere you don’t have status.
Let’s look at a couple situations in which this may be valuable: a traveling family and a business traveler.
Traveling Family – If you are a family of four traveling once per year, this card can easily cover some fees for you. If each family member checks one bag each way, that is $25*4*2 = $200. Credit accomplished!
Business Travel – If you’re a business traveler, you probably already get free bags with airline status and may get upgraded frequently. In addition, necessary business expenses could be reimbursed for you through your company.
However, maybe you enjoy a beverage or two, and perhaps want to make some flight changes for personal travel that won’t be reimbursed.
If you travel 10 weeks per year, that equates to 20 one-way flights. If you have one drink on each flight at $7 each, you will spend $140. If you have two, you will spend more than the credit at $280.
If you decide you want to change some travel for personal reasons, then you can use the card to pay for the change fee. This can cost anywhere from $75-$200, all of which can be covered by the card.
American Express Card Lounge Access Program Valuation
This might be the most useful benefit for a business or frequent traveler. You get access to Centurion, Delta Sky Club and Airspace Lounges. Most importantly, you get the Global Lounge Collection network, which comprises of over 850 lounges worldwide.
Considering a day pass to a lounge costs anywhere from $20 to $50+, it’s easy to see how this benefit can add up.
Let’s say you’re a business traveler who travels the following amounts per year, which we’ll equate to the value in lounge stays. The value is not only in the day pass, but the fact that they offer free food and drinks, complimentary WiFi, and a place to relax or maybe even shower.
We’ll use the value of the lounge pass plus a typical meal and drink at an airport for our valuation. That would be $50 (pass) + $40 (meal), for a total of $90 per lounge visit.
|Number of One-Way Trips Per Year||Number of Lounges Visited||Value (at $90/visit)|
*Note: these are of course estimated, hypothetical situations
As you can see, a more frequent traveler easily gets the value of the card’s fee from lounge visits alone.
Even if you subtract the value of the pass and just compare it to the cost of the meal, the values are $120, $320, and $600 respectively.
This benefit also allows you to bring guests with you. If you are traveling with family and friends, they can get access to the lounge for just $27 (which will be charged to your card).
The free benefits they get in the lounge are more than enough reason to pay for their day pass!
American Express Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Valuation Fee Credits
Someone who travels frequently will likely find value in being able to utilize the fast access security lines that Global Entry and TSA PreCheck offer.
Even if you only travel once per year, many people find security extremely anxiety-ridden, and would benefit from having access to these programs.
The Global Entry credit is $100, and the TSA PreCheck credit is $85. It’s important to note that you may use one or the other, but NOT both. You only get these credits once every 5 years, so we will calculate an annual value based off that.
Gold Status for Honors and SPG Valuation
These benefits may be overlooked by some people, but they can bring in great value if they are utilized. A quick recap on the benefits of these status levels:
|Honors Gold||25% base reward point bonus, complimentary upgrades, arrival gift bonus points, lounge floor (based on availability), late check-out, free WiFi, and more|
|SPG Gold||3pts/$ (vs. 2), earn points with Uber (3x during stays), earn points with Delta and Emirates (1x), complimentary upgrades, arrival gift bonus points, and more|
If you’re staying in one of these properties, surely at least one of those benefits is useful to you, especially if you’re an infrequent business traveler (or something similar).
One important note: you don’t have to use the card at the properties to get the status benefits; it’s automatic!
Let’s take a closer look:
If you travel for business 15 nights a year, you do not have enough nights to earn Gold status in Hilton, although you do in SPG. However, the value of having the status all along can be really important.
Imagine you stay those 15 nights in Hilton across five separate stays. You would earn 10 base points per dollar for your room, and five bonus points for your double dip.
If you add in Honors Gold status, you can earn an additional 2.5 points per dollar.
For being Gold, you may also earn a 500 reward point arrival gift for your stay. In addition, you could get upgraded…perhaps even to a floor with a lounge that might offer free drinks and snacks, as well as a luxury room.
Assuming you paid for the room using a business credit card and not your own, we won’t add in additional points from a card. But you can clearly see that you get value from the status already.
We’ll summarize this in a table for both Hilton and Starwood. Note the values calculated are the extra points you get with the status benefits:
|Benefit||Benefit Value Hilton||Benefit Value SPG|
|Points from Status (Based on $150/night Room Rate)||You could earn 150*2.5*15 = 5,625 bonus points||You could earn 150*1*15 = 2,250 bonus points|
|Points from Status (Arrival gift)||5*500 = 2,500 bonus points||5*500 = 2,500 bonus points|
|Room Upgrade (non-lounge)||$50/night||$50/night|
|Room Upgrade (lounge, considering cost of food/drinks)||$100/night||$100/night|
|Earn with Delta||n/a||If you fly delta on your 5 trips, you could earn $300/flight*1 pt*5 trips = 1,500 points|
|Totals||8,125 points and between $50-$100 per night you get upgraded||6,250 points and between $50-$100 per night you get upgraded|
For each case, the cash value of getting upgraded for even one or two nights is enough to call the benefit “worth it.”
However, if you also consider the points, that is worth at least one night in a Category 1 or 2 hotel in Starwood, or one night in a Category 1 in Hilton.
Free nights could be anywhere from $50-$150, so that is also an added value if used!
The Boingo WiFi Benefit Valuation
If you travel enough to want to use Boingo WiFi, then this benefit could be useful to you. With it, you’ll get access to all Boingo Hotspots across the globe.
This benefit is worth nothing to you if you don’t use Boingo. If you do, it can be worth a minimum of $60, or up to more than $95/year.
International Airline Program Valuation
For the international business or high rolling traveler, this benefit could imply HUGE savings. By booking through the Travel Portal, you can get a companion ticket for just the cost of taxes and fees.
Hot Tip: Booking the flight must be done on the primary cardholder’s card. Also, this is an unlimited per-year benefit.
The ticket also has to be Business or First class. This may or may not be a good deal, so you have to check the value of the flight in a discount travel portal against the Amex portal in order to check.
However, utilizing this card benefit correctly can save you anywhere from $1,000 to $20k+! It’s a great way to bring a significant other, friend, or relative along on a business trip for cheap.
The Hotel Collection Benefit Valuation
This is another service that can only be used when booked with Amex Travel Services. However, unlike other travel portals, when you book through this one you get to utilize your loyalty account memberships.
In this way, you could potentially save money on a booking, still earn points, and get access to some very nice benefits.
Assuming the bare minimum of an upgrade (~$50) and $75 services credit, this benefit could be worth $125+ per stay. Note that this is also an unlimited per-year benefit.
Car Rental Privileges Valuation
Car rental agency loyalty programs are not very widely discussed, but any business traveler knows having status with them can be a valuable benefit.
Without going through all three, we’ll just take a look at Avis Preferred as an example. For this program, you get to skip lines and go straight to your car when you arrive if you booked ahead, or to a dedicated booth for Avis Preferred members in the garage if not.
This benefit alone could save you hours if it’s a bad day. In addition, you have the option to upgrade to a premium car if available. While this isn’t necessarily a sports car, it will surely be much better than the low-level cars you typically get.
You’ll also receive more points in the program, getting you closer to getting free rewards to use at your leisure.
Final Valuation for the Benefits
Hopefully you find the breakdown of the benefits useful, and can see now how they could add up over a year. They’re not always a direct cash transaction; in most cases you must value the status or luxury of the benefit for it to work in your favor.
Here is a quick table summarizing their value:
|Benefits||Low Value||High Value|
|Airline Fee Credit||$200||$200|
|Lounge Access Program||$120||$1,000+|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck||$17/yr||$20/yr|
|Gold Status Honors/SPG||$50||$300+|
|International Airline Program||$0||$1,000++|
|Car Rental Privileges||$0||$100+|
*A quick summary of our valuations
In total, we value the benefits at $745 if you use everything but the companion ticket and Boingo. Even if you only use a few benefits, you can see how they’ll add up; with the very basics you’re already at $387!
Use this list as a starting place to determine whether the card will be worth it for you in the upcoming year. Only get the card if you’ll utilize more than $550 of benefits!
Figuring this out may take some planning and thought, but it could save you thousands of dollars while vastly enhancing your travels!
One final note is that if you add in the basic points you’ll earn while using the card, you can add extra value. For instance, $10,000 in spending earns 10,000 points, valued at $200+ if used correctly.
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
Sometimes, American Express may deny you bonus points if you already have other American Express cards. Be sure to check with a customer service representative on your card.
Since the card relies heavily on benefits, you want to be familiar with the terms and conditions of the cards to ensure your benefits work the way you think they do.
The ones to watch out for are the Hotel Collection and Companion Pass; you must book these in specific ways in order to activate the benefits.
Lounge access is free for you, but you must sign up for the Global Lounge Collection membership yourself. Also, any guests that are with you must pay a $27 fee in most cases, which is put onto card.
Be sure to check all appropriate exclusions for the car rental privileges and other benefits.
Note that this is a charge card, which means you cannot carry a balance forward unless you have permission to do so.
Signing Up for the Airline Fee Credit
Signing up for the airline fee credit is actually quite easy if you know where to go. All credit card issuer benefits are accessed from the same screen.
Go into your main account summary screen, then click the “Benefits” menu at the top. You must be viewing your card, or you’ll have to go back to the home screen and switch.
Once here, you’ll find the airline fee credit card benefit right at the top. Click on the “Choice Required” button.
You’ll be brought to a screen that likely asks you to sign in again, and then you’ll be able to select your airline from a dropdown menu.
The choices in the past have been Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, and United (the major U.S. carriers). Note the rules for eligible purchases and how it works:
Once selected, you will get the following screen letting you know you’re signed up. For instance, I chose Alaska at the time this was written. You can only change your airline once per year, in January.
Other Unique Features
This will be a rehash of the variety of benefits available with the American Express Platinum card. Remember to check the details in the terms and conditions.
Amex Auto Purchase – You may qualify to put at least $2,000 onto your Amex card to purchase a new vehicle. Check the qualified retailers list.
$200 Airline Fee Credit – The credit can only be used for incidentals and cannot be used for purchases billed by third parties. You must select one airline to utilize your credit with, and the fees are automatically credited as they are accrued.
The Hotel Collection – For hotels booked through the travel portal, you get free upgrades if you stay two or more nights, plus a $75 credit for each stay to use toward services like the spa.
Entertainment Access – Get access to VIP tickets that Amex makes available to its customers. These can be good for a number of different types of events.
American Express Preferred Seating – Another portal with VIP tickets, geared more toward sports.
Membership Rewards Shop – This is the shopping portal that can be used to make purchases that earn more points, or where you can spend your points.
Dispute Resolution – This is where you dispute charges to your account that you didn’t authorize. They reserve the right to deny you.
Global Assist Hotline – This is a free hotline to be used in emergencies while abroad. You can find referrals and other emergency services here.
Personalized Travel Service – Your own personal travel agent that can be used to make all your bookings. Note that you may be liable for third party service charges here.
Baggage Insurance Plan – A secondary baggage insurance plan that can provide you some help in case your bags are lost, stolen, or damaged.
Premium Roadside Assistance – This is a free service up to 4x per year you can use to jump your car, tow it less than 10 miles, change tires, and so on.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance – Get American Express Platinum car insurance while you’re traveling. Be sure to decline the agency’s policy!
Purchase Protection – An insurance plan for things you buy that are broken, lost, or stolen within the first 90 days. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per occurrence and $50k per year.
Return Protection – Also a 90-day insurance plan, this one is for items that can’t be returned to the original vendor. Coverage is for $300 per item and a maximum of $1,000 per year.
Extended Warranty – Get an extra warranty period for warranties less than five years. Coverage is up to $10,000 per occurrence and not to exceed $50,000 per year.
Additional Card Members – You can get additional member cards for up to three people at a cost of $175 per year. As an alternative, you can get the Gold Card from American Express instead for $45 per year for three people.
Each additional card member will share the lounge access, Gold status, Boingo, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, travel insurances, and other benefits.
They will NOT get their own $200 airline fee credit, and there are a few other specific restrictions.
Lounge Access – Get free access to all Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges with the card. Get a free Global Lounge Collection membership (you must sign up yourself) that gives you access to an additional 850+ lounges around the world.
Each lounge has its own guest policy. Centurion Lounge allows you to bring immediate family OR one or two companions with you (differs per Centurion Lounge).
Airspace Lounge allows you to bring two guests at no additional cost, but anyone else must pay a normal fee. Delta Sky Club allows you to purchase up to two additional passes for $29/person.
In Global Lounge Collection lounges, guests usually cost $27, which will be charged to your card.
American Express Platinum Concierge – A free concierge service you can use for whatever you want (you’ll have to call them to determine what they really can and can’t do…you may be surprised!).
Any charges they may incur will be charged to your card (e.g. purchasing things for you). The American Express Platinum Concierge can note and track your interactions, so use with discretion.
Cruise Privileges Program – When you book a cruise through this program, you will receive an on-ship credit for spending on drinks and other services. The voyages you book must be at least five nights and made through Amex travel.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Fee Credits – This is good only once every five years, and can only be used on one program or the other. Of course, five years is the length of membership in the program, so it works out well. The Global Entry fee credit is $100, and the TSA PreCheck is $85.
Fine Hotels & Resorts – A specific portal for things of its namesake, you can find some good deals on nice properties around the world. You are still eligible to utilize your elite status and loyalty programs where applicable.
InCircle – If you enjoy shopping high end retail, then you may like this benefit. Sign up and enroll your card.
When you shop at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Horchow, Cusp, or Last Call, you will receive one point per dollar spent. Every 10,000 points rewards you with a $100 gift card.
Points are only earned through normal clothes shopping and cannot be earned on other services such as repairs, jewelry, and many other options.
International Airline Program – The companion ticket service, where you purchase any Business or First class airfare through the travel portal and are eligible to receive a companion ticket at the cost of taxes and fees.
These tickets are fully refundable, and therefore may be more expensive than if you booked separately. Be sure to research both inside the portal and out to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Boingo WiFi – You must sign up to a Boingo American Express Preferred Plan (AXP Plan) with your authorized card in order to activate your free service.
Photo Credits / Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Busy Travelers: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Family Credit Cards: Pressmaster/Shutterstock
Buying a Car: Syda Productions/Shutterstock
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This refers to the actual credit card offered by American Express, which is a company that acts as both a bank and credit card processor. Amex cards have typically been seen as status symbols and prestigious to own.
Many American Express cards are charge cards, which simply means the balances you accrue are due in full each month. Contrast this to credit cards, which allow you to carry a balance in exchange for an interest rate.
This card is the luxury travel benefits card that American Express provides.
The card focuses almost entirely on these luxury benefits over the earning of points, although you do get 1x points per dollar for spending.
As of October 6th, 2016, you now also get 5x points for airfare purchased directly with the airlines and through American Express Travel. This is to compete with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card.
You would want to get this card to improve your overall travel experiences if you travel frequently or value the comforts of luxury travel.
By utilizing the wide range of benefits on the card, such as the $200 airline fee credit, Global Entry fee credit, and complimentary access to lounges, and elite status, you will find enough value to pay for the $550 annual fee and then some.
We estimated the value of these benefits for a frequent business traveler to be worth over $700 per year, conservatively.
The card is worth different amounts, depending on how you utilize the benefits and how you personally value them.
By our calculations here on Upgraded Points, we estimate the card to be worth anywhere from $387 (if you use the basic benefits a few times), to over $745 if you utilize the benefits frequently.
Additionally, you can earn even more value in the form of Membership Rewards points if you put a lot of spending on the card.
As with any card, you must have good or excellent credit to ensure you are approved for the card. That being said, you can always apply to the card to see!
The largest difficulty with the card is the $550 annual fee. Note that because this is a charge card, you can't carry the balance and therefore must pay that off the first month.
This rewards card costs $550 per year for the primary cardholder. If you want to add additional cardholders, you can do so for $175 per year.
This allows you up to three additional people on your account.
If you don't want to pay the full $175, you have the option of adding additional cardholders as Gold Card from American Express members instead for $45 per year, also allowing up to three people.
You can add yourself as an additional cardholder if you get the Gold Card from American Express, allowing you to access the benefits of both cards.
The card has too many benefits to list them all here, but here is a complete list. Some of the more popular benefits include:
A $200 airline fee credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, complimentary lounge access (Centurion, Delta, Airspace, and Global Lounge Collection), complimentary Honors and SPG status, free Boingo WiFi, and The Hotel Collection.
If you are affluent enough to be invited to the Centurion Card you'll get similar benefits as well as your own personal airport concierge!
There are a couple different kinds of lounges out there. Most big airlines have their own brand, and there are general lounges owned by non-airlines.
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you get access to Delta Sky Clubs as far as direct partnerships go. Non-airline lounges include Centurion and Airspace.
Then, you get the Global Lounge Collection membership, which gives you access to over 850 additional lounges that may be both airline and other types of lounges.
Some airlines include Virgin America, Air France, KLM, Air Canada, Air Berlin, and more. Of note, you do NOT get access to Admirals Clubs.
Make sure you check the rules of each lounge before visiting. This includes hours of operation, rules on guests (some allow you to bring your whole immediate family for free), and rules on what specific tickets you need.
Yes, the card earns points in the Membership Rewards portal.
Not specifically, although you can use it as one. However, there IS a business version of the card called The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
In fact, it costs the same each year for the primary cardholder, and you actually get a 30% bonus on your points when you redeem points through Amex Travel.
You ALSO get 10 free GoGoInflight internet passes each year. The rest of the benefits are essentially the same, and you do not earn any more points for having the business version.