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.
- 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
- 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
- Up to $200 airline fee credit
- Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit
- Up to $240 annual streaming credit
- $200 annual hotel credit
- $300 Equinox credit
- The best airport lounge access out of any card — enjoy access to Amex Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Airspace Lounges, Escape – The Centurion® Studio Partner Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta the same day
- TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit
- $179 annual CLEAR credit
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
- Access to Amex International Airline Program
- No foreign transaction fees
- Cell phone protection
- High annual fee
- Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
Amex Platinum Card — Snapshot
- Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
- $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
- Card Categories:
- Rewards Center
- Customer Service Number800-528-4800 (Available 24/7)
- Login Link
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The Ideal Cardholder for the Amex Platinum
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.
Great Card If
- You travel often enough to take advantage of all the travel perks
- You’re able to use the annual credits (airline, Saks Fifth Avenue, prepaid hotels) and monthly credits (Uber, Equinox, digital entertainment)
- You want airport lounge access
- You want hotel elite status
- You want a luxury card with luxury benefits
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
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Amex Airline Transfer Partners
|Amex Airline Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio|
(Amex > Partner)
|Air Canada||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Aer Lingus||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1,000||1:1||Almost instant|
|British Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Cathay Pacific||1,000||1:1||Up to 1 Week|
|Delta Air Lines||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Etihad Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Flying Blue Air France/KLM||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Singapore Airlines||1,000||1:1||1-2 days|
|Virgin Atlantic||1,000||1:1||1-2 days|
Amex Hotel Transfer Partners
|Amex Hotel Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio|
(Amex > Partner)
|Choice Privileges||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Hilton Honors||1,000||1:2||Almost Instant|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
Alternative Cards to the Amex Platinum Card
|Credit Card||Key Benefits & Info|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
Must Reads: For more on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, see our thoughts on its benefits, global airport lounge access, and travel insurance protection. Take a look here for our full review.
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.
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:
- Amex Platinum card vs. Amex Business Platinum card
- Amex Platinum card vs. Amex Gold card
- Amex Platinum card vs. Centurion® Card from American Express
- Amex Platinum card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve card
- Amex Platinum card vs. Citi Prestige card
- Amex Platinum card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Amex Platinum card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
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.