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Does the Amex Platinum Card Offer Cash-back?

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most legendary cards in the world. It oozes wealth and has the best luxury travel benefits of any card out there.

And even though the value proposition for frequent travelers makes it a no-brainer, there’s a question that remains for those interested in cash-back: is the Amex Platinum card still worth it if you want cash-back?

Let’s take a look at this question in detail!

Card Snapshot

The perfect customer for the Amex Platinum card is the enthusiastic traveler who values being able to access luxury travel benefits.

Even if you only travel once per year, you can get tons of value beyond the cost of the annual fee if you use the benefits effectively.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $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®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $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 is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

To start, expect to earn up to 5x Membership Rewards points (worth an 11% return on spending by our valuations):

  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (up to $500,000 per calendar year) for flights booked directly with the airlines or with AmexTravel.com
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
  • 1x Membership Rewards points on all other purchases

You’ll get a ton of statement credits with the Amex Platinum card that really makes the card worth it in light of the annual fee — also, make use of the incredible airport lounge access, access to Amex Offers and American Express Fine Hotels & Reports, and the Amex Platinum Card Concierge Service. Not to mention that Amex platinum military members are eligible to get their annual fees not charged — making the card even more valuable.

Why You Shouldn’t Get Cash-back From the Amex Platinum Card

Whenever you make a purchase on the Amex Platinum card, the rewards you earn are called Membership Rewards points. For example, if you book a $1,000 plane ticket with Delta through AmexTravel.com, you should earn around 5,000 Membership Rewards points.

It’s not currently possible to have American Express redeem your points for a check or ACH transfer. You can, however, redeem Membership Rewards points specifically to cover charges on your card via statement credits. But you should not redeem your points in this way if you want to maximize your points.

Using your points as a statement credit is not ideal since you’re not getting maximum value. And once it’s done, your points are gone forever! You’ll get a flat redemption value of 0.6 cents per point if you choose to use your hard-earned points in this way. That means if you redeem 10,000 points, you’ll get a statement credit of $60.

How To Get Cash-back From the Amex Platinum Card

To get cash-back from your Amex Platinum card, you need to first have charges on your card to redeem statement credits against.

Follow these instructions to get cash-back from your Amex Platinum card:

  1. Visit American Express’s Membership Rewards website.
  2. Log into your American Express account.
  3. After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the Membership Rewards dashboard. Hover over the button near the top of the page that says Earn and Redeem and click Cover your Card Charges.
  4. You’ll see a list of recent charges on your Amex Platinum card.
  5. Select all of the charges you want to use points for and click Redeem Now at the bottom of the page.
  6. It might take up to 48 hours for the request to show up online.

Other Ways To Redeem Your Amex Platinum Card’s Rewards

So now that we’ve discussed how to redeem your points for cash-back (and did our best to convince you why you shouldn’t redeem your points for cash-back with the Amex Platinum card), let’s talk about some other ways to use your Amex Platinum card’s points.

Transfer to Travel Partners (Recommended)

Delta One passengers talking
Fly in Delta One by transferring your Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles! Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best, singular way to redeem the points from your Amex Platinum card is to use the Amex transfer partners, which include select airlines and hotels.

For example, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio. That means if you transfer 100,000 points to Delta, you’ll get 100,000 Delta SkyMiles. You can then redeem 100,000 Delta SkyMiles for a couple of round-trip economy tickets to Hawaii or even a one-way business class flight to Europe!

Either way, you’re getting way more value with your points by transferring to travel partners. Round-trip economy tickets to Hawaii can exceed $1,000 each, and a one-way business class flight to Europe is usually around $2,000 to $5,000! The value you’ll get by using your frequent flyer miles to book a ticket is way better than using 100,000 Membership Rewards points for a $600 credit.

You can also transfer your Membership Rewards points to hotels — we recommend Hilton Honors due to the 1:2 transfer ratio. With 200,000 Hilton Honors points from 100,000 Membership Rewards points, you could get 2 or 3 hotel nights on points in Hawaii, which is worth anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000!

Bottom Line: Don’t redeem your points for cash-back! Transfer them to airlines and hotels to book travel and get much more value!

Book Travel Using Pay With Points

Another way you can use your points is through Pay With Points, a program that allows you to redeem points towards paid travel.

If you book your travel through AmexTravel.com and choose to redeem points, you’ll get a better redemption value than if you booked it directly through the airline or hotel and got statement credits.

Covering your card charges would get you a value of 0.6 cents per point, while using Pay With Points would get you:

  • 1 cent per point on flights and hotels through Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • 0.7 cents per point on all other hotels, car rentals, and travel booked via AmexTravel.com

Hot Tip: In general, you’ll want to use Pay With Points if you don’t see any availability for the flight or hotel you want to from transfer partners. Although the value you’ll get is lower than from transfer partners, it’s a much simpler process to use your points.

Get Gift Cards

With the Amex Platinum card, you can also get gift cards using your Membership Rewards points — unfortunately, the value you’ll get is anywhere from 0.5 to 1 cent per point.

We don’t recommend this method.

Spend at Amazon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably shop at Amazon at least occasionally.

With your Membership Rewards points, you can spend at Amazon for a value of 0.7 cents per point. That will get you around $70 of value with 10,000 points.

We don’t recommend this method, either.

American Express offers the ability to redeem your points for charitable donations through JustGiving.

You’ll get a redemption value of 1 cent per point, which means that you’ll donate $100 for every 10,000 points you redeem.

You can donate to thousands of charities of your choice, and there’s a maximum of 500,000 points donated per calendar year to get a 1-cent-per-point value.

Beyond the 500,000-point maximum, the redemption value is 0.5 cents per point — 1,000 points will cover a donation of $5.

This could be a great way to donate to a cause you support, but from a redemption perspective, it’s still limited in value.

Buy Merchandise

The last way to redeem your points is through the Membership Rewards shopping website.

You can pretty much buy whatever is on your mind, including furniture, jewelry, games, beauty products, and more.

Unfortunately, your points are only worth 0.5 cents each, making it an even worse way to redeem points than covering charges with points.

Final Thoughts

Having the Amex Platinum card can be one of the greatest additions to your wallet. Being able to enjoy up to 5x points earned, the best airport lounge access in the world, lots of statement credits, and high-end travel options are what you should expect when you hold this card.

Unfortunately, while it is possible to use your Membership Rewards points from the Amex Platinum card for cash-back by covering charges with points, it is a terrible idea to do so.

It’s a much better idea to redeem your points for luxury travel through transfer partnerships with airlines and hotels!

Even spending at Amazon, getting certain gift cards, and donating to charity will get you better value than the 0.6 cents per point afforded by the cash-back redemption option. If cash-back is important to you, consider a cash back credit card where some offer up to 5% in certain categories of spend.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Amex Platinum card offer cash-back?

No, but you can use the Amex Platinum card’s rewards to get cash-back by covering charges with points. However, it’s a bad idea to do so because you’ll only get a value of 0.6 cents per point.

You’d be better off transferring your points to an airline or hotel partner for much better value.

Does the Amex Platinum card have cash-back?

No, the Amex Platinum card does not have cash-back, but you can cover charges on your card by using your points. You won’t get good value, though, so use those points for travel!

How do I use my cash-back on Amex?

You can follow these directions to use points to cover your card’s charges on the Amex Platinum card:

  1. Visit American Express’s Membership Rewards website.
  2. Log into your American Express account.
  3. After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the Membership Rewards dashboard. Hover over the button near the top of the page that says Earn and Redeem and click Cover your Card Charges.
  4. You’ll see a list of recent charges on your Amex Platinum card.
  5. Select all of the charges you want to use points for and click Redeem Now at the bottom of the page.
  6. It might take up to 48 hours for the request to show up online.

How long does Amex cash-back take?

When you use points to cover charges on your Amex Platinum card, it may take up to 48 hours to process the redemption. After that, the statement credit might take up to 1 billing statement to show up.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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