Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Stella Shon
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The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most premium cards on the market. But premium benefits come along with a premium price — and the whopping $695 annual fee (rates & fees) is no joke.
Maximizing all of the benefits of this card is essential when it comes to offsetting the annual fee, and it does take a little organization. Evaluating card membership each year is always a solid idea, so I’m about to ask the big question: Should I keep my Amex Platinum card?
Follow along to see my card analysis and find out the answer.
Keeping or canceling a credit card is a largely personal decision. This is why understanding how others utilize perks and reap card benefits may make it easier to assess your unique personal and financial situation. Plus, many credit cards on the market are also getting refreshes, and it may not make sense to keep a card that offers a specific perk if other cards you possess also offer that same perk (or the offered benefits don’t fit your lifestyle).
Even though the cards in my wallet renew at different times of the year, I prefer to do an annual evaluation each December, with a general spending plan and idea of what cards I’ll keep, cancel, and apply for in the coming year. As 2023 ends, I encourage you to do similar evaluations of each and every card in your wallet so you have a solid spend and credit card plan in place for 2024.Hot Tip:
Do you have the Amex Platinum card? Consider applying to earn the welcome bonus offer: Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
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.
Read on to understand more about the Amex Platinum card benefits I find the most and least useful, how I maximize the card’s points currency (American Express Membership Rewards), some important things to consider when deciding to keep the card, and my final decision on whether I’m keeping, canceling, or downgrading the card.
Follow along as I analyze my own personal situation before digging into keeping Amex Platinum card.
Since I live in Spain, I don’t benefit from certain card perks useful to many U.S.-based cardholders, such as the card’s monthly Uber Cash credits or the Walmart+ credit. Although I’m in the U.S. once or twice yearly, those benefits aren’t worthwhile for me.
I originally signed up for the Amex Platinum card about 5 years ago, and I’ve been a cardmember ever since. Amex lured me in with a hefty welcome bonus offer, the flexibility to transfer points to many partners, and the hotel elite status for both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors upon enrollment.
Several years ago, fewer cards offered lounge access as a perk (the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card didn’t exist yet), and the annual fee was slightly more reasonable.
Since Amex raised the annual fee in 2021, I’ve taken an even closer look each year to confirm I’m still gaining enough value from the Amex Platinum card to keep it. I’ve also called each year to see if there were any retention offers available, and have either managed to get a reduced annual fee or a points bonus each year, which has enticed me to stick with the card despite its sky-high annual cost.
I bought an apartment in Spain this year, which I’ve entirely gutted. Very few cards offer bonus points for purchases like furniture, construction costs, or decoration, especially at home improvement or home goods stores outside of the U.S.
I put some of this renovation spend on a new card I applied for in 2023, The World of Hyatt Credit Card. I may use Amex Platinum card at big box home stores or shops like Zara Home and IKEA, just to name a few, for other home purchases. Christmas shopping is another expense; I’ll do most of that at department stores, toy stores, and clothing stores.
Besides that timely cost, I often order from Uber Eats/food delivery services, spend at restaurants, and purchase travel — especially on hotels not part of points programs or flights when I don’t pay with points. Because I live in Europe, my airfare spending isn’t quite as cut-and-dried as a flyer in the U.S. loyal to a particular U.S.-based airline. Although I often fly with Iberia, British Airways, or Qatar Airways as a Oneworld flyer, I also end up on airlines like Air Europa, Lufthansa, TAP, and Air France, as well as more obscure or low-cost airlines like Vueling, Binter Canarias, Transavia, easyJet, or Ryanair.
I don’t love that the Amex Platinum card doesn’t have much in the way of bonus categories relevant to my lifestyle, so I’ll carefully consider whether the lack of bonus categories can outweigh the card’s perks during my evaluation.
I checked my credit score to make sure it wouldn’t be too affected if I were to cancel this card. Luckily, I have a very good credit/excellent score, which makes the possibility of canceling a card and the impending ding on my credit score, albeit temporary, less stressful.
Evaluating cards means comparing them to other cards — this is what I have in my wallet today:
My husband, a Spanish citizen, also has two main cards he uses: the Iberia Plus Icon Visa that earns Iberia Avios, where he can earn Iberia Silver status (Oneworld Ruby) for meeting a spend threshold of €9,000 ($9,500) annually, and a Tarjeta Gold American Express (the American Express® Gold Card in Spain, but with different benefits than the U.S. version), where points also transfer to Iberia. I’m an authorized user of both, but they’re only for Spanish citizens and residents.
These are some of the top reasons to keep an Amex Platinum card — the benefits I value and use most often. I’ll weigh them primarily against the annual fee to see if keeping the Amex Platinum card is worth it next year.
The benefits of American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts are much more robust than those of The Hotel Collection. When you book a FHR property, expect perks like:
While the credit is only $200 (and these hotels can often have expensive nightly rates), when you consider the additional advantages of booking a Fine Hotels + Resorts property, which apply even on just a 1-night stay, you can get an immense amount of value out of it, especially if you’re able to get a room upgrade. As someone who also takes a lot of red-eye flights, I also highly value the guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, which allows me to enjoy the room as long as possible before heading to the airport.
Cardholders can charge any airline incidental fees to the Amex Platinum card and receive up to $200 in airline incidental statement credits per calendar year (on 1 qualifying airline, which you must enroll in and select within your cardholder profile).
While I only fly U.S. airlines selectively since I’m based in Europe, I find this benefit enormously helpful, especially since I’m not sure I’ll be able to maintain AAdvantage elite status for 2024. If I can’t swing it, I’ll need to pay for my family of 3 to check bags during a trip I have planned around the U.S. next summer. I may also use it to buy day passes to certain lounges like the American Airlines Admirals Club.
You can also use the credit for change fees, inflight amenities fees, seat selection fees, and phone booking fees.
Get up to $20 in digital entertainment statement credits each month when you use your Amex Platinum card for eligible purchases on Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal, upon enrollment.
As an avid NYT reader who’s subscribed for years and has a toddler who’s just starting to enjoy Disney+, I can fully take advantage of this yearly credit. Additionally, I would make these purchases even if this credit didn’t exist, making it even more valuable. Although I think it would be nice if the credit included more options (especially when it comes to streaming, like Netflix or HBO), I still think it’s a valuable benefit.
I love that Amex makes it easy to keep track of using your credits, so you don’t forget to use them. To see your annual breakout, navigate to your Rewards and Benefits tab, then scroll down to Track Your Progress, and click Show All:
Upon enrollment, get 2 credits of up to $50 each year for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue. I actually love this credit because, as a working mom, I often forget to shop for myself as I’m always buying items for my kid. When I realize I need to use the credit, I can sit down and decide what I’d like to spend it on, allowing me to shop for myself.
While many things at Saks are high-priced, the store has excellent sales, and I love putting the credit towards a larger purchase. In past years, I’ve used it for some UGG slippers, swimsuits, and a S’Well water bottle, and I’ve got my eye on some earrings for my remaining 2023 credit.
Cardmembers get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes more than 1,400 airport lounges in 140 countries worldwide. Lounges include the Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club, Lufthansa Lounge, Plaza Premium Lounge, and Priority Pass Select (upon enrollment).
While I value Priority Pass Select membership as my home airport (Madrid Barajas, MAD) and other airports in Spain and around Europe have some comfortable lounges that are part of this program, I get access via other credit cards in my wallet. However, as there are Centurion Lounges in U.S. cities I frequently travel through, I think this is a useful benefit.
Unfortunately, it’s true that Centurion Lounges no longer allow cardholders to bring in guests for free (yet are still often overcrowded). Still, I enjoy taking advantage of these lounges when I’m traveling solo — the food is usually fresh and delicious, and the spaces are modern and comfortable for resting or working.
Cardholders can earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly through the airline, up to $500,000 per year (then 1x points).
The Amex Platinum card doesn’t offer many bonus categories, but I find the 5x points on airfare booked directly through airlines an easy way to bulk up on points when paying for plane tickets in cash. I often use the card to pay for cash tickets I purchase on airlines like Iberia or even quick flights around Europe on Ryanair.
Amex Platinum cardmembers can transfer Membership Rewards points to 20+ airline and hotel partners. While the card doesn’t partner with Hyatt, one of my preferred loyalty programs, it does offer transfers to Marriott and Iberia, two partners I frequently utilize.
Even better? Amex often offers 20% or 30% transfer bonuses when transferring to these particular partners and others. While Upgraded Points values Amex Membership Rewards points at about 2.2 cents per point, I’m able to consistently gain more value from them, mainly due to transferring these points to Iberia Avios during the 30% bonus periods and redeeming them on off-peak dates for business class or economy class travel.
You can get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status if you have the Amex Platinum card (upon enrollment), which includes benefits such as:
Although I also get this benefit through my Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card, I think I’ll get rid of that particular card this year as I’m slowly moving away from Marriott and more toward Hyatt. However, if I stick with the Amex Platinum card, I’ll still benefit from the status. While Gold Elite status doesn’t always offer excessive benefits, I tend to find value in this status, as a few of my favorite hotels in Europe happen to be part of Marriott.
While I’m not the biggest fan of the Sheraton brand in the U.S., one of my most preferred hotels in Spain is the Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort, a beachfront property in the Canary Islands where the staff tends to treat Gold Elite members very well. It was designed by Melvin Villaroel, the same architect as the Ritz-Carlton Abama in Tenerife (another of my favorite Marriott properties in Spain). The hotels have a similar style and feel, but the Sheraton boasts a more affordable price point in both points and cash.
The Amex Platinum card offers all its cardmembers complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status (upon enrollment). Hilton Gold elite status includes perks such as:
Before COVID-19, I frequented Hilton properties more often, but now, they seem to have increased quite a bit in price (both cash and points). That said, I still find that Gold status offers value, especially regarding the food and beverage credit or breakfast, and I hope to utilize this benefit more in 2024 and onward if I hang onto the card.Hot Tip:
Learn more about the Amex Platinum card’s hotel and car rental elite status benefits in our detailed guide.
The Amex Platinum card offers a slew of travel and purchase protections, insurance, and benefits. Here are some of them:
While I haven’t needed to use these protections (and I hope I won’t need to), having them offers me additional peace of mind, especially when it comes to travel. I also find the purchase, warranty, and return protection useful, as this type of coverage doesn’t come with just any card.
The Amex Platinum card has no foreign transaction fees (rates & fees). Living abroad, I don’t have any cards with foreign transaction fees — I only have cards I can use everywhere.
Amex Platinum cardholders can access statement credits and discounts called Amex Offers (upon enrollment). I find Amex Offers valuable, especially ones valid for online purchases for subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited or Dropbox. While they don’t save me endless amounts of money, I think the small returns I get from them are worthwhile, so I frequently check these offers and attempt to use them whenever possible.
While I have a few other cards that offer this perk, I enjoy utilizing it to get Global Entry memberships for friends and family. I used this credit a few years ago to get Global Entry for my best friend, and I look forward to being able to renew her membership in another year or 2, assuming I stick with the card.Hot Tip:
If you already are a member of a Trusted Traveler Program, consider gifting this membership to a loved one, as many credit cards come with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. There’s no better stocking stuffer than the gift of not having to take your shoes off at TSA checkpoints, right? And with the upcoming holidays, one of the best ways to survive holiday travel is by getting Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Living abroad, there are a few benefits that I can’t utilize. While most readers probably live in the U.S., it’s still important to carefully examine which benefits you don’t value or know you won’t use when doing card analysis.
Amex Platinum cardholders get complimentary premium status for car rental programs and additional benefits and discounts with Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Car Rental Emerald Club (upon enrollment).
I live in Madrid and don’t drive frequently. When I do, I usually rent with local European car companies. If I need to rent a car while on vacation, my partner, who drives more often, is part of Hertz’s top-tier President Circle, so I don’t utilize this benefit at all.
Besides earning 5x points on airline purchases bought directly from airlines or through AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year), Amex Platinum cardholders also get:
I cannot get as much value out of these categories. I usually purchase clothing, accessories, and furniture using my Amex Platinum card, mainly thanks to the purchase protection and the fact that most other cards don’t offer bonuses on those services. I try to split these purchases between this particular card and my Capital One Venture X card, which gives me 2x Capital One miles on all eligible purchases.
However, I don’t get as much value out of Capital One’s travel partners. Hyatt isn’t a partner, nor is Iberia (although British Airways is, and there are transfer options between the 2 Oneworld carrier loyalty programs), so I have to think carefully about which points currency gives me the most bang for my buck when shopping.
I also only make purchases using AmexTravel.com if it’s through the Fine Hotels + Resorts program, as I prefer to book most airfare and hotels directly.
Amex Platinum card’s travel consultants specialize in providing custom itineraries and tailored recommendations.
Travel writing is my job, and as an avid organizer, I thrive on booking my own trips, getting recommendations from friends and family, discovering local restaurants and cultural activities, and getting off the beaten path when I travel. While these travel consultants may be able to help me further, it’s not something I see myself using anytime soon, as I find way too much joy in doing it all myself.
Amex Platinum cardmembers receive $15 in Uber Cash to use on eligible orders with Uber Eats and rides with Uber in the U.S. every month, plus a bonus of $20 in December (upon enrollment). You’ll also become an Uber VIP (where available) without meeting minimum ride requirements, and be matched with top-rated drivers.
The fact that I can’t take advantage of this benefit makes me a little salty. I wish Amex would remove the “only in the U.S.” clause. If so, I could take advantage of $200 worth of additional credits each year, as I frequently ride with Uber and order from Uber Eats — but not within the U.S.
Amex Platinum cardholders have additional opportunities for statement credits (upon enrollment):
While I technically could sign up for a digital Equinox subscription or consider joining CLEAR, I don’t feel like I need either one — I also have a local gym membership and an annual subscription to Glo.com, as well as Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.
When you use your Amex Platinum card to pay your cell phone bill, you’ll be reimbursed for replacing or repairing your damaged or stolen phone (a maximum of $800 per claim with a limit of 2 claims in a 12-month period).
Since I’m unable to pay for my Spain cell phone with my Amex Platinum card, I can’t use this benefit, though I would find it a very valuable benefit if I were able to.
While it seems like I can use my Amex Platinum card in Spain and the rest of Europe at more and more businesses each year, the main grocery store I shop at (Mercadona) and several smaller businesses I frequent don’t accept American Express cards.
This is limiting. Even if you don’t live outside of the U.S., frequent travelers will likely face this issue when traveling abroad — while Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, Amex is not. I’ve had local vendors tell me it’s simply too expensive on their end to accept American Express cards, which is frustrating for myself — and other cardholders, I’m sure.Hot Tip:
Check out our guide to the best credit cards for expats, including tips for using credit abroad.
There are many good reasons to keep this card and also several reasons another card may better serve me. But in the end, I can offset the annual fee by just using the card’s main statement credits, so I’ll probably keep the Amex Platinum card in my wallet for at least 1 more year.
I’ll be honest — although I’ve offset the annual fee and will still obtain value from the card by transferring Membership Rewards points to Iberia, I don’t think I’ll be able to earn lots and lots of points using this card as it’s not as widely accepted in Spain. I get better category bonuses on things like dining and most travel (besides direct airline ticket purchases) on other cards, so I won’t be putting too much spend on the card. However, I can use it at IKEA for home purchases and for upcoming Christmas shopping at local and online department stores.
The deciding factor in my decision to keep the card will probably be a retention offer.
As my renewal date approaches, I’ll call American Express to see if any retention offers are available. In the past, I’ve been offered a statement credit for a portion of the annual fee and additional points, which I’d prefer.
Depending on what they offer, I’ll make my final choice — but right now, I’m leaning toward keeping the card, especially if I’m offered additional points to stick with the card for another year.
I highly recommend annual evaluations of every card you have in your wallet. While you can do this sporadically as the renewal dates approach, I prefer to look at the bigger picture and evaluate all my cards at once to consider overlapping benefits and ensure my credit and financial situation are squared away as I enter each new year.
Canceling a card can be detrimental to your credit score — at least temporarily. In order to avoid these dings, consider a downgrade to a no-annual-fee card. By doing so, your credit score won’t be affected, and you won’t have to stick with a credit card you don’t use that incurs a hefty annual fee. Don’t forget to look into what happens to any rewards you may have accrued with the card.
Follow these steps when conducting your evaluation:
If you’ve decided to cancel your Amex Platinum card, you might want to opt to downgrade the card instead, as canceling a credit card can have negative implications for your credit score. In contrast, if you decide to downgrade, there shouldn’t be any change to your credit score.
Call the number on the back of your card to downgrade, cancel, or see if there’s an available retention offer. You can also downgrade via the chat in your online Amex account.
If you decide to cancel the card, we recommend transferring your Membership Reward points beforehand so you don’t lose them.
If you’ve decided that the Amex Platinum card’s hefty renewal fee isn’t worth it and want to cancel it, we get it. But you may want to get another card instead.
We’ve done the heavy lifting comparing the Amex Platinum card to several other popular cards so you don’t have to:
If you currently own the Amex Gold card but are interested in the Amex Platinum card, we recommend you take a look at this Amex Platinum card upgrade offer.Hot Tip:
Wondering how we decide which credit cards offer the most value? Learn more about how Upgraded Points reviews and rates credit cards.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Amex Platinum card are 2 of the most premium cards out there. But should you keep both? Is one better than the other?
The answer largely depends on your personal, travel, and financial situation. But these 2 articles can help — and don’t forget to do those annual card evaluations.
This year, I’m fairly certain I’ll be hanging on to my Amex Platinum card, as I can easily offset the annual fee by maximizing statement credits and will definitely benefit from Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. However, a retention offer would likely solidify my decision, whether that be an annual fee reduction or additional bonus points.
I’ll continue evaluating each year to see if I find this card worth its high annual fee and if it’s still a fit for my lifestyle and financial situation. For now, though, I’ll happily enjoy this card’s benefits as I head over to Saks.com to finish my holiday shopping and then book a Fine Hotels + Resorts property for an upcoming trip to Dublin.
For the cell phone protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies 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 car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
For the purchase protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the extended warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the return protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
For the baggage insurance plan benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the trip delay insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies 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 trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
If you cancel your Amex Platinum card, you’ll lose the benefits the card provides. If you decide to cancel, plan to use or transfer your Membership Rewards points ahead of time so you don’t lose them.
The Amex Platinum card comes with a high $695 annual fee, but it still may be worth it to keep the card, thanks to its many benefits, protections, insurance, statement credits, and high-value Membership Reward points. Only you can decide if you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of the card in order to make the annual fee worth it.
If you cancel your Amex Platinum card, your Priority Pass access will also be canceled. You’ll have to pay for a Priority Pass Lounge membership or get this through a different credit card if you want to continue to have access to Priority Pass lounges.
The current welcome offer: Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.. Following that, there’s no minimum to keep the card open. However, you can most benefit by spending on the card to earn statement credits and valuable Membership Reward points.
If you cancel your Amex Platinum card, your Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status will also be canceled if you’ve obtained it through the card. If you’ve achieved the status by staying the required amount of nights or another route not related to Amex Platinum card membership, your elite status will remain active.
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