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How I Value the Amex Platinum Card [And the Top Perk That Makes It Worth It]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

359 Published Articles 61 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 29

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
& Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is a favorite among points and miles enthusiasts. It’s a premium card with a long list of benefits, but unfortunately, it also has a premium annual fee. I’ve had an Amex Platinum card on and off for the better part of a decade. It’s a no-brainer when you can get a big welcome bonus offer or a retention offer, but its high annual fee makes it one that won’t be right for everyone long-term.

I want to share a bit about how I determine how much value I get from the Amex Platinum card — and what I have learned in the process.

Let’s jump into some Amex Platinum card details, then I’ll share my favorite perk on the card (it’s not what you think it would be) and how I evaluate a card’s value.

Amex Platinum Card Benefits

If you ask Amex Platinum cardholders what their favorite perk on the card would be, you’ll hear answers like Centurion Lounge access, a prepaid hotel credit of up to $200, a CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189, or excellent travel insurance coverage. While I enjoy all of those things, those aren’t the reason I keep the Amex Platinum card in my wallet.

The Amex Platinum card is popular for good reason. It has an extensive list of perks and benefits that can offer more value than the cost of the annual fee.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

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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 eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
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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
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 eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, 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.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $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.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • 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 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), 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.
  • 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.
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  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
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American Express Membership Rewards

Evaluating the Amex Platinum Card’s Value

However, even if a card is overflowing with benefits, it’s smart to evaluate each benefit’s value for you.

To do this, I keep a detailed spreadsheet of the value I get out of each high annual fee card I have to ensure it makes sense to keep them long-term. Over the years, the value I calculated for the Amex Platinum card has been pretty close to the annual fee cost, making it hard to decide whether or not to keep it. I use low valuations in my calculations to ensure that I am looking at a card’s value realistically.

Hot Tip:

If you decide the Amex Platinum card isn’t worth it for you, consider downgrading to another card instead of canceling. If you want to cancel, be sure you have another Membership Rewards points-earning card open so you don’t lose access to your points. There are even a couple of fee-free options.

For example, I value some benefits, like the Saks Fifth Avenue credit and the airline incidental fee credit at about 50% to 75% of their total value, because I wouldn’t prepay full price for those things. I assign no value to things like the Walmart+ credit and the Equinox credit because I don’t use them at all. Keep in mind that some benefits might require enrollment.

For lounge access, I usually input a small dollar amount into my spreadsheet value column (~$5 to $10) since I often have more than 1 option from various credit cards.

Hot Tip:

I’m not the only one who evaluates credit cards each year. Check out Upgraded Points contributor Lori Zaino’s look at whether or not she will keep or cancel the Amex Platinum card.

Pay Attention to the Card Benefits You Value the Most

My home airport, John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), got its first lounge in 2022. When The Escape Lounge at CMH opened, I knew the value proposition of the Amex Platinum card would change for me.

First visit to the Columbus Escape Lounge
I was thrilled when my home airport finally got a lounge. Image Credit: Katie Seemann

The only way to access Escape Lounges, outside of buying an overpriced day pass, is by holding the Amex Platinum card or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

I value lounge access quite a bit when I am traveling because a quiet area with free food and drinks can turn a stressful travel day into an enjoyable journey.

Of course, the Amex Platinum card is known for offering access to Centurion Lounges, and that’s the lounge network most would cite as one of their favorite benefits of the Amex Platinum card. I get it — Centurion Lounges, while a bit overcrowded, are fantastic. However, more often than not, there are other lounges I can access instead of Centurion Lounges. On top of that, complimentary guest access was taken away in February of 2023, so I can’t bring my husband and daughter into the lounge. That dulled the lure of Centurion Lounges quite a bit for me.

On the other hand, Escape Lounges are usually found in smaller airports that often don’t have another lounge option. Since that’s the case at my home airport, Escape Lounge access is the most valuable perk on the Amex Platinum card for me, despite Centurion Lounges being much nicer than Escape Lounges.

While my Amex Platinum card only technically saves me the $5 to $10 I would have spent on a cup of coffee and perhaps something to eat at Starbucks, the value I get is much more than $5 or $10.

What I realized is that sometimes the value you can get from a credit card doesn’t just come down to dollars and cents. Sometimes, the value you get is higher than the dollar amount saved by holding that card.

For me, enjoying some coffee and maybe a snack in a quiet lounge before every flight from my home airport makes each travel day more enjoyable — and that’s something that will keep me paying the Amex Platinum card annual fee each year.

Hot Tip:

While the Amex Platinum card no longer includes complimentary guest access to Centurion Lounges (unless you spend $75,000 on the card annually), you can still bring in up to 2 guests into Escape Lounges.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had a hot/cold relationship with the Amex Platinum card for years. Sure, it usually has an excellent welcome bonus offer and includes some top-notch perks, but the high annual fee has always made me wonder whether it should be in my wallet long-term. However, that changed when my home airport got an Escape Lounge (its only lounge), and my Amex Platinum card was what I needed to access it.

What I learned is that you need to look at what cards to keep long-term in a very personal way, which can sometimes mean ignoring the dollars and cents or what others deem valuable. Yes, it’s smart to evaluate the annual fees you pay each year, but sometimes, a card’s value doesn’t fully come across on a spreadsheet.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Is is worth having an Amex Platinum card?

To decide whether or not the Amex Platinum card is worth it for you, you’ll need to evaluate its benefits as they relate to your situation. Some cardholders may get full value out of the Uber Cash credit, while others get no value. Some may place a high value on lounge access, while others have lounge access from other cards and therefore don’t get as much value from the Amex Platinum card.

Does the Amex Platinum card get you into Escape Lounges?

Yes, all Amex Platinum cardmembers plus up to 2 guests can access any Escape Lounge.

What are some of the best perks of the Amex Platinum card?

The Amex Platinum card has a long list of perks and benefits with broad appeal, including airport lounge access, hotel elite status, monthly Uber credit, a Walmart+ membership credit, a prepaid hotel credit, a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit, a credit for CLEAR Plus, and excellent travel protections. Some benefits require enrollment through your American Express account.

Does the Amex Platinum card come with lounge access?

Yes, access to airport lounges is one of the best benefits of having an Amex Platinum card. As a cardholder, you’ll get access to Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Plaza Premium Lounges, select Lufthansa Lounges (when flying Lufthansa), and select Virgin Clubhouses.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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