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The Top 5 Reasons to Get The Amex Platinum Card

Jeff Brownson's image
Jeff Brownson
Jeff Brownson's image

Jeff Brownson

Former Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 40U.S. States Visited:

Jeff got into the points and miles game in 2010 and since then has visited over 35 countries, flying mostly in first and business class. He’s a contributor to Traveling Dad and has spoken at the Chica...
Edited by: Kellie Jez
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Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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The Platinum Card® from American Express has long been one of the top premium credit cards available.

Amex’s fantastic Membership Rewards program coupled with a long list of benefits has long meant that the high annual fee could easily be eclipsed by the value you would get out of the card.

Earlier this year, however, American Express changed those benefits around a bit and increased the annual fee.

So is the card still worth it?

Yes, we think it certainly is. As long as you can take advantage of them, these new benefits more than makeup for the difference in annual fee.

Before get into the details, here’s an overview of the card and current introductory bonus:

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 American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 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, SiriusXM, 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.
  • $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.)

1) Annual Airline Fee Credit (Up to $200)

One of the easiest ways to get value out of your Amex Platinum Card is by using the annual Airline Fee Credit of up to $200.

To be eligible for the Airline Fee credit, you first need to choose a preferred airline. This can be done online through your card account or over the phone with an American Express customer service representative.

Once you have chosen your airline, the airline fee credit will apply to qualifying purchases of airline incidentals with that airline. Just charge your purchase to your account and the statement credit will automatically appear.

American Express states that the credit will appear in 2-4 weeks, but in practice, credits can appear within a few days.

There are limits as to what charges will qualify for the credit. Only incidental purchases will count, which includes the following:

  • Checked baggage fees
  • Overweight or oversize baggage fees
  • Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
  • Seat assignment fees
  • Inflight amenities (food, beverages, etc.)
  • Inflight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet)
  • Pet fees
  • Ticket change fees
  • Phone reservation fees

American Express also specifically excludes certain charges from this benefit. Here are some examples of exclusions:

  • Airline tickets
  • Points purchases
  • Points transfer fees
  • Gift cards
  • Upgrades
  • Duty–free purchases
  • Award tickets

Your selected airline can be changed once a year in January, just in case your airline preferences change over time. Purchases on additional cardmember cards can also be credited, but only up to a total of $200 per year for all cards on the account.

Hot Tip: The Airline Fee Credit is an annual benefit, but it is based on the calendar year, not your cardmember year. That means that if you get the card in the middle of the year, you can use this credit twice during your first year of card membership. That’s a total value of $400!

2) Annual Uber Credit (Up to $200)

Uber Phone Car
Uber is a great way to get to and from the airport to avoid airport parking charges while you travel. With the credits you get from your Platinum Card® from American Express, some of those Uber rides can even be free.

A fairly new benefit of the Amex Platinum is an annual Uber Credit, up to $200, for use only in the U.S.

This credit is a bit harder to use than the airline fee credit. The Uber Credit is split up monthly, and you’ll lose any credit not used during each month.

Credits are loaded directly into your Uber account once you have linked your Amex Platinum card to that account. You’ll receive a $15 credit each month and an additional $20 credit in December.

To make use of the credit in your Uber account, just select “Change Payment Method” when you are requesting a ride — you should be able to see and select your American Express credit to be used first.

It is important that you take this step of selecting the American Express credit for payment. Otherwise, your regular card will be charged; even though your credits are there, they will never be used.

If you live in an area served by Uber or regularly travel to one, this is a very useful benefit. It works great for trips to and from airports and getting around town. You should be able to get the full $200 in value from the Uber Credit.

Living in an area without Uber and only traveling a few times a year seriously lowers the value of this benefit. If this applies to you, you probably shouldn’t count on this $200 value as a part of your card. You might use only half or a quarter of it depending on your travel patterns.

Luckily, most of us travel a whole lot — so this $200 Uber Credit will be great! Just remember that this credit is only good for Uber rides in the U.S.!

Hot Tip: Are you eligible for the Amex Platinum Card 100,000 point welcome offer? Be sure to check before you sign up because a higher welcome bonus means more value for you.

3) 5x Points on Flights and Hotels

One of your favorite things to do is travel, right? So why not earn 5x points when you book the main parts of your trip?

With your Amex Platinum Card, you can earn 5x points on either airfare or hotel bookings (technically this is 4 bonus points per dollar plus the 1 point you earn on all spending). It’s important to note that starting January 1, 2021, you earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on flight purchases per calendar year.

For airfare, you will earn 5x points for any flights booked directly with an airline and paid for with your Amex Platinum Card. In addition, you will earn 5x points for any flights that you book through AmexTravel.com, either online or over the phone.

Charter flights, private jet flights, and flights that are part of a tour package are excluded from this benefit.

For hotels, you must book through AmexTravel.com to earn the 5x points for your booking. To qualify, a hotel reservation must be prepaid and paid for with your Amex Platinum Card.

If you need to change the reservation, you have to call AmexTravel.com to cancel and rebook the stay. Hotel stays that are booked or altered directly with the hotel will not earn the extra points.

Hotel group bookings, events, and Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings are excluded from this benefit.

4) Airport Lounge Access

Priority Pass Lounge Locations
With lounges all over the world, the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that comes with your Platinum Card® from American Express has you covered wherever you are traveling.

Anything you can do to make air travel days more comfortable will certainly improve your trip experience.

The Amex Platinum Card helps you out with that by providing a variety of ways for you and your traveling companions to access Airport Lounges.

With either your card or the complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select that is available to each cardholder, you’ll have access to the following types of lounges:

Each lounge type has different rules for access, so be sure to check the specifics of the lounge you want to visit before you go.

Depending on the location and type of lounge, amenities can include comfortable seating, free food and drink, shower rooms, and free spa services.

That shower option sure does come in handy after a red-eye flight around the world. You can start your day feeling refreshed and ready to explore!

Hot Tip: Priority Pass has recently started adding some airport restaurants to their program, specifically in locations where their lounge options are limited. Be sure to check for these at airports you’re visiting, because you can get up to $30 per person in credit for your food and beverage purchases with your Priority Pass Select card.

5) Automatic Hotel Elite Status

As long as you hold the Amex Platinum Card, you are eligible to have automatic mid-tier elite status with both Hilton and Marriott.

All you need to do is enroll in the benefits, and you will receive an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.

Gold status with Hilton gets you the following benefits:

  • 25% bonus on all points earned when staying at a Hilton portfolio hotel
  • 5th night free when booking an award stay of 5 nights or more
  • Complimentary in-room internet
  • Late checkout upon request
  • 2 free bottles of water per stay
  • Various benefits specific to the hotel brand you are staying with, including points bonuses and room upgrades

Having Marriott Gold elite status means you have the following benefits:

  • 25% bonus on points earned on eligible stays
  • Guaranteed lounge access/breakfast at available properties
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
  • Complimentary room upgrade at check-in
  • Enhanced internet access

Although none of these are top-tier statuses, the added perks of Gold status with these 3 programs can certainly make your hotel stays (and therefore your overall travel experience) much more pleasant.

Final Thoughts

Premium credit cards are all about the benefits. The Amex Platinum Card definitely has a high annual fee, but we fully believe that it has the benefits to match.

If these benefits weren’t enough, take a look at our post detailing these and more valuable benefits of the Amex Platinum Card.

Enjoy that relaxing drink in the lounge before your next flight!

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Amex Platinum card come with hotel elite status?

Yes, the Amex Platinum card comes with Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.

Does the Amex have foreign transaction fees?

Jeff Brownson's image

About Jeff Brownson

Since discovering miles and points in 2010, Jeff has traveled to over 35 countries, flying in first class, business class, and sometimes even in coach. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star hotel, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible.

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