All About The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express All About The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

All About The Platinum Card® from American Express

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In many ways, The Platinum Card® from American Express still sits apart from other premium travel credit cards. With great travel benefits, excellent travel insurance coverage, and a plethora of annual credits, it is a solid choice if you are a frequent traveler. However, at first glance, the eye-watering $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees) can be difficult to justify. In our review of the Platinum card, we'll walk through the value you can get with all the Amex Platinum travel benefits, annual credits, and welcome offer.

In addition, we'll weigh the pros and cons of the Amex Platinum card. Then, you can decide whether it is the right fit for your wallet.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee$695
Welcome Offer 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • Rates & Fees
  • Earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year).
  • Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Platinum Card Welcome Offer

The Amex Platinum currently has the following welcome offer: 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.

By our estimates, the 80,000-point welcome offer can be worth over $1,600. This information is based on the points value of actual bookings made by Award Wallet users. This alone provides enough value to justify the annual fee for the first year, if not the second as well.

Earning Points

The Amex Platinum shines when it comes to earning points on airfare purchases. You can earn 5X Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. This 5X earning applies to the first $500,000 spent on airfare purchases per calendar year.

Also, you can earn 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels and flight+hotel packages booked through American Express Travel. Other travel purchased through American Express Travel earns 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar. Other spending on the card earns 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar.

American Express Membership Rewards is a valuable points currency. Amex features some excellent airline and hotel transfer partners, and redeeming points by transferring them to travel partners for reward travel generally provides the best value. According to recent redemption data from AwardWallet, Membership Rewards points have an average value of 2.14¢ per point when redeeming through Amex partners. Earning 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare with the Amex Platinum is an excellent 10% return. You can redeem your points in other ways, but we strongly recommend you use them for travel.

an airplane wing at sunset, seen from the plane window

Amex Platinum Card Travel Benefits

Lounge access

American Express operates its own Centurion Lounge network with 13 U.S. locations and 11 international locations. Plus, there are even more on the way. Amex Platinum cardmembers enjoy complimentary access to Centurion lounges within three hours of flight departure or during a layover before a connecting flight. Unfortunately, guests are no longer free for most cardmembers. You can pay $50 per guest to bring up to two guests with you into the lounge or qualify for guest privileges by spending $75,000 annually on your card. However, this greatly reduces the lounge access value — especially for traveling families.

Cardmembers also have access to Escape Lounges — The Centurion Studio Partner, Airspace lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, select Lufthansa lounges, and other lounges in the Global Lounge Collection. The Amex Platinum also provides access to Delta Sky Club locations, so long as you have a boarding pass for a flight with Delta Air Lines that same day. Importantly, no complimentary guests are allowed for Sky Club visits. Your access is limited to three hours before your flight at your departure airport.

The Amex Platinum also provides you with a Priority Pass Select membership. This provides complimentary access to 1,300 lounge locations within that network, with guest policies subject to each individual lounge — buy typically up to two guests. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Hotel elite status and car rental savings

You can enjoy elite status with two hotel chains and benefits with select car rental partners, including:

  • Hilton: You can enroll to receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status.
  • Marriott: You can enroll to receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
  • Avis, Hertz, National: You can enroll to receive status and perks, such as discounts, car upgrades, and even grace periods on late returns.

You must enroll in the hotel and car rental partner programs. In fact, you will have to visit the benefits section of the Amex website to activate your hotel elite benefits. Additionally, you can use your card to earn rental car elite status for free, even matching this status to additional programs.

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts

The Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program provides a nice set of benefits at over 1,800 luxury hotels around the world. These include:

  • Room upgrade, based on availability at check-in.
  • Daily breakfast for two guests.
  • Check-in as early as noon, when available.
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • Property credit, worth at least $100 per stay — which may be for dining, spa, or some other experience, depending on the hotel.
Amex Platinum Card benefits - Fine Hotels and Resorts booking option example
Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, an Amex FHR property. Credit: Hyatt

Save Up to $1,600 Using Annual Statement Credits

Keeping track of all the  Amex Platinum‘s annual credits can be a chore. The card offers many. Maximizing these credits is how you can receive the best value each year from your card. The issue for many people, including me, is that not all the credits are particularly useful.

If you can maximize most or all of the travel-related credits, then you can usually offset the annual fee of the card. Other credits, such as the digital media credit, can provide value for select cardholders, but the value will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Here is a summary of all the credits, which can add up to $1,600 in annual value:

  • $200 hotel credit
  • $200 airline incidental fee credit
  • $189 CLEAR Plus credit
  • $200 in Uber Cash
  • $240 digital entertainment credit
  • $100 Global Entry fee credit (every four years) or $85 TSA PreCheck (every 4.5 years)
  • $100 Saks credit
  • $155 Walmart+ credit
  • $300 Equinox credit
  • $300 off a SoulCycle bike (not factored into the annual value)
  • Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Get $200 off a prepaid hotel with Amex Travel

You can get up to $200 in annual statement credits for prepaid bookings made through the Amex Travel portal with Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR) or The Hotel Collection (THC) paid for with your Amex Platinum card. Also, you can receive additional perks when booking with either FHR or The Hotel Collection. This includes a $100 experience credit and a room upgrade, if available. The primary drawback to the $200 credit is that it only applies to prepaid bookings. Also, you should note that there is a minimum two-night booking to reserve The Hotel Collection properties.

Related: How to Use the Amex Platinum Card's $200 Hotel Credit

Be reimbursed for $200 in incidental airline expenses per year

The Amex Platinum comes with up to $200 in annual credits that will reimburse you for common incidental expenses with your airline of choice. The options include eight airlines (all based in the U.S.). This includes all the major carriers.

Airline incidental expenses include baggage fees, seat selection fees, lounge day passes, inflight entertainment purchases (not always), and inflight food and beverage purchases. Importantly, you must enroll and choose a preferred airline in advance. Once you are enrolled, the benefit remains active year after year. You can only change your carrier of choice in January each year.

Related: How To Use The Platinum Card® from American Express Travel Credit

Use the CLEAR Plus credit to speed through airport security

Pay up to $189 for an annual CLEAR Plus membership using your Amex Platinum and have the fee fully reimbursed as a statement credit. CLEAR Plus provides an extremely efficient security experience at select airports and stadiums across the United States through the use of your biometrics. You can read more about CLEAR and how to enroll here.

an employee stands next to a CLEAR airport kiosk

Receive monthly Uber Cash with the Amex Platinum Card

Some of the Amex Platinum credits come in the form of monthly benefits. This includes Uber Cash, useful for rides or Uber Eats orders in the U.S. If you add the Amex Platinum as a payment method in your Uber account, you'll get $15 in Uber Cash every month, with an additional $20 in December (for a total of $35). This adds up to $200 per year.

If you ride regularly with Uber, this is money straight back into your pocket. You also can use this Uber Cash to order food via Uber Eats.

Related: It is Now Easier to Use The Amex Platinum Uber Credit

Save $240 on digital entertainment annually

With the Amex Platinum Card, you can get up to $20 per month in digital entertainment credits, received as a statement credit after eligible purchases. You can use this benefit with Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, SiriusXM, Audible, Peacock, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Receive Walmart+ benefits for free

You can be reimbursed for the monthly Walmart+ membership fee of $12.95 plus applicable taxes with the Amex Platinum Card. Importantly, you must enroll in Walmart+. If you already have a Walmart+ membership, just switch the payment method to your Amex Platinum to receive this monthly statement credit automatically.

Walmart+ benefits include free shipping without an order minimum and savings on gas at Walmart and Sam's Club fuel stations. You'll also save 10¢ per gallon at Mobil and Exxon gas stations with a Walmart+ membership.

Save $100 with Saks each year

The Amex Platinum Card provides a $50 statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue or at twice per year. The first $50 credit will be applied from January through June, and the second between July through December. This is a total benefit of $100 annually. Enrollment is required in advance.

Enroll in a Trusted Traveler Program for free

Unlike the other Amex Platinum credits, the statement credit of up to $100 for a security program application fee doesn't apply annually. You can enroll in either TSA PreCheck ($85 application fee, credit available every 4.5 years) or Global Entry ($100 application fee, credit available every four years) and be reimbursed after paying with the Amex Platinum.

If you want to get approval for Global Entry, it is more involved. However, you are able to skip the main airport immigration line when returning to the U.S. from abroad. Also, you'll have access to TSA PreCheck benefits. The main hurdle is that you have to interview with a Customs and Border Patrol agent at an airport as part of the approval process.

We recommend you complete Global Entry enrollment on arrival back into the U.S., offered at airports in over half of U.S. states, in Puerto Rico, and at a handful of international locations. Simply use your card to pay for the application fee for either program. Then, you can receive a statement credit automatically from American Express.

Get $300 annually with Equinox

You can receive up to $300 per year as statement credits when you subscribe to an eligible Equinox fitness membership or a standalone membership to the Equinox+ app. Eligible Equinox membership types include Single Club, Regional Access, All-Access, Destination Access, and E by Equinox access, as well as Equinox+. You must enroll for this benefit using a special link provided by American Express.

Get $300 toward a SoulCycle bike

Use your card to purchase an at-home bike from SoulCycle at a dedicated shopping page. You'll need an annual Equinox+ membership to qualify for purchasing a bike, but you can receive a $300 credit on up to 15 bike purchases annually. You need to enroll for this benefit before using it.

a traveler looks at departure information boards in an airport

Amex Platinum Card Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection Coverage

Thankfully, the travel insurance and other protections offered by the Amex Platinum Card are excellent. Here's a quick rundown on what is offered:

  • Rental car damage protection: Amex Platinum car rental coverage is secondary, which isn't as good as other cards that provide primary coverage. However, you have the option of purchasing very affordable premium insurance. If you don't use another policy, this secondary coverage has a limit of $75,000 for damage or theft of rental vehicles and can reimburse the deductible from your primary policy.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: You can be reimbursed for nonrefundable travel expenses charged to your card in the event of accidental injury or sickness, inclement weather, jury duty, quarantine, and for other covered reasons. Coverage is up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 in a 12-month period.
  • Trip delay insurance: You can get reimbursed for expenses during a delay of at least six hours caused by inclement weather, common carrier equipment failure, or lost/stolen travel documents. Coverage is up to $500 per trip with a maximum of two claims per 12-month period.
  • Baggage insurance protections: Your baggage is covered against loss or damage up to $2,000 per checked bag and $3,000 per carry-on bag per covered person per trip.
  • Extended warranty protection: You can receive up to one additional year of warranty protection for eligible items with an original manufacturer's warranty of five years or less. This benefit applies to warranties in the U.S. and U.S. territories only and is limited to $10,000 per item/$50,000 annually.
  • Purchase protection: Your eligible items are covered against loss, damage, or theft for 90 days from the date of purchase. Coverage is up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 annually.

You can consult your Amex Platinum guide to benefits for a full rundown on all insurance protections. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Cell Phone Protection Coverage

You can receive cell phone protection coverage when you pay your cell phone bill using your Amex Platinum Card. This benefit applies automatically as long as you've paid your previous month's bill using your card. Your coverage is up to $800 per incident (with a $50 deductible) for up to two claims in a rolling 12-month period. Depending on the incident, your coverage can include both repair cost or replacement cost. The surprising aspect is that Amex cell phone protection even covers a cracked screen, which is sometimes excluded from cell phone protection coverage.

The Amex Platinum Annual Fee

The Amex Platinum charges an annual fee of $695 (Rates & Fees). Unfortunately, this is an expensive fee — even for a premium travel credit card. To justify raising the fee in 2021, American Express added four new credits totaling $900 per year. If you can use them all, the annual statement credits alone now add up to over $1,600 in value.

Thankfully, the card does offer you a lot. However, keep in mind which credits you'd use. Much of the card's value comes in the form of monthly or annual credits, which can be difficult to maximize while also not spending additional money out of pocket. In addition, not everyone can use all the various perks. Assuming you maximize just the travel-related credits (hotel credit, airline incidental credit, Uber credit, and CLEAR Plus credit), you'll come out a bit ahead each year. In short, the other card benefits will just be a bonus.

That being said, even if you only get $400–$500 in annual value from the Amex Platinum annual credits, the card could be worth it for the lounge access, travel insurance coverage, and other benefits with values that are harder to quantify.

Final Thoughts on the Amex Platinum Card

Ultimately, you'll have to decide whether the Amex Platinum is worth its annual fee. Do the math to see which benefits you can realistically use and what value they will provide you. The card provides an excellent array of travel benefits, insurance protections, and monthly or annual statement credits that can save you significant money and easily be worth far more than the $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees) — but only if you're using them. Make sure you don't forget about the welcome offer, either.

Lastly, you can access plenty of other great premium travel credit cards. This is helpful if you don't find the credits useful, think the annual fee is too steep, or want to see how the Amex Platinum stacks up against competitors.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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  • Tyler Gaudreau says:

    You should do a Canadian version of this card review to outline the vast differences. There are huge differences in earnings of points and insurance and perks.

  • The card seems very useful and with many advantages, but in order to make a good deal you need to travel a lot. How many times a year do you have to travel in order to benefit from AMEX_

    • Ryan Smith says:

      Ignacio – that answer will be different for everyone. If you can take advantage of the $200 hotel credit, the $200 airline credits, and if you use the lounges at airports, you can save a lot of money on expensive food at airports. These and other credits on the cad can justify the fee. On the other side, if you use the Walmart and Saks shopping credits consistently, then maybe you don’t need to travel as much to find value in the card.

  • excellent user reward program !!!
    a lot of upgrades and credits

  • I see a lot of benefits and now everyone is beginning to travel again. I see many people possibly signing up for the card because of that but still not too much drawing me in with that annual fee when I have several other cards doing some of the same things. I just don’t see a benefit to me right now.

  • Paul Koehorst says:

    I’ve been carrying both the Amex Platinum and Citi Premier card. Going to drop one next year. With both dropping a lot of perks, it’s a race to the bottom but Amex may have the slight edge given the new perks (cell phone bill and subscription credits.)

  • I love Ezeiza’s Platinum lounge

  • I fully agree with the summary: “If you can regularly take advantage of at least three or four of these perks, then the Amex Platinum is likely well worth your investment.”
    One point worth mentioning is that if the perks help with business trips, then you should ask your company or accountant about expensing the cost!

  • Great card! Currently loving it.

    What’s the deal with the Soul Cycle benefit? Anyone know if this still exists? I can’t figure out how to use this benefit.

  • Has anyone received the platinum card recently? If so, is it still a metal card or did they go back to plastic?

  • Greg Exner says:

    You also get 10 gogo inflight passes every year.