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Credit/charge cards can be categorized into four different groups:
- Cards you have for financial reasons (low APR, low balance transfer APR, etc.)
- Cards that you use for every day and bonus spending (such as 2x or 3x bonus categories)
- Those that have lucrative promotions for being a new cardmember (maybe an enticing 80,000-point offer)
- Cards that provide a vast amount of benefits solely by being a cardmember (lounge access, complimentary elite status, etc.)
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a perfect example of the type of card you want to have because of its extensive list of luxury benefits.
Rundown of Benefits
The annual fee on the Amex Platinum may initially cause you to think twice about the card — especially if you have the mentality of “why would I ever pay for a credit card?” The $550 fee (Rates & Fees) is one of the higher annual fees you'll see on a rewards card, but if you take advantage of the associated benefits, you'll understand why this card comes at a premium. The benefits include:
- American Express Membership Rewards earned from the Amex Platinum can be transferred to Amex’s 20+ travel partners
- Transfers are processed instantly to most partners
- 5x points on airfare when purchased from Amex Travel or direct with the airline
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
- Provides Delta Sky Club access
- Provides access to Airspace Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and the American Express Lounge by Pontus at Arlanda (Stockholm)
- Provides access to Lufthansa Lounges in Munich when traveling on Lufthansa, Swiss, and Austrian
- Provide access To Eurostar Business Premier Lounges at St Pancras International, Paris Gare du Nord, Brussels Midi/Zuid, and Ebbsfleet International
- Provides access to The Centurion Lounge. Current Centurion Lounge locations include Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Miami (MIA), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and San Francisco (SFO)
- Provides access to International American Express Lounges locations including Delhi (DEL), Buenos Aires (EZE), Mexico City (MEX), Monterrey (MTY), Toluca (TLC), Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), and Hong Kong (HKG)
- Provides access to Virgin Australia Lounges when flying Virgin
- Offers Priority Pass Select membership
- Provides $200 annually in statement credits for airline incidental fees, such as checked bags and airport lounge day passes
- Provides up to $200 Uber Savings Annually
- Up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue
- No foreign transaction fees
- Provides Marriott Rewards Gold Elite Status
- Provides Hilton Honors Gold Status
- $100 application fee credit for Global Entry membership
- Access to FINE HOTELS & RESORTS properties, which can result in upgrades, hotel credits, and VIP experiences
- Provides complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access when you enroll in the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan
- Provides access to exclusive Amex Platinum concierge
- Provides Avis Preferred status
- Provides Hertz Gold Plus Rewards status
- Provides National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status
- Provides access to Platinum Dining Program, which can help you secure reservations at over 1,000 of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world
- Receive SoulCycle benefits, discounts, and elite status as an Amex Platinum cardholder
- Provides access to Cruise Privilege Program, which ensures you will receive valuable amenities on sailings of five nights or more
- Provides access to Premium Roadside Assistance, which enables you to receive roadside assistance at no additional cost up to four times per calendar year
If you were to place a value on the benefits combined, there is no question that value would significantly exceed the $550 annual fee of the Amex Platinum. The question is whether you can take advantage of enough of those benefits to make the annual fee worth it. If the answer is yes, then this is certainly a card you should consider.
New Cardmember Welcome Bonus
At 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards after $5,000 in purchases during the first three months (Terms Apply), one of the few knocks on the Amex Platinum is that the welcome bonus is not as lucrative as welcome bonuses offered by similar cards. While other cards may offer a higher number of points, 60,000 Membership Rewards are extremely valuable, especially when transferred to one of Amex's travel partners.
One important factor to keep in mind regarding the Amex Platinum is that it is a charge card, not a credit card. That means that you cannot carry a balance from month to month and must pay your entire balance in full every month. Therefore, if you do not think you are in a position to pay your entire credit card balance in full every month, you should take that into consideration when reviewing the card.
The Amex Platinum has long been one of the top credit cards on the market. Its number of benefits probably exceeds those offered by almost any other card publicly available. 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.
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