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In many ways, The Platinum Card® from American Express still sits apart from other premium travel credit cards. It offers great travel benefits, excellent travel insurance coverages, and a plethora of annual credits that can be well worth its annual fee. However, at first glance, the eye-watering $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees) can be difficult to justify.
In our review, we'll walk through the value you can get with all the Amex Platinum travel benefits, annual credits, and welcome offer, weighing the pros and cons of the card to help you decide whether it is the right fit for your wallet.
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 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.
- Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership 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 Ups are excluded.
- American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
- $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.
- Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
- Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
- $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.
The Amex Platinum currently has the following welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 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 $1,800 based on the points value of actual bookings made by Award Wallet users.
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 with American Express Travel. This 5X earning applies to the first $500,000 spent on airfare purchases per calendar year. You also can earn 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. All other spending on the card earns 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar.
American Express Membership Rewards are very valuable, as Amex features some excellent airline and hotel transfer partners. According to recent redemption data from AwardWallet, Membership Rewards points have an average value of 2.4¢ per point when redeeming through Amex partners. Earning 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare with the Amex Platinum is an excellent return of 12%. You can redeem your points in other ways, but we strongly recommend you use them for travel, as this provides the best value.
Amex Platinum Card Travel Benefits
American Express operates its own Centurion Lounge network with 13 U.S. locations and 11 international locations—with even more on the way. Amex Platinum Cardmembers enjoy complimentary access to Centurion locations within three hours of flight departure. You can also bring in up to two guests. However, Amex is revising the guest policy starting February 1, 2023.
In addition to Centurion Lounges, the Amex Platinum provides access to Delta Sky Clubs, as long as you have a boarding pass for a flight with Delta Air Lines that same day. No complimentary guests are allowed for Sky Club visits.
The card also provides 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. 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 — Enroll to receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status.
- Marriott — Enroll to receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
- Avis, Hertz, National — Enroll to receive status and perks, such as discounts, car upgrades, and even grace periods on late returns.
Enrollment in hotel and car rental partner programs is required, and 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.
Save Up to $1,900 Using Annual Statement Credits
Keeping track of all the Amex Platinum annual credits can be a bit of 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—including me—is that not all the credits are particularly useful.
If you can maximize most or all of the travel-related credits, however, 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 a lot by cardholder.
Here is a summary of all the credits, which can add up to $1,900 in annual value:
- $200 hotel credit
- $200 airline incidental fee credit
- $189 CLEAR credit
- $200 in Uber cash
- $240 digital entertainment credit
- $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit (every four years)
- $100 Saks credit
- $155 Walmart+ credit
- $300 Equinox credit
- $300 off a SoulCycle bike
- Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Get $200 Off Prepaid Hotel with Amex Travel
One of the newest annual credits, the Amex Platinum Card hotel credit can be used for prepaid bookings with Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR) or The Hotel Collection. You also receive additional perks when booking with either FHR or The Hotel Collection—including 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, note that there is a minimum 2-night booking to reserve THC properties.
Be Reimbursed for $200 in Incidental Airline Expenses Per Year
The Amex Platinum Card comes with up to $200 in annual credit that will reimburse you for common incidental expenses with your airline of choice. The options include 11 airlines (all based in the U.S.)—including 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. You can select your airline after initial approval for the card and change your carrier of choice every year in January. Enrollment/choosing a preferred airline is required in advance.
Use the CLEAR Credit to Speed Through Airport Security
Pay up to $189 for an annual CLEAR membership using your Amex Platinum and have the fee fully reimbursed as a statement credit. CLEAR 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.
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. The Amex Platinum will give you $15 in Uber cash every month, with an additional $20 in December (total of $35). This comes to a total benefit of $200 per year.
If you ride regularly with Uber, this is money straight back into your pocket. You can also use this Uber Cash to order food via Uber Eats. Simply add the card to your payment methods in the Uber app, then American Express will add the credit to your account on the first day of each month.
Save $240 on Digital Entertainment Annually
The Amex Platinum Card provides up to $20 per month in digital entertainment credit with four media partners: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment is required to enjoy this benefit, and you must purchase a subscription directly through the partner to be eligible for the credit.
Receive Walmart+ Benefits for Free
Your Amex Platinum Card will reimburse you for the monthly Walmart+ membership fee of $12.95 plus applicable taxes. Enrollment in Walmart+ is required. If you already have a Walmart+ membership, just switch the payment method to your Amex Platinum to receive this monthly credit automatically.
Walmart+ benefits include free shipping without an order minimum and savings on gas at Walmart and Sam's Club fuel stations. The total credit value is approximately $155 per year.
Get $300 Annually With Equinox
You can receive $300 per year as a statement credit when you subscribe to an eligible Equinox fitness membership or a standalone membership to the Equinox+ app. Eligible Equinox membership types include All-Access, Destination Access, and E by Equinox access. For the app option, you must purchase an Equinox+ membership at www.equinoxplus.com. You also must sign up for this benefit using a special link provided by American Express.
Note: Starting in 2023, statement credits for the $300 Equinox Credit benefit will be provided on an annual basis of up to $300 per year and will no longer be provided on a monthly basis of up to $25 back per month.
Receive $100 with Saks Each Year
The Amex Platinum Card provides a $50 credit at Saks Fifth Avenue or at saks.com 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 up to $100 security program credit applies once every four years. You can enroll in either TSA PreCheck ($85 application fee) or Global Entry ($100 application fee).
The latter is a bit more involved, but it lets you skip the main airport immigration line when returning to the U.S. from abroad. It also provides TSA PreCheck benefits. The catch is that you have to interview with a Customs and Border Patrol agent at an airport as part of the approval process. Simply use your card to pay for the application fee for either program and receive a statement credit automatically from American Express.
Amex Platinum Card Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection Coverage
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.
- 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.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — 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.
- 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 — Receive up to one additional year of warranty protection for eligible items with an original manufacturer's warranty of five years or less.
- Purchase Protection — Eligible items are covered against loss, damage, or theft of items for 90 days from the date of purchase.
Consult the Amex Platinum guide to benefits for a full rundown on all insurance protections. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Cell Phone Protection Coverage
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. Coverage is up to $800 per incident (with a $50 deductible) for up to two claims per year.
The Amex Platinum Annual Fee
The Amex Platinum Card charges an annual fee of $695, an expensive fee—even for a premium travel credit card. The fee increased in mid-2021 from its previous $550. To justify the $145 jump, American Express added four new credits totaling $900 per year.
You get a lot for the annual fee. However, it is definitely something you want to consider when deciding whether to apply for the card. A lot of the value comes in the form of monthly or annual credits, and 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 credit), you'll come out a bit ahead each year. The other card benefits will just be a bonus. See here for Rates & Fees on the card.
Final Thoughts on the Amex Platinum Card
Whether the Amex Platinum Card is worth its annual fee is something you'll have to decide for yourself. You'll need to do the math to see which benefits you can really use and what value they will provide for 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). The card also currently has an excellent welcome offer.
However, if you don't find the credits useful, there are plenty of other great premium travel credit cards available.
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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