American Express Platinum Card Review
The Platinum Card by American Express is probably the first card that comes to mind when thinking about premium travel credit cards. From the metal card design to the numerous airline and store credits, the Platinum Card is really unlike any other travel card on the market today. Let’s dive deep into the Platinum Card and see if it is worth signing up for.
The long list of perks and benefits on the American Express Platinum card is truly impressive. Lets break down the benefits into different categories to get a better understanding of how much value this card offers.
The Platinum Card currently offers a sign up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 in spend in the first 3 months after account opening. That is a value of around $1,200, easily surpassing the $550 annual fee.
This card earns 5x points on flight directly booked with airlines or through American Express Travel. You also earn 5x points on hotels booked through Amex Travel.
The best way to get the most out of MR points is with American Express travel partners. Amex offers possibly the best lineup of travel partners, with airlines such as Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Delta, All Nippon, and more. Check out my comprehensive guide to Membership Rewards points for more information on travel partners and how to maximize your MR points.
The Platinum Card offers a $200 airline credit fee per calendar year. You get the option to choose an airline when first signing up for the card, and can only change that airline in the month of January. Once you have an airline chosen, the $200 credit will be automatically applied to “incidental fees” including checked bags, in-flight refreshments, etc. If you want to make the most out of this credit, sign up for either Delta, Southwest, or American Airlines. Buying gift cards from these airlines will trigger the credit and those gift cards can be used towards flight costs. For Delta, you will need to buy 4x $50 gift cards in order for the credit to be triggered.
The next travel benefit is $15 in Uber credits each month, with a $35 credit in December. The credits do not roll over to the next month, so try and utilize the full credit each month. If you take advantage of the credit each month, that adds up to $200 in free rides per year. You can also use the credits for Uber Eats.
The Platinum Card boasts access to the Global Lounge Collection. This basically means access to Priority Pass Lounges, Centurion Lounges, and Delta Sky Club access when flying Delta. That is over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries. I personally love this benefit for the Centurion Lounges and Dela Sky Club access, both are great products that offer free food and drinks and are a nice escape from busy terminals.
Like most travel credit cards, the Platinum Card also offers an application credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Check out my review on the Amex SPG Luxury card for more details on this credit.
You will receive automatic Marriott Gold Elite and Hilton Gold Status with the Platinum card. These statuses will earn benefits such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and more.
Another perk includes complimentary membership in car rental programs such as Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental. The card also offer primary car rental loss and damage insurance when you book the car using your Platinum Card.
The Platinum Card also grants you access to the American Express Fine Hotel & Resort Program along with The Hotel Collection. Both of these programs offer benefits such as late checkout, room upgrades, and complimentary breakfast at some of the most luxurious hotels around the world.
Shopping & Entertainment
Unlike most travel credit cards, the Platinum Card offers some store credits and entertainment benefits.
The Platinum Card offers a $50 credit to Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com from January through June and another $50 credit from July through December. There is not much you can find in Saks Fifth for under $50 but buying gift cards in store will trigger this credit, which is the only way to stack this credit considering the credits do not roll over.
You can enjoy complimentary Boingo Plan with the Platinum card, which will give you access to all Boingo hotspots around the world free of charge. This is a nice perk for airports and shopping centers that offer Boingo Wi-Fi networks.
There are also Invitation Only events that Platinum Card holders get access to, although I have yet to take advantage or even hear about any of these events. If you live in a large city like New York City or Los Angeles, you will probably have more luck with this perk.
The glaring drawback to the Platinum Card has to be that monster $550 annual fee. This fee was “only” $450 once upon a time, but since there are so many benefits and credits offered by this card, American Express had to raise the fee in order to make money off of this product.
It would also be nice to see a travel credit on this card, similar to the $300 credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I know American Express prefers the Airline credits rather than a blanket travel credit, but for such a high annual fee, it would make sense to offer a more flexible travel credit.
IS THIS CARD RIGHT FOR YOU?
in the first year of account opening, this card is worth having no matter how often you travel. Because the airline credit renews per calendar year, you can earn it twice while only paying one annual fee. With that in mind, you are receiving significantly more value than $550 in the first year.
After the first year, this card is right for you depending on a few factors. If you travel often and value airport lounges such as the Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Clubs, this card is the best option on the market. No other credit card offers better airport lounge options. If you do not go to airport lounges all that often, then this perk won’t mean much to you and brings down the value of the card quite significantly.
Taking advantage of the perks and credits on this card is also essential. If you don’t use Uber, you can still get a free meal every month with Uber Eats. If you fail to utilize the Uber, Saks Fifth, and airline credits, then you will be losing money with that hefty annual fee.
I personally love the Platinum Card and I believe it should be in the wallet of every frequent traveler. It takes some work to earn the full value of this card, but it is definitely worth it.
What are your thoughts on the Platinum Card? Comment down below and let me know!
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