The Platinum Card by American Express is one of the best premium rewards cards you can have. It comes with a great welcome bonus and some fantastic perks; especially if you’re a frequent traveler. If you’re in the market for a new premium card, you need to give this one a good look and see if it’s right for you.
American Express has always been synonymous with luxury. This card definitely reenforces that image. Just by having this card, you will gain access to some fantastic airport lounges, elevated status with select brands and access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts collection. Plus, you’ll be able to earn valuable Membership Rewards points with every qualifying purchase.
Along with these fantastic perks, the AMEX Platinum card charges a higher annual fee of $550. This is right in line with another excellent premium rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Remember, if you’re an active duty member of the military, it’s possible to have the annual fee on this card waived. Yes, the annual fee is a lot but the benefits can easily be worth more than the cost. Let’s dive in and see if this card is right for you.
The Welcome Bonus
Currently American Express is offering new Platinum card members a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points. In order to earn this bonus, you must first spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account. Keep in mind that American Express only allows you to earn one welcome bonus in your lifetime per card. If you have already applied for this card in the past and received a bonus, you won’t be eligible to earn another one.
Occasionally, American Express will also offer targeted offers with a higher bonus for this card. I will keep this page updated with the most current public offer that’s available to everyone. However, if you happen to see an elevated offer show up in your mailbox, you’ll want to take a closer look.
The Benefits & Perks
The Platinum Card by American Express comes with several incredible benefits that includes statement credits on select purchases. This is where the rubber meets the road when you’re deciding if this card is right for you. If you can get more value our of these benefits that the $550 annual fee, then this is a no-brainer. The quickest way to getting value is through the several credits this card offers. Let’s take a look at top benefits that come with this card.
Global Entry – You get up to a $100 statement credit towards TSA PreCheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) fees when you charge them to the card. After applying for one of the programs, you will again be eligible for this credit once every 4 years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. If you’re already enrolled, you can use the credit towards a family member or friend’s application.
Airline Fee Credits – Each year you can receive up to $200 in statement credits good towards airline incidental fees. This credit is only good for one airline that you select each year.
Uber Credits – The Platinum card also gives you VIP status with Uber and up to $200 in credits each year. Each month you’ll get up to $15 in credits for rides in the U.S. and up to $20 in December.
Saks Credit – Each year you’ll get up to $100 in credits towards purchases made at Saks. These credits are split into two $50 credits that are valid in each half of the year.
Airport Lounges – The AMEX Platinum card gives you access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This includes Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges and others. This is an excellent perk if you’re a frequent traveler.
AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts – You’ll have access to book hotel stays with this program. Each stay booked through this program comes with great perks like free breakfast for two and spa credits.
Hotel Status – You’ll get complimentary Gold status with both the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs.
Earning Membership Rewards Points
The American Express Platinum card offers two excellent bonus categories for earning Membership Rewards points. You can earn 5x points on all airfare booked directly with the airlines or through AMEX travel. You will also earn 5x points on all prepaid hotel stays booked through AMEX travel. If you book most of your travel this way, the points can really add up quickly.
While other credit cards will let you earn 2x or 3x on a broader range of travel purchases, these categories can still be very lucrative. If you travel a lot, you can easily earn significantly more points with this card. Plus, AMEX recently added trip delay and trip cancellation insurance as a benefit for this card. This can really save you a lot of money if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.
In addition to the bonus categories, you will also earn 1x points on all other eligible purchases.
Redeeming Your Points
Membership Rewards points are some of the best out there because they are so flexible to use. If you want to get the most value, the best way to redeem them is by transferring them to one of AMEX’s 19 travel partners. If you love to fly Delta, AMEX is their exclusive transfer partner so this is one way to quickly boost your SkyMiles account.
In most cases, these points transfer immediately but others can take a day or two. You can see a full list of AMEX’s transfer partners and the time it takes to transfer your points here. When you transfer your points, you can take advantage of some really great redemption options.
American Express also gives you another easy redemption option. You can use your points to book flights and hotels through AMEX Travel. Your points are worth 1 cent per point when redeemed for airfare and less than that for hotels when booked directly with AMEX Travel. Compared to value you can get by transferring your points, I would never recommend doing this but it is an option.
However, if you also have The Business Platinum Card by American Express you can get a 35% rebate on your points when you book your airfare through American Express Travel.
Chase 5/24 – If you are below the Chase 5/24 Rule, I would recommend waiting to get this card. My favorite way to earn points quickly is through the Chase Trifecta, so I would prioritize getting these cards first. Once you have that established, then I would move on to this card.
Your Travel Schedule – If you travel infrequently, this card may not be the best option for you. The majority of the benefits and perks that come with this card cater to the frequent traveler. If you aren’t able to take advantage of these, then it’s probably worth looking at a different card until you can utilize these benefits.
Charge Card – The Platinum Card by American Express is a charge card and not a credit card. This means that you have to pay the balance in full each month. While we NEVER recommend carrying a balance, if you do, this card isn’t for you.
The AMEX Platinum card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers. With a high earning rate on select travel purchases and so many great perks, it can make traveling even more enjoyable and rewarding. If you’re going to pay the high annual fee, just make sure you’re able to get sufficient value out of the credits and other benefits. If you can, this card could be perfect for you. However, if you don’t travel very often but love American Express, you may want to look at the Gold Card by American Express.