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The Platinum® Card from American Express is one of our favorite cards for frequent travelers and ranks among our best travel cards and top Amex cards. It has an excellent welcome bonus of 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. That’s enough for a round-trip coach flight to Europe when you transfer points to airline partners.
In addition to a massive bonus, the Amex Platinum comes with a ton of perks, including first-class benefits like airport lounge access (including the incredible Centurion Lounges), travel credits and complimentary hotel elite status.
Let’s dive into the Amex Platinum’s features and see and why savvy travelers keep this card in their wallet despite the high annual fee.
Amex Platinum benefits and perks
The annual credits alone make this card worth holding onto. You get:
- Up to $200 annual credit for incidental fees on your selected airline
- Up to $200 in Uber credit per year
- Up to $100 credit for Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 from January to June, and up to $50 from July to December)
- Statement credit every four years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85)
The $200 airline-fee credit resets every calendar year. So in your first cardholder year, you could get the credit twice. If you applied for the Amex Platinum now, you’d get up to $200 airline fee credit in 2019 and another in 2020 before your next annual fee is due.
In the first year, you can get a total of up to $700 in credits ($200 airline credit x 2 + $200 Uber credit + $100 Saks Fifth Avenue).
You can use the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credits every four years.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts offers competitive rates for paid luxury hotel stays. But it’s the extra benefits that make this program valuable.
When you book an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stay, you receive perks like noon check-in when available, room upgrades, free breakfast for two and unique amenities (depending on the hotel), like free parking or food and beverage credits.
You’ll also get guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout. There are limited-time offers at certain hotels for complimentary nights with a paid stay.
You can read about team member Meghan’s incredible stay at the Loews Regency San Francisco and how booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts saved her $650.
Cardholders will also have access to The Hotel Collection, which offers room upgrades and up to $100 in hotel credits. You must stay two or more nights and can book your stay through the Amex travel portal at amextravel.com or by phone at 800-297-2977.
Airport lounge access
With the Amex Platinum card, you’ll get unlimited airport lounge access including Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta Sky Club, and Airspace Lounges around the world. Check the guest policy if you travel with a partner or family.
Of note is the unlimited access to Centurion Lounges, where you can enjoy a full meal, drinks and sometimes even a spa treatment – for free. It’s exclusive to Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders.
I travel out of Boston about five times per year and save on food and drink by visiting Logan Airport’s Priority Pass lounge. I figure I’m saving ~$40 per visit ($200 a year) by avoiding overpriced airport food and drinks. I also get free Wi-Fi, showers and more comfortable seating.
Elite status with Hilton and Marriott
Your Amex Platinum card also comes with complimentary Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott. This is a huge benefit that, depending on where you stay, includes:
- Free breakfast (Hilton hotels only)
- Upgrades to bigger rooms where available
- Late checkout
- Better rooms (views, higher floors, etc.)
- More points for paid stays
Team member Jasmin received big perks with Hilton Honors Gold status on her stay at the Conrad Tokyo. She was able to get free breakfast with her kids (worth $140) and a complimentary room upgrade.
The free breakfast that comes with Hilton Gold status can save you hundreds of dollars if you stay at Hilton hotels frequently. Perks like room upgrades and late checkout can make your travel much more civilized.
Car rental elite status
As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you’re eligible for:
Elite status provides free upgrades when available, grace periods for late returns, discounts and more. For example, National offers a product called the Executive Aisle where you can pick any car from the aisle and you only pay the midsize rental rate.
Travel insurance, purchase protection and Platinum Concierge
You’ll get a whole suite of protections with your Amex card membership:
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Extended warranty
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Baggage insurance plan
- Premium Global Assist hotline (includes medical evacuation insurance)
Although you may never need these benefits, they can be lifesavers if you damage your rental car or your luggage gets stolen. Your big-ticket purchases are covered by an extended warranty and purchase protection when you use your Amex Platinum card.
Another convenient (and time-saving) perk is access to the Amex Platinum Concierge, which can help you book hard-to-get restaurant reservations or concert tickets, or assist with requests like finding the right venue for a meeting. Here’s more about all the tasks you can outsource to the Amex Platinum Concierge.
With Amex Offers, you’ll get discounts and bonuses on everyday purchases when you enroll your card. Because these are applied as statement credits after your purchase, you can also take advantage of discounts offered at shopping portals or promotional codes and coupons.
This means you can stack deals and save some serious cash.
Some offers are targeted, which means you have to add them to your card before you make a qualifying purchase.
A ShopRunner membership, which is like Amazon Prime for more than 100 retail stores, comes with this card. You get free two-day shipping and free returns with your online orders through participating retailers. An annual membership for ShopRunner is $79.
The Amex travel portal lets you redeem your points for airfare at a rate of 1 cent per point. So the welcome bonus is worth at least $600, and potentially much more, if you transfer it to one of the Amex transfer partners.
You’ll also get:
- 5x Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare (booked either directly with the airline or through Amex travel portal)
- 5x Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked on the Amex travel portal
- 1x Amex Membership Rewards point per $1 on everything else
- Terms apply
There’s a $550 annual fee (See rates and fees). If you can make the most of these incredible perks, you’ll offset the annual fee and possibly come out ahead. Here’s our full review of the American Express Platinum.
The Amex Platinum card comes with a generous welcome bonus of 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. The intro bonus alone is enough to justify paying the $550 annual fee which is not waived for the first year.
But remember, the excellent benefits and perks are why many folks keep this card in their wallet.
You’ll get up to $500 in credits annually (up to $200 for airline incidentals + up to $200 credit for Uber + up to $100 for Saks Fifth Avenue), which effectively reduces the annual fee to $50 per year ($550 annual fee – $500 in credits). And you’ll get even more value from the other benefits of this card:
- Free food and drinks and a comfortable place to relax at airport lounges
- Room upgrades and food credits through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Discounts with Amex Offers
- Gold Elite status with Hilton and Marriott
- Complimentary travel protections and purchase protections
You can apply for the Amex Platinum here. Let us know your favorite perk.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.