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The Platinum® Card from American Express is one of our favorite cards for frequent travelers. It has an excellent welcome bonus of 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. That’s enough for a round-trip coach flight to Europe when you transfer points to airline partners!
But in addition to a massive bonus, the AMEX Platinum comes with a ton of the best credit card perks that can make your travel experience much more comfortable and affordable, including first-class benefits like airport lounge access (including the incredible Centurion Lounges), travel credits, and complimentary hotel elite status.
You can apply for the AMEX Platinum here.
Let’s dive into the very best perks of the AMEX Platinum, and why savvy travelers keep this card in their wallet despite the high annual fee.
The Bonus Is Great, but It’s the Benefits That Make the AMEX Platinum Worth It
Apply Here: The Platinum® Card from American Express
Once you meet the spending, you’ll have at least 65,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (60,000 points total intro bonus + at least 5,000 points from the minimum spending requirement). You could redeem those points for airfare worth thousands of dollars when you transfer points to AMEX travel partners like Delta, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Hilton.
You’ll also get:
- 5 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare (booked either directly with the airline or through AMEX Travel)
- 5 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked on AMEX Travel
- 1 AMEX Membership Rewards point per $1 on everything else
There’s a $550 annual fee. While the welcome bonus definitely makes the annual fee worthwhile in the first year, the money-saving and travel benefits of the card make it worth keeping for the long term. If you can make the most of these incredible perks, you’ll more than offset the annual fee and possibly come out ahead.
1. Credits Galore
The annual credits alone make this card worth holding onto.
- Up to $200 annual airline incidental fee credit 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 4 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 can get the credits twice. If you applied for the AMEX Platinum now, you’d get up to $200 airline fee credit in 2018 and another in 2019 before your next annual fee is due.
So in the first year, you can get a total of up to $700 in credits ($200 airline credit X2 + $200 Uber credit + $100 Saks Fifth Avenue).
You can use the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credits every 4 years.
2. AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts
AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts offers competitive rates for paid luxury hotel stays. But it’s the extra benefits you’ll get that make this program super valuable!
When you book an AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts stay, you’ll receive automatic perks like noon check-in when available, room upgrades, free breakfast for 2, and unique amenities depending on the hotel, like free parking and food and beverage credits.
And you’ll even get a guaranteed 4:00 pm late check-out. Plus, they have 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 and Resorts saved her $650. And here’s team member Keith’s review of his AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts stay at the US Grant in San Diego.
3. Travel in Comfort With Airport Lounge Access
With the AMEX Platinum card, you’ll get unlimited airport lounge access including Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta SkyClub, and AirSpace lounges around the world. Unlike some travel cards with similar benefits, you can visit these lounges an unlimited number of times! Just be sure to carefully 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, drink, and sometimes even a spa treatment – for free! It’s exclusive to AMEX Platinum and Centurion cardholders.
I travel out of Boston ~5 times per year and save on food and drink by visiting Boston’s Priority Pass lounges. I figure I’m saving ~$40 per visit ($200 a year) by avoiding overpriced airport food and drinks. Plus, I also get access to free Wi-Fi, showers, and more comfortable seating.
4. Elite Status with Hilton and Starwood (Marriott)
Your AMEX Platinum card also comes with complimentary Gold elite status with Hilton and Starwood (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 check-out
- 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 from having Hilton Gold status alone can save you hundreds of dollars if you stay at Hilton hotels frequently. And perks like room upgrades and late checkout can make your travel much more civilized!
5. 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)
- Premium roadside assistance
- Travel accident insurance
While you will hopefully never need to use these benefits, they can be a life saver if you damage your rental car or your luggage gets stolen. You can also rest easy knowing that your big ticket purchases are covered by an extended warranty and purchase protection when you use your AMEX Platinum card.
And another convenient (and time-saving) perk is getting access to the AMEX Platinum Concierge. They can help you secure 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!
6. AMEX Offers
With AMEX Offers, you’ll get discounts and bonuses on everyday purchases when you enroll your card. Because these are applied as a statement credit or bonus after your purchase, you can take advantage of discounts while also using shopping portals, promotional codes, and coupons.
This means you can stack deals and save some serious cash!
Keep in mind, some offers are targeted. And you’ll have to add them to your card before you make a qualifying purchase to get in on the deals.
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 3 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, it’s the excellent benefits and perks that have many folks keeping this card in their wallet for the long term.
You’ll get up to $500 in credits annually ($200 for airline incidentals + $200 for Uber + $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 Starwood / Marriott
- Complimentary travel insurance and purchase protections
You can apply for the AMEX Platinum here. Let us know your favorite perk!