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INSIDER SECRET: One of the best ways to use Amex points is to transfer them to ANA to book low-season round-trip award flights to Japan for only 40,000 miles round-trip. That’s a great way to increase your Amex points’ value.
When it comes to The Platinum Card® from American Express, the question isn’t, “Is it worth it?” (because it definitely is the first year), but rather, “Is the American Express Platinum worth it long term?”
This card comes with tons of benefits, a nice welcome bonus of 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after meeting the minimum spending requirements – and an eye-popping annual fee.
But it’s actually worth keeping if you use the ongoing perks, including:
- Access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and others
- Up to $200 in annual Uber credits
- Up to $200 in annual airline incidental credits
- Free Hilton Gold elite status (free breakfast, upgrades when available, late checkout) and Marriott Gold elite status
- 5X points on airfare booked directly with airlines
- Terms Apply
Many MMS team members have (or have had) this card, myself included. If you know a period of heavy travel is coming up, or you’re a road warrior, you definitely want to review the list of perks.
The Best American Express Platinum Card Perks Make It Worth It If You Use Them
Apply Here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Read our American Express Platinum review
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll earn 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.
That alone is enough for an award flight to nearly anywhere in the world, including any destination in the continental US, Hawaii, the Caribbean & Mexico, and Europe and can be worth $100s, if not $1,000s, depending how you use it. Check out our in-depth review of the Amex Platinum card for more information and ideas.
And the welcome bonus easily offsets the $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) the first year all on its own. It’s subsequent years you have to consider, because that’s a lot of money for a credit card.
Luckily, the benefits easily exceed the fee. Here are the best ones.
1. Up to $500 in Annual Credits, and $100 or $85 Every 4 Years
The Amex Platinum Card comes with a boatload of statement credits:
- Up to $200 annual airline incidental fee credit on an airline of your choice
- Up to $200 in Uber credits per year
- Up to $100 credit for Saks Fifth Avenue
- Statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85)
The $200 airline fee credit and Uber credits reset every calendar year and you can use the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every 4 years.
These credits are an easy way to recoup nearly the entire cost of the card’s annual fee. Of course, that’s only if you use them.
If you don’t ride with Uber, or can’t find a way to use the airline fee credits, it’s just a sunk cost and getting $100 per year to shop at an expensive place like Saks isn’t exactly a lot.
That said, if you take a few rides around town and pick up a gift, like perfume or a scarf, you can do well with the Amex Platinum Card – but only if you’re already paying for those things. If you go out of your way to use your credits, you aren’t really saving anything.
The value of this perk is completely up to you. Using all the annual credits brings the net annual fee down to $50, which definitely makes the card a keeper.
2. Lounge Access in Nearly Every Major Airport
Now here’s a perk that can really make or break your experience with the Amex Platinum Card. You can access:
- The Centurion Lounge network
- International American Express Lounges
- Delta Sky Clubs (when you’re flying Delta that day)
- Priority Pass Select lounges (not valid at Priority Pass restaurants)
- Airspace Lounges
- Escape Lounges
- Plaza Premium Lounges
I’m a fan of Centurion Lounges in particular. By showing your card and boarding pass for a departing flight, you can enter (within 3 hours of departure) and bring 2 guests along.
These lounges have full buffet-style meals, a bar with specialty cocktails and local beers, business centers, free WiFi, and more. I easily value each visit at $25 — more if you bring guests.
If you visit once per month, that’s worth $300, assuming you agree with my valuation ($25 X 12). Of course, if you visit more often or value your visits for more, it’s worth getting the Amex Platinum Card for this perk alone.
3. Gold Elite Status with Hilton and Marriott
The cool thing about this benefit is you get Hilton status and Marriott Bonvoy elite status with no stay requirements. You simply enroll, and can take advantage of the perks, including elite upgrades, free breakfast (with Hilton Gold status), and late check-out, without any history with either chain.
When I stayed at the Hilton Tokyo, my friend and I got a huge buffet breakfast for free each morning of our 4-night stay and I’ve enjoyed opulent upgrades at Hilton hotels around the world.
Plus, I used a 4:00 pm late checkout for my family when we stayed in Hawaii. Our flights didn’t leave until 10:00 pm, so it was like getting an entire extra day to lounge on the beach!
It’s hard to put a value on this perk, but suffice it to say if you stay regularly at Hilton or Marriott hotels, it’s nice to enjoy these perks right out of the gate.
4. The Rest of the Perks Are Gravy
Making good use of any of the benefits above make the Amex Platinum Card worth getting, and keeping long term.
But other ancillary perks have their own synergy to make this card even better. 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
- Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to Amex Offers
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Extended warranty
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Baggage insurance plan
- Global Assist hotline
- Roadside assistance
- Travel accident insurance
- Free ShopRunner subscription
It’s hard to place a value on this list of extras. That said, using any one of them can easily recover the cost of the annual fee.
For example, if you file a claim for purchase protection or extended warranty, you can save a lot of cash by using those perks just once.
Or if you book lots of flights directly with airlines, earning 5X Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 will keep your collection well-stocked for when it’s time for an award trip.
And if you use Amex Offers frequently, that can add up fast, too. I’ve used offers to save on gas, things around the house, and pet supplies. All of them were purchases I had to make anyway, so the rebates were money back in my pocket.
So Is the Amex Platinum Card Worth It or Not?
Choosing to invest a hefty annual fee per year for a credit card is a big decision. Before you apply, you should have a plan to regain most – if not all – of your annual fee.
Scan the list of benefits and pick a couple you can make the most of. For you, that might be up to $200 in Uber credits, Hilton Gold elite status, and regular visits to your airport’s Centurion Lounge.
For someone else, it might be Amex Offers, up to $200 for airline incidentals, and the 5X bonus categories.
If you don’t have much travel coming up for reasons like finishing grad school, preparing for a new baby, or buying a home, then no, the Amex Platinum Card isn’t worth it for you.
Ultimately, the value of this ultra-premium card is based on your personal travel habits, preferences, and goals and if you can find a few perks you like – which should be easy, given there are so many – then yes, go for this card and enjoy it.
The Amex Platinum Card is an alluring and enigmatic card, especially for frequent travelers. It’s also the ultimate case of “you get what you pay for.”
That’s because if you can make use of the numerous perks, the annual fee will pay you back in spades, but if you don’t, well, many of the best credit cards for travel will suit you better.
The simplest way to decide if it’s right for you is to see if the up to $500 in annual statement credits ($200 for airline incidentals + $200 for Uber + $100 for Saks Fifth Avenue) are useful for you. If so, that brings the net annual fee down to $50 – and then it’s a no-brainer. If not, review the other perks to see which ones will fit with your travel patterns and lifestyle.
Here’s our full Amex Platinum card review to help you decide. If you have the Amex Platinum Card already, which perks make the card worth keeping for you?
To learn more about the Amex Membership Rewards program, check out our full American Express points review and these other guides:
- Amex transfer partners
- How to earn Amex points
- How to setup an American Express Membership Rewards account
- How to use American Express points
- Do American Express points expire?
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For the rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, please click here.