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American Express Platinum Card Review: A Welcome Bonus Worth $1,000+

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American Express Platinum Card Review: A Welcome Bonus Worth $1,000+

Joseph HostetlerAmerican Express Platinum Card Review: A Welcome Bonus Worth $1,000+Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: The card’s annual fee might be high, but the benefits and perks (like access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program!) make it completely worth it for some.

Right now, you can earn 60,000 valuable Amex Membership Rewards points when you open The Platinum Card® from American Express and meet the minimum spending requirements. That’s enough for a Business Class flight to Europe, two round-trip flights to Hawaii, or free nights at luxury Hilton hotels that can be worth thousands!

That said, the card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, not waived the first year (See Rates & Fees). But it also includes benefits that can more than outweigh the cost, even for a casual traveler.  So getting the card could make sense for lots of folks!

You can apply here for The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Want to visit jolly old England? This Amex Platinum review will point you in the direction you need for free flights AND hotel! (Photo courtesy of 

Amex Platinum Review Bonus

With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points is enough for flights to:

Some of those flights could cost thousands of dollars otherwise!  In that case, your bonus would definitely make the annual fee worth paying for the first year!

How to Earn Points With the Amex Platinum Card

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn:

  • 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

The ability to earn 5 points per $1 on airfare is an industry best!  You can earn 3X with other cards, but the 5X perk is unique to Amex Platinum cards.

If you spent a lot on airfare, you can earn huge rewards. For example, if you spend $1,000 per month for flights, that would translate to 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points per year ($12,000 X 5 points per $1). That’s like earning another welcome bonus just for using the card regularly. Then you can use them to travel even more!

Benefits and Perks Amex Platinum Card

Tons of Credits

Let’s talk about the credits you get with the Amex Platinum card!

The $200 airline fee credit, Uber credits, and Saks Fifth Avenue credits reset every calendar year.  And you can use the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every 4 years.

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts offers competitive rates for paid luxury hotel stays.

When you book this program, you’ll receive automatic perks like free breakfast for two and a spa or resort credit to use during your stay.  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.

For example, team member Meghan used Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts to book a room at the Lowes Regency San Francisco and received:

  • Noon check-in
  • A room upgrade
  • $100 food and beverage credit
  • Daily breakfast for 2 people
  • Guaranteed 4:00 pm late check-out

Lounge Access All Over the World

You’ll get airport lounge access with Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta SkyClub, and AirSpace Lounges around the world.  And you can visit an unlimited number of times!  Just be sure to carefully check the guest policy if you travel with a partner or family.

If you’re near a Centurion Lounge, you can enjoy a full meal, drink, and sometimes even a spa treatment – for free!

Team member Harlan lives in Dallas, where the Centurion Lounge is about to get big improvements.  And he loves to grab an entree, a couple of drinks, and fast Wi-Fi before or after a flight.  He values each visit at ~$50 and visits about once a month.

Depending on how often you visit, and if you have any guests, you can get real value from:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Food and drinks
  • Showers
  • More comfortable seating

Perks like these can make all the difference when you’ve come off a long flight and want to shower and grab a bite!

She used the $100 food & beverage credit for a bottle of pink rosé and a piece of cheesecake! (Photo courtesy of Meghan Hunter/Million Mile Secrets)

Elite Status With 2 Hotel Chains

You can get free Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott with the Amex Platinum Card. Depending on where you stay, folks with elite status can get:

  • 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

Depending on how often you stay at these hotel brands, elite status can go a long way towards little comforts along your journeys.

Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection

If everything above wasn’t enough, consider all the other perks of your Amex cardmembership, like:

All of these built-in perks are there for you if you need them. They’re sort of like insurance – it’s great to know they’re there, but hopefully you’ll never have to use them!

If you buy big-ticket items, or gifts that need return protection, you’ll have that should you need it. Same goes for the roadside assistance and travel accident insurance. It would be great if every trip was free from mishaps like cancellations, missed luggage, or an issue with the rental car.

There’s no way to put a defined value on any of these services. So consider them “extras” and look into them if there’s one you think you might really benefit from.

Amex Offers

The Amex Platinum Card is eligible for Amex Offers, which are deals from Amex for all sorts of common purchases and services like online orders, eating out, and travel.

Jasmin saved on snacks for her kids and her phone bill, for example.  And other team members take advantage of these special deals, too.

They’re a handy way to help offset the cost of the annual fee.

Is the Amex Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee?

Everyone will find different value from the Amex Platinum card because it offers so many different perks and benefits to the cardholder.  The more you can take advantage of the these great benefits, the more you can offset the annual fee.  And come out way ahead!

For example, you’ll receive $500 in credits annually ($200 for airline incidentals + $200 for Uber + $100 for Saks Fifth Avenue).  If you use those, you’re effectively bringing the annual fee down to $50 per year.  You’ll get WAAAAY more than $50 in value from the other perks of the card, like free food and alcohol at airport lounges, room upgrades and food credits through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, discounts with Amex Offers, and complimentary hotel elite status.

How to Use Your Amex Points

Amex Membership Rewards points are some of the most flexible because you transfer them directly to several airline or hotel travel programs.  For example, with this welcome bonus alone, you can:

  • Transfer 60,000 points to British Airways for 8 one-way short-haul flights in the US under 1,151 miles each-way in coach
  • Transfer 55,000 points to Air Canada Aeroplan for a one-way Business Class flight to Europe
  • Transfer 60,000 points to Flying Blue for 2 round-trip coach flights from anywhere in the mainland US to Hawaii
  • Transfer 60,000 points to Delta for 2 round-trip coach flights to the Caribbean
  • Transfer 60,000 points to British Airways for 6 one-way coach flights to Northern South America from Miami

You can also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to certain hotel partners, including Hilton.  With a 1:2 transfer ratio, 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points gets you 120,000 Hilton points.  Which is enough for a night at nearly any Hilton luxury hotel in the world!

For example, you could stay at the DoubleTree Resort & Spa in the Seychelles for 70,000 Hilton points (~35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points because of the 1:2 transfer ratio).  If you paid cash, you’d easily spend ~$450.

Using points to avoid higher prices during peak travel season – anywhere – is a smart way to save money!

Does the Amex Platinum Card Have a Foreign Transaction Fee?

No! (See Rates & Fees)

Who Is Eligible for the Amex Platinum Card?

The Amex Platinum is one of the best cards on the market, so I wouldn’t recommend applying unless your credit score is at least in the mid-700s.

Also, the Amex Platinum Card is a charge card.  That means you have to pay the bill in full at the end of every billing cycle.  So you can NOT carry a balance month to month.  If you’re comfortable with paying the card each month, and love the perks, it’s an excellent card to have in your wallet!

Cards Similar to the Amex Platinum

If you’re hesitant to give the Amex Platinum a go, there are other cards that will give you a similar experience.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express comes with many of the same perks as the Amex Platinum. It’s got identical airport lounge access, up to a $200 statement credit for airline incidentals, hotel elite status, etc.

The card comes with up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points:

  • 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 50,000 more Amex Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months

You can read our review of the Amex Business Platinum here.

You should also consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve for similar benefits to the Amex Platinum. It comes with 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to lots of travel partners that fly to fun destinations, like sunny Cancun! (Photo courtesy of Byelikova Oksana/Shutterstock)

The card comes with a $300 annual credit that can be used for nearly anything travel related. So you’re effectively paying a $150 annual fee with the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee – $300 travel credit). You’ll also receive airport lounge access, rental car discounts, and much more!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year.  But the annual travel credit and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee!

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve here. For other options, check out our best travel credit cards.

Bottom Line

You can earn 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening a new Platinum Card® from American Express. That’s enough to travel nearly anywhere in the world with Amex transfer partners like Delta, Flying Blue, or Singapore Airlines!

You’ll also get benefits like:

  • 5X Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on the AmexTravel Portal
  • $200 for annual airline incidental fee credit
  • Up to $200 in Uber credit per year
  • Airport lounge access to Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta SkyClub, and AirSpace Lounges
  • Statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85)
  • Hotel elite status with Hilton and Marriott
  • Terms Apply

Smaller perks like Amex Offers add to the value. But be confident you’ll use the benefits because the $550 annual fee is no joke.

What’s your favorite perk of the Amex Platinum Card?

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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One big con to me is that Amex Platinum doesn’t have trip delay/cancellation insurance like Sapphire Reserve. Hard for me to book flights without that even though it earns 5 points/$1.

Also the annual fee is just exorbitantly high. $200 airline credits (a bit hard to redeem for giftcard but can bear that) + $200 Uber credits + $50 Saks credits (only worth about $50 to me seeing how overpriced items are there) still leaves one -$50, from $550 annual fee.

Adding to the less acceptance of Amex in general (esp international) I would pass on this card and get the Sapphire Reserve instead, which has more generous perks in general.

If you have Schwab account you can get an American Express yearly credit of upto $200 dollars depending on your portfolio value.

For an added AMEX bonus tell them Corbin Walls referred ya.

Solar Consultant

Our entire executive team swear by this card when they travel. We also bought a batch of laptops on the platinum, and was able to take advantage of the buyer protection plan.

The bottom of this page has a good list of other perks as well:

How does the American Express Platinum Card work with United Airlines??
Anybody have any insight??

long story short, it doesn’t…

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