The American Express Platinum credit card has long been a staple in the wallets of affluent consumers seeking to maximize their travel and lifestyle benefits. This premium card, boasting a rather hefty annual fee of $695, caters to those who value luxury perks and high reward potential on their spending. With unmatched airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and significant value in annual card credits, the Amex Platinum has carved out a niche as the card of choice for those ready to splurge on comfort and convenience.
In this review, we delve into the key features and benefits that set the American Express Platinum card apart from its competitors, evaluating the unique selling points that make it a desirable option for the right user. It’s essential to weigh these advantages against the sizable annual fee to determine whether this card truly aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle preferences.
From its lucrative rewards program focused on flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel to the myriad of additional perks, such as travel and purchase protection, the Amex Platinum card presents a comprehensive package for those prioritizing luxury and practicality. As we explore these features, this review aims to provide a clear understanding of the card’s value proposition, assisting you in making an informed decision on whether the American Express Platinum credit card is the right option for you.
The Basics of the American Express Platinum Card
Annual Fee and Membership Rewards
The American Express Platinum Card, also known as the Platinum Card® from American Express, offers premium benefits to its cardholders. One of the most notable features is its Membership Rewards program. To enjoy these benefits and rewards, cardholders are required to pay an annual fee of $695.
The Platinum Card® from American Express provides a generous welcome bonus for new cardholders. Upon signing up, customers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after they have spent $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of being a card member.
Rewards Rate and Earning Potential
The rewards rate and earning potential of the American Express Platinum Card are impressive, offering enticing incentives to frequent travelers and luxury experience seekers.
- Cardholders can earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, up to a maximum of $500,000 per calendar year on these purchases.
- Additionally, 5X Membership Rewards® Points are also earned on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel.
By leveraging these reward rates, the Platinum Card® from American Express can help cardholders maximize their Membership Rewards points potential and enjoy significant travel discounts and perks.
Travel Benefits and Features
Airport Lounge Access
The American Express Platinum Card offers some of the best airport lounge access in the industry. Cardholders can enjoy complimentary access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide through the Global Lounge Collection that includes lounges such as:
- Centurion Lounges
- International American Express Lounges
- Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta)
- Priority Pass Select Lounges
Elite Hotel Status
As an American Express Platinum Card holder, you can enjoy elite hotel status with two major hotel chains:
- Hilton Honors: Cardholders are automatically upgraded to Hilton Honors Gold status, which includes benefits like room upgrades, late check-out, and bonus points on stays.
- Marriott Bonvoy: Members receive automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which offers similar benefits to the Hilton Honors Gold status, like room upgrades and late check-out when available.
Travel Protection and Insurance
American Express Platinum Card offers several travel protection and insurance benefits that can ease the minds of frequent travelers:
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: Coverage up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per card per year.
- Trip Delay Insurance: Covers up to $500 in reasonable expenses for delays over 6 hours.
- Baggage Insurance Plan: Provides coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen luggage up to $3,000 per trip.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Offers secondary coverage for theft or damage to a rental car.
Airline and Hotel Credits
Cardholders receive various credits for airline and hotel expenses, including:
- Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits for incidental fees with one qualifying airline, such as checked bags or in-flight meals.
- Hotel Credit: Up to $200 in annual hotel credits for prepaid bookings with American Express Travel, when staying at The Hotel Collection (two-night minimum) or Fine Hotels + Resorts properties.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Receive a statement credit every four years for Global Entry ($100) or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck ($85) application fees.
The American Express Platinum Card offers luxury travel benefits, such as airport lounge access, elite hotel status, travel protections, and generous airline and hotel credits, making it a top choice for frequent travelers.
Dining and Entertainment Perks
American Express Platinum cardholders can take advantage of dining credits to enhance their restaurant experiences. These credits come in the form of statement credits, which can be utilized at selected restaurants. Cardholders can also get benefits through partnerships with platforms like Resy, which offers access to exclusive dining experiences and events at top restaurants.
In addition to dining credits, the Platinum card offers statement credits for eligible entertainment purchases. Cardholders can earn rewards through the card’s rewards program for various entertainment purchases, including tickets to concerts, sporting events, and more.
Digital Entertainment Credit
The digital entertainment credit is another perk that comes with the Platinum card. This credit can be used towards popular digital entertainment platforms such as Hulu, ESPN+, and Amazon Prime. These statement credits provide cardholders with access to a variety of streaming services, movies, and TV shows, all while earning rewards through the program.
Other Dining Perks
American Express Platinum cardholders can also enjoy additional dining perks, such as:
- Uber Cash: Platinum cardholders receive monthly Uber Cash deposits, which can be used for rides or Uber Eats orders, providing convenience and savings for dining and transportation needs.
- Delta Sky Club: When flying with Delta, cardholders can enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club, where they can indulge in a range of dining options and amenities.
- Equinox gym benefits: Cardholders have access to exclusive benefits at Equinox gym, including discounted memberships and access to their high-end in-gym dining options.
These dining and entertainment-related benefits offered by the American Express Platinum credit card make it an attractive option for those who value dining experiences and seek to maximize rewards in this category.
Additional Benefits and Features
Retail and Shopping Credits
The American Express Platinum card offers a range of retail and shopping credits to its cardholders. Cardholders can receive up to $100 in annual statement credits for eligible purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, split into $50 credits for each half of the year. Please note that gift cards and certain purchases are excluded from this benefit.
Travel and Lifestyle Services
Amex Platinum card offers a variety of travel and lifestyle services that make it a strong competitor among travel credit cards. Cardholders can earn 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through the Amex Travel portal (Amextravel.com), on up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year. The card also comes with complimentary access to a range of airport lounges, hotel elite status, and travel credits that cover incidental fees for qualifying airlines.
In addition to travel benefits, cardholders can enjoy a range of lifestyle services, such as an annual entertainment credit, which can be used towards select streaming and digital subscriptions, as well as a Walmart+ membership credit, covering the cost of a monthly Walmart+ membership.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Amex Platinum card also offers a number of additional benefits for cardholders:
- No foreign transaction fees: This card does not charge any foreign transaction fees, making it an excellent choice for international travelers.
- Annual Fee: The card comes with a $695 fee, which can be outweighed by the numerous credits and benefits provided to cardholders.
- Pay Over Time: The card offers a Pay Over Time feature, allowing cardholders to spread out payments for eligible purchases over a certain period, with a regular APR applied.
While the American Express Platinum card does have a relatively high annual fee, its benefits and features can provide significant value to cardholders who frequently travel or utilize the wide range of retail and lifestyle perks offered.
Comparing the Amex Platinum to Other Credit Cards
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a more affordable annual fee compared to the Amex Platinum Card at $550. The card is particularly valuable for frequent travelers, offering a suite of travel-related benefits and rewards. Key features include:
- 3 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases
- $300 annual travel credit
- Access to over 1,200 airport lounges with Priority Pass Select membership
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
While Amex Platinum earns 5x points on flights and Amex Travel hotel bookings, Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 3x points on a broader range of travel and dining expenses might be more appealing to some users.
Capital One Venture X Rewards
The Capital One Venture X Rewards is another travel credit card option with a $395 annual fee, which is considerably lower than the Amex Platinum. The card is an excellent choice for those looking for a lower-cost card with a solid rewards structure. Highlights include:
- 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel
- Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
Although the Amex Platinum may have more extensive benefits, the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card offers a compelling value proposition for travelers looking for a more affordable alternative.
Gold Card by American Express
Another Amex option, the Gold Card by American Express, features a lower annual fee of $250 while still offering generous rewards for frequent travelers and foodies. The card’s primary benefits include:
- 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year), U.S. restaurants, and takeout and delivery with select food service providers
- 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
- $120 dining credit per year at participating restaurants
- $100 annual airline fee credit
The Amex Platinum outshines the Gold Card in terms of luxury travel perks, but the Gold Card excels at rewards for dining and everyday purchases.
Who Should Consider the American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers who value luxury and premium travel experiences. With its best-in-class airport lounge access and hotel elite status, cardholders can enjoy the comforts of upscale travel amenities while on the go.
This card offers a rewards rate of 1x-5x, depending on the category, making it a good fit for those who spend money on travel and dining. Moreover, the Platinum Card comes with annual card credits, which can provide significant value to cardholders when fully utilized. Keep in mind that this card has a $695 annual fee, so it’s crucial to make sure the benefits and rewards outweigh the cost.
While the interest rate is not a primary focus for the American Express Platinum, potential cardholders should have a good-to-excellent credit score (690-850) for better odds of approval. With a higher credit score, applicants may also have more negotiating power for perks such as upgrades to first-class flights or exclusive deals.
Income is another factor to consider when applying for the Platinum Card. The card’s premium benefits and rewards structure cater to those with a higher disposable income, who can make the most of the travel and lifestyle perks the card offers. Additionally, cardholders must spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of the card membership to earn the welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards points, which, according to TPG, is valued at around $1,600.
To sum up, the American Express Platinum Card is an excellent option for frequent travelers with a good-to-excellent credit score and a higher income who don’t mind paying a substantial annual fee for exclusive travel benefits and rewards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits?
The American Express Platinum credit card offers a range of benefits, including best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and significant value in annual card credits. Cardholders also earn Membership Rewards points and receive up to $1,500 in annual statement credits, depending on how they take advantage of the available perks. Additionally, the card provides various travel insurance and purchase protection features.
Is it worth the annual fee?
The Amex Platinum has a high annual fee of $695. However, whether the fee is worth it depends on how much the cardholder values the luxury travel benefits and perks offered. For frequent travelers and those who fully utilize the available benefits and credits, the annual fee can be justified, and the card may prove lucrative year after year.
Amex Platinum vs Gold?
The Amex Platinum is a premium travel rewards card with a focus on luxury travel benefits, whereas the Amex Gold is geared more towards dining and grocery spending. Both cards offer valuable Membership Rewards points, but the Platinum has a higher annual fee (compared to the Gold’s $250) and more extensive luxury travel perks. The choice between the two depends on individual spending habits and preferences for rewards and benefits.
What credit limit is offered?
The Amex Platinum does not have a preset spending limit, and the credit limit varies for each cardholder based on factors such as creditworthiness, spending habits, and payment history. However, no preset limit does not mean unlimited spending; it means that the limit changes based on individual circumstances and is subject to periodic reviews.
How difficult is it to get?
The Amex Platinum card is targeted towards individuals with good to excellent credit scores (around 670-850). Factors such as financial stability, credit history, and income will determine a person’s eligibility for the card. Therefore, it can be considered somewhat difficult to obtain, especially for those with lower credit scores or inconsistent payment histories.
Minimum income requirement?
There is no specific minimum income requirement disclosed by American Express for the Platinum card. However, since the card targets financially stable individuals with good to excellent credit scores, it is ideal for higher-income earners or those with strong credit profiles.