Amex Platinum Benefits: What To Do After Getting Your Card
There’s no denying the American Express Platinum card is one of the best cards in the world of miles and points. Between instant hotel status, unrivaled lounge access and other credits, the Platinum card has one of the best sets of perks in the travel rewards world. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here.
It’s one reason why we urge readers not to rule out even high-fee credit cards, as we think these benefits outweigh the card’s $550 annual fee. However, cashing in on these perks can require some work on your end. Here’s a breakdown of what you should do.
Getting Started with the American Express Platinum Card
First, you need to get the Platinum card to get all these benefits. And now could be a great time to apply, as you may be eligible for a 100,000-point welcome bonus through CardMatch. The standard bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards points, so this enhanced bonus is worth trying for. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here.
One important thing to note about the American Express Platinum: It’s technically not a credit card. Instead, the Platinum is considered a charge card that does not come with a new line of credit. While that may seem like a distinction without a difference, it means that some lower credit scores may still be approved for the card.
Unboxing your American Express Platinum Card … well, it’s a bit of an experience. The packaging reinforces that this is a premium card. It’s laid out in a nice wooden display that doubles as a phone stand.
Once you’ve activated your card and set up your account online, it’s time to get those perks rolling. Most of what you need will be in the Benefits section, which you can find under the ‘Membership’ tab.
Activate Your Priority Pass Membership for Lounge Access
The American Express Platinum card gives you more lounge access than any card out there. You can get into American Express Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges like our go-to lounge at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), and more than 1,000 Priority Pass lounges worldwide. So long as you’re flying Delta that day, you can also access the Delta SkyClub.
While you need only flash your card to get into SkyClubs or Centurion and Escape Lounges, you need to activate the Priority Pass Select Membership to get into Priority Pass lounges.
You should get your card within a week or so, and be sure to save the materials to register your account online. Once you’re logged into the Priority Pass app, you can simply pull up your digital card on the app at lounge entrances rather than carry it in your wallet.
For all but Delta SkyClubs, two guests can accompany you into any lounge for free. The SkyClub charges Platinum cardholders $29 per guest.
Add Your Card to Uber for Trip Credits
The American Express Platinum card gives you $200 in credits toward Uber rides split up across all 12 months. You get $15 every month and $35 to round out the year in December. However, getting these credits isn’t automatic, either. You’ll have to punch in your card details into your Uber account as a form of payment through the app. Once your card is in the system, the app will track how many credits you have available.
These credits reset every month, and any unused portion will not roll over to the next month. So make sure to use them up each month. Need a way to use up your remaining credits? They work for UberEats, Uber’s food delivery service, too!
A smaller perk of carrying the card with Uber is that you also get UberVIP status. This means you can request rides from drivers ranked only 4.8 stars and above. Just look for “UberXcellent” when you’re searching for a ride.
Enroll in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
For any frequent traveler, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are a must. PreCheck is your ticket to skip the long lines and speed through airport security, while Global Entry can get you through immigration faster. And the American Express Platinum Card can get you both. The card offers up to $100 every four years to sign up for either one of these five-year memberships.
\Weighing PreCheck vs. Global Entry? Our recommendation is to opt for Global Entry, as your membership actually comes with PreCheck, too. Read our in-depth guide on how to get signed up for Global Entry.
Just be sure you pay your application fee with your new American Express Platinum card. The expense should get instantly reimbursed. Already signed up for one of these great trusted traveler programs? Use your card to pay for a friend or family member’s application!
Get Those Airline Credits
The American Express Platinum card offers another $200 in credits every year toward airline credits. Unfortunately, these credits aren’t as expansive as the $300 annually offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, it’s still an easy way to offset the card’s annual fee: It can cover the cost of checked luggage, in-flight meals or WiFi and more. The credits even work with some airlines when buying gift cards.
You’ll need to log in and manually select an airline each year. And while you’re generally locked into that airline for the year, you may be able to switch it up by calling American Express. These credits reset every calendar year. That means you can get up to $400 in airline credits in your first year with the card, depending on when you opened your account.
Instant SPG and Hilton Gold Status
The American Express Platinum card is a quick ticket to hotel status. You can instantly enroll for Gold-level status with Hilton, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Status with each of these loyalty programs is worth its own post. And with the final merger between Marriott and SPG looming Aug. 1, more change is on the way.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what each is worth. Hilton Gold Status gets you 25 percent bonus points on paid stays, free upgrades when space is available, a fifth night free when staying with points and free breakfast for you and a guest.
Meanwhile, your SPG Gold Status should crossover to Marriott Gold status when the merger takes effect Aug. 1. That means you’ll earn a 25 percent points bonus on paid stays, upgraded internet access, space-available room upgrades and priority late checkout.
You have to individually enroll for each status upgrade with your loyalty account number for the hotel brands. The registration generally takes a day or two to process.
Get $100 Annual Credit at Saks Fifth Ave
This is the newest perk, and it just adds to the card’s value. A few weeks back, the American Express Platinum card rolled out $100 in credits on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases each calendar year. It’s divvied up into two, $50 credits.
The first credit is available through June, while the second becomes available in July through the end of the year. Unused credits don’t roll over, so remember to use them quick. It appears that gift cards do not qualify to get reimbursed. After activating the credit through your Benefits tab, the credit should automatically apply.
Car Rental Status with Hertz, Avis & National
Renting a car is easier and more comfortable when you carry the American Express Platinum card. Our favorite among the bunch is Emerald Club Executive status with National. That’s because you get access to the special Executive Section, where you can choose any full-size car or higher when paying a midsize car rate. It also gets you free upgrades and extra points when you book.
With Avis Preferred Status, you get to skip the line altogether and pick a car. Hertz Gold Plus Status means you can skip the counter, too. And it gets you some lower rates and a one-class car upgrade as well.
You have to enroll through your Benefits page to get status with all three rental car companies. Those upgrades generally take a few days to process.
From your trip to the airport to renting a car to clearing immigration on your way back, the American Express Platinum card comes with an unbeatable suite of benefits. Make sure you do all of the above to make your travels more comfortable. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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