American Express Platinum® Card: Amex Card Review (2022)

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The Platinum Card® from American Express Review: Why You Should Have This Amex Card

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in the marketplace today, full stop.

While many shy away from the card’s hefty annual fee, it offers a ton of benefits that make it relatively easy to get the annual fee amount back in value each year, and then some. In fact, even occasional travelers can come out way ahead with the Platinum Card.

We’ll run through all the fantastic benefits of the Amex Platinum Card and explain why it can be a great travel companion.

 

amex platinum card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card® from American Express.

 

American Express Platinum Card Welcome Offer

You can currently earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. But you may be able to get much more.

If you have never had an American Express credit card, you may be targeted for a welcome offer for up to 150,000 points via the CardMatch tool from creditcards.com.

 

Holding American Express Platinum Card®

 

We place a high value on Membership Rewards points, as they are extremely flexible. I typically have no problem getting at least 1.6 cents for every one point, making the welcome offer alone worth far more than what you would pay for the annual fee. And with a network of premier airline transfer partners, it’s fairly easy to do far better.

Take, for example, the ANA first class flight I booked from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo Haneda (HND). The cash price of this flight was over $22,000, yet I booked it for only 93,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. That means I got nearly 24 cents out of every point I used, making it one of the best deals in the world of points and miles.

Read our guide on the best ways to use your AMEX Platinum Card welcome bonus

 

$200 Annual Uber Credit

Each year you hold the Platinum Card, you will receive up to $200 toward Uber rides. You will be issued $15 each month, and $35 in the month of December ($200 total).

You must use the full credit each month or you will lose any remaining value. The credits do not carry over from month to month. And even if you don’t often take Uber rides, the credit can also be used on UberEats, Uber’s food delivery platform. If Uber eats is available in your area, it makes it relatively easy to maximize this benefit each and every year.

 

Annual AMEX Platinum Uber Credit

 

Having the Amex Platinum card also qualifies you for Uber VIP status. Uber VIP is the special view that will offer you trips with drivers with the highest ratings, for the same price as Uber X.

You’ll also get a complimentary Uber Eats Eats Pass. Eats Pass subscribers get $0 delivery and 5% off orders over $15. These benefits apply to all restaurants available on Uber Eats in the United States and Canada (enrollment required by December 31, 2020).

 

$200 Airline Incidental Fee Credit

Each year you hold the Platinum Card®, you also receive up to a $200 credit to use with one selected airline. The credit is intended to be used for things like checked bags, change or cancelation fees, seat assignments, lounge access, and more.

And it’s important to stress that buying airfare outright generally won’t work to get your credit. Cabin upgrades, buying miles, and several other similar purchases also aren’t eligible. Because airlines have farmed out their connectivity to third-party companies, buying in-flight Wi-Fi generally won’t work, either.

The benefit follows the calendar year, so each January you will get $200 to use. If you have any remaining credit from the previous year, it won’t carry over.

 

AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credit

 

So what airlines can you select for your credit? All the big U.S. carriers are eligible. And critically, enrolling with one of the airlines listed below is required to receive the benefit.

  • Delta Air Lines
  • United Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • jetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines

 

And make sure to read our guide on the best ways to maximize your Amex Airline credits

 

A $189 Annual Credit for CLEAR

One of the most intriguing benefits on the Platinum Card from American Express will help cover the cost of CLEAR.

Platinum cardholders will get a $189 annual credit for the privately run security program. It’s the first credit card that will cover the entire cost of CLEAR, as memberships start at $189 a year. Just pay for your membership with your Platinum Card and the credit should kick in automatically.

You can easily lower the cost of CLEAR to just $119 by being a Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus member. That leaves some extra money on the table with this new credit, which you could use by adding a family member to your account for $50.

Related Reading: How to Get the Amex Platinum Clear Credit…For Two!

 

clear chicago

 

CLEAR may not make sense for every traveler, but there’s no denying this is a nice benefit. CLEAR allows you to cut to the front of the security line at a growing number of U.S. airports.

Read more: All About CLEAR: How it Works and Which Airports Offer CLEAR Service?

 

Up to a $240 Annual Entertainment Credit

Throughout the pandemic, we saw Amex add some great money-saving credits, like up to $20 in monthly credits to cover the cost of almost any streaming service. This new permanent perk isn’t nearly as good.

Starting in July of 2021, Cardholders will now receive up to $240 in annual statement credits for select entertainment services, with monthly installments of $20. But this new benefit is incredibly restrictive: It currently only applies to purchases or subscriptions with Audible, SiriusXM, Peacock, the New York Times, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, and Hulu.

 

Amex Platinum Card Entertainment

 

Unless you’re already using and paying for one of these services, this is a mediocre addition at best.

 

$300 Equinox Gym Credit

Another new benefit of the Amex Platinum Card that was added in July of 2021 is an up to $300 credit to use for Equinox gym memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+.

The credit will be doled out in $25 increments each month – a pittance compared to what Equinox charges. And this benefit is more or less worthless if you don’t live close to an Equinox club or don’t already pay for a digital membership.

 

Amex Platinum Equinox

 

Equinox doesn’t have a big footprint. With only 106 clubs around the world, it’s unlikely you’ve got one nearby if you don’t live in or near a major metropolitan area.

 

$200 Hotel Credit

As of July 2021, Amex Platinum cardholders will now get a $200 annual statement credit for prepaid hotel bookings through the Amex Travel booking portal. This new credit only applies to Fine Hotels + Resorts® or Hotel Collection properties, which includes some great resorts and hotels around the globe. Though notably, bookings of the Hotel Collection properties require a minimum stay of two consecutive nights.

 

Premium Private Jet Program

Do you fly private? Or plan to do so? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

But Amex Platinum cardholders will get a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships. You’ll also get a $500 or $2,000 credit added to your Wheels Up account to use towards your initial flight within your first year, depending on which Wheels Up membership you select.

More information on this perk can be found here.

 

Global Dining Access by Resy

Amex Platinum cardholders will get access to the new Global Dining Access program from Resy. The Platform will give Platinum cardholders access to exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants.

They will also get access to premium events and other perks like priority notifications and VIP status.

 

Earn 5x Membership Rewards Points on All Airfare 

If you spend a lot of money on airfare, you won’t find a more rewarding card than the Platinum Card. That’s because it earns 5x Amex Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend directly with any airline or through the American Express travel portal at amextravel.com.

Outside of this spending category, the Amex Platinum card will earn 1x point for every other dollar of eligible spending.

Related: The Amex Platinum Card is the Best Card for Booking Flights. 

 

American Express Platinum Membership Reward Points

 

The Best Airport Lounge Access Offered From Any Credit Card

The Platinum Card offers one of the best credit cards for airport lounge access, and no other travel rewards credit cards come particularly close in comparison.

Just for holding the Platinum card, you will get access to the following lounge networks through their global lounge collection:

Amex Centurion Lounges: These are the American Express flagship lounges and can only be accessed by Platinum cardholders. You are allowed to bring in up to two guests free on each visit. There are currently Centurion lounges in Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO), Las Vegas (LAS), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Miami (MIA), Philadelphia (PHL), New York (LGA), and Hong Kong (HKG), with many new lounges on the way. If you frequent any of these airports with any regularity, the Platinum card is a no-brainer for this reason alone. See our master guide to the Centurion Lounges

Priority Pass: The Amex Platinum Card also offers Priority Pass Select membership. If you are not familiar with Priority Pass, it is a network of airport lounges all over the world that are typically not affiliated with any airline. Just for holding the Platinum card, you will get free membership and be able to bring in up to two guests free with you on each visit. Priority Pass will even allow you to eat at a growing list of airport restaurants at no additional cost. However, as of Aug. 1, 2019, Priority Pass memberships issued from American Express have lost that restaurant benefit. See our master guide to Priority Pass Lounges

Delta Sky Club: If you often fly Delta, the Platinum Card is a no-brainer. Just for holding the card, you will receive complimentary access to any Delta Sky Club as long as you are flying with Delta. You will not receive any free guesting privileges with this lounge access, but you can bring up to two guests in with you for $29 each. See our master guide to the Delta Sky Club. 

The Escape Lounge: The Escape Lounge is quickly becoming one of my favorite airport lounges. It offers a great alternative to the Delta Sky Club at MSP as it is often less crowded. There are Escape Lounges all over the country at many smaller regional airports. The Escape Lounge allows Amex Platinum cardholders to bring in up to two guests at no additional cost.

Amex will soon rebrand and refresh U.S. Escape Lounges as Centurion Studios.

 

American Express Platinum Centurion Lounge Access
Escape Lounge at MSP

 

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit

If you apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and pay with the Platinum Card, the application cost will be reimbursed ($100 for Global Entry and $85 for TSA PreCheck). You are eligible to receive this credit once every four years, and membership in either program is good for five years.

Global Entry includes a TSA PreCheck membership so if you plan to do any international travel, that’s likely the best option.

Not sure which option is best for you? See our guide on Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck

 

American Express Platinum Global Entry and TSA Pre Check Fee Credit

 

$100 Annual Credit to be used at Saks Fifth Avenue

Each year of card membership, you will receive two up to $50 credits to be used at Saks Fifth Avenue stores. One $50 credit will be available from January through June, with another available from July through December (up to $100 total). Like the other credits available on the Platinum card, you will lose any remaining balance you have after the expiration date. And enrollment is required for this benefit.

The offer can be used both in-store and online, but per the terms and conditions of this offer, it will not work to purchase gift cards.

Saks Fifth Avenue isn’t the cheapest place to shop, but you should be able to find a few things each year to use your credit on.

Read our post on 7 ways to use your Saks Fifth Avenue credit

 

American Express Platinum Credits

 

Hilton Honors & Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

Just for holding the Platinum Card® from American Express, you will receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold Elite status without having to meet any stay requirements. You’ll just need to enroll on the benefits tab of your online account.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status typically requires 25 eligible stays in a calendar year. With the status, you’ll earn 25% more points on stays, receive enhanced room upgrades upon availability, and enjoy a late checkout during your stays.

 

American Express Platinum Gold Elite Status

 

Hilton Honors Gold Elite status typically requires 20 stays or 40 nights in a calendar year. With the status, you’ll earn 80% more points on stays, complimentary space-available upgrades, and complimentary breakfast for you and a guest at all Hilton hotels during your stay.

It’s the main reason we think Hilton Honors Gold Elite status is the best mid-tier hotel program. Hilton Gold status benefits include ree breakfast during your travels for you and a guest can save you hundreds of dollars during your travels. 

 

AMEX Platinum Perks

 

Trip Delay & Cancellation Coverage

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, American Express is adding trip delay and cancellation coverage to the Platinum Card. Add in the 5x points per dollar you earn when booking flights directly with the airline, and the American Express Platinum Card will become the absolute best way to book flights starting in 2020.

If you pay for your round-trip flight with the Platinum Card – or put the taxes and fees from an award flight on it – you will be eligible for:

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: You can get reimbursed for up to $10,000 of nonrefundable expenses – and up to $20,000 a year total – if your flight is canceled due to weather, an injury or illness, and other “covered reasons.”
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed by more than six hours, you are eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement for lodging, food, and other associated expenses.

To qualify for coverage, flights must be round-trip. Though booking two one-way flights would still qualify for coverage.  

Read more about the American Express travel insurance and coverage policy here

 

Cell Phone Insurance Protection

Starting in March 2021, American Express added a cell phone insurance benefit to many of their top travel cards – including the Amex Platinum Card.

If a card members’ cell phone is stolen or damaged (damage even includes a cracked screen), American Express will reimburse the cost of repair or replacement for up to two approved claims for a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 over a 12-month period.

Your phone line must be listed on the wireless bill and the prior month’s wireless bill must have been paid with one of the eligible cards listed above.

Each claim will require the cardholder to pay a $50 deductible – a relatively small cost.

Read More: Amex Adds Cell Phone Protection to Many Top Travel Cards. 

 

Amex Platinum Concierge

Just for holding the Platinum Card® from American Express, you will receive around-the-clock assistance with travel planning and booking, shopping advice, and other personal requests through their Platinum cardholder concierge service. Simply email the platinum concierge at [email protected] or give them a call at 1-800-525-3355.

Amex Platinum Cardholders can also search, book, and manage restaurant reservations from more than 10,000 restaurants (and growing) around the world through the American Express mobile app thanks to their recent acquisition of the restaurant reservation service, Resy.

If you hold the Platinum card, head to the “Membership” tab in the mobile app. You will see the “Access Top Restaurants” button in your account.

 

American Express Platinum Membership
Photo courtesy of American Express

 

Amex International Airline Program

The Amex International Airline Program (IAP) is an exclusive benefit available to both Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders that allows you to get exclusive savings on select airlines when you book your airfare through the American Express travel portal. It is only valid for international itineraries booked in first class, business class, and premium economy – so there are no additional savings here when flying economy.

American Express claims that the average savings are $150 on premium economy, $300 in business class, and $600 on international first-class round trip fares. In practice, we’ve seen these numbers vary depending on the routing, fare class, and the airline.

The discount will only apply on flights originating in the U.S., and from select Canadian airports. Additionally, Amex will allow you to apply the international airline program discount on up to eight tickets booked on the same flight. 

 

Screen Shot 2020 03 04 at 11.17.13 AM

 

Read our full guide on the American Express International Airline Program.

 

Annual Fee

The Platinum Card boasts an annual fee of $695 which is not waived in the first year (see rates & fees). Because of all the benefits the card offers listed above, that can easily be a fair price. If you are using the benefits, you should get far more value out of the card than you are paying for the annual fee.

Read More: Is the $695 Amex Platinum Annual Fee Worth It? An Honest Review

If you want to add an authorized user to your account, it will cost another $175 each year – which certainly isn’t cheap. But there are some alluring reasons why you should consider adding an authorized user – or several American Express additional card holders.

Your new authorized user won’t get every single benefit that you do. Namely, some of the big-dollar credits don’t pass over to your guest. But there’s more than enough value here to offset the additional fee for many travelers. Here’s a brief rundown of what your authorized users will get.

  • American Express Centurion Lounge Access: Yes.
  • Priority Pass Select Lounge Membership: Yes.
  • Delta SkyClub Access (When Flying Delta): Yes.
  • $100 Credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: Yes.
  • Earn 5x Points on Airfare Booked Directly with Airlines and Hotels Booked Through Amextravel.com: Yes.
  • $200 in Annual Airline Fee Credits: No.
  • $200 in Annual Uber Ride Credits: No.
  • $200 Hote Credit: No.
  • $189 CLEAR Credit: No.
  • $300 Equinox Gym Credit: No.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: No.
  • $100 in Annual Saks 5th Ave. Credits: No.
  • Instant Hotel Status with Marriott and Hilton: Yes.
  • Instant Rental Car Agency Status with Hertz, Avis, and National: Yes.

 

And there’s an overlooked aspect of adding authorized users to your American Express Platinum card. You can add up to three total users for the same, $175 annual fee. So if you have several family members who could benefit, it won’t cost you any more to add up to three additional users.

 

amex platinum card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card® from American Express.

 

Bottom Line 

The American Express Platinum Card is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards. While the large annual fee isn’t for everyone, there is no single credit card that will improve your airport and travel experience more than the Platinum card will. With locations around the world, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a lounge to take advantage of.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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