Is the Amex Platinum worth the yearly fee?

The benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express may outweigh the annual fee if the rewards match up with your spending habits


If you are just starting to become familiar with credit card rewards, it may seem incredible that a high annual fee can be worth it. And what about a card with a $550 annual fee? The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees…

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If you are just starting to become familiar with credit card rewards, it may seem incredible that a high annual fee can be worth it. And what about a card with a $550 annual fee? The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees of any credit card, but while it won’t be the right card for everyone, the rewards and benefits can be worth it for the right people.

What are the American Express Platinum rewards

The American Express Platinum is the flagship card of the American Express credit cards, and cardholders earn American Express Membership Rewards points on each purchase. By our calculations, Membership Rewards points are valued around 1.2 cents per point, making each point that you earn pretty valuable.

To start, the Amex Platinum features a great intro offer. With the welcome bonus, you can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points by spending $5,000 in the first 6 months. For the first 6 months you have the card, you’ll also earn 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases). If you’re able to maximize the initial gas station and supermarket bonus, you can get more than 200,000 Membership Rewards points when added to the intro offer. That means that just this welcome bonus could be worth over $2,000 when redeemed through American Express Travel.

You’ll also earn Membership Rewards points on each purchase:

  • 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

If you like to travel, earning 5 points per dollar that you spend on hotels and flights makes the American Express Platinum card one of the most valuable travel credit cards. Also, note that your Membership Rewards points don’t expire as long as you have any American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points. And you can add up to three Platinum Card authorized user accounts for a $175 annual fee to help you rack up these great reward points.

What are the benefits of American Express Platinum card

In addition to the Amex Platinum rewards, many other American Express Platinum Card benefits can be very useful for frequent travelers and other cardholders. Check out a list of some of the top Amex Platinum Card benefits cardholders are eligible to use:

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Complimentary elite memberships in three car rental programs – Avis Preferred Club, National Emerald Club Executive and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
  • Up to $200 in airline incidental credits each year on one selected airline to cover things like baggage fees, seat selection fees or in-flight food and beverage purchases; you can change your selected airline each calendar year in January
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit – get either $100 credit for Global Entry (every 4 years) or $85 for TSA Precheck credit (every 4.5 years)
  • Uber VIP status and $15 in Uber credit each month, with a $20 bonus in December that can be used either on rides or eligible Uber Eats purchases
  • Trip delay and trip cancellation insurance for eligible itineraries paid for with your American Express Platinum card
  • Access to an American Express concierge, which can help get access to hard-to-book experiences
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (enrollment required), which is credited as a $50 credit twice per year
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge collection, including Priority Pass Select membership
  • Access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Rewards program, which allows you to book hotels with extra perks included in your nightly rate
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • You can transfer your Membership Rewards to one of American Express’ 22 hotel or airline transfer partners

While the American Express Platinum card comes with a $550 annual fee, it also boasts a healthy list of rewards and travel benefits. If you enjoy travel perks, this might be the card for you.

How to get the Amex Platinum

Is the Amex Platinum a good fit for you? Then it’s time to apply for the Amex Platinum card. Keep in mind that you’ll need good to excellent credit (meaning you’ll likely need at least a 670 score to qualify for the card).

It’s also important to know that welcome offers for the Amex Platinum and other credit cards can change, but most card issuers have restrictions on how often you can claim a welcome bonus (meaning you can’t get a card for the welcome bonus, close the account and then apply for the card again for another welcome bonus). Because American Express limits you to one welcome offer per card per lifetime, make sure you sign up for the Amex Platinum card when you like the welcome offer.

Who should get the Amex Platinum card?

The Amex Platinum card can be a great choice for many different types of frequent travelers. The Global Entry or TSA Precheck can help you get through the airport faster. And just by having the American Express Platinum card, you’ll get elite status with both the Marriott and Hilton hotel programs, so if you regularly stay with one of those chains, the Platinum card can give immediate benefits there.

You’ll also have some Delta Platinum Amex benefits, especially if you chose Delta as your selected airline with American Express. While having the American Express Platinum card won’t give you elite status with Delta, you can get up to $200 in statement credits for incidental fees. With the Amex Platinum card, you will also be eligible for complimentary visits to Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta.

And remember that any Membership Rewards points you earn can transfer at a rate of 1:1 to Delta SkyMiles. In fact, for many cardholders, putting your Delta spending on the Amex Platinum card will generate more points than spending on one of the Delta SkyMiles® credit cards.

If you regularly use American Express Membership Rewards points, the Amex Platinum card can be a good addition to your credit card portfolio. No matter how many Amex credit cards you have that earn Membership Rewards points, they all are part of the same Membership Rewards account. This means you can combine the points you earn from the Amex Platinum card with those you earn from the American Express Gold, Green or Everyday cards.

If you’re not convinced that the Amex Platinum card is the right card for you, you can also check out how the Amex Platinum stacks up against similar cards:

Different credit cards offer various rewards and benefits and come with different annual fees. It’s important to understand the value proposition of your credit card options so you can choose the credit card that’s best for you.

Bottom line

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with a $550 annual fee, but it also packs a healthy list of benefits and rewards. Your own specific travel and financial situation will determine whether the Amex Platinum is worth its annual fee for you, and don’t forget all the rewards you could earn with the welcome bonus.

The Amex Platinum features plenty of travel rewards and other benefits that are especially attractive to travelers, so look at which of the rewards and benefits you’ll use and decide if they are worth more than the card’s $550 annual fee. If you think the rewards you’ll earn outweigh the yearly fee, then the Amex Platinum card might be right for you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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