|Rewards Rating:||4.4 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||4.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||5.0|
In a Nutshell:
The $695 annual fee might set your head spinning, but the massive list of perks and benefits that come with American Express’s top-of-the-line card offers plenty of value for the luxury traveler.
American Express Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Free airport lounge access, $189 CLEAR® credit, $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck credit, no foreign transaction fees (See rates and fees), up to $200 Uber credit, up to $200 hotel credit (requires a minimum two-night stay), up to $240 digital entertainment credits, up to $300 Equinox credit on eligible memberships, Hilton Honors gold status, Uber VIP status, platinum concierge service, car rental insurance, car rental perks and discounts, luxury hotel perks and discounts, exclusive events and services, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, purchase protections, up to $100 Sake Fifth Avenue credit
Depending on your spending habits and travel goals, the Amex Platinum card can easily be one of the best travel rewards credit cards out there. It boasts an impressive list of premium lifestyle and travel benefits that will appeal to people who enjoy traveling in style and comfort. On top of its generous annual credits, the card is one of the best available when it comes to complimentary lounge access.
But these perks don’t come cheap: The Amex Platinum Card’s annual fee is a steep $695. Plus, some of the credits that come with the card will only be useful to people – potentially a limited number of people – interested in offers like fitness club and Walmart+ memberships. If you can’t take advantage of all the premium perks, you might be better off with a travel card with a smaller price tag.
- Carries thousands of dollars worth of travel and lifestyle credits, which gives users plenty of chances to offset the annual fee
- Complimentary access to the largest number of airport lounges of any travel credit card
- Automatic elite status with two of the largest hotel networks, giving travelers the freedom to stay in more places—and enjoy upgraded perks
- Flexibility: Redeem points for gift cards, shopping, travel, entertainment, merchandise or charity
- Versatility: Transfer points to a host of airline partners to find the best value
- High annual fee: If the majority of discounts and upgrades that come with the card don’t fit your lifestyle, it will be difficult to offset the annual fee
- Low rewards rates: Other premium travel cards with smaller annual fees offer higher travel rewards in select areas and include non-travel categories like dining, which can make it easier to earn rewards quicker
- Not all of the credits will have broad appeal, which will decrease the card’s value for a lot of users
Why you might want the Platinum Card from American Express
While it’s hard to justify a nearly $700 annual fee, American Express provides plenty of value with added perks that more than make up for the cost of the card. From generous travel credits to elite status with two of the largest hotel brands, the Platinum card is designed to take the stress out of vacationing, and it could be exactly what you need to make your dream trip a reality in 2022. Additionally, the card retains decent value with rewards rates for travel purchases and a welcome bonus.
Generous welcome offer
The introductory offer on the Platinum card is among the best available among rewards cards in its class – 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months. That’s up 25,000 points from the card’s previous offer. Plus, if you redeem your points for airfare through American Express Travel you can easily get multiple round-trip flights out of the bonus (points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed through American Express Travel, so the welcome bonus would be worth $1,000 if used in this way).
Although the bonus spending requirement is on the higher side at a $6,000 minimum spend, you’ll still enjoy a full six months to earn the bonus, which is double the timeframe typically offered on rewards cards.
Luxury Lounge access
One of the plushest benefits of the Amex Platinum card is access to the entire American Express Global Lounge collection, covering more than 1,000 airports around the world. This includes Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club and Airspace lounges, as well as Amex-exclusive Centurion Lounges. Both the primary cardholder and authorized users get access to these lounges, along with two guests apiece (keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a $175 fee to add authorized users; see rates and fees).
A prized perk on travel cards, airport lounges can help take the stress out of travel and often feature benefits like complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi access, quiet workspaces and sometimes even individual rooms or shower facilities.
The Platinum card includes one of the most extensive offerings of any travel credit card, so the card is certainly worth a look for frequent travelers who put a premium on this benefit.
Plenty of transfer partners for airfare
American Express also offers an extensive list of travel partners for Amex Platinum cardholders. This includes major airline and hotel programs, making it easy to apply rewards toward travel to any destination. Frequent flyers of Delta Airlines may be particularly interested in the Platinum card because, as a special partner of Delta, Amex offers point transfer to Delta as well as Delta Sky Club access for all Platinum cardholders.
Most transfers happen at a 1:1 rate, but it’s possible to get twice as much value out of your points. Depending on the airline transfer partner, Amex’s Membership Rewards can be worth an average of 2 cents apiece, according to the latest valuations by The Points Guy. Frequent flyers who can take advantage of that rate will get far more value out of the Platinum card’s rewards program.
American Express transfer partners
|All Nippon Airways (ANA)||1:1|
Top-of-the-line luxury perks
Although the Platinum card doesn’t have a very impressive rewards program, the card more than makes up for its annual fee with upfront perks for all cardholders. Some of the most valuable benefits include:
- Up to $200 airline fee credit – Incidental travel fees with one airline are eligible for a credit of up to $200 when you pay using your Platinum card.
- $189 CLEAR® credit and $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck credit – Receive credits for the CLEAR® biometric screening program and for Global Entry or TSA Precheck as long as you charge the application fee to your Platinum card. Any of these could save you significant time while traveling.
- Up to $200 in Uber cash credits – Each month, you can receive up to $15 in Uber credits (U.S. rides only). In December, you’ll get a bonus $20 in addition to your usual $15 – for up to $200 in credits yearly (on U.S rides and eats). Plus, you’ll receive automatic Uber VIP status with the service’s loyalty program.
- Up to $200 hotel credit – Use your Platinum card and you can receive $200 back as a statement credit each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings when you pay with your card (which requires a minimum two-night stay).
- Elite hotel status – Platinum cardholders are automatically granted Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which comes with enhanced room upgrades when available. You also get Gold status with Hilton Honors, which comes with benefits such as free Wi-Fi, late checkout and room upgrades (upon availability, enrollment required).
- Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit – Frequent shoppers of Saks Fifth Avenue will enjoy savings, thanks to up to $100 in statement credits for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases. Platinum cardholders are eligible for one $50 credit from January through June and another $50 credit from July through December (enrollment required).
- Up to $240 digital entertainment credit –You’ll get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you use your card to pay for purchases with Peacock, Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, SiriusXM, and The New York Times (enrollment required).
- Up to $300 Equinox credit – On eligible Equinox memberships, you can choose from a digital or in-club membership with this ultra-posh fitness club and you’ll get up to $300 back per year (or $25 per month) when you use your Platinum card to pay for the service.
- $155 Walmart+ credit – Your monthly subscription to Walmart+ is reimbursed when you use the Platinum card to pay for it (credit does not apply if you pay annually).
This extensive list of perks is by far the most intriguing feature of the Amex Platinum card – as it includes some of the most generous credits and protections among any travel card. If you’re wondering whether the Amex Platinum card is worth its annual fee, consider the full value of all the perks combined:
|Perk||Annual value (up to)|
|Airline fee credit||$200|
|Saks Fifth Avenue credit||$100|
|Airline fee credit||$200|
|Priority Pass Select membership||$299|
|Digital entertainment credit||$240|
|Total: up to $2,073|
As you can see, if you take advantage of most of these benefits you can easily justify the annual fee. Even if you ignore perks explicitly related to flying, you should come close to covering the annual fee.
On top of the luxury perks, the Platinum card comes with a number of travel and consumer features that can help save you money and make your life easier.
- No foreign transaction fees – Unlike many credit cards, the Amex Platinum doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Just keep in mind American Express cards are not accepted as widely abroad as they are in the U.S.
- Cardholder referral bonuses: American Express offers a fair bonus for referring your friends and family for an Amex Platinum card. Cardholders who refer friends and family (who are approved then for and open a card account) can earn up to 15,000 points for each approval (with a maximum of 225,000 points per year).
- Car rental insurance – If you use your Platinum card to pay for your rental car, you can receive secondary coverage for loss and damage.
- Purchase protection – If you charge an eligible purchase to your Platinum card, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per claim (up to $50,000 per calendar year) in the case of accidental damage or theft.
- Return protection– Any eligible purchases charged entirely to your Platinum card include return coverage to 90 days ($300 max per item, $1,000 max per year).
- Baggage insurance – For trips paid entirely with your Platinum card, American Express provides secondary coverage for baggage insurance in case of loss by the carrier.
- Cellphone insurance – Pay your monthly cellphone bill with the Amex Platinum and you’ll enjoy $800 of cellphone protection per claim ($1,600 per 12-month period) should your phone be stolen or damaged (subject to a $50 deductible).
See related: American Express card benefits
Excellent customer experience
Cardholders can expect the highest level of service with the Amex Platinum card. American Express has one of the best reputations among credit card issuers for customer experience, scoring an 838 on J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction survey (first place among 11 major issuers). The American Express mobile app is also highly rated – 4.1 out of 5 in the Google Play Store and 4.9 out of 5 in the Apple App Store.
In addition, American Express offers 24/7 customer service, including a chat feature on its website. This makes it easy to quickly find the answers to simple questions.
See if you’re preapproved before applying
Luckily, American Express offers preapproval on many of its cards, including the Amex Platinum. It’s also worth checking the CreditCards.com CardMatch tool to see if you have a prequalified offer on the Amex Platinum, as this won’t have any impact on your credit score and should give you a better idea of where you stand before you apply.
The Amex Platinum card is designed for users with excellent credit (above 670), so you will want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. Since the Platinum card has a high annual fee, you are more likely to be approved if you’ve demonstrated a history of on-time payments and responsible credit card use.
Why you might want a different rewards card
For all it offers with perks, benefits and airline and hotel transfers, the Platinum card from American Express fails to offer competitive rewards rates on purchases. Its lack of bonus categories stands out in a cards landscape full of generous offerings from competing issuers, and on top of that, the card’s base point value and flexibility just don’t measure up to other card offerings.
Low rewards earning potential
The earning rates on the Amex Platinum card are not as impressive as those on other Amex cards or competing rewards cards from other issuers. You’ll still earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year) as well as 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. That doesn’t top the rewards offered by other premium travel cards.
For a slightly smaller $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers 5X points on flights, but goes further by offering 10X points on hotels and car rentals—all when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card also matches the 5X miles on flights when booked through Capital One Travel. And like the Sapphire Reserve, it offers 10X miles on hotels and rental cars. But the Venture X tops both cards by offering a flat rate of 2X miles on all other purchases and only charging an annual fee of $395.
Even for frequent travelers, the Platinum card’s bonus categories don’t make it easy to rake in the rewards. And if you’re not taking advantage of the credits offered by the Platinum, you may get better value with a card like the Sapphire Reserve or Venture X, which let you rack up bonus points quickly.
See related: How to earn and use Membership Rewards points
Comparatively poor point value
American Express Membership Rewards are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed through American Express Travel. That alone isn’t all that impressive compared to other rewards cards. But to make matters worse, some redemption options are worth even less than 1 cent.
Amex Platinum redemption options
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
|Airfare through American Express Travel||1|
|Charity donation||1 (up to 500,000 points, 0.5 cent thereafter)|
|Gift cards||Up to 1|
|Other travel purchases on American Express Travel||0.7|
|Shopping partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Grubhub, Newegg, Rite Aid, Seamless, Staples)||0.7|
|Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to travel partner)||0.5|
See related:What credit score is required for Amex cards?
While some other travel cards offer a 1 cent per point value for statement credits, the Platinum only earns 0.6 cents – making it difficult to use your points for anything other than booking flights. Other luxury travel cards – like the Chase Sapphire Reserve – even offer a higher than 1 cent point value when you redeem for travel purchases through its rewards portal.
High annual fee
The annual fee for this card is at the top of the list for most expensive cards to hold. It’s possible to easily offset this fee by the value of perks provided by American Express, but if you don’t plan to take advantage of the luxury perks and other benefits provided, then the value of this card is not nearly as justified as it is on cards with more diverse rewards programs and lower annual fees.
How does the Amex Platinum compare with other premium rewards cards?
Our team of credit card experts researched over 130 rewards cards to see where the Amex Platinum ranks among cards in its category. As you might expect, though the Amex Platinum offers some of the most generous travel credits and plush benefits of any luxury rewards card, it carries a much higher annual fee than other luxury credit cards.
The card’s average earning rate is also on the lower side for a rewards cards based on the average person’s spending, which could make it difficult to rack up a significant points balance if you aren’t a frequent traveler. That said, the card stands head-and-shoulders above the majority of rewards cards when it comes to both its welcome bonus and annual bonus (factoring in the value of perks like Uber credits and Priority Pass membership).
If you are looking forward to more travel this year and beyond and feel confident you’ll take advantage of the luxury perks that come with the Amex Platinum, the annual fee should not deter you, as the value of these perks and the rewards you’ll earn on travel can easily cover the cost. But if you’d rather maximize points than enjoy perks like Centurion lounge access or the Delta Sky Club, you might be better off with another travel card. Here are some of our favorite alternatives.
The Platinum Card from American Express vs. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular luxury travel cards thanks to a number of features, including its flexible $300 annual travel credit – which can be applied to any travel purchase.
It also has a competitive rewards rate on dining purchases in addition to its elevated rewards for travel purchases, making it easier to rack up points compared to the Platinum card. The Sapphire Reserve’s points are also more valuable: When you are ready to redeem your points, they have a 1.5 cent value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Like the Platinum card, the Sapphire Reserve offers Priority Pass lounge access and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Both cards also come with hefty annual fees. So deciding between the two will come down to which features matter most to you.
See related: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Amex Platinum\
The Platinum Card from American Express vs. Capital One Venture X Rewards Card
The Venture X has a much smaller annual fee of $395 but still manages to pack in plenty of luxury features. On paper, these perks fall short of those found on the Amex Platinum card, but may be more than enough for some travelers.
To start, cardmembers should have an easier time racking up miles since the Venture X lets you earn rewards at double the Amex Platinum card’s rate on hotels, rental cars and general purchases. That earning potential, along with the Venture X card’s annual travel credit and annual anniversary bonus miles can easily offset the card’s annual fee.
The Venture X also comes with unlimited complimentary lounge access for you and your guests at over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and for you and two guests at the Capital One Lounge (currently only open at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, with other locations expected to open later this year). You also get elite car rental status with Hertz and Visa Infinite benefits, which include numerous protections like lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, cellphone protection, complimentary concierge service, as well as purchase, extended warranty, and return protections.
As added incentive, Capital One also provides free Venture X cards for additional members. That’s an incredible savings compared to the Platinum Card’s $175 fee for additional members, which increases the amount of effort needed to offset all the fees you’ll pay if you want to add on cardmembers.
All told, the Venture X is a great option for people looking for a premium travel rewards credit card. It provides plenty of value at a lower cost, compared to the Platinum card and does a good job of providing a broad range of popular travel and consumer benefits. Frequent travelers would be wise to compare the benefits offered by both cards to see which one has the right amount of features to fit their needs.
The Platinum Card from American Express vs. The American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold card has a significantly lower fee than the Platinum and it offers many of the same perks – including car rental insurance, purchase protection and Hotel Collection benefits. The annual credits are slightly lower, however.
Despite that one shortcoming, the Amex Gold card’s rewards rate makes it much easier to stockpile Membership Rewards points. Cardholders earn 4X points at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 a year in U.S. supermarket purchases, then 1X). Users also earn 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 1X points on general purchases. If you spend a significant amount on groceries or dining out, you might be able to rack up rewards faster with the Gold card over the Platinum card.
How to use the Platinum Card from American Express
- Take advantage of as many of the credits and features as possible to help offset the annual fee.
- Make sure to enroll to get Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
- You can add up to three authorized users (for $175, see rates and fees) to give them access to the card’s benefits.
- Review additional benefits like purchase protection and baggage insurance to make sure you don’t miss out on these perks.
- Link the card to your Uber account to receive up to $200 in Uber Cash credits per year.
- If you don’t have enough Membership Rewards points for airfare, you can use a smaller number of points for an airline upgrade (though you’ll get less value for your points with this option).
Is the Platinum Card from American Express right for you?
While it doesn’t have the best rewards rate among travel cards, the Amex Platinum card is a great choice for frequent travelers who will make use of its numerous travel credits and protections. Even considering the card’s recent annual fee increase, if you use the card for all your travel purchases and take full advantage of these benefits, it can be more than worth it.
But if you don’t spend heavily on travel or don’t think you need amenities like airport lounge access or credits for airline incidental fees or expedited security screening, you may be better off with a lower-cost rewards card that earns more generously on purchases you make.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, please click here
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