The Platinum Card® from American Express Review
The American Express brand has always been synonymous with travel services and rewards, and the Platinum Card® from American Express, a Credit Cards House advertiser, has set the standard for premium travel rewards for over three decades. As this product has evolved, it continues to offer a wider array of reward options, travel perks and insurance policies.
Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit AmericanExpress.com to learn more.
How This Card Works
For each dollar spent, cardholders earn 1 point in the American Express Membership Rewards program. They also can earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Points can be redeemed for approximately 1 cent each toward merchandise, gift cards and travel reservations, or transferred to airline miles with 17 different frequent flyer programs.
New cardmember offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points if you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of membership. New members can also select from three metal designs for their card.
This card also offers numerous travel benefits, and one of its most valuable is airport business lounge access. Cardholders receive access to over 1,400 lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This includes membership in the Delta Sky Club lounge program and Priority Pass Select (enrollment required). In addition, travelers also receive access to over 40 of American Express's Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge locations worldwide.
Another valuable benefit is a $200 annual airline fee credit (as a statement credit) that's valid toward most fees such as those for checked bags, seat selection, and in-flight dining and entertainment. Cardholders also receive a credit of $100 (as a statement credit) toward the application fee for the Global Entry program for expedited immigration services, which includes membership in the TSA PreCheck program for streamlined airport security (enrollment required). Cardmembers can also receive up to a $189 credit on a CLEAR® membership when they pay with their card (enrollment required).
Card membership comes with up to $200 in annual savings (as a statement credit) on Uber rides or eats orders in the U.S. You'll also be given Uber VIP status to be matched with top-rated drivers. Cardholders can also earn up to $100 in statement credits annually on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases (enrollment required). In addition, American Express has introduced its Global Dining Collection, which partners with top chefs to offer one-of-a-kind dining experiences.
Another important travel benefit is elite status with several hotel and rental car programs. Cardmembers receive Hilton Honors Gold status, Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status, and premium status with Avis, Hertz and National car rentals (enrollment required).
When booking hotel reservations, cardmembers can utilize American Express's Fine Hotels and Resorts® program, which offers numerous benefits including early check-ins, late checkouts, room upgrades and free breakfast. Alternatively, The Hotel Collection offers a $100 hotel statement credit per stay toward dining, spa and resort activities at participating hotels.
Other travel benefits include the Premium Global Assist hotline. When shopping, cardholders are covered by a purchase protection policy, return protection and an extended warranty policy. Cardholders also receive access to preferred seating at select sports, entertainment and cultural events. In addition, cardholders are invited to attend By Invitation Only experiences that include sports, fashion and fine dining events.
Account holders can enroll in the Pay Over Time program which allows them to carry a balance and incur interest charges on eligible charges (eligible charges can be included in a Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance or monthly payment plan or Cash Advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date. See benefit terms). They can also use the Pay It Plan It® option for added payment flexibility. There is a $695 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees). Up to three additional Platinum cards can be ordered for authorized cardholders for $175. Additional Gold cards are also available for no annual fee (see rates and fees).
For those who travel frequently, this card can offer many indispensible perks. Having Elite status at hotels can offer advantages such as priority service, room upgrades and late checkouts. Having premium rental car status offers you discounts, free car class upgrades and even an extended four-hour grace period with Hertz. And it's remarkable how convenient it is to have access to the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck programs.
The airport lounge access is also an extremely valuable benefit when you are changing planes or experience delays. In particular, the American Express Centurion lounges are a cut above most airline lounges by offering gourmet food in an upscale atmosphere.
As a travel rewards card, the Membership Rewards® Points earned are incredibly flexible and cardholders will find the most value from these points when they are transferred to airline miles and redeemed for expensive last minute flights or tickets in business or first class (enrollment required).
For all this card's strengths, it does have several weaknesses. Its $695 annual fee is certainly among the most expensive cards offered to the general public. However, the $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 credit toward the Global Entry program and other credits go a long way toward mitigating this cost.
Another issue is the relative weakness of this card's rewards program. Although the Membership Rewards program is first rate, cardholders only receive one point per dollar spent on most purchases but 5x rewards on airfare booked directly with airlines and on airfare and hotels booked through American Express Travel. In contrast, Amex offers several other cards that can earn multiple points per dollar spent on featured categories of purchases that can include airline tickets purchased from airlines.
American Express continues to be a leader in offering premium travel rewards and benefits on its top of the line Platinum card. The Platinum Card® from American Express is not inexpensive, but it can still be a bargain for those who travel frequently and can utilize its numerous perks.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express.
First published , last updated
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.