Article first published April 21st, 2017. Updated October 25th, 2018 by Elisa Ortiz
[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Have you been looking for a credit card that treats you like a VIP and offers outrageous perks and rewards? Look no further. The American Express Platinum Card is a credit card of choice for frequent fliers and business travelers. The card recently got a makeover since the premier travel rewards space has gotten a lot more crowded in recent years. Think of the Chase Sapphire Reserve which was launched in 2016.
The American Express Platinum Card was already pretty loaded with VIP travel perks, but in order to stay competitive with other premium cards, American Express upped its game with even sweeter rewards for cardholders.
What are the Rewards?
Cardholders now earn 5x the Membership Rewards points on airfare and hotels booked directly with American Express Travel or airline carriers as well as 5x the Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Cardholders also enjoy Uber VIP status and get up to $200 a year in Uber credits – $15 for U.S. rides each month, plus a $20 bonus in December. The American Express Platinum also has a pretty sweet welcome offer: earn 60,000 Membership Rewards after making $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Of course, these extra perks come with a higher annual fee: $550 (vs. $450 previously). But, depending on how much you spend on travel, the annual fee could be worth it.
The Quick Take
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
Card Details +
Big Extras: The American Express Platinum Card also comes with a $200 annual airline credit and an $85 or $100 fee credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check (reimbursement amount depends on which program you apply for), access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, complimentary benefits totaling $550 on average with Fine Hotels & Resorts and no foreign transaction fees. Enjoy shopping? The Platinum card also offers up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases made at Saks Fifth Avenue (enrollment required – see the card agreement for full details).
The American Express Platinum Details
The Platinum card is the premier travel rewards card offered by American Express to the general public. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for many rewards, including gift cards, merchandise and travel reservations. Alternately, cardholders can transfer their points to miles with several different airlines’ frequent-flier programs, or to points with multiple hotel programs.
Expert Intel: Premium travel reward credit cards typically require good-excellent credit, so you’ll want to see where you stand before you apply. You can view two of your scores for free, along with some recommendations for credit cards you could qualify for, using our free credit report summary.
Cardholders receive a wealth of benefits when they travel. These include:
- Global Lounge Access: You’ll get access to the Global Lounge Collection. This allows entry into over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including the Centurion Lounge, American Express Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, and Priority Pass Select lounges.
- Hotel Perks: Other benefits include The Hotel Collection which offers room upgrades and a $75 hotel credit toward qualifying dining, spa or resort activities when you book your minimum two-night stay at an eligible property with your card. You’ll receive complimentary benefits totaling $550 on average with Fine Hotels & Resorts (see program for details). Cardholders also automatically upgraded to SPG Gold Elite status and receive additional benefits at SPG hotels including late checkout, extra points, and enhanced rooms (when available).
- The By Invitation Only program:This offers access to a variety of sports, fashion, fine dining and entertainment events and the Platinum Dining program offers reservations at the most popular restaurants.
Beyond these perks, the card comes with numerous purchase protection and travel insurance policies, car rental privileges, and car rental loss and damage insurance.
Should I Apply?
This is an ultimate card for travel-related perks, as it offers access to airport lounges and elite status with two hotel chains and three rental car companies. In addition, earning points in the Membership Rewards program can be better than earning airline miles, as these points can be transferred to different airline programs on demand, depending on which one happens to be offering the best award flights for your needs at any given time. Also, if you like using Uber to get around town, the Uber credits come in pretty handy.
There is a $550 annual fee to consider, which is among the highest of premium reward cards. And while this card offers numerous benefits, most of them are geared towards frequent travelers, so those who rarely travel will miss out on its most valuable perks. Plus, as a charge card, the Platinum does not offer customers the option of extending payment by default, although they can choose to enroll in American Express’s Pay Over Time program. Still, the overarching point is, this card is not really a fit for anyone prone to carrying a balance.
It can be a great card for the frequent traveler who is looking to save time and receive upgraded service throughout trips. But be sure to consider all of your options.
Other elite travel credit cards offer higher sign up bonuses or welcome offers, different bonus categories or VIP perks that may be a better fit for your spending and travel habits. It’s always important to evaluate what you will get the most value out of when applying for a new credit card – especially one that has an annual fee.
The American Express Platinum Card FAQ
How does the $200 airline fee credit work?
Cardmembers must first select a qualifying airline to which they’d like to apply their credit. Then, every time their card is used for an eligible charge, a credit will automatically be applied to their account, up to the maximum of $200 per calendar year. Eligible charges include most airline incidental air travel fees except for tickets, seat upgrade fees, taxes and fees on award tickets and gift cards.
How do the Uber ride credits work?
To receive this benefit, you must have downloaded the Uber App version 3.219 or later for iOS or version 3.126 or later for Android, and your Platinum Card must be a method of payment in your Uber account. To redeem your monthly credits, you must select to use it in the Uber app before you complete your ride. Uber will apply discount at the point of sale, American Express says.
How does the Global Entry of TSA Pre-Check fee credit work?
When a cardmember charges the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check application fee to his or her card, American Express will issue a $100 or $85 credit depending on which program you enroll in. Each authorized cardholder also receives an additional $100 or $85 statement credit under this program when the application fee is charged to the eligible additional account.
How do cardholders receive elite status with hotels and rental car companies?
Enrollment is not automatic upon opening an account. Cardmembers must contact each hotel and rental car agency in this program, and request an upgrade using a code given to them by American Express.
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