The Platinum Card® Review
The The Platinum Card® is Amex’s premium travel personal credit card. The card offers many benefits and perks along with a high annual fee. In our The Platinum Card® review we will look at the welcome offer, earning structure, card benefits and share our overall thoughts on this premium product.
Current Welcome Offer
Amex usually has many different welcome offers for its cards at any given time, including the Platinum card. Here are the terms for the best welcome offer currently available, via personal referral:
- Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards and a $200 statement credit after $6,000 spend in 6 months. Terms Apply
- The $695 annual fee is NOT waived. (Rates & Fees)
Amex Application Rules
If you choose to apply, remember that Amex typically will not approve you for more than two Amex credit cards during a 90-day period. They also have a 10 card limit on the colored Membership Rewards earning cards (of which this is one of). This includes personal and business cards. This is separate from the 5 card limit on credit cards.
Amex also has a once per lifetime welcome offer rule on each card. This is more like every 5 – 7 years in reality though, and not actually your lifetime. That timeline is based off of when you last held a card, not when you last earned a welcome offer on the product though. If you are ineligible for the welcome offer for any reason American Express will usually let you know that with a pop-up before the application is processed. You can cancel the application at this time with no hard pull.
The Platinum Card® Review: Earning Structure
The Platinum card has the following earning structure:
- 5x points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 per calendar year.
- 5x points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 1x on everything else
Amex Platinum Card Benefits
The Platinum card offers a lot of benefits and perks. Amex even boasts that the card offers over $1,400 in value through its many credits. This may be true, but few cardholders will manage to use every single credit without much work. That said, the Platinum card does offer a lot of good benefits that are sure to please many cardholders.
Uber credits ($200):
The Platinum card offers $15 in Uber cash for orders with Uber Eats or rides with Uber in the U.S. each month, plus a bonus $20 in December, for up to $200 per calendar year. To access this benefit, simply add your Platinum card to your Uber wallet.
Like many other premium travel cards, the Platinum card offers complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This card also grants you access to the Amex Global Lounge Selection, which includes Amex Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Plaza Premium lounges. The benefit also includes access to the Delta Sky Club when flying Delta.
Airline credit ($200):
Once you select a qualifying airline, you will receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when you charge airline incidental fees to your Platinum card. Charges to any authorized user cards on your account also trigger the credit. Examples of qualifying fees include checked bags and seat selection. This benefit requires enrollment, so make sure to do so as soon as you receive your new card.
FHR/Hotel Collection credit ($200):
The Platinum offers an annual $200 credit towards a prepaid stay with American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts or the Hotel Collection. This credit can help you score a deeply discounted rate or even a free night at an excellent hotel. Amex FHR bookings receive such benefits as free room upgrade (when available), free breakfast for two, and an experience credit such as for food & beverage or spa services (at a minimum of $100). To use the credit, simply make your hotel booking through the American Express FHR website.
Clear credit ($189):
The Platinum card offers up to $189 in statement credits toward an annual Clear membership for expedited airport security. Clear can be a huge time saver, even if it is not available at your home airport. Clear is available at over 50 airports, stadiums, and other venues across the U.S. You can search for Clear locations here.
Entertainment credit ($240):
Platinum cardholders receive up to $20 in statement credits each month when they pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum card at participating partners. The participating partners are Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. The few partners make this benefit rather limited, but some folks could still find value.
The Platinum card offers statement credits towards Walmart+ membership of up to $155 per year.
Equinox credit ($300):
The Platinum card offers $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox + digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your platinum card (enrollment required).
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check ($100):
Cardholders receive a $100 statement credit every four years for Global Entry ($100 cost) or TSA Pre-Check ($85 cost).
Saks credit ($100):
Up to a $100 credit for Saks purchases, split into two $50 statement credits between January and June, and then July through December.
Cell phone protection:
The Platinum card offers cell phone protection for a maximum of $800 per claim, with a limit of two approved claims per 12-month period. A $50 deductible will apply. You must charge your monthly wireless bill to your Platinum card to be eligible for this benefit. The benefit covers stolen and damaged phones, including additional lines in your same wireless plan. Coverage is limited only to those amounts not covered by any other insurance or indemnity.
Complimentary Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status:
Cardholders enjoy complimentary Gold status with both hotel chains for as long as they hold the card. Registration is required.
The Platinum card offers some great benefits for travelers, despite the high $695 annual fee. Most travelers can benefit from credits towards Uber, airline fees, FHR/Hotel Collection, and Clear, along with lounge access. Of course, we all have different travel patterns and preferences. If these credits are of little use to you, then the Platinum card may not be a keeper for you. But the card’s consistently high welcome offer makes it worth opening if you are over 5/24, even if just for the first year.
Whether the card is worth keeping after the first year requires you to crunch the numbers and figure out which credits you will actually use. Benefits like the Uber and airline credits are very easy to use. Others require a little more work, like the FHR/Hotel Collection and the Saks credits. Meanwhile, benefits like the Equinox and entertainment credits cater to a much smaller subgroup of cardholders.
One downside of all these different credits is that many are broken out monthly. Having to remember which credit(s) have been used every month gets quite tiresome. Those who have criticized the Platinum card for becoming glorified coupon books make a valid point.
As for spending, the Platinum card lacks many bonus categories. The card’s 5x earning on flights booked directly with airlines beats all other major credit cards. But beyond that, the Platinum does not justify getting a lot of spend. Earning 5x on bookings through Amex Travel is similar to what competitors offer but we think portal bookings should be mostly avoided.
In sum, the Platinum card‘s utility boils down to its benefits. Those who derive value from the many credits and travel perks should easily justify the high annual fee.
The American Express Platinum card offers plenty of benefits geared towards travelers. Folks should each analyze their own needs to decide whether the card is worth keeping for the benefits. With so many of its perks split into monthly statement credits, cardholders should also consider the effort required to have those credits actually be worth it.
What are your thoughts on the Amex Platinum card? Which of the card’s benefits most appeal to you? Come join the discussion in our Facebook group!