The Platinum Card® from American Express Review

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Rewards rate:

Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. 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. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

  • Intro bonus: 100,000 points
  • Annual fee: $695
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

From high-earning travel rewards categories to cash credits that can offset the cost of your next vacation, the Platinum Card from American Express has a long list of benefits.  Just make sure you can take advantage of them to make the high $695 annual fee worth your while.

At a Glance

  • 100,000 bonus points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership
  • 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of Card Membership
  • 5x points on flights booked through American Express Travel or directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $200 hotel credit as an annual statement credit for prepaid bookings through the Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel
  • $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership
  • $695 annual fee
  • 15.99% – 22.99% Variable Pay Over Time APR (See Rates & Fees)

Pros

  • Valuable welcome offer

  • Tiered rewards structure 

  • No foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees)

  • Travel perks including lounge access and airline fee credits

Cons

  • Relatively high APR

  • Annual fee

  • Not great for rewards outside travel categories

Additional Card Details

This card offers a lot of added benefits that can elevate any travel experience. Here’s everything you’ll get with the Platinum Card:

  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. annually ($15 per month and a bonus $20 in December), plus Uber VIP access
  • Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com (up to $50 every 6 months, per calendar year)
  • $300 in annual statement credits ($25 per month) on select Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app
  • $240 in annual statement credits ($20 per month) on purchases or subscriptions with Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying same-day Delta Air Lines flights)
  • Access to Fine Hotels & Resorts program, plus credits and benefits during your stay, including $100 credit towards eligible onsite activities
  • Access to the Global Dining Access program by Resy, where cardholders can get exclusive tables at some of the world’s top restaurants
  • 40% off a membership for the Premium Private Jet Program with Wheels Up
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status enrollment
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status enrollment
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Access to American Express Experiences
  • American Express preferred seating and presale access

The Platinum Card from American Express has historically been a charge card. A charge card works the same way as a normal credit card when you spend, but has no credit limit. And unlike a credit card, which offers the option to make minimum monthly payments toward your balance, you must pay your full amount owed each month on a charge card. While making only minimum credit card payments can result in high interest accrual, not paying your full balance on a charge card can lead to high fees, denied charges, and account closure. 

But American Express recently introduced a feature called Pay Over Time, which makes the Platinum card not a straightforward charge or credit card or, but something of a hybrid. This feature allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all, and your card limit will still be flexible.

Full Review

Card Type

The Amex Platinum Card is a premium rewards travel card. It’s geared towards very frequent travelers looking to elevate their travel experience.

Annual Fee

The Amex Platinum Card carries a $695 annual fee.

Welcome Offer

The Amex Platinum is currently offering a 100,000-point offer if you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership. New cardmembers can also earn 10 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases during the first six months.

Rewards

The Amex Platinum card earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. It also earns 5x points on prepaid hotels booked via the Amex Travel portal. New cardholders can also earn 10x points at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during their first six months, up to $15,000 in combined purchases.

Foreign Transaction Fees

The Amex Platinum Card does not charge any foreign transaction fees, so it’s a great card to bring with you on international trips when it’s safe to travel again.

Benefits of the American Express Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum card comes with benefits like up to a $200 hotel credit as an annual statement credit for prepaid bookings through the Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel, $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership, $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 in Uber Cash annually, a 12-month complimentary Uber Eats Pass (when you register by December 31, 2021), up to a $100 credit annually to Saks Fifth Avenue, up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry and more. It also offers 5x points on airfare, either booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. You can later redeem your points for travel via the Amex Travel portal or transferring to partners such as Delta, Marriott, Hilton and Air Canada. The Amex Platinum card offers access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program and to the Global Dining Access program by Resy, where cardholders can get exclusive tables at some of the world’s top restaurants. It also allows access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges at airports worldwide.

Drawbacks of the American Express Platinum Card

The biggest drawback of the card is that it carries a high $695 annual fee, so it’s crucial to determine if your spending habits line up with the perks so that you can get value out of the card. The card also only earns bonus points on airfare and on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, as opposed to also earning bonus points on restaurants, such as the American Express® Gold Card.

Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the top-tier premium travel rewards cards on the market. They each offer a variety of travel perks, ranging from lounge access to airline and hotel credits and plenty of other benefits. Compared to the benefits listed above, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 travel credit, up to a $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry, up to $60 in DoorDash statement credits (through 2021) and up to $120 in statement credits towards Peloton membership (through 12/31/21).

How to Use the American Express Platinum Card

Make sure you secure your welcome bonus by spending $6,000 in the first six months from account opening. Those 100,000 Membership Rewards points are worth more than $1000 when used to book travel through American Express Travel. 

You should also make sure you swipe your Platinum card every time you spend in rewards categories: 10x  points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership., plus 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel and 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). 

And after you book your next travel destination, live it up by taking advantage of the Platinum Card’s credits, your access to airport lounges, booking stays at Fine Hotels and Resorts properties, and Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite statuses.

Once you rack up your rewards points, you can redeem them for travel via the American Express Travel portal or by transferring them to partners . The latter can help you unlock potentially even more value. Some of Amex’s notable partners include Delta Air Lines, Marriott, and Hilton.

While you’ll get the best value redeeming your Membership Rewards points on travel, that’s not the only way to use your points. You can pay with points at checkout, cover charges with a statement credit for qualified purchases, get gift cards, upgrade your travel arrangements and more. However, these redemptions are often less valuable than travel. For example, 10,000 Membership Rewards Points are worth $70 of Amazon purchases or a $60 statement credit to cover a charge, but worth $100 toward a flight.

Since the top points-earning category for the Platinum Card is airfare, it might make sense to pair it with another American Express card that earns Membership Rewards Points on everyday purchases. Any points you earn with a card like the American Express® Gold Card or Amex Everyday® Credit Card* can pool into the same Membership Rewards account, so you can use their joint points yield to book travel or redeem your points in another way.

American Express Platinum Card Review Compared to Other Cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express Right for You?

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with premium travel rewards that can really enhance your trip. You’ll get access to top resorts, hotels, lounges, and experiences, along with a variety of available statement credits for certain travel-related purchases. 

But make no mistake — you must spend big to maximize your value from this card. While other premium rewards cards are useful for saving money on travel, the Platinum Card is more about elevating your travel experiences than saving money on them.

While the pandemic has put a damper on the potential upside of this card, newly added benefits such as the 10x  points on eligible purchases on at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership.), and Uber Cash credits, can help ensure the Platinum Card is still valuable even while your travel plans remain grounded. Still, you should only get this card if you anticipate a regular travel schedule as we look toward a post-pandemic life. 

If your regular travel and lifestyle spending — as well as your budget — is in line with the Platinum Card’s rewards categories, the $695 annual fee is pretty easily offset by all of the credits and freebies. You’ll get up to a $200 credit for prepaid bookings through the Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel; $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership; up to a $200 airline fee credit; up to a $100 Saks credit; up to $240 in annual statement credits for select digital entertainment services; up to $300 on select Equinox or Equinox+ memberships; and up to $200 in Uber Cash. This puts the entire $695 annual fee directly back into your pocket — and then some. If you weren’t already going to be spending money on those things, though, then these perks aren’t going to be as useful, and may influence you to spend more dollars than you normally would, though.  

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

This card is the top-of-the-line travel card from American Express, and its benefits can be worth the high cost of having the card for a person who already does plenty of traveling each year. But it’s not for everyone. Make sure the spending required to use these benefits is realistic for your budget. If not, the steep $695 annual fee might not be worth it. 

*All information about the Amex Everyday Credit Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, click here

For rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an annual fee for the American Express Platinum card?

Yes, there is a $695 annual fee for the Platinum Card.

Will I need good credit to get the American Express Platinum card?

You will need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Platinum Card.

Is the American Express Platinum card a good card?

If you use it correctly, the Platinum Card from American Express can be a great way to maximize your travel spending. But be sure you’re prepared to pay the annual fee, and evaluate whether the card’s perks offset the cost enough for it to bring value to your spending.

What are the perks of the American Express Platinum card?

Perks of the Amex Platinum card include up to a $200 credit for prepaid bookings through the Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel; $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership; up to a $200 airline fee credit; up to a $100 Saks credit; up to $240 in annual statement credits for select digital entertainment services; up to $300 on select Equinox or Equinox+ memberships; up to $200 in Uber Cash; and up to a $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck/Global Entry. The card earns 5x points on airfare either booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). Cardholders also get complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges, as well as Delta SkyClubs (when flying Delta same-day), and can book hotels via the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Hotels booked through this program earn 5x points, and cardholders will receive up to a $100 property credit, room upgrades (when available), daily breakfast, and more.

What airport lounges can I get into with the American Express Platinum?

Cardholders have access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Amex Centurion Lounges, and Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta on the same day.

Amex Gold or Platinum: Which one is better?

Both cards are higher-end premium travel and lifestyle cards. The Amex Gold has a $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) and comes with perks like up to a $120 annual dining credit (up to $10 monthly) and up to $120 in Uber Cash (up to $10 monthly) for U.S. rides and eats. The Gold Card must be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. It also earns 4x points on restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x). Ultimately, there’s no such thing as a “better” card — it depends on your budget, spending habits and travel goals.

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