The Platinum Card® from American Express review

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Best for international travel

Annual Fee:
$550
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
N/A
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: Airport Lounge Access, Annual Travel Credit, Annual Uber Credit, Auto Rental Insurance, Charge card, Concierge Service, Elite Status, EMV, Excellent Credit, Extended Warranty Program, Free Credit Score, Free Wi-Fi Access, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Mobile Pay Ready, No Foreign Transaction Fees, Points, Popular, Presale Tickets, Private Jet Access, Purchase Protection, Rewards, Travel, TSA/Customs Reimbursement, Ultra-Premium Card, Zero Fraud Liability.

This is one of the best offers from our partner American Express.

The Platinum Card from American Express: Details and benefits

As the world’s first of its kind, the Platinum Card from American Express offers an exclusive, invitation-only membership. If you have a solid credit history and strong financial standing, this card should be in reach for you.

The Platinum Card is a serious card for serious cardholders. The card balance must be paid off in full each month, seeing as it’s a charge card, and the annual fee is $550 per year. (See Rates and Fees) But if you take full advantage of the card’s benefits, you’ll make up for the cost of the annual fee.

This card offers a huge welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points (worth up to $600) after spending 5,000 in your first three months of account ownership. You’ll also get 5 Membership Rewards Points for every dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express travel and 5 Membership Rewards Points for every dollar spent on eligible hotels booked through the American Express travel portal. For all other purchases, you’ll receive 1 Membership Rewards Point per dollar.

One of the best features of the Platinum Card is its airport lounge access to three different types of lounges: American Express’ proprietary lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges (should you be flying Delta) and Priority Pass™ Select lounges. You’ll also receive an Airline Fee Credit of up to $200 every calendar year. This credit can’t be used toward airfare, but it can cover things like checked bags, in-flight Wi-Fi and flight-change fees.

Advantages
  • Exceptional airport lounge access
  • Up to $200 in Airline Fee Credit each year
  • No foreign transaction fees or blackout dates
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit
  • Membership Rewards Points transfer to 17 airline and 3 hotel partners
Disadvantages
  • Large annual fee
  • The $200 airline fee credit cannot be used toward ticket price
  • Must pay bill in full each month (charge card)

Is the Platinum Card worth it for you?

If you travel frequently, want great luxury travel perks and have excellent credit, this card is your match. But you have to be willing to deal with the $550 annual fee (See Rates and Fees) and pay your balance in full each month to justify this card. (Not paying in full each month may result in up to $39 in late fees.) (See Rates and Fees)

It helps to have access to the Platinum Card’s free concierge service if you’re constantly traveling from hotel to hotel. The service can help you with requests like buying concert tickets, making restaurant reservations and shopping. It also offers exclusive access to events like the Kentucky Derby and the Grand Prix de Monaco.

You’ll enjoy your choice of either a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit every four years (program memberships come in five-year increments) and complimentary membership with several premium car rental programs, including special upgrades and discounts. You also get secondary coverage for eligible vehicles in the case of a collision or theft.

If any of these luxury perks pique your interest, you may be on the right track.

Get the most value from the Platinum Card

With the Platinum Card, you’ll receive Hilton Honors™ Gold Status enrollment and Guest Gold Elite status at Marriott Hotels. Benefits include (but are not limited to) a 25 percent bonus points earned during your Hilton stay and a fifth night free with every Hilton booking.

To enroll in complimentary elite status at Hilton and Marriott, make sure to enroll online or call Platinum® Life Offers at +44 (0) 1-273-576-454. Activating your $200 Airline Fee Credit is a similar process — simply activate on American Express’ website.

Furthermore, American Express has added incentives to the Platinum Card, including up to $200 in Uber credit each year. You’ll receive up to $15 into your Uber account each month and up to $35 in December for both rides and UberEats orders. To activate your $200 Uber credit, add your Platinum Card to the payment methods section of the Uber app

How much are the Platinum Card rewards worth?

The Platinum Card’s welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards Points (when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months) is worth around $600 — that’s enough for two round-trip domestic tickets or enough to cover the card’s annual fee. (Points don’t expire, so you don’t have to fret over the consequences of forgetting about them.)

The Platinum Card also comes with Priority Pass Select Membership (including free access for two guests per visit), which normally ranges between $99 and $249 and costs $27 per guest. TSA PreCheck and Global Entry costs range from $85 to $100, so your credit toward one of these two services will save you just as much.

Other benefits include a $75 credit for a two or more night stay at participating hotels in The Hotel Collection from American Express Travel.

How to redeem rewards

To redeem your Membership Rewards Points, log in to your account on the American Express website, select “Use Points” and apply toward your choice. There is no fee to redeem your points and partial redemptions are allowed. Plus, if you use your Membership Rewards Points for flights or hotel stays booked through the AmexTravel.com website, you’ll earn 5X the points.

For booking travel, you have to redeem a minimum of 5,000 points. You may also receive a discounted rate on eligible flights booked via Delta when paying the entire fare with your American Express card. Note: When traveling abroad, use your Platinum Card to take advantage of the no foreign transaction fees benefit.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.