Why the Platinum Card from American Express Is Worth the Annual Fee

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most premium best travel credit cards. Yet, the Amex Platinum card has started to face intense competition from Chase, Citi, and others. Numerous premium credit cards have launched offering valuable benefits that are popular with travelers. But don’t count out the Amex Platinum. It still offers some amazing benefits that are worth the $550 annual price tag. Let’s take a look to see what you get.

American Express Business Platinum vs Chase Ink Business Preferred

American Express Platinum credit card

Platinum Card from American Express Welcome Bonus

As with any credit card, the welcome bonus is one of the immediate benefits of getting a new credit card. With the Platinum Card® from American Express, the current welcome bonus is 60,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.

Some people have reported receiving a targeted offer of $100,000 American Express Membership Rewards. It has the same $5,000 minimum spend requirement within 3 months of account opening to receive the bonus.

Keep in mind that the first year annual fee is not waived, but the value of the welcome bonus more than makes up for the initial cost. You can add up to 3 additional cardholders to extend these benefits for $175 per year. Each additional cardholder beyond that is $175 each per year.

Annual benefits of the Amex Platinum

The welcome bonus is nice, but you’ll only receive it once. What convinces cardholders to renew year in and year out are the benefits that you receive each year.

$200 Airline Credit

You will receive $200 in airline credits each calendar year from the American Express Platinum card. These credits can be used for baggage fees, seat assignments, change fees, and phone reservation fees, to name a few. Airplane tickets are not eligible for these airline credits. Gift cards are also excluded. However, some people report success in receiving credit for purchasing them.

In order to use the airline credits, you’ll need to designate your preferred airline from among the list of:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

Once you make your selection for the year, you cannot change it. However, you can change your selection once January 1st rolls around.

$200 Uber credits

Unfortunately, the $200 Uber credits aren’t provided all at once. Instead, you will receive $15 in Uber credits each month plus an extra $20 in December. If you don’t use Uber each month, these credits also count towards Uber Eats orders.

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll also receive an upgrade to Uber VIP status without meeting minimum ride requirements. This assures that you’ll be matched up with top-rated drivers whenever possible.

Unlimited Boingo WiFi access

For the traveler on the go, having access to fast and free WiFi is critical. With the American Express Platinum card, you’ll receive unlimited Boingo WiFi access with the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. A comparable unlimited plan from Boingo would cost $5 per month.

You can log in with up to 4 devices to more than 1 million WiFi hotspots around the world. However, this does not include WiFi internet access during flights.

platinum card

Spa Therapies from Exhale and Shower Suites at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport credit: thecenturionlounge.com

Lounge Access

With the American Express Platinum card, you have access to over 1100 airport lounges across 120 countries. There are 7 lounge programs included in the Global Lounge Collection benefit:

  • The Centurion Lounge (exclusive to American Express)
  • The International American Express lounges
  • Delta Sky Club (when flying Delta Airlines)
  • Priority Pass Select lounges
  • Airspace Lounges
  • Escape Lounges
  • Plaza Premium

Registration is required with Priority Pass before you can access one of their lounges. When you call to activate your American Express Platinum, speak with a customer service representative to enroll in Priority Pass. They’ll also answer questions about any of the other benefits of your Amex Platinum.

If you have additional authorized users on your account, they will also be able to access any of these lounges. It doesn’t matter whether they are traveling with the primary cardholder or not.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Reimbursement

Frequent travelers know that waiting in line is not the best use of their time. That’s why Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is crucial to getting through airport security and customs at domestic airports.

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll receive up to $100 reimbursement every 4 years to enroll in either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Other border security programs, such as NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST, are not included. Additional cardholders also have access to this reimbursement benefit.

Fine Hotels & Resorts

This is one of the underused benefits of the American Express Platinum. But savvy travelers know that the Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection offers tremendous benefits at over 1,000 hotels and resorts around the world.

The benefits include:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4 pm late checkout
  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Complimentary hotel WiFi
  • Unique amenity valued at $100

The amenity will often be a food & beverage or spa credit.

When comparing hotel prices for your upcoming vacation, don’t forget to take a look to see what Fine Hotels & Resorts is offering. Even if you pay a little more per night, the value of free breakfast and $100 amenity will often tilt the decision towards Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Other benefits of the Amex Platinum

When you book airfare directly with the airlines or through American Express Travel, you will receive 5x Membership Rewards points. You can also earn 5x points when you book and prepay hotel reservations on AmexTravel.com. All other purchases earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent.

Whether you are driving on vacation or just around town, Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have access to Premium Roadside Assistance service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some of the included services are towing up to 10 miles, changing a flat tire, or jumpstarting a dead battery. You can use this service up to 4 times per year at no additional charge.

When traveling more than 100 miles from home, rest easy knowing that the Amex Platinum offers Premium Global Assist Hotline. These medical and legal professionals assist with medical, legal, financial, and select other emergency and coordination services. Some examples of these services include replacing a lost or stolen passport, prescription replacements, missing luggage, and cash wires.

Does the Amex Platinum Card belong in your wallet?

As you can see, the American Express Platinum offers tremendous value that outweighs the premium annual fee. If you are a frequent traveler, the Platinum Card® from American Express is a must-have. For one annual fee, you’ll gain entrance to over 1100 airport lounges, receive $400 in annual airline and Uber credits, and have unlimited WiFi at over 1 million Boingo hotspots. Plus the card benefits can be extended to additional cardholders for a fraction of the price.

Lee Huffman

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Why the Platinum Card from American Express Is Worth the Annual Fee
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About the Author

Lee Huffman
Lee developed a passion for traveling as a boy, and now he explores the world with his wife & children using miles, points, & the latest travel hacks. He has been teaching others how to travel more, spend less, & live better since 2012.

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