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Exciting news! The Platinum Card® from American Express has been revamped, with new benefits, welcome bonuses, and overall perks that add to this travel-friendly card. These new perks have a $1,400 value! However, more perks unfortunately means a new annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees). But, the numerous perks that come with this travel card, including airline credits, access to airport lounges, and upgraded status (enrollment may be required), help offset the fee.

Plus, there is a new digital entertainment credit, Equinox, and CLEAR perks (terms apply). So, if you’ve been wondering if the Platinum Card from American Express is worth it, especially if you aren’t traveling just yet, knowing that there are other ways to earn rewards can be helpful.

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also 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. Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

This Platinum Card from American Express Review will help you decide if this is the next card for your wallet.

What credit score is needed for the Platinum Card from American Express? Photo by American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The Platinum Card from American Express Review 2021

Before we dive into the full review, let’s cover the highlights about you may or may not like this card. The Platinum Card from American Express is a great addition for these reasons:

  • The quickest way to earn travel rewards points from airline purchases
  • Receive up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline (enrollment required)
  • Receive up to $200 annually in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the U.S. (terms apply)
  • Access to several airport lounge networks
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Upgraded membership status to Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Programs (enrollment required)
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually (enrollment required)
  • Terms apply

And for those who are wondering, here’s how hard it is to get the Platinum Card.

The Amex Platinum Card Isn’t Good For…

While the American Express Platinum is a highly valuable travel rewards card in the right hands, there are a few drawbacks:

  • Airline Fee Credit and Uber credits have redemption restrictions
  • Some transfer partners charge a small fee when you transfer miles
  • Only earn bonus purchase rewards on airline and hotel reservations
  • There is a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)

Although the annual fee is high, if you are able to take advantage of all of the perks, you can easily offset that fee.

Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn  100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also 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. Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

The Best Travel Rewards Card for Airline Purchases

While either of the Chase Sapphire credit cards can also be very valuable for earning and redeeming points for air travel, the Platinum Card probably has the edge in most instances. You earn five points per $1 on airfare purchased directly from the airline or using AmexTravel.com, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

This is a better rate than many co-branded airline rewards cards that might offer two or three points.

When it comes time to redeemed American Express Membership Rewards points for award flights (through AmexTravel), points are worth one penny each. A $300 ticket will cost you 30,000 points. However, the same ticket with the Sapphire Reserve would only require 20,000 points because Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be worth up to 1.5 cents each when redeemed for award travel.

You earn more with The Platinum Card® from American Express, but you also have to spend more than with other flexible travel rewards cards. But, as you earn points with every purchase, the lower value can still be worth the higher purchase rewards if you spend a lot of money on airlines and hotels.

Transferring Membership Rewards Points for Rewards

You might also consider transferring American Express points (Membership Rewards points) to one of the 20 Amex Travel Partners. You can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline partners including Delta, Air France Flying Blue, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Emirates, and Etihad.

This can be a good way to boost the value of your points. It can sometimes be more advantageous to book partner flights than directly from the airlines you plan to fly.

Before transferring points, be sure to read the fine print. Some airlines charge a transfer fee that can add up to $100. Many people think that the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred are the best cards for transferring miles to airline and hotel partners, but, this is also possible with the Amex Platinum card.

Hotel Rewards

Prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel earn unlimited 5x points.

Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

If you like to stay at Hilton or Marriott Bonvoy properties, you also receive upgraded status with Gold membership status with both programs (enrollment required).

Having Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy means you can earn 3 points with every visit, receive 4 p.m. late checkout, free in-room internet, and 5th night free when you redeem rewards points for the first four nights. If you want to learn about Marriott’s credit cards, check out our guide to the best Marriott credit cards. Hilton Gold status allows you to get a free breakfast, a 25% point bonus, and a free 5th night on a multi-night stay. Terms apply.

Perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a “frequent flyer” written all over it. Jetsetters will benefit the most from this card because of the bonus purchase rewards for airfare and also for additional perks. Even though it isn’t a co-branded airline credit card, it is still considered one of the best airline cards.

Annual Air Travel Credit

You will receive up to $200 in air travel statement credits every year (enrollment required). It can only be used for one airline that you select each year. But, it only covers incidental fees such as checked baggage or in-flight purchases. These two facts do put a damper on the credit, but, it is $200 of “free” money and helps justify the annual fee. Plus, those incidental fees can add up.

Complimentary Lounge Access

Get free access to over 1,000 airport lounges that belong to The Centurion Lounge, International American Express, Delta Sky Club, or Priority Pass Select (enrollment required) lounge networks. No other travel rewards card offers access to so many different lounge networks.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Holding the Amex Platinum gives you access to the Centurion Lounge.

Uber Credit

If you ride Uber or use Uber Eats, this credit will make you happy. Cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Rental Car Benefits

As a Platinum cardholder, you will also receive complimentary membership and upgrade status for several of the leading national rental car agencies.

Whenever you rent a car, you will automatically receive complimentary secondary collision damage waiver insurance in case your rental car is damaged in a car accident or theft.

Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Cardholders can get a fee credit of up to $100 for their Global Entry or TSA PreCheck applications. This comes in the form of a statement credit every 5 years after the application of TSA Pre ($85) or Global Entry ($100). Once you receive your TSA Pre or Global Entry, you get preferential treatment at select airports, making the screening process a breeze for you!

Global Entry actually works as a fast pass to help you clear immigration in the quickest manner possible, whenever you return to the United States after a foreign trip. You become eligible for expedited security, provided you add your Known Traveler ID number to all your pertinent frequent flyer accounts. In case you aren’t presently registered with either of these, Global Entry is the one you must definitely look into.

New! CLEAR Credit

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

American Express Concierge

By far the most difficult American Express Platinum benefit to put a value on, the concierge service gives cardholders access to a certain program that can help them make purchases or make arrangements for all kinds of needs or wants. It’s basically a special phone service that functions as an outsourcing facility for the cardholders’ to-do lists, especially with regard to the things that they spend money on.

So, you can seek assistance for booking in-demand events, restaurants, delivery services, and more.

This concierge service can be particularly helpful in booking tables at many popular fully-booked restaurants or fine dining establishments the world over.

Elite Status with Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy

American Express added this perk for all Platinum cardholders, providing them automatic enrollment into the Hilton Honors Gold Status. Gaining such an enrollment allows cardmembers to earn 25% Hilton Honors base points whenever they book stays with any of the Hilton hotels. Furthermore, all such gold status members get their 5th night stays free (in standard room stays of 5 or more nights).

To tell you more about the significance of this benefit, you’re normally required to stay for a minimum of 40 nights at various Hilton properties OR earn 75,000 Honors base points (combined with a total of 20 night stays at various Hilton properties), all in a single calendar year, to unlock the Gold status.

American Express Platinum also earns you the Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, entitling you to some amazing on-property benefits like 50% points bonus for stays, late checkouts, free premium internet, complimentary room upgrades, and more.

Enrollment is required for this benefit. Terms apply.

In-Flight And Airport Internet Services

All The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders receive complimentary enrollment into Boingo’s preferred Internet plan that comprises unlimited internet access through Wi-fi hotspots at airports throughout the world. Please note, you stand eligible for 10 Gogo in-flight Internet passes.

Normally costing $16 for an all-day pass, it can help you cut down your in-flight internet costs significantly.

Access To American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Program

Another important benefit you get with your American Express Platinum card is access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program. AMEX FHR is actually a travel website.

Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

New! Digital Entertainment Credit

There’s a new exciting perk that can add value to this card for many people. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

New! Equinox Credit

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

If you’re looking for a business card alternative, consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. The Business Platinum card comes with the following benefits:

  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually for U.S. Dell purchases (get up to $100 semi-annually; Terms apply)
  • Complimentary airport lounge access to Centurion, Priority Pass, and other networks (enrollment may be required)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • Up to $200 airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits—enrollment required) at one qualifying airline annually for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card

Plus, cardholders can now breeze through security with CLEAR® (where available) and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card. Terms apply.

Cardholders earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Additionally, cardholders can get a 35% airline bonus when using their points to pay for all or part of a flight with a qualifying airline booked on amextravel.com, up to 500,000 bonus points annually. They also get a 50% bonus (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million points annually).

Also, cardholders can take advantage of the Pay Over Time Option, a flexible payment option to help manage cash for purchases of $100 or more (terms apply).

New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 100,000 bonus points, they need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on their card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

In addition to the points, you can enjoy free airport lounge access, travel credits, and flexible point redemption options as well. There is a $595 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Related: Amex Business Platinum Card Review

Perks and Benefits Summary

Actually, there are even more benefits offered by American Express Platinum that are listed here. While a good number of these benefits reset with the start of every calendar year, some of them just roll over if you continue holding the Amex Platinum card.

All in all, they’re all very helpful for anyone who’s a frequent traveler. They easily justify and actually more than makeup for the steep $695 annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with several perks. Credit: American Express

Review of The Platinum Card from American Express

If you like to travel and “earn rewards points” with cards to help fund these adventures, chances are you have one or more of the best travel cards in your wallet. There are plenty of cards that reward loyalty to a specific hotel or airline. But, sometimes travelers need a card that provides rewards for multiple travel brands and offers premium benefits.

For jet-setters willing to pay a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), The Platinum Card® from American Express might be the next card to put into your wallet. Here’s our quick review of the Platinum Card from American Express.

Welcome Offer

The Amex Platinum wouldn’t be a legitimate travel rewards card if it didn’t offer a welcome offer of some variety.

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn  100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also 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. Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

The Membership Rewards points can be exchanged for gift cards, hotel stays, airline tickets, shopping, entertainment events, and statement credits. Redeeming the points for gift cards and airfare on the Amex Travel website have a rate of 40,000 points for $400 in value. The most valuable way to redeem your American Express points is to transfer them out to one of their many travel transfer partners.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this bonus is a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”  Some credit cards will allow you to claim welcome bonuses multiple times usually by waiting at least 2 years since the credit card was closed. Not so with the Platinum Card from American Express.

Travel Benefits

While the welcome offer isn’t anything to scoff at and the bonus points can nearly offset the annual fee for the first year of membership, the real reason to get the Amex Platinum is for the travel benefits. The $695 annual fee is going to make a lot of people hesitant to consider this card.

A person needs to do a fair amount of flying to justify this card. International travelers will not be charged a foreign transaction fee, although it might be difficult to find merchants abroad that accept American Express. Still, it is one of the best cards for international travel.

Here are the highlights of the other travel rewards:

Airport Lounge Access Program

Platinum cardholders have access to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world with the Amex Centurion lounge network, Delta Sky Club, Airspace Lounge, and Priority Pass Select (enrollment required). This card is a good option for travelers so they can receive access to lounges if they are flying an airline other than Delta.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Other airline rewards cards might offer complimentary or discount passes to their lounge, but usually, the cardholder needs to be traveling on that same airline that day to receive access. With the Platinum card, travelers have more options when passing time for a layover in privacy and comfort. Plus, the Centurion lounges are the nicest domestic lounges available.

$200 Airline Fee Credit (Enrollment required)

American Express will reimburse The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders up to $200 in incidental airline fees every year, in the form of statement credits. While the credit cannot be used to compensate ticket purchases or upgrades, it can be used to compensate checked bag fees or in-flight purchases such as food and movies.

To receive compensation, cardholders need to select a qualifying airline with Amex before incurring the additional fees.

Complimentary Membership for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Another nice travel perk for cardholders is the fact that Amex will reimburse the application fee for cardholders that apply for one of the two programs: Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).

The first option helps expedite the process of passing through customs for international travelers. The latter option is ideal for domestic travelers that can skip the long security lines at check-in. They get to walk through a metal detector instead of the full-body scanner.

Each pass is good for five years before the cardholder needs to renew either program.

Boingo Wi-Fi

People do not want to burn up their wireless data plan during a layover. Therefore, cardholders have complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi with over 1,000,000 hotspots. For frequent travelers, this means they can still get business done when unexpected delays occur without incurring any additional expenses.

Gold Status (Enrollment required)

One final travel perk of the Amex Platinum is complimentary Gold access to the Hilton HHonors and Marriott Bonvoy programs. These high-quality hotels that are ideal for the typical Amex Platinum cardholder. This membership level would require a person to stay at least 20 stays (or 40 nights) for the Hilton HHonors program without this card.

Complimentary membership might also mean not having to get another card to earn travel rewards as well.

Other rewards

No doubt about it, the travel rewards are the best feature of The Platinum Card® from American Express, making it one of the best rewards cards. But, cardholders also receive one reward point for every dollar spent on card purchases. For travel itineraries purchased through Amex Travel, cardholders will receive two points for every $1 spent.

For a premium rewards card, the points are not the highest payouts among reward cards. Many “no-frills” rewards cards offer a one-point-per-dollar-reward rate. Even so, American Express Membership Reward Points are some of the most valuable points among card programs.

Amex Concierge

Besides the ability to accumulate reward points on any purchase, cardholders also have access to American Express concierge service. While the internet has downplayed the popularity of these services, they are still very valuable.

When booking a rental card with Amex, cardholders can receive complimentary upgrades with most major rental car companies. International travelers who purchase a qualifying Business or First Class seat will receive a discounted price for their traveling companion.

Bottom Line

Despite the high annual fee, The Platinum Card from American Express is still a very credible travel rewards card. It is also one of the best cards for travel purchases. Frequent fliers should consider the card to maximize the various perks and justify the $695 annual fee. Despite the high fee, the Platinum card still offers more perks than most travel cards.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

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

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

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