Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » Platinum Card® from American Express Review: Premium Perks, High Fee
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Platinum Card® from American Express Review: Premium Perks, High Fee

Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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Platinum Card® from American Express

amex platinum

Rewards Plan

1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases

Welcome Bonus

80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

Credit Rating

Excellent

0% Intro

None

Annual Fee

$695

APR

19.74% – 26.74% Variable
Platinum Card® from American Express

amex platinum

Rewards Plan

1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases

Welcome Bonus

80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

0% Intro

None

PROS

CONS

APR

19.74% - 26.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$695

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

Credit Requirements

Excellent

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best travel premium cards existing in the market, featuring high rewards for travelers but includes a high annual fee of $695 (See rates & fees).  

Amex Platinum cardholders earn 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases. Also, there is a welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. 

However, the card may not be relevant if you're not a frequent flyer/traveler. In such a case, it would be more difficult to cover the annual fee and you couldn't take advantage of the various extra perks it offers.

  • Uber Cash
  • Variety of Airline Partners
  • Airline Fee Credit
  • CLEAR® Membership Credit
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Platinum Travel Service
  • The Hotel Collection Credit
  • No foreign Transaction Fees
  • Trip Delay & Cancellation Insurance
  • American Express Global Lounges
  • Hotel Credit
  • Digital Entertainment Credit
  • Walmart Credit
  • Equinox Memberships Credit
  • Hotels & Resorts Program Perks
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Uber US Only
  • Excellent Credit Needed
  • Some Credit Are Difficult to Redeem
  • High Annual Fee

How to maximize rewards on Amex Platinum Card?

There is a points-based system. You can redeem the points for a variety of rewards that are showcased on the Amex website. These include statement credit, gift cards, paying for certain services etc.

What are the top reasons NOT to get the Amex Platinum Card?

If you do not travel a lot or you do not spend a lot of money when traveling. If you are looking for a card that covers a wide range of purchases at premium cashback rates.

Is there a limit to rewards?

There is a cap in place with the Amex Platinum card on getting the premium rate of cashback on certain types of purchases.

Can I get car rental insurance with Amex Platinum?

Yes, you will get car rental insurance with Amex Platinum automatically once you decline the car insurance from the rental company and you pay the full rental charge using this card.

Does card rewards points expire?

The Amex points do not have an expiration date as long as your account is live, so you no need to worry about it.

Can I get pre-approved?

Yes, you can get pre-approval for the Amex Platinum card. This is a very simple process and does not require a hard credit check.

What is the initial credit limit?

The minimum credit limit you will get with the Amex Platinum card will be $5,000. The exact limit that you get depends on the financial situation you are in.

How do I redeem points?

Amex has its own points-based system. You can redeem the points for a variety of rewards that are showcased on the Amex website. These include statement credit, gift cards, paying for certain services etc.

What purchases don't earn cash back?

Every type of purchase through this card will earn cashback points.

In this Review

Benefits

American Express Platinum members get $15 in Uber Cash for rides and eat orders every month. In December, you’ll get a bonus of $20. This is a great way to get a few free rides or meal deliveries a week.

Along with using your points for airlines and flights, you can also use the points for transfer partners. This gives you a huge variety of airlines to choose from when you want to travel.

This also gives you access to more destinations. Some airlines also let you use your points for upgraded seats or other perks when flying.

Up to $200 in Airline fee credit per year when you charge incidental travel fees from selected airlines on your card. Enrollment Required.

Up to $189 back per year when you use your card to pay for a CLEAR® membership. Enrollment Required.

For a 5-year plan, receive either a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or an up to $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck® through any Authorized Enrollment Provider.  In addition, if you are approved for Global Entry, you will be granted free access to TSA PreCheck.

Cardholders can talk to Amex Platinum Travel counselors  –  experts at creating personalized itineraries and making tailored recommendations to help make the most of your travels. 

Cardholders get a $100 experience credit to use during stay. However, there is a minimum of 2-night stay to redeem this benefit.

The Amex platinum card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee.

Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased with your same eligible Card if a round-trip is paid for entirely with your eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip for more than 6 hours. You can also get reimbursing for your non-refundable expenses*.

When you’re traveling, you also get access to all the American Express Global Lounges. This makes flying extremely more convenient and comfortable. Many of the lounges also have free food and drinks which means you don’t have to spend extra money on airport food.

Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment Required.

Up to $240 or $20 per month in Digital Entertainment Credit when you pay for one or more The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM or Audible products with your card. Enrollment Required.

Up to $155 in Walmart+ credit. When you use your card to pay for your monthly Walmart+ membership, you’ll get the full cost back every month. Enrollment Required.

Up to $300 back every year for eligible Equinox memberships when you enroll and pay using your card.

When you book with American Express Travel, you're eligible for extra perks such as daily breakfast for two, 4PM check-out, and a $100 experience credit to savor something unique at each property.

You may be covered for Damage to or Theft of a Rental Vehicle in a Covered Territory if you use your Eligible Card to reserve and pay for the Entire Rental and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) at the Rental Company counter.

When you travel more than 100 miles from home, the Global Assist® Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency assistance and coordination services such as medical and legal referrals, emergency cash wires, and lost luggage assistance. 

Cardholders are liable for the fees charged by third-party service providers.

Drawbacks

While the American Express Platinum card does offer great Uber credits, it can only be used in the United States. If you frequently travel internationally and like to use Uber, you won’t be able to use them which can be annoying.

The American Express Platinum also requires good to excellent credit. If your credit score is below 660, you might not be eligible for the card.

American Express is pretty strict on who gets their cards, so the credit score is usually non-negotiable even if your debt-to-income ratio is low and the rest of your finances are in order.

Some of the credits can also be difficult to redeem including the airline fee credit. Many people describe the American Express rewards as complicated and confusing to redeem.

When you are ready to use the airline credit, you need to make sure you are giving yourself enough time to redeem it and to figure out how you can use it.

The platinum card annual fee is one of the highest in the market. Despite the card offers some great perks for travelers, potential cardholders should make sure their use can cover the fee before applying.

How Much Rewards Do You Really Earn?

The best way to see if the Amex platinum Card is the right choice for your needs, is to calculate the amount of rewards and benefits you suppose to earn. 

Keep in mind that this is a general breakdown of expenses, so make sure to adjust it to your own consumer preferences and spending habits.

amex platinum

Spend Per Category
The Platinum Card®
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
10,000 points
$5,000 – Restaurants
5,000 points
$6,000 – Hotels
30,000 points
$6,000 – Airline
30,000 points
$4,000 – Gas
4,000 points
Total Points
79,000 points
Estimated Redemption Value
1 point ~ 0.6 – 1.6 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$474 – $1,264

How To Apply For Amex Platinum Card?

Since the American Express Platinum requires stellar credit, you might want to check your credit score before you apply for this card. If it’s below 660 or 700, you might not want to apply right away as the credit card application will do a hard check of your credit and this can cause your score to drop even lower.

Step 1. If your credit score is high enough, then you can start the application on the American Express website. Make sure you enter in all the personal information that’s asked for including your full name, date of birth, address, and email. Make sure the name and date of birth you enter are the same on the ID you plan to use for the next step.

amex platinum application step 1

Step 2: You will also need to submit your social security number so that the company can run a check on your credit. Amex will also require you to share your total annual income, non taxable income and your income source.

amex platinum application step 2

Step 3: Lastly, you'll need to review the terms and conditions and submit your application. The, Amex will review your details and let you know whether you're approved or not.

amex platinum application step 3

Redemption Options

For American Express Platinum, you will redeem your points through the Amex Travel portal. Using the points for travel gives you the most money for your points. For example, 50,000 points will be worth about $500.

While you can use the points for other things, they are usually not as lucrative as redeeming the points for travel. You can also book hotel rooms and car rentals through the Amex travel portal. To get the most value for your points, you will need to book through the travel portal rather than transferring the points and then using them that way.

If you choose not to use the points for travel, you can redeem the points for cashback or gift cards. These are less lucrative as you are only getting 1 cent for every mile. You can also use your points at some online retailers such as Amazon.

How to Maximize Rewards?

There are a couple of small tips that can help you to earn the most of the Platinum card: 

  • Leverage Credit Perks – The best way to maximize the American Express credit card is to make sure you are using all the credits that are offered to you. For example, make sure you are using the Uber credit every month. The credits do not roll over from month to month, so make sure you are using the credit before the end of the month.
  • Use your Gold Elite status at Hilton and Marriott. The elite status makes it easy to get free hotel perks like late checkout or upgraded rooms such as suites. You might also be able to get a free night if you book so many nights in a row.
  • Use Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You get free credit for one of these things when you have the card. Make sure to apply for one or the other and take advantage of it since American Express will reimburse you for the cost. This makes travel easier and much more convenient.

What Customers Think?

Satisfied borrowers report that the American Express Platinum card is great for travel perks including airlines, Uber, and hotels. If you are a frequent traveler and want to be able to get free perks, this is a great card option. It also doesn’t like you down as other cards do to one airline or hotel. Users love the freedom it gives them to choose from different hotels and airlines. 

The main negative complaint is that the annual fee is very high compared to other cards. You need to make sure you are getting all the points and miles you can since that fee can be hard to make up for. Some users also say that the travel portal has glitches and can be hard to use.

In Which Cases It’s Better to Skip?

If you don’t think you can afford the steep annual fee, you might want to consider another card.

Even though you get many different perks and access to luxury travel with this card, the fee is only worth it if you can use the card often and if you can comfortably afford the annual fee. It might also be better to skip this card if you have a low credit score.

Compare The Alternatives

There are more cards with premium travel benefits worth mentioning as alternatives to the Amex platinum card:

amex platinum

citi_premier_card

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee
$695. See Rates & Fees
$550
$95
Rewards
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
1X – 3X 3X points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
Welcome bonus
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
80,000 points 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
80,000 points 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%. See Rates & Fees.
0%
None
Purchase APR
19.74% – 26.74% Variable
19.24% – 26.24% Variable
19.74% – 27.74% (Variable)

FAQ

The Amex platinum card is a good fit if you spend a lot of money on travel-related expenses and want to avail yourself of some great travel perks.

If you do not travel a lot or you do not spend a lot of money when traveling or if you are looking for a card that covers a wide range of purchases at premium cashback rates – it night not be the best card for your needs.

You might not have met one of the requirements. You can ask the customer support team if there is something you can do to change this eventuality. Otherwise, you can look for an alternative card.

You need to meet the credit score and income requirements, which are higher than a lot of other cards.

You need to have an income of at least $50,000 usually and might need to provide proof of income.

Review American Express Credit Cards

 

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Table of Contents

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.