The Platinum Card® from American Express Review: Luxury Travel Benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express Review: Luxury Travel Benefits

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When it comes to premium travel cards, few are as recognized as The Platinum Card® from American Express. This card is intended for the utmost luxury with perks aimed at frequent travelers and top value offered at hotels and flights. Although it comes with a $695 annual fee, maximizing the travel benefits will make this card worthwhile.

From airport lounges to complimentary elite status at two major hotel brands, these perks are unmatched by most cards. You'll also enjoy access to the Platinum Concierge that can help you make travel arrangements and book hard-to-get reservations to restaurants and events. When it comes to earning and redeeming points, the Membership Rewards program is highly valuable — mainly when used to book travel.

If you're more interested in earning discounts and saving every penny while traveling, this card isn't for you. Several cards outperform The Platinum Card® from American Express when it comes to earning travel points and earning free flights — all without breaking the bank.

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

Pros

  • Large welcome offer
  • Earning valuable Membership Rewards points
  • Luxury travel benefits — airport lounge access, hotel elite status, travel credits and more

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • Everyday spenders
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The Platinum Card® from American Express

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, 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.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: 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! 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.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: 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.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express benefits and features

If you want to improve your overall travel experience — and don't mind paying extra for it — you should get The Platinum Card® from American Express. Taking advantage of all of the card's features can quickly compensate for most of the $695 annual fee. Below, you'll find an in-depth look at each of these perks to help you better understand them.

Welcome offer

American Express entices new cardholders to apply with a lucrative welcome offer, redeemable for travel, gift cards and other fantastic redemption options.

Current offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

What it's worth: Around $2,000 when transferring your points to Amex's loyalty program partners, according to our current valuation of Membership Rewards points.

Who's eligible to earn this offer: To qualify for an elite card like The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll need to have an Excellent/Good credit score and be a fairly high spender. This welcome offer is not available to current or previous cardholders. Furthermore, the number of American Express cards you've opened and closed may determine whether you're eligible to unlock this offer.

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This welcome offer's value will depend on how you redeem your rewards. The most lucrative way to use your Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to other loyalty programs, which can extend the value of your rewards to 2.2 cents each. Other redemption options, such as booking flights directly on the Membership Rewards portal, will yield a value of 1 cent each.

For a look at some of the most valuable offers currently available, check out our list of the best credit card sign-up bonuses.

Earning rate

As this is a luxury travel card, you'll be rewarded most for any travel spending. You get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. On all other purchases, you'll earn just 1X Membership Rewards points.

While the earning rate isn't ideal for everyday spending, this card comes with a limited-time offer to earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.

Overall, the card's long-term value excels in travel rather than routine purchases, so you'll want to consider this as you pay the $695 annual fee each year.

What are Membership Rewards points worth?

Membership Rewards points are some of the best rewards currencies available, shining in both flexibility and value. However, not all redemption options are worth the same — we found a range between 0.5 cent to 2.2 cents.

Value: Above average
Ease of redeeming: Above average

Redeeming points

When it comes to redeeming points, you have tons of flexibility with The Platinum Card® from American Express. You're not just limited to travel purchases — you can choose to redeem your points for retail items, gift cards or even to cover your statement credit. The table below shows the value you can expect from each reward:

Redemption option
Estimated value
Transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programsDepends on program (around 2.2 cents on average)
Book flights through the Amex Travel portal1 cent
Book hotels through the Amex Travel portal0.7 cent
Redeem for gift cards0.5-1 cent
Shop with points0.5 cent
Pay with your points at checkout0.7-1 cent
Cover your card charges and receive a statement credit0.6 cent

As mentioned earlier, the best way to use your points is by transferring them to one of Amex's travel partners. Popular loyalty programs include British Airways Avios and Delta SkyMiles. Essentially, you can convert Membership Rewards into 21 different airline or hotel points to book free flights or hotel stays.

For more details on Membership Rewards and how to maximize your rewards, read our in-depth Membership Rewards guide.

Other The Platinum Card® from American Express benefits

Airport lounge access

No other card can give you access to as many airport lounges as The Platinum Card® from American Express can. You'll enjoy the Global Lounge Collection, which includes the following:

Lounge access
About
Amex Centurion and Studio lounges40+ locations worldwide
Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta Air Lines same-day)50+ lounges
Priority Pass Select lounges (requires enrollment)1,300+ lounges

This benefit alone is an incredible deal, as Delta Sky Clubs alone costs $545 for an individual membership. The Priority Pass™ Select membership is valued at $429, giving you access to 1,300+ lounges across the world (requires enrollment in the program). Between these two lounges alone, you would be walking away with far more value than what you'd be paying through the $695 annual fee.

The Centurion Lounge is Amex's flagship lounge program, with most of its locations in popular domestic airports. You can bring up to two guests at no extra charge when visiting these lounges, and you'll enjoy amenities such as complimentary food and beverage, high-speed Wi-Fi and comfortable seating areas.

Up to $300 Equinox credit

Cardholders receive up to $300 credits toward Equinox credits each year once they enroll in Equinox and use their card to pay for their membership fee. The credit, which is doled out in $25 monthly increments, covers Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox and Equinox+m (an on-demand fitness app).

Up to $240 entertainment credit

Once they enroll, cardmembers get up to $20 in monthly statement credits (up to $240 per year) on purchases with participating entertainment partners, including Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times.

Up to $200 hotel credit

Cardholders get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid bookings through Amex travel for hotels in the Fine Hotels + Resorts® and The Hotel Collection. Your booking includes complimentary benefits, like free upgrades. And you also qualify for a hotel amenity credit during your stay (more on that below).

Complimentary elite status on Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy

With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you are automatically granted elite status on two major hotel programs. First, once you enroll in the Hilton Honors program, you'll earn Hilton Honors Gold status, which offers exclusive benefits, such as an 80% points bonus and a free fifth award night benefit. Typically, you would need at least 20 stays at Hilton properties in one calendar year to earn Gold status.

Members enrolled in the Marriott Bonvoy program will also enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, which offers a 25% points bonus and an enhanced room upgrade when available. You would need at least 25 Marriott Bonvoy nights to achieve this status, so The Platinum Card® from American Express waives either requirement completely.

Global Entry or TSA Precheck application credit

Cardholders will enjoy reimbursement for their Global Entry or TSA Precheck application, and this benefit will help you save time at busy airports. We recommend opting for Global Entry as it includes TSA Precheck, saving you time in security and at customs. This benefit is valued at up to $100.

CLEAR application credit

In addition to Global Entry and TSA Precheck, cardmembers get a $179 credit to cover CLEAR membership each year. If the TSA Precheck line is too long at an airport, your CLEAR membership gives you another option to breeze through security.

Global Dining Access by Resy

Foodies take note: Your The Platinum Card® from American Express gives you access to special dining benefits through Resy, once you add your card to the app. Benefits include exclusive access to tables at high demand restaurants around the world, special experiences and presales to dining events, Priority Notify on Resy and a special a badge in your Resy profile.

Monthly Uber statement credit

Amex provides their The Platinum Card® from American Express holders with up to $15 in Uber Cash each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. This means you can get up to $200 per year in Uber Cash alone. It should be reasonably easy to take advantage of this perk each month, as you can use your Uber Cash for U.S. Uber rides or U.S. Uber Eats. To qualify, you must add The Platinum Card® from American Express to your Uber app.

Luxury hotel amenity credit

With this card, you'll have access to exclusive rates and benefits at over 1,000 luxury properties when you book through the Fine Hotels & Resorts service. On top of space-available room upgrades, free breakfast for two, late checkout and more, you'll enjoy up to a $100 hotel amenity credit during each stay. You can use this credit at the spa, restaurants or other on-site amenities.

Annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit

The benefits don't just stop at travel. From January to June, enjoy up to a $50 statement credit for any qualifying purchases on Saks Fifth Avenue, and you'll receive up to another $50 credit to use by the end of the year (enrollment required). You'll have to enroll your card for this benefit, but no minimum purchase is required.

Other valuable benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes stocked with plenty of other benefits that may not be used every day but will still be useful. For example, the American Express Concierge can outsource some of your to-do list by helping you make arrangements or purchases for any situation.

You'll also enjoy the following protections that could potentially save you thousands of dollars in case of any emergencies:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • 24/7 Premium Global Assist Hotline
  • Lost, damaged or stolen baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection on covered purchases
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply

These valuable benefits help round out the card as the ultimate travel and purchase assistant, offering many services just by being a cardholder.

How does The Platinum Card® from American Express compare to other cards?

To better measure this card’s value, we compared it against other premium card options from two other issuers. We also compare The Platinum Card® from American Express to the American Express® Gold Card, another great choice with a lower annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the perfect card for those who want a mix of luxury and terrific credit card rewards — even for everyday spending. With the same annual fee ($550), this card also gives you access to hundreds of airport lounges worldwide with a Priority Pass™ Select membership. While not as robust as The Platinum Card® from American Express, this benefit can still make many flights more enjoyable. Beyond this, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides fantastic rewards on travel and dining — a 4.5% rewards rate in both categories.

You'll earn points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which can offer a ton of value. If you book any travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal — including flights, hotels, cruises and more — you'll earn a 50% point redemption bonus. These redemption options offer much better than on The Platinum Card® from American Express, which can only provide 0.7 to 1 cent per value. Chase also offers the ability to transfer your points to a wide range of loyalty programs, including Southwest Rapid Rewards and United MileagePlus.

Simply put, if you're more interested in lounge access or hotel elite status, opt for The Platinum Card® from American Express. For long-term travel and everyday value, opt for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will serve you better.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Citi Prestige® Credit Card

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card offers comparable luxury travel benefits for a $495 annual fee. It also comes with Priority Pass™ Select membership and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application credit. While it doesn't come with hotel elite status, you can enjoy complimentary 4th night free when booking your stays on ThankYou.com — up to twice per calendar year. Citi ThankYou points are also quite flexible, as you can also transfer your points to a long list of airline loyalty programs.

If you don't mind paying $55 extra per year, we think you'll find more value in The Platinum Card® from American Express. From the Concierge Services to monthly Uber Cash, most luxury travelers will be sure to benefit from the additional perks.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is a good alternative for those who can't justify a $695 annual fee. This card is significantly more affordable, charging $250 each year. But by paying less, you give up certain benefits, like airport lounge access and elite status on Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy (enrollment required).

For an excellent American Express card that offers the chance to earn Membership Rewards points, this is a better choice. The card lets you Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply. Not many cards can beat this top-tier earnings rate suited for dining and supermarkets.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express worth it?

It's no wonder why The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most coveted cards out there, as it comes with an extensive list of benefits that will be sure to elevate your travel experience. By taking advantage of all of the offered perks, you'll walk away with value that will exceed the $695 annual fee. Since this card only serves high-spending travelers, you'll want to analyze your travel habits to determine if you can afford to own this card year after year.

If this card isn't a good fit for you, check out our best travel rewards cards round-up for other recommendations. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are excellent alternatives with annual fees under $100 each year.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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

The information related to Citi Prestige® Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).