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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 $550 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.
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 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.
What it's worth: Around $1,650 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.
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.
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 and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 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 $550 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
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:
|Transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs||Depends on program (around 2.2 cents on average)|
|Book flights through the Amex Travel portal||1 cent|
|Book hotels through the Amex Travel portal||0.7 cent|
|Redeem for gift cards||0.5-1 cent|
|Shop with points||0.5 cent|
|Pay with your points at checkout||0.7-1 cent|
|Cover your card charges and receive a statement credit||0.6 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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Other 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:
|Amex Centurion lounges||14 locations (mostly domestic)|
|Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta Air Lines same-day)||50+ lounges|
|Priority Pass Select lounges||1,300+ lounges (enrollment required)|
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 (enrollment required). Between these two lounges alone, you would be walking away with far more value than what you'd be paying through the $550 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.
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, you'll earn Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required), 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.
You'll also enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required), 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.
Monthly Uber statement credit
Amex provides their Platinum cardholders 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 Uber rides or 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. You'll have to enroll your card for this benefit, but no minimum purchase is required. Enrollment 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®
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 $550 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.
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 Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, 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. Not many cards can beat this top-tier earnings rate suited for dining and grocery stores.
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 $550 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.
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.