Countries Where The Amex Platinum Card Is The Most And Least Extravagant

Countries Where The Amex Platinum Card Is The Most And Least Extravagant

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The Amex Platinum card has long been an icon of American personal finance, catering to affluent individuals who can make do with a card that extends no credit and offers few if any rewards. (Where other Amex cards now allow you to carry a balance from month-to-month, the Platinum is still an old-school charge card, with payment due in full every month.) The Platinum Card offers prestige and such luxury perks as concierge services and access to airport lounges.

These benefits help make the card among the most expensive on the market. U.S. cardholders must pony up $550 every year to maintain their account, which further fuels Platinum's aura of exclusivity.

With the Platinum Card now a global iconic product, we decided to compare its cost in 47 countries around the world, from Belgium to Bolivia, and Oman to Estonia. We gathered their annual fees in local currency and then, to better provide context for their cost, adjusted them to reflect the prices of other goods and services in the country compared with the U.S. (The methodology below further explains how and why we did these calculations.)

This cost of being a member of the Platinum club, we've discovered, varies widely around the world. In Egypt, where it's priciest of all, the card is 12 times more expensive, relatively speaking, than in the U.S. Yet, placed in context, a Platinum Card is nearly half the cost of the U.S. in Estonia and Croatia.

The benefits you get with the card don't vary significantly from country-to-country. In a few locations, Amex does offer a few extra perks. But the high cost of the card in many countries surely has less to do with the cost of providing benefits than with creating prestige. In many of the countries where the Platinum Card was most expensive, it is marketed towards the country's top earners. Indeed, as a rule, only those high rollers may apply. In Singapore, for example, you must reportedly earn S$175,000 to be invited to receive the card, an income level that would make you wealthier than 93.6% of the population of that country.

Where Amex Platinum Is Priciest

This is the annual cost of an American Express Platinum Card in U.S. dollars, adjusted to reflect the relative cost of other goods there. As this shows, the card is far more exclusive in these countries than it is in the U.S.

Where Amex Platinum Is Least Extravagant

This is the annual cost of an American Express Platinum Card in U.S. dollars, adjusted to reflect the relative cost of other goods there. The U.S. version of the card actually ranks among the cheapest in the world, despite the $550 fee.

Where The Amex Platinum Card Is Most To Least Costly, Relatively Speaking

CountryAnnual Fee, American Express Platinum CardComparative Cost
Egypt*750 USD$6,647
India50,000 INR$2,852
Thailand35,000 THB$2,681
Malaysia3,445 MYR$2,167
Philippines*750 USD$1,931
Mexico*800 USD$1,586
Jordan*750 USD$1,561
Saudi Arabia*750 USD$1,532
Oman*750 USD$1,433
Bolivia*595 USD$1,325
Hong Kong7800 HKD$1,293
Lebanon*750 USD$1,268
Kuwait*750 USD$1,233
Poland*750 EUR$1,196
United Arab Emirates*750 USD$1,031
Qatar*750 USD$1,020
Czech Republic*550 EUR$979
China3,600 CNY$957
Spain690 EUR$898
Latvia350 EUR$865
Italy700 EUR$837
Malta550 EUR$823
Russia15,000 RUB$822
Turkey*300 USD$813
New Zealand1,250 NZD$796
Netherlands700 EUR$784
Australia1,200 AUD$779
Korea700,000 KRW$765
Estonia475 EUR$734
South Africa3,750 ZAR$726
Denmark600 EUR$711
Finland700 EUR$699
Brazil1,200 BRL$669
France590 EUR$667
Sweden6,000 SEK$659
Belgium570 EUR$643
Austria500 EUR$577
UK450 GBP$576
Ireland550 EUR$575
Luxembourg570 EUR$571
United States550 USD$550
SwitzerlandCHF 850$546
Canada699 CAD$541
Norway5,000 NOK$510
Portugal 250 EUR$359
Croatia1,200 HRK$289
Lithuania430 EUR$242

*In these countries the Amex Platinum annual fee wasn't displayed in the local currency. In these cases, we converted the listed price to the local currency before arriving at the comparative cost.

Methodology

Where available, we obtained annual fee data directly from American Express’ website. The company maintains web portals for each of the countries featured above. Where annual fee data was not present, such as China and Korea, we relied on secondary sources to obtain the annual fees. We only included prices for the American Express Platinum Card not the American Express Platinum Credit Card. The latter is a separate product. Even though it is similar in some regards, it would not be a true apples-to-apples comparison. We excluded data from countries where the Platinum Card wasn’t offered or where data was unavailable.

We didn’t rank the countries based on a simple conversion to U.S. currency, because that would not reflect the purchasing power of a certain amount of money in each country. Instead, we used a converter developed by a consultant, Nigel Babu, that uses data from the World Bank that reflects the respective cost of a basket of goods, including food, in countries around the world. The dollar cost shown above, therefore represents the cost of each card relative to other goods in that country.

The annual fees were mostly listed in the local currency of each country. In a few instances, however, the cost was listed in either Euros or U.S. dollars instead. Whenever this happened, we converted the listed price to the local currency, and arrived at the purchasing power using that converted number.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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