American Express Platinum® Card: Is the $ 695 Annual Fee Worth It?

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Reward credit cards have become the norm in recent years, and people are expecting more perks like cash backs, travel rewards, signup bonuses, and more. Premium travel credit cards take these benefits to the next level, but the added benefits come at a price.

The American Express Platinum Card® is one of the best, if not the best premium travel credit cards on the market. It comes with an exceptional sign-up bonus, travel credits, bonus reward categories, and more. But there’s a catch: it comes with an annual fee of $ 695.

So, are the high annual fees worth it? We’ll explore that in this article, as well as share the main benefits the card offers.

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By Carlo Tan – Shutterstock


In short :

  • Annual membership fee: $ 695

  • APR for the Pay Over Time function: variable APR from 15.99% to 22.99% on the eligible charges.

  • Credit required: Good to excellent

  • Sign up bonus of 100,000 reward points

  • 10X points on qualifying restaurant purchases when you shop small

  • 5X points on flights

  • 5X points on prepaid hotels

  • 1X points on other purchases

  • $ 200 resort credit

  • $ 200 Airfare Credit

  • $ 300 with Equinoxe

  • $ 200 Uber Cash

  • $ 240 digital entertainment credit

  • $ 100 Global Entry or $ 85 TSA Pre✓

  • Saks $ 100 statement credits

  • $ 179 CLEAR® credit

  • Conditions apply. See prices and fees


Pros and Cons of the American Express Platinum Card

Advantages:

  • Sign up bonus

  • Bonus Reward Categories

  • Excellent travel benefits

  • Many additional advantages of the card

The inconvenients:


Sign-up bonus: 100,000 reward points

The Platinum card has a new membership bonus which is hard to beat. You will earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $ 6,000 on purchases during your first six months of membership.

Plus, in the first six months of a la carte membership, you’ll earn 10x more points on qualifying restaurant purchases when you shop small in the US. This bonus is valid for up to $ 25,000 in qualifying purchases.

Earn rewards

The American Express Platinum Card offers many ways to earn points. First of all, you will earn 5 times more points on flights that you book directly with American Express Travel or with the airlines. This bonus is valid on your first $ 500,000 of flights. You will also earn 5X points on prepaid hotels you book through AmexTravel.com. Finally, you will earn 1X points.

Losing rewards

While there are several ways to earn Membership Rewards points, it is also possible to lose points. You will lose points when you:

  • Make a late payment

  • Have your card account canceled by AmEx

  • Cancel your Rewards account

  • Engage in or attempt to abuse membership or gaming rewards

  • Have a negative point balance

Redeem rewards

As with other rewards credit cards, you can redeem your Membership Rewards points in a number of ways. First, the best way to maximize your rewards is to transfer them to an airline or hotel loyalty program. For these transfers, you will earn 1,000 miles, points or credits with your loyalty program for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points. There are a few exceptions, including Aeromexico, Hilton and JetBlue Airways, where your Membership Rewards points are with more or less points with the travel partner.

Another way to redeem your Membership Rewards points is to book travel directly through American Express Travel. For airline tickets, airline upgrades, and Uber / NYC taxi purchases, you will receive a penny per point.

There are other ways to redeem your reward points that won’t earn you as much value.

Here are some other options:

  • Gift cards: up to 1 cent per point

  • Other American Express Travel purchases: 0.7 cents per point

  • Expedia travel: 0.7 cents per point

  • Trading partners: 0.7 cents per point

  • Statement credit: 0.6 cents per point

Other advantages of the card

The new bonus categories for cardholders and Membership Rewards are two important selling points for the Platinum card. But another area where the card really shines is its other benefits, which, if you take advantage of them, allow you to get the most out of your money on the card.

Travel benefits

The American Express Platinum Card offers the following travel benefits:

  • $ 200 resort credit annually on Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection prepaid hotels when you book with American Express Travel and pay with your American Express Platinum

  • The Global Lounge Collection in over 1,300 airport lounges in 140 different countries

  • Airfare credit of $ 200 per calendar year when incidental charges such as checked baggage and in-flight refreshments are charged to your American Express Platinum

  • $ 200 Uber Cash throughout the year as well as an Uber VIP membership

  • $ 179 CLEAR® credit that lets you use the Contactless ID to get around US airports and stadiums faster

  • International airlines program to offer you lower fares on the best international seats for a maximum of 8 tickets per booking

  • $ 100 fee credit for Global Entry every four years or $ 85 for TSA Pre✓ every five years through any authorized enrollment provider

  • Fine Hotels & Resorts program to provide up to $ 550 in additional perks – including daily breakfast, late check-out, experience credit and more – when you stay at the hotel and resort via American Express Travel

  • $ 100 experience credit towards meals, spa treatments and more when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel

  • Platinum Travel Service to provide personalized itineraries, tailored recommendations, and more

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which allows you to receive upgrades and upgraded rooms upon check-in

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Premium car rental status

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

  • Hotline Premium Global Assist when traveling more than 160 km from home

  • Travel delay insurance

  • Trip cancellation insurance

Shopping and entertainment benefits

The American Express Platinum Card also includes the following shopping and entertainment credits:

  • $ 240 in digital entertainment credits when you pay for qualifying purchases at participating partners

  • $ 300 Equinox credit when you pay certain monthly subscription fees to Equinox

  • Global Dining Access by Resy to unlock exclusive reservations and special dining experiences

  • Up to $ 100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue

  • Concierge Platinum Card to help you make arrangements for meals, ticket purchases, events and more

  • By invitation only, which gives you access to unique events including sporting events, fashion events, gourmet restaurants, and more.

  • Preferred seats for certain cultural and sporting events

  • 90-day return protection on qualifying items

  • Incircle Point Card credits for purchase at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call and Horchow

  • Purchase protection when purchases are stolen, damaged or lost

  • Extended warranty up to one additional year on warranties of five years or less

Is the American Express Platinum Card worth it?

There is no doubt that the Platinum Card from American Express comes with a high annual fee that might immediately put some people off. But with all the benefits that come with it, the card is more than worth it, but only if you are able to reap all the benefits of the card.

First, the welcome bonus of the card alone can be worth almost double the high annual fee if you use it for travel expenses, either directly through the airline or hotel or by booking your trip through American. Express Travel.

Many other combo card benefits can be well above the annual fee – these benefits include $ 200 Resort Credit, $ 200 Airline Credit, $ 300 Equinox Credit, $ 200 Uber Cash , $ 240 Digital Entertainment Credit, $ 100 Saks Statement Credits, and more.

That being said, if you don’t take advantage of many of the card’s benefits, the annual fee of $ 695 isn’t worth the membership rewards you might earn with the card. And since some of the card’s perks require you to spend money to earn the reward, it may not be worth it if you end up having to spend money that you wouldn’t otherwise have to earn.

The American Express Platinum Card FAQ

How can you benefit from the American Express Platinum Card?

The Platinum Card from American Express is available for those with good or excellent credit, which means you must have a credit score of at least 670 before applying.

How do I get the American Express Welcome Bonus Platinum Card?

To be eligible for the American Express Platinum Card, you must spend $ 6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.

The Platinum Card from American Express can certainly be worth the annual fee as long as you enjoy the card’s many benefits for travel, shopping, and entertainment.

Are there any alternatives to consider?

The credit card that rivals the American Express Platinum the most is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Reserve has a slightly lower annual fee of $ 500 and many similar perks, such as travel credits, Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, access to airport lounges, and 5X rewards on travel expenses. The Sapphire Reserve also offers more flexible spending bonuses, including increased cash back on meals. However, the Sapphire Reserve doesn’t have as many perks as the American Express Platinum, and its signup bonus is half that of the Platinum.


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