The American Express Platinum Card is one of the most prestigious and coveted credit cards on the market. With a hefty $695 annual fee. Cardholders receive a wide array of luxury perks and benefits that aim to enhance their lifestyle.
In this article, we will analyze if the American Express Platinum Card’s benefits and rewards justify paying $695 per year. We evaluate the card’s earnings rate on spending, travel protections, lounge access, statement credits, and more. You’ll understand who should (and shouldn’t) carry this premium travel rewards card.
A Generous Welcome Bonus
The current welcome offer on the American Express Platinum Card is 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. 60,000 points are worth approximately $600 in travel booked through Amex. Or can be transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs.
This bonus alone offsets nearly the entire first year’s annual fee. And is one of the highest offers available on any premium travel card today. If you can meet the minimum spend requirement, grabbing this signup perk should be a no-brainer.
How Does the Card Earn Points?
The American Express Platinum Card earns:
- 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
- 1X point per dollar on other purchases
There is no limit to the amount of bonus points you can earn from flights and hotels. This makes the American Express Platinum one of the best cards for booking travel and maximizing your award travel redemptions.
Cardholders also receive a $200 annual airline fee credit each calendar year, which offsets incidental expenses like checked bags, in-flight food and drinks, seat upgrades, lounge day passes, and some change and cancellation fees.
Premium Travel Protections & Insurances
Where the Platinum Card truly shines is in its luxury travel benefits and purchase protections:
- Airport lounge access: Cardholders receive complimentary access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges, Airspace Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta). Authorized users also get free lounge access.
- Hotel elite status: Automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status gives you perks like room upgrades, late checkout, free Wi-Fi and breakfast.
- Rental car privileges: Cardholders receive complimentary elite status with Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental. Enjoy perks like free upgrades, discounted rates, and more.
- Airline fee credits: Up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year to cover incidental fees on a qualifying airline of your choice.
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck: Receive up to a $100 statement credit for application fees every 4-5 years.
- Purchase protection: Items are covered against damage or theft for 90 days after purchase, up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
- Extended warranty: Doubles warranty terms on purchases (up to 1 extra year).
- Return protection: Refunds you for eligible purchases within 90 days from date of purchase if the merchant won’t take it back.
Luxury Cardholder Perks
The Platinum Card aims to make cardmembers feel exceptional in everyday moments through VIP benefits like:
- Fine Hotels & Resorts: Exclusive amenities like room upgrades, dining credits, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, late checkout and more at over 1,000 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
- $200 annual Uber Cash credits: Broken up into monthly $15 credits + a $20 bonus in December to cover US Uber rides or Uber Eats orders.
- Saks Fifth Avenue credits: $100 (issued twice annually) in store credits to use on clothing, accessories and more at Saks stores.
- AMEX Concierge Service: Get help booking travel, making restaurant reservations, finding hard to get tickets, etc. Available 24/7.
- No foreign transaction fees: A huge money saver for international travelers.
Many of these statement credits effectively offset the annual fee each year when utilized.
Is the Amex Platinum Worth It for You?
The American Express Platinum Card carries the highest annual fee of any personal credit card: $695. However, it may be well worth it each year for:
- Frequent travelers: Frequent flyers will appreciate 5X points on flights, $200 in annual airline credits, airport lounge collection access and travel protections.
- Luxury lovers: Perks like hotel elite status, room upgrades, dining credits and exclusive experiences cater to those seeking premium luxuries.
- Business travelers: Airport lounge access, Uber credits, purchase protections and concierge services suit those traveling for work.
However, the American Express Platinum Card may not make financial sense for:
- Infrequent travelers: Without offsetting the annual fee with statement credits and points on flights and prepaid hotels, you won’t break even.
- Non-luxury focused: Many benefits focus specifically on luxury hotel stays, dining and shopping. If high-end perks don’t fit your lifestyle, it likely isn’t worth it.
- Those wanting simple earnings: With only 1X point per dollar earned on most purchases, it isn’t optimal for everyday spend compared to cards with flat-rate 2% cash back across all purchases.
Ultimately there is no one size fits all in the world of credit cards. Make sure to evaluate if the American Express Platinum Card’s benefits provide value that exceeds its lofty annual fee based on your individual lifestyle and spending habits.
How to Get the American Express Platinum Card
If you’ve decided the Platinum Card’s rewards, benefits, and perks provide good value for your lifestyle, here are the easy steps to apply:
Check if you pre-qualify
Before applying, it’s wise to check the American Express pre-qualification page to see what cards you may already be targeted for. Submitting some basic information gives you a “soft credit check” that won’t impact your credit score. If pre-qualified, it can indicate your approval chances are good.
Formally apply for the card
The best American Express Platinum Card welcome bonus offer is typically available through the official American Express website. This takes you to a secure application page where you’ll provide personal and income details necessary for approval.
Application status is instant with a decision in 60 seconds or less in most cases.
Get approved (hopefully)
With a top tier credit score around 750+ and steady personal or business income, you stand a good chance of getting approved for the Platinum Card. Lower credit scores can still qualify depending on your debt-to-income ratio.
However, American Express approves fewer applications for the Platinum Card compared to other American Express cards due to the Platinum Card’s premium market positioning.
Activate your new card
Once approved, your new American Express Platinum Card should arrive within 5-10 business days. Call or visit online to activate it and register for online account access.
After the card is activated, you can begin to enjoy all the amazing Platinum Card benefits.
Spend $5,000 within 3 months
Be sure to spend $5,000 on your new card within the first 3 months of opening your account to earn the welcome bonus offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points.
With numerous travel and everyday purchases coming up, completing minimum spend organically shouldn’t be an issue if your budget allows.
Enjoy all the upscale perks, protections and bonus points your new premium card offers!
The American Express Platinum Card carries a staggering $695 annual fee. But provides outsized value in return via its 5X points on flights and hotels. A $200 annual travel credits, airport lounge access, hotel elite status, rental car privileges and luxury focused cardholder perks.
Frequent travelers, those who enjoy premium experiences, and small business owners tend to benefit the most from this card long-term.