American Express Platinum Card Review: Great Rewards and Elite Travel Perks
The American Express Platinum Card®
If you’re looking for a premium credit card with elite perks, The American Express Platinum Card is about as good as it gets. The Amex Platinum offers a suite of benefits that can make traveling a more luxurious experience, including worldwide airport lounge access, airline credits, and no foreign transaction fees. It also offers a rewards program that allows you to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. That’s huge, as you can cash in a pile of points for luxury travel experiences at incredible values.
Of course, the Amex Platinum Card comes with a hefty fee of $550, so it’s not for everyone. A number of useful credits help offset that cost, and if you travel often, it’ll pay for itself easily. Still, it’s worth checking with the CardCruncher tool to see if it’s the best card for you, based on your spending habits. Otherwise, here’s what you need to know about the card before you apply.
The American Express Platinum Card Highlights
Annual Fee: $550
Welcome Bonus: 60,000 points
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- $200 annual Uber credit and Uber VIP status
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit
- Option to transfer points to airline and hotel programs
- Complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide
- Complimentary benefits when you stay at Fine Hotels & Resorts program properties
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application
- Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and some car-rental companies
- No foreign transaction fees
American Express Platinum Card Minimum Payment: The card requires payment in full each month.
American Express Platinum Card Fees:
- Up to $39 for late payments
- Up to $39 for returned payments
Why Apply for The American Express Platinum Card
For the right kind of traveler, The Amex Platinum Card will feel like a no-brainer. Here’s what we like most about it.
In addition to the card’s welcome bonus, you’ll also earn 5X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel. You’ll also earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel. All other purchases will earn you 1X point per dollar. Membership Rewards points aren’t that valuable if you redeem them for statement credits or gift cards, but if you transfer them to one of Amex’s airline or hotel partners, you can get significantly more value.
Packed with perks
The card offers up to $500 in annual credits, free access to airport lounges around the world, elite hotel and rental-car status, an application fee credit to expedited airport security screening programs, and more. If you travel several times a year, the Amex Platinum Card easily pays for itself in the upgrades, comfort and convenience it provides.
No pre-set spending limit
If you’re a big spender, you never have to worry about bumping up against a credit limit. The Amex Platinum Card is a charge card, so how much you can spend is based on how you use the card, your financial information, and other factors.
Platinum Card from American Express: Drawbacks and Downsides
While there’s plenty to like about The Amex Platinum Card, there are also some pitfalls to consider before you submit your application.
Steep annual fee
While the card offers plenty of opportunities to offset the $550 you’ll spend each year to hold onto it, that’s still a significant charge to take in full. If your budget is tight, or you simply can’t justify a lump sum of $550, then you should consider a different card.
Low base rewards rate
Most of the purchases you make with the card will net you just 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar. While you can transfer your points and to make each worth more than 1 cent per point, it’ll take you a while to earn a significant amount if you’re not booking flights and hotels through the channels that earn you 5X points.
No balance carrying
The Amex Platinum card is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full each month. If you usually carry a balance from month to month, this card won’t be a good fit.
Platinum Card from American Express Alternatives
If you’re not sure The American Express Platinum Card is right for you, here are some other cards you might want to consider.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
This premium credit card charges an annual fee of $550, so it’s slightly more affordable. It also offers a $300 travel credit, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit, complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges, and special perks when you stay at properties in the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with a welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, and 3X points per dollar on travel and dining and 1X point per dollar everywhere else. If you use your points to book travel through Chase, they’re worth 1.5 cents apiece. Alternatively, you can transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners for even potentially more lucrative redemptions.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card offers a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 4X points per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent each year), and 3X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel. Benefits include a $100 annual airline fee credit and up to $120 in annual dining credits. The card has an annual fee of $250.
Another premium travel credit card—the annual fee is $495—the Citi Prestige offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 5X points per dollar on air travel and dining, 3X points per dollar on hotels and cruise lines, and 1X point per dollar on everything else. Benefits include a complimentary fourth night free when you book hotels through ThankYou.com, a $250 annual travel credit, complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges, and the option to transfer your points to a handful of airline programs.
Platinum Card from American Express FAQs
Here are some answers to common questions we’ve found about The Amex Platinum Card.
What credit score do I need to get an American Express Platinum card?
The Amex Platinum card requires good or excellent credit. According to FICO, a good credit score starts at 670. You can check your score for free with services like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or Discover Credit Scorecard.
Is Platinum American Express worth it?
The card can be worth it if you know how to maximize its benefits. The fee credits alone cover more than 90% of the annual fee. And if you travel frequently, it’ll be easy to get a lot of value. That said, if you’re a casual credit card user, and won’t take the time to learn the card’s perks, it might not be worth it.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for The American Express Platinum Card?
As with any credit card, it’s important to shop around and compare different options to make sure you find the best one for you. With the Amex Platinum Card, you’ll get a lot of value if you travel frequently and can optimize the fee credits. But if you don’t travel much and are looking for a card with a stellar rewards program, this one might not be the one for you. Plug your spending into the CardCruncher tool to find the best rewards card for you—it’s an easy way to make the most of your earning potential.