The Platinum Card from American Express: Do the Perks Justify the Fee?

By Jason Steele. Last updated 18 March 2021. 1 comment

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On the surface, a card with a $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) doesn't just seem extravagant, it might also seem wasteful. However, there's a reason The Platinum Card® from American Express is popular and used by savvy travelers. Let's take a look at what a premium card offers. 

Why We Like This Card

  • 75,000 bonus point and 10X points welcome offer. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card. Enrollment required.
  • Complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection

How This Card Works

Unlike other cards that have a credit limit, this card has No Preset Spending Limit. (No Preset Spending Limit means the spending limit is flexible. The amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.)

Cardholders earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on American Express Travel, and one point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These points can be applied toward travel reservations, gift cards, or other products and services. Cardmembers can also transfer their points to miles with over a dozen different airlines. 

(See also: 5 Best Premium Credit Cards)

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. 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 6 months of Card Membership.

Terms apply.

Other Benefits

Reviewing this card's benefits is like examining a top-of-the-line Swiss Army knife. Along with the standard benefits that American Express is known for, like various travel insurances and purchase protections, this card offers a number of premium perks that you won't find with most other cards. So let me just touch upon what I find to be the highlights, but be advised that it would take me pages to describe everything.

Hilton Honors™ Gold Status and Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite Status. Having gold status at hotel programs gives you exciting perks like upgrades, late checkout, and more. (See also: Best Credit Cards with Free Hotel Status Upgrades)

VIP treatment. Many cards offer some sort of special treatment, but this is the real deal. Membership includes 24/7 access to a personalized concierge service providing a range of services such as travel arrangements, dinner reservations, event ticket bookings, or directions. 

Airport Lounge Access. Get access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world. Membership in just one of these airport lounge programs can start at $500. Cardholders get access to several the Global Lounge Collection, which includes the Centurion lounge network, Delta Sky Clubs, Priority Pass Select, and more. (See also: Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access)

Uber savings. Cardmembers enjoy VIP status and get monthly credits to pay for Uber rides, up to $200 annually.

Saks Fifth Avenue Credits. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.

Considerations

Steep annual fee. There is no way around $550 a year for an annual fee. You must be sure you will take advantage of enough of the card's benefits and services for this to be worth it. (See also: Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards)

Additional cardholder fee. Most cards offer free additional cards, but American Express is charging $175 each. (See Rates & Fees) Nevertheless, this can be reasonable considering that the additional cardholder will get all the same lounge access as the primary cardholder, allowing frequent travelers to save money.

Who This Card Is Best For

An ideal user of this card is someone who travels frequently and can use many of the lounge access and travel rewards features of this card. When you think about it, it doesn't take that much business or leisure travel to rack up $200 in fees especially if you frequently use airport lounges.

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The Platinum Card from American Express: Do the Perks Justify the Fee?

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Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Guest's picture

My parents have the AMEX platinum and it has served us pretty well. It is convenient for travel, my parents travel a lot for work and I go to school out of state so I fly back and forth frequently so we rack up miles pretty quickly. It is also easy to use overseas, I signed up for a Discover card with the intention of using it as Diners Club in Italy for Spring Break, and it was found nowhere and was impossible to use. I called Amex and was able to easily get oversea charges approved and take out cash from ATMs.