The Platinum Card from American Express: Luxury Travel Rewards for a Premium

The Platinum Card from American Express is unique in that it offers a wide range of travel related credits, as well as some of the best travel privileges on the market. The value is not without costs, however.

With an annual fee of $695 (see rates and fees), the Platinum Card is one of the most expensive rewards cards on the market. The reward rates aren’t enough to justify this card’s price tag, but if you take advantage of the available credits, they may cover the same annual fee and then some. The rewards program offers high reward rates on flights and prepaid Hotels Booked through American Express Travel, nondescript fixed rate on other purchases. Credits and perks primarily focus on travel as well, although some branch out into this category.

We’ve detailed several of the credits, incentives, and rewards for the Platinum Card, as well as some suggestions on how to evaluate them.

In this article

Show IntroductionEarn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of card membership.
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Bonus rates

  • Earn 5 times Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Annual fee$695

late payment fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fee no one

  • Earn 5 times Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Platinum Card Annual Benefits

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Registration may be required for certain American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to find out more.

The Platinum Card announces that you can earn more than $1,500 in value across many credits and perks. If you don’t generally spend money on these categories already, they may not be of much value to you. Make sure you take the time to review them rather than assuming that you are getting more value than you are.

Annual Credits and Benefits:

  • Up to $200 credit on an airline fee statement (incidental travel charges on one eligible airline, including things like checked baggage and in-flight refreshments)
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash on trips and meals in the US (Up to $15 each month, with an additional $20 in December)
  • Up to $200 hotel statement credit for selected prepaid reservations, made through American Express Travel at luxury hotels and resorts or The Hotel Collection, that require a minimum two-night stay.
  • $155 Walmart+ credit (pay off the monthly statement of your Walmart+ membership; Plus Ups excluded)
  • Redeem up to $300 on eligible Equinox membership fees (up to $25 statement credit each month)
  • Up to $240 digital entertainment credit (up to $20 each month on eligible purchases made with Peacock, Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, SiriusXM, and The New York Times)
  • Up to $189 Credit Back on CLEAR® Membership
  • Unlimited access to participating locations in the Global Lounge Collection for you and two guests, depending on the location. Includes AmEx Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more. More than 1,400 airport lounges in 140 countries
  • Global Entry, TSA Pre-screening Statement credit ($100 for Global Entry every four years, $85 for TSA Precheck every 4.5 years)
  • Free status upgrades with hotels (Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold Elite status) and car rental companies (Avis, Hertz, National)
  • Exclusive access to schedules and events through Resy

Note that with perks such as access to airport lounges and hotel status upgrades, there are no clear monetary values, so these are not reflected in the “more than $1,500 in value”.

When determining if a platinum card offers good value, we estimate that you’ll need to use at least $400 to $500 of these credits each year to offset the annual fee. Unlike that, Other credit cards With a lower annual fee, you can offer similar rewards on the purchases you make. Valid No foreign transaction fees
On any purchases they are also standard on any Medium or Premium Travel Card.

Bonus rates and redemptions

to get premium Travel Rewards CardThe Platinum Card is surprisingly average when it comes to statement reward rates, but it has a lot of advantages when used for travel booked through American Express. Cardholders earn 5 times Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on such purchases per calendar year), and 5 times on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel . All other eligible purchases earn 1x points.

If you want to redeem your points as statement credit, they are worth 0.6 cents each. This means that 5 times the points earn you 3% back on eligible travel purchases, and you earn a flat rate of 0.6% on all other eligible purchases. If you’re only planning to redeem your points as statement credit, the Platinum Card won’t hold up against other options, with typical rewards cards yielding 1% to 2%, and some travel rewards rates as high as 5%. Therefore, you will get the best value with this card if you use it definitively for travel booking.

The two best ways to redeem your points is to use them to book travel through the American Express Travel portal and transfer them to one of the more than a dozen partner airlines. When you book flights with American Express Travel, you’ll get a better redemption rate on Membership Rewards points. Points are then evaluated at 1 cent each – but only 0.7 cents for hotels, cruises, and car rentals. Many other credit card review sites set a higher rate (1.8 to 2 cents per point) for travel redemption, but our score ratings for the Platinum Card come directly from American Express Itself.

When you transfer your points to an airline partner, you will usually get a 1 to 1 transfer value, so MR points are equal to 1 point of the partner’s currency, whether it’s Delta SkyMiles, British Airways Avios, etc. (Personally I tend to prefer Delta When I travel, and I can usually get a cent per point or a little more when I redeem SkyMiles, so I convert most of my points that way.)

With the Welcome Offer on the Platinum Card from American Express, you can earn 100,000 points after spending $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership. This easily covers the first annual fee and then some, but this offer can vary from month to month.

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Other cards to consider

Given that the platinum card makes such a particular suggestion, it is not easy to compare it to other cards. But depending on what perks you’re looking at, there are a few contenders worth considering.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If you value airport lounge access and want to earn good rewards rates on travel, Chase Sapphire Reserve® is well worth a look. Sapphire Reserve earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase, and 3x points on other travel purchases (Earn elevated rewards on travel purchases after receiving an annual travel credit of $300) and 3 times the points on dining. Ultimate Rewards points are often rated similar to AmEx Membership Rewards points, but we give them a higher value of 1.5 cents per point, thanks to Chase’s 50% increase when redeemed through the travel portal. This makes the rewards rates better than Platinum if you book travel, and with a lower annual fee ($550). Finally, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can access more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges around the world.

We think the Sapphire Reserve makes more sense than the Platinum Card in most cases. The main difference is the list of available credits and access to the Centurion Lounge, which will not be useful for all cardholders.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is an affordable premium travel card. Its $395 annual fee is lower than the premium Chase and American Express cards, and the reward rates are similar. Venture X cardholders earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2x miles on all other purchases. Check out our full review of Capital One Venture X For more information about recovery methods and rates.

Hunt for Freedom Unlimited®
If you’re less concerned about perks and lounges and more focused on total value, Chase Freedom Unlimited® is your best bet. The $0 annual fee card earns 5% cashback on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on food, 3% on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Did we mention that there is no annual fee?

We generally prefer cashback bonuses, because they don’t require complicated redemption strategies, and the non-existent annual fee means you run the risk of your credit card costing you more than it’s worth. Our full review of Chasing unlimited freedom Explains more details.

questions and answers

How do travel credit cards work?

Travel credit cards convert purchases into points or miles that can be redeemed for travel purchases, such as flights and hotel stays. Sometimes you can redeem these points for cash or a gift card, but you usually get the best rate when you use them to book travel. The best cards have their own travel booking portals in which you can find flights, hotels and car rentals. Sometimes, points are more valuable when used in the portals of these credit card companies.

Airline credit cards and hotel credit cards work like loyalty programs in that you stay in a closed-loop rewards system. You earn rewards when you buy flights or hotels through your chosen airline or hotel company, and you can use these points for privileges or future bookings with the same airline or hotel group.

What additional benefits do travel credit cards usually offer?

Most premium travel credit cards, which carry hefty annual fees, include benefits that add extra value to those cards. The most common benefits are travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, flight delay compensation or protection, lost baggage compensation, and rental car collision insurance.

How do you choose the best travel credit card?

Points and travel benefits that you get through the Travel Rewards Program are often redeemed through your credit card issuer’s website (or app) or appear as a credit listing to reimburse you for past, daily, travel-related purchases you made with your travel credit card . Points or miles can also be transferred to travel partners – mostly hotels and airlines – at a fluctuating transfer rate, which can then be used to book a flight or hotel room. To choose the best travel credit card, there are some key factors to consider:

  • Annual fee: Most travel rewards programs have annual fees, with some as high as $695, but these fees are usually mitigated by monthly or annual credits.
  • Exclusive PrivilegesSome travel rewards card options also give access to exclusive travel perks, such as airline lounges, priority boarding, or VIP welcome at hotels. The value of these perks is subjective and you should evaluate them based on your needs and desires.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: The best travel cards don’t make users pay foreign transaction fees, so you don’t have to worry.

Our approach to credit card evaluation

We review the most requested cards and offer the best benefits. We look into the finer details so that there are no surprises when opening an account. We find the main factors that make a card special and compare it to other most important cards. In this way, readers can choose a different card with similar features if our choice does not suit them. Our reviews are checked and updated regularly to include new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offerings and the market.

For rates and fees for the Platinum Card from American Express, click here.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective and independent reviews by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It is not provided or authorized by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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