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American Express Platinum Card review: The travel card with luxury perks

Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Amex Platinum Card to help you decide if it's right for you.

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Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

If you prefer to travel in style, a luxury travel card, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, offers cardholders a host of high-end perks — but at a high cost.

Cardholders can benefit from top-notch benefits, like airport lounge access, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, annual airline fee credits, hotel credits and Uber credits that help offset the card's $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

When Select crunched the numbers and analyzed over 200 cards, we found that consumers can earn competitive rewards with The Platinum Card® over a five-year period. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.)

Below, we break down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with The Platinum Card® to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

The Platinum Card from American Express review

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

Pros

  • Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber savings
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card®  on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times (enrollment required)
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No special financing offers on new purchases
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Welcome bonus

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers one of the largest welcome offers available. New cardholders can currently earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership.

American Express Membership Rewards points are worth between 0.5 cents and 2 cents apiece. You'll generally get the most value when transferring your points to Amex's airline and hotel partners, meaning the 80,000 bonus points could be worth around $1,600 in travel.

Although the $6,000 spending threshold is high, you'll have six months to meet that requirement, so you can think of it as spending $1,000 per month for six months. The average American spends around $2,000 per month according to Esri, making this requirement more feasible than it initially seems.

Benefits and perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express has over a dozen premium perks that can allow you to travel in luxury and benefit from insurance and protection. Here are the most notable benefits.

Statement credits

  • Up to $200 Uber credit: Receive Uber VIP status and a $15 credit each month for U.S. rides and Uber Eats, plus a bonus of $20 in December.
  • $200 airline fee credit: Receive up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidentals, such as checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and other fees after you select an eligible airline.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which require a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $100 Saks credit: Get up to $50 in statement credits from January through June and up to $50 in statement credits from July through December for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or Saks.com. Enrollment required.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 statement credit annually on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. *Starting in 2023, statement credits for the $300 Equinox Credit benefit will be provided on an annual basis of up to $300 per year and will no longer be provided on a monthly basis of up to $25 back per month. See offer terms for details.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Perks include free shipping with no order minimums and a free Paramount+ subscription. The cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • Up to $100 for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry: Receive a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years for expedited airport security and expedited U.S. customs screening. Because TSA PreCheck is included with Global Entry, it is advantageous to apply for Global Entry and maximize the credit. (Read how to apply for Global Entry.)
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year in statement credit to apply for CLEAR®, a biometric security program located at airports and stadiums across the U.S.

These credits alone can be worth over $1,500 when fully maximized, helping offset the card's annual fee.

Additional cardmember benefits

  • American Express Global Lounge Collection: Access to over 1,400 airport lounges in more than 140 countries around the world, including access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta Air Lines, Plaza Premium Lounges and more.
  • Cell phone insurance: Pay for your wireless bill with your card and be covered for the repair or replacement costs of your cell phone after damage or theft occurs, up to $800 per claim with a limit of two approved claims per year — note that each claim will also incur a $50 deductible charge.
  • Complimentary elite status in select travel programs: Cardholders can upgrade to gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs, as well as automatic status with Avis, Hertz and National. The elite statuses can help you score upgrades, late check-out, bonus points, preferential treatment and more.
  • Fine Hotels + Resorts: Book hotel stays with the Fine Hotels + Resorts program to get benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out, early check-in, complimentary breakfast for two and a $100 hotel credit (based on availability).
  • The Hotel Collection: Book hotel stays with The Hotel Collection to receive complimentary benefits, including room upgrades, free breakfast for two, late check-out, early check-in and up to a $100 hotel credit, when available. Minimum stay of two consecutive nights is required.
  • Amex International Airline Program: Get discounts on premium cabin international flights booked through American Express Travel.
  • Premium Private Jet Program: A 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships, plus a credit of $500 or $2,000 to put toward your first flight.
  • Comprehensive protections: Access to a variety of shopping and travel protections, including purchase protection, extended warranty coverage trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay and baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance.
  • Amex Offers: Receive exclusive shopping discounts at select retailers through Amex Offers. These offers typically give you a set dollar amount of cash back, credited to your account within 90 days after you meet the requirements.
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Get special access to reservations and experiences at popular restaurants, and the opportunity to meet the chefs at exclusive events.
  • Entertainment access: Receive access to exclusive entertainment events, presales and preferred seating for concerts, sporting events, and more in select cities. (Check out the best credit cards for entertainment spending.)
  • By Invitation Only® events: Enjoy exclusive events from sporting and fashion to fine dining, art and performances.
  • American Express Platinum Concierge: Enjoy access to a 24-hour team of experts who can assist with a range of requests, ranging from help making dinner reservations to purchasing tickets to a sought-after event.

Terms apply for all benefits.

How to earn and redeem Membership Rewards® points

Earning Amex Membership Rewards® points

By spending with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll earn:

  • 5X points per dollar for flights booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, up to $500,000 per calendar year
  • 5X points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked via American Express Travel
  • 1X points per dollar for all other eligible purchases

In order to earn the most rewards for your travel purchases, you have to book travel with American Express Travel or directly with the airline. If you book airfare and hotels through third-party sites, such as Expedia or Booking.com, or directly with hotel chains, such as Hilton, you'll only earn 1X points.

Redeeming Membership Rewards® points

Membership Rewards® points can be put toward a wide range of redemption options, including:

  • Transferring them to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Redeeming them for travel through Amextravel.com
  • Covering charges on your American Express credit card
  • Paying with points at checkout with retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon and Dell, among others
  • Redeeming them for gift cards, exclusive access to entertainment experiences and using them for Preferred Seating at certain sports and cultural events
  • Purchasing merchandise directly through American Express

However, you'll generally get the greatest value by transferring your Membership Rewards® points directly to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program, such as the following airline partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Aeromexico Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel loyalty program partners include the following:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

To transfer your points, all you need to do is connect the loyalty program for your airline or hotel program of choice in the American Express customer portal, then transfer over the number of points needed for your booking. Most programs will show your points transfer immediately, while some may take a few days to process the transaction.

While this may seem like a cumbersome process, it's a great way to score premium travel perks such as luxury hotel suites and first-class flights for free (or almost free) using your points.

For example, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to Air Canada Aeroplan to book short-haul domestic United award flights from just 6,000 points each way in economy or 15,000 points each way in business class.

If you wanted to fly business class from the U.S. to Europe in a luxury Delta One Suite, which typically costs thousands of dollars, you could transfer 50,000 points to Virgin Atlantic since it's one of Delta's partners. So, The Platinum Card® from American Express' 80,000-point welcome bonus would be enough to book a round-trip business class ticket. Of course, you could also transfer your points directly to Delta SkyMiles, though that program typically charges more for premium cabin award flights.

Meanwhile, British Airways and Etihad are great programs for booking American Airlines flights.

Learn more: Here's the best way to redeem Amex Membership Rewards points

Rates and fees

This card has a steep $695 annual fee, but if you take advantage of all the annual statement credits, you can more than offset the cost. It has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

There is no regular purchase APR, you're required to pay your bill in full every month and you can't do balance transfers. However, Amex provides a Pay Over Time feature where eligible purchases over $100 can benefit from payment flexibility, with interest. See rates and fees for the Pay Over Time APR.

Card comparison

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 28.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit for travel purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access at 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership

Cons

  • High annual fee, but it can be offset by taking advantage of all the card’s perks
  • No introductory APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,469
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $3,346

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

If you've been researching The Platinum Card® from American Express, you've probably come across the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

It has a slightly lower $550 annual fee and also comes with a long list of luxury travel benefits, including a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access through Priority Pass, TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry credit credit, travel insurance, rental car insurance and more. It also provides statement credits with DoorDash, GoPuff and Instacart, but overall, it offers fewer lifestyle benefits than the Platinum Card.

However, the Sapphire Reserve gets a slight edge for offering 3X points on all travel and dining purchases, and not just trips booked directly through the airline or American Express Travel.

American Express Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards® both offer a range of airline and hotel transfer partners so you'll want to evaluate how you'll redeem points to decide which program is more useful to you.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's secure site
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2X miles on all eligible purchases, and 5X miles on flights and 10X miles on hotels and rental cars when booked via Capital One Travel portal

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $395

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 28.24% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    0% at the regular transfer APR

  • Foreign transaction fees

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Large welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR period

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is another premium travel card available to consumers.

It has a much lower $395 annual fee, which can be offset by an up to $300 annual Capital One Travel credit and 10,000 bonus anniversary miles (worth at least $100 toward travel). Several of the travel benefits overlap with The Platinum Card, including a TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry credit, airport lounge access and automatic Hertz elite status. The card also offer several lifestyle benefits, including cell phone insurance and access to exclusive dining, entertainment and sports experiences through the Capital One Experiences and Capital One Dining programs.

Ultimately, one is not necessarily better than the other, as both cards target slightly different audiences.

The Capital One Venture X is a great choice if you're purely after travel benefits and want a lower annual fee. However, the Platinum ultimately has more diverse perks than the Venture X, including better airport lounge access and complimentary hotel elite status with Hilton and Marriott, as well as all of the everyday benefits, such as the Uber and digital entertainment credits.

Most will have an easier time recouping the cost of the annual fee with the Venture X's simple travel credit and anniversary miles, but the Amex Platinum has the potential to provide more value if fully maximized.

Other options

If you don't want to pay $695 for a card, consider the American Express® Gold Card, which has a lower $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). The fee is more manageable, and you can still benefit from many of the same perks, such as Amex Offers, ShopRunner and The Hotel Collection. Terms apply.

There are also travel cards with no annual fee, like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. This card allows you to earn 3X points per dollar spent on travel reservations made anywhere — they don't have to be done with American Express Travel.

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    20.49% - 27.49% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Bottom line

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a top-notch travel card that can add comfort and convenience to your travels. In addition to travel perks like lounge access and automatic hotel elite status, it offers many lifestyle benefits like credits towards an Equinox gym membership, Uber credits and cell phone protection. Although the annual fee is steep, cardholders who take advantage of the numerous annual statement credits, travel perks and shopping features can easily offset it and maximize the card's benefits.

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Information about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

For rates and fees of The Platinum® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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