Platinum Card from American Express

$550 Annual Fee
Platinum Card from American Express
8.7

Earning Structure

7.5 /10

Other Benefits

8.5 /10

Redemption Options

9.0 /10

Transfer Partners

9.0 /10

Lounge Access

9.5 /10

Pros

  • $200 in Uber Credits
  • 5x on flights + hotels
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Centurion + Delta + Priority Pass Lounge Access
  • Instant Hotel Status

Cons

  • $550 Annual Fee
  • 5x on hotels only when booking on AmexTravel.com
  • Airline fee credit is restrictive

 

Overview

The Platinum Card from American Express is generally regarded as one of, if not the best luxury travel credit card in the world. A few years ago the card was carrying a $450 annual fee, but then it underwent a transformation. The folks at American Express added some new features to the card and the end result was an increase in the annual fee up to $550. Still, if you’re able to maximize the value of this card then you’ll end up receiving far more than the $550 you’re paying.

Earning Structure

The Amex Platinum earns 1 point per dollar on all purchases, and 5pts/$1 spent on flights and hotels. The 5x on hotel and airfare is a bit more restrictive than it is on other cards in that you must book flights either directly with the airline or through American Express travel. For hotels you’ll only earn the 5x on “eligible hotels” booked on AmexTravel.com.

Redemption Options

The Platinum Card from American Express earns Membership Rewards points on spend. MR is the Amex equivalent to UR (Ultimate Rewards) from Chase. You can redeem MR points in a  variety of ways including:

  • Transfer to travel partners
    • AeroMexico – 1:1.6
    • Air Canada – 1:1
    • Air France KLM – 1:1
    • Alitalia – 1:1
    • All Nippon Airways – 1:1
    • Asia Miles – 1:1
    • British Airways – 1:1
    • Delta Airlines – 1:1
    • El Al Israel Airlines – 1:0.02
    • Emirates – 1:1
    • Ethiad Airways – 1:1
    • Hawaiian Airlines – 1:1
    • Iberia Plus – 1:1
    • JetBlue – 1:0.8
    • Singapore Airlines – 1:1
    • Virgin Atlantic – 1:1
    • Choice Privileges – 1:1
    • Hilton Honors – 1:2
    • Starwood Guest – 1:0.33
    • Plenti – 1:1
  • Pay with Points at Checkout
    • Use your points as a 1:1 redemption for things like; GrubHub, Amazon, Staples, etc.
  • Redeem for Gift Cards
    • Use your points as a 1:1 redemption for gift cards at stores like Nike, Panera Bread, Regal, etc.
  • Statement Credit
  • AmexTravel.com

Where the program shines is in its transfer partner offerings. In most cases you’ll earn no less than 1 partner point/mile for 1 membership reward point.

Other Benefits

In addition to its point earning abilities the Amex Platinum card also has a few other perks worth mentioning.

  • $200 Uber Credit
    • $15 per month and $20 in the month of December
  • $200 airline fee credit
    • You must pick an airline and then you’ll be reimbursed for incidental fees up to $200
  • $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit
  • Lounge Access
    • Amex Platinum will get you into both the Amex Centurion suite of lounges as well as Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select lounges.
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Gold

Fees

  • Annual Fee – $550
  • Additional Card – $175
  • Late Payment – Up to $38
  • Returned Payment – Up to $38
  • Foreign Transaction – None

 

Overall Thoughts

While this card is not currently in my wallet (as of January 2018) it is definitely something that i’ve got my eye on. The lounge access alone is worth the price of admission, if you can maximize the benefit. The Uber credits are nice especially if you’re someone who takes Uber on a regular basis and will be able to use the full $200 worth of credit. The card isn’t as interesting from a points earning perspective, for that Amex has some better products. My view on this card however is that its something you have in your wallet because of those secondary benefits and perks. A day pass at the Centurion lounge is $50, while you can get into a Delta lounge for $29 if you’ve got the Delta Platinum Amex. With this card you can enter both lounges for “free”.

Bottom line, if you can take advantage of all this card has to offer then you’re getting a steal at $550. If you can’t, then you may want to consider a cheaper card that is better suited to your needs and wants.

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