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The Platinum Card from American Express Review

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This article was last updated Aug 14, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Who the card is best for

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great card for frequent travelers looking to maximize their travel perks. You receive extensive benefits that cover everything from lounge access to baggage insurance to airline fee credit and much more — all adding increased value to this card. Also, the rewards program benefits travelers and allows flexibility when redeeming Membership Rewards® Points in a variety of ways from booking new travel to transferring points on a 1:1 rate with many partner frequent flyer programs.

This card has a high $550 annual fee, so people who can’t afford the fee or who may not travel that often, might be better off with cash back cards or no to low fee travel cards.

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*

  • No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info

Where this card stands out in its category

With dozens of perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a top-notch luxury card, unmatched by competitors. No issuer offers as many high quality perks as American Express. You can benefit from Uber credits, access to preferred seating at events, airline fee credit and more (see “Additional card benefits” below).

Where this card falls short in its category

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a high annual fee at $550. This is the highest among competitors and can put a dent in your wallet if you don’t use this card often. There is also no 0% intro APR period for this card, and you can find other travel cards with intro periods, but they most likely won’t come close to the benefits that The Platinum Card® from American Express offers.

Additional card benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a fantastic list of additional card benefits:

  • Uber Rides With Platinum: Receive Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus of $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.*
  • By Invitation Only®: American Express has exclusive events from sporting and fashion to fine dining, art and performances for Platinum Card Members.*
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection: Access to 1,000+ airport lounges in over 500 airports around the world.*
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck mark symbol: Apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck mark symbol™ and every four years you’ll receive a credit to cover the cost.
  • $200 Airline fee credit: You can receive up to $200 in statement credits for checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and other fees when you select an eligible airline.*
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: If you book your hotel stay with Fine Hotels & Resorts you can receive complimentary benefits including: room upgrades when available, breakfast, late check-out, early check-in and more.*
  • Upgrade to gold status in select programs: Cardmembers can upgrade to Gold Status in the Starwood Preferred Guest® and Hilton Honors™ programs.
  • Boingo American Express Preferred Plan: At over 1 million hotspots worldwide, access free, unlimited Wi-Fi for up to four devices.*
  • Platinum travel service: Travel Counselors are available to assist in making travel arrangements.
  • Baggage insurance plan: You may be covered if your luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen, when you pay for your ticket with your card. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/BIPterms.*
  • Travel accident insurance: Coverage up to $100,000 for accidental death and dismemberment when you pay for your eligible travel fares including plane, train, ship or bus with your card. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/TAIterms.*
  • Global dining collection: You can gain special access to various reservations and experiences at popular restaurants, and the opportunity to meet chefs at exclusive events.*
  • Premium Global Assist® hotline: Qualify for select referrals and services including medical, legal and financial when you travel over 100 miles from your business. You’re responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.*
  • Premium car rental privileges: Receive complimentary membership including special upgrades and discounts at premium car rentals.*
  • Premium roadside assistance: Access the following services at no additional cost up to four times per calendar year when you’re present with a qualifying vehicle: towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change when you have a workable spare, lockout service when key is in vehicle and delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/RAterms.*
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Pay for your rental with your card and you may be covered for the cost of damage or theft. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/CRLDIterms.*
  • Preferred Seating: Cardmembers get exclusive access to premium seats for events.*
  • Entertainment Access®: You can gain access to exclusive events and presales for concerts, sporting events, Broadways shows and more in select cities.*

*Terms Apply.

How to use it most effectively

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers many benefits for frequent travelers whether you fly, Uber, or stay at hotels. There is no foreign transaction fee for this card, so you can travel abroad without incurring the typical 2 to 5% fee some other cards have. If you’re a frequent flyer, be sure to select an airline so you can use the $200 airline fee credit for checked bags and in-flight purchases, among other transactions. Everyone knows it can take forever to get through airline security, so consider applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck mark symbol™ so you can hop on an exclusive line and make going through security a breeze.

Make sure you use the Uber credits each month so you save money on rides. When booking hotels or resorts, use your card to book with Fine Hotels & Resorts so you benefit from perks like late check-out and free breakfast for two people.

Meet the requirements of the Welcome Offer to earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Rewards breakdown

The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. This is a great rate to benefit travelers. You have a variety of options when redeeming Membership Rewards® Points including gift cards, transfers to select frequent travel programs, points for charges, shop with points at Amazon.com, and more. See membershiprewards.com/terms for the Membership Rewards program terms and conditions.

There is a Welcome Offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® both offer great perks for travelers, but they differ in several key ways. The Platinum Card® from American Express has a higher annual fee at $550, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has an annual fee of $450. This isn’t a drastic difference, but $100 may be a deal-breaker for some people.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit, Airport Lounge Access, and Flexible Redemption Options

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

The rewards for each card differ with The Platinum Card® from American Express offering a more travel centric program: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Chase Sapphire Reserve® focuses on travel and dining with: 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.

Regarding the extra perks you receive, both cards offer a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck mark symbol™ and a 1:1 points transfer to select frequent flyer programs. But, they differ in other benefits, with The Platinum Card® from American Express offering many more features like Uber credits and baggage fee. However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does offer a larger annual travel credit at $300 for eligible purchases, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a $200 annual airline fee credit for one selected eligible airline. Ultimately, you have to consider the annual fees, rewards programs, and additional card benefits to see which card is the better choice for you. Here are the main features of each card:

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee $550 $450
Regular Purchase APR N/A 19.24% - 26.24% Variable
Rewards 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
Sign Up Bonus 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Foreign Transaction Fee None $0

Bottom Line

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great luxury card for people looking to make traveling less costly and stressful. The benefits you receive with this card add significant value and can possibly outweigh the $550 annual fee.


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Highlights
  • Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
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  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

More Info

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