*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Feb 06, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great card for frequent travelers looking to maximize their travel benefits. Cardholders receive extensive benefits that cover everything from lounge access, to baggage insurance to airline fee statement credit and much more.
The rewards program benefits travelers by allowing 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 don’t travel that often might be better off with cash back cards or low to no annual fee travel cards. We will break down the pros, cons, benefits and whether The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth it or not.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express pros
- The Platinum Card® from American Express cons
- Compare The Platinum Card® from American Express to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Which card is right for you?
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*
- 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
The Platinum Card® from American Express pros
The welcome offer allows new cardholder to earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. In addition, The Platinum Card® from American Express has a generous list of card benefits:
- You don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees, as there are none.
- 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 1,200+ airport lounges in over 500 airports around the world.*
Fee statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck: Apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck 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 checkout, early check-in and more.*
- Upgrade to gold status in select programs: Cardmembers can upgrade to Gold Status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors™ programs.
- 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.*
- Global dining collection: You can gain special access to various reservations and experiences at popular restaurants, and the opportunity to meet the 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.*
- 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.*
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If your trip is interrupted or canceled because of illness, weather or other qualifying events — you can file a claim to possibly recover those costs.
- Entertainment Access®: You can gain access to exclusive events and presales for concerts, sporting events, Broadway shows and more in select cities.*
The Platinum Card® from American Express cons
While The Platinum Card® from American Express has an outstanding list of benefits, there are two cons to keep in mind.
The $550 annual fee. Regardless of the card’s extensive benefits, that is a hefty bill to simply have a credit card. However, it can be made back fairly quickly by using benefits such as the up to $200 airline fee statement credit, up to $200 in Uber statement credits and up to $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. But if you do not take advantage of all those benefits, the fee can really put a dent in your wallet.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card. The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with no preset credit limit, however, you must pay the entire balance in full when it is due. This can be a great benefit to have if you make large purchases and don’t want to worry about exceeding your credit limit, but not if you can’t afford to pay off what you owe at the end of the month.
In addition, “no preset credit limit” does not mean “unlimited.” The true credit limit fluctuates month to month depending on multiple factors including credit score, income and payment history. However, American Express provides a way to check your available credit limit in your online account. The “check spending power” link will send you to a page where you can input an amount of money you intend to charge. American Express will immediately alert you whether your charge will be approved or not.
Compare The Platinum Card® from American Express with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
These two great credit cards have been battling for supremacy since the Chase Sapphire Reserve® debuted in 2016. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® always had a small advantage by having a lesser annual fee of $450, but that changed in January 2020 when the fee was raised to match The Platinum Card® from American Express at $550.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a more travel centric rewards-earning 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.
Ultimately, you have to consider the rewards programs and additional card benefits to see which card is the better choice for you.
Here is how The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® compare:
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|Regular purchase APR||N/A||18.49% - 25.49% 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.|
|Welcome Offer||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|
Both cards offer a few identical benefits, such as an up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and a 1:1 points transfer to select frequent flyer programs.
However, each card also has benefits that are unique to each individual card, shown below.
|The Platinum Card® from American Express benefits||Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits|
|Up to $200 airline fee statement credit
Up to $200 Uber statement credits per year ($15/month and $35 in December)
Up to $100 annual statement credit to Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com
Complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels and Resorts
Access to the Global Lounge Collection over 1,200 airport lounges (including Priority Pass)
Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status
Automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status
Automatic car rental elite status
American Express Concierge
Premium Global Assist Hotline
Complimentary subscription to Departures magazine
$175/year to add up to three authorized users
|$300 travel statement credit per year
Priority Pass Select membership
Complimentary Lyft Pink membership, includes 15% off all rides
Complimentary benefits at The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022
Complimentary subscription to DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service
Up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through December 2021
$75/year for each authorized user
Which card is right for you?
Each of these cards have their own rewards program where you can transfer your rewards to numerous airline and hotel travel partners. The advantage is that you have flexibility to where you can redeem your points, instead of being pigeonholed into points that can only be used with one brand. Ultimately, the choice comes down to a personal preference for Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards or whether you’ll take full advantage of the different benefits offered by each card.