American Express Platinum Review: Is It Worth It?

Reward yourself with the American Express Platinum's benefits.

American Express National Bank has remained on the Fortune 500 list for an impressive 23 years, reaching No. 86 in 2017. The company has $158 billion in assets and experienced higher-than-expected earnings in 2017. Anyone in the market for a new credit card with lots of rewards from a company with a reliable track record might want to consider the American Express Platinum card.

GOBankingRates has compiled an at-a-glance table of the popular Platinum card offered by American Express National Bank; review it and then find more details about its rewards. Here’s what you need to know to decide if this rewards credit card is right for you.

American Express Platinum Card at a Glance
Annual Fee$550 for the first card; $175 for each additional card
Foreign Transaction Fee$0
Late Payment Fee$38
Returned Payment Fee$38
Rewards60,000 Membership Rewards points for $5,000 charging within the first 3 months
Up to $200 airline fee credit
5 points per $1 spent on eligible air and hotel purchases
5 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases made on travel.americanexpress.com
1 point per $1 on all other purchases
ProsPay Over Time option
Airport lounge access
Baggage insurance
Purchase protection
Travel accident insurance
ConsHigh annual fee
Interest rates on unpaid balances not clearly spelled out
No dining rewards
Uses prime rate from rates section of The Wall Street Journal, which changes daily
How to ApplyLearn More

American Express Platinum General Features Review

Just like other American Express National Bank cards, the Platinum card is a charge card that must be paid in full at the end of the billing cycle. But unlike some of the other cards, this card comes with a Pay Over Time feature that allows users to pay for certain transactions over the course of multiple billing cycles. Additionally, one can enroll in the Sign & Travel payment program, which automatically places eligible charges in the Pay Over Time balance.

A few other loyalty program features that make this card stand out include:

  • Airport lounge access: All Platinum cardholders receive complimentary access to airport lounges. These includes the Delta Sky Club, the Centurion Lounge, Escape Lounges, Airspace Lounge, the American Express International Lounges and the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Priority Pass Select.
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or Transport Security Administration PreCheck: Every four years, card members are eligible to receive a $100 credit toward their Global Entry application fees or an $85 credit toward their TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Uber credit: When using your Amex Platinum Card to pay for Uber rides, you can earn a credit of up to $15 per month, with a special $35 credit in the month of December. Note that unused credits don’t carry over into the following months.
  • Cruise Privileges Program: Cardholders can receive a $100 onboard credit for inside and outside staterooms, a $200 credit for balcony, veranda or mini-suite staterooms and a $300 credit for suites when booking through participating providers and using your American Express National Bank card.
  • Protection against loss: American Express Platinum cardholders enjoy insurance protections for the following: baggage, car rental, purchase protection and travel accidents. Cardholders might even qualify for an extended warranty.

See: Surprising Uses for Your Credit Card Rewards

American Express Platinum Rewards Review

The rewards are one of the biggest draws to this American Express National Bank card. Following is a review of the perks associated with the Platinum card.

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points when cardholders charge $5,000 or more within the first three months of opening their account.
  • Up to $200 in airline fee credits
  • Five points per dollar spent on eligible air and hotel purchases
  • Five points per dollar spent on eligible Amex travel purchases made on travel.americanexpress.com
  • One point per dollar on all other eligible charges
  • One point per dollar when you enroll with InCircle and shop at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, Horchow or Cusp, with a $100 InCircle card automatically issued every time you earn 10,000 points

How the Amex Platinum Card Compares With Similar Cards

When deciding whether the American Express National Bank card is your best bet, it helps to compare it to a few competitors to see which travel card is the best one for you.

American Express Platinum Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Although Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn only three points per dollar versus Amex’s five points, Chase allows for a $300 travel credit instead of Amex’s $200. Chase’s annual fee is $100 less — $550 for Amex and $450 for Chase — but only gives card members the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus points, which are 10,000 less than American Express members can earn.

American Express Platinum Card vs. Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige Card not only has a lower annual fee of $450 for the applicant, but it also beats American Express National Bank’s $175 fee for additional cardholders by only charging $50 per additional cardholder. On the other hand, Citi doesn’t provide any sign-on bonus points, but simply offers one free hotel night with a four-consecutive-night booking. Finally, although customers can receive $50 more in air travel credits with Citi, they can’t earn rewards as fast because Citi only allows cardmembers to earn up to three points per dollar versus Amex’s five points per dollar.

American Express Platinum Card vs. United MileagePlus Club Card

Choosing the United MileagePlus Club Card might save you $100 a year when it comes to the annual fee, but you’d only receive 50,000 bonus miles, which are 10,000 less than Amex, and you’d only earn up to 1.5 miles per dollar on regular purchases and 2 miles per dollar on trips with United. So saving a few dollars upfront won’t match the big savings you’d lose by not having your purchases be worth as many points as American Express National Bank gives you.

Compare: 9 Different Travel Rewards Cards From American Express National Bank

Who Is the Best Fit for the Amex Platinum Card?

A minimum credit score of 645 is needed to be accepted for the American Express Platinum Card, according to Forbes. This means this is an ideal card for people with good or excellent credit. Because this is a premium card, applicants would also want to show strong income and a favorable history of using credit cards responsibly.

The American Express National Bank Platinum Card is a good fit for a business traveler as well as individuals, couples and families who take vacations on a regular basis. Not only will the credits and reward points make traveling less expensive, but the added features provide comfort and security. Anyone who prefers to stay close to home and people who only travel occasionally would not find much benefit in owning this card.

Next Up: Best Credit Cards for People With Good Credit

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.