: Pros and Cons
An annual fee of for the primary cardholder and $175 for additional cards prompts most individuals to evaluate the card carefully. If you’ve recently been approved for the card and want to know more about it, congrats. If you’re considering applying and asking yourself, “Is an American Express Platinum worth it?”, it all depends on how much you’ll use all the cardmember benefits. Let’s start this American Express Platinum review, with some of the most important pros and cons.
- Generous welcome offer
- Superior travel perks and benefits
- Access to first class lounges
- Over $1,500 per year in statement credits for select purchases
- Card pre-qualification tool available before you apply with no effect on your credit score
- High annual fee
- High spend requirement ($8,000 in the first six months) to earn the bonus points
- Many of the statement credits available require activation first
American Express Platinum Review: Overview
American Express got started as a freight forwarding company in the late 1800s. By the 20th century, the institution was providing financial and travel services to consumers. Today, there are 18 cards available for individuals and businesses and an invitation-only American Express Centurion Card — aka the Black Card.
The Platinum Card by American Express is the premier credit card offering that you can apply for. It comes with a high level of perks from participating retailers and travel companies as well as access to the American Express Membership Rewards® program for redeeming earned points and booking travel. Although having some experience with travel rewards cards and how to make the most of them can help, the learning curve to maximizing a reward card is short.
Who Is the American Express Platinum Credit Card Best For?
The American Express Platinum is best for individuals or small businesses owners with good credit who are willing and able to take advantage of the number of travel rewards (and other benefits) the card offers. Otherwise, the annual fee may be over the top.
Keep in mind that American Express works a little differently from a standard credit card. You’re expected to pay your statement balance in full each month. This takes some discipline, especially if you tend to use your credit card to finance large purchases.
The travel perks and rewards, points-earning potential and redemptions that come with the American Express Platinum card helped earn it a spot on our Best Travel Cards list. However, this American Express Platinum review covers other features worth discussing.
Before you risk a hard inquiry on your credit, head over to the Amex pre-qualification page to find out what your chances of approval are. You can find out in just a few seconds whether you’re likely to get approved — without affecting your credit score. You’ll need to enter your home address, last four digits of your Social Security number and annual income to find out.
If you’re approved for a card, congratulations. It’s time to start putting the annual fee to work for you. The Platinum Card by American Express comes with one of the highest welcome offers around. Currently, you can earn after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first six months of Card Membership.
Depending on how you intend to redeem the points, the initial welcome offer could be worth as much as $1,500.
Earning more points is fairly straightforward — expect one point for every dollar spent. However, you can supercharge your earnings when booking travel by receiving five points per dollar on airfare directly through the airlines or five points per dollar for airfare and hotel booked through amextravel.com, up to $500,000.
American Express has one of the best rewards redemption programs around, known as Membership Rewards.
Besides travel redemption, you can apply points to your statement credit for specific purchases or to lower your balance due, pay with points at participating retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and PayPal, use points for shopping, dining and exclusive experiences such as concerts and events, redeem for gift cards or transfer points to participating loyalty programs.
Travel Perks and Elevated Status
The American Express Platinum can’t be beaten when it comes to travel rewards and perks. One of the most popular is the complimentary access to over 1,400 American Express Global Lounges worldwide. Lounge access includes American Express Centurion lounges as well as partner airline lounges from Delta, Lufthansa and more.
You’ll also get Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors for room upgrades, check-in gifts and late checkout. Similar perks are available through American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection. In addition, you’ll instantly receive Hertz Gold Plus, Avis Preferred and National Emerald Club Executive status.
The statement credits will help you ease into the annual fee a little easier. American Express provides more than $1,500 in credits to offset the annual fee. Some of the credits you can earn include:
|CLEAR (airport security fast track)||Up to $189 per year|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck||Up to $100 every 4 years for Global Entry and up to $85 every 4 1/2 years for TSA Precheck|
|Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection||$200 per year (required 2-night minimum stay)|
|Airline Incidental Fee||Up to $200 per year|
|Walmart+ Membership||$155 per year|
|Digital Subscriptions (New York Times, Audible, Sirius XM)||Up to $240 per year|
|Uber Cash||$200 per year|
|Equinox Gym||$300 per year|
|Saks Fifth Avenue||$100 per year, up to $50 twice a year|
American Express Platinum vs. Competitors
Comparing credit cards can help you feel more confident about your final decision. The Amex Platinum is the ultimate card when you’re in search of benefits and perks, but there are a couple that can go head-to-head with it.
|Platinum by American Express||Best Welcome Offer|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Points|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||Hotel Benefits|
American Express Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve may be the closest competitor to the Amex Platinum. The annual fee is for the Sapphire Reserve vs. for the Platinum. You’ll receive some similar benefits such as the $100 credit towards Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, some lounge access, $300 in annual travel credits and access to Chase’s online booking and redemption website, Ultimate Rewards. American Express offers more rewards and benefits. However, Chase Sapphire Reserve awards more points, such as 10 points per dollar for Chase Dining, hotels and cars booked through the Ultimate Rewards site.
American Express Platinum vs. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
American Express limits most of its rewards to Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection. While it does provide Gold Elite status to Marriott Bonvoy, the branded Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card may be better if you’re a Marriott loyalist. The annual fee is $650, however you will earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of Card Membership and six points per dollar on stays at Marriott properties. Also worth noting are the three points per dollar for restaurants and two points per dollar for all other purchases, a faster way to earn points than if you use the American Express Platinum card.
Good To Know
Most travel rewards credit cards come with an annual fee. However, the travel benefits, such as redemption of points for free travel, are typically worth it. Having an Amex Platinum is next-level — the card comes with one of the highest annual fees around. However, American Express does a great job at providing value at this tier.
The question is, will you benefit from paying for such privilege? Evaluate the statement credits, points and earnings potential before you decide.
Is Platinum American Express Worth It?
The American Express Platinum credit card is an excellent card for travelers, small business owners and anyone who is capable of spending responsibly and has some knowledge on how to leverage a credit card’s benefits to their advantage. Many consider getting approved for the card as a pinnacle in their credit journey.
If you travel annually, the card will pay for itself in convenience offerings, such as lounge access while you wait for your flight, trip coverages in case things don’t go as planned and perks that save you time, money and make your trip more memorable. However, you’ll need to be financially disciplined before you apply. American Express cards are typically due in full each month and require a good credit score or better to get approved.
American Express Platinum Card FAQThe following points are popular questions about the American Express Platinum.
- What can I use American Express Platinum points for?
- American Express points can be redeemed through the Membership Rewards website. It may be easier to ask what you can't use points for, since the redemption options are extensive. Redeem points for travel, dining, shopping at thousands of retailers, paying at checkout at participating online stores, gift cards or use points towards your card for a statement credit to pay down your balance due.
- What is the American Express Platinum credit score?
- Card issuers don't typically publish credit scores needed. Part of the reason is the number of other factors that go into an approval -- or denial. In general, you'll need a credit score of 700 or higher, considered good to excellent. However, some cardholders with high credit scores have still been declined. Your best bet is to start with the American Express pre-qualification tool, which can tell you if you'd be approved for a Platinum card without a hard pull on your credit.
- Is there American Express Platinum travel insurance?
- American Express Platinum cardholders will find there are several types of travel insurance available at no extra charge. They include Trip Interruption insurance and car rental coverage. If your bags are lost, Baggage Assistance coverage will pay up to $1,200 in lost bags per trip. Medical Assistance pays up to $100,000 in emergency transport and up to $20,000 in emergency medical services.
- Is the American Express Platinum worth it?
- The American Express Platinum card is worth it if you can afford the annual fee of $695 per year. Most cardholders take advantage of many of the perks and credits to make up for the high annual fee. For example, American Express provides over $1,500 per year in possible credits that could help you offset the fee. Depending on how much you travel and whether the credits are items you'd use, the American Express Platinum card may be worth it.
- What is the American Express Platinum Concierge?
- The American Express Platinum Concierge is a representative ready to help. American Express concierges typically help you with a hard-to-get booking, or make restaurant reservations on your behalf. Platinum card services have access to "do anything" concierges who will help you with a variety of requests for travel, entertainment, medical services and more.
All fees and rates are subject to change at the bank’s discretion. Information is accurate as October 12, 2022.
All information about American Express card offers have been collected independently by GOBankingRates and have not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
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- Forbes. 2022. "American Express Centurion Black Card 2022 Review."