As competition among premium credit cards grows, users are scrutinizing sign-up incentives and card benefits, hoping to access unique, high-value experiences. Among this cohort of top luxury cards is The Platinum Card® from American Express, or Amex Platinum for short.
If you’re considering this highly rated card, you might be wondering how Amex Platinum compares to its competitors. To help you figure out if this is the best travel rewards card for you, here’s everything you need to know about Amex Platinum benefits.
Overview: American Express Platinum Card
The personal Platinum Card from American Express is a rewards card that is especially valuable if you travel often and like to do so in style.
It demands a hefty $695 annual fee yet is not your typical credit card. Instead, the Amex Platinum allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. While traditional credit cards have a set spending limit, the amount you can spend with the Amex Platinum adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.
If you’re looking for rewards cards with no foreign transaction fees, you can put this one on your list. There are no foreign transaction fees when using the card abroad, making it a handy companion on international trips.
You’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
There are various ways to redeem Amex Platinum Membership Rewards points. You can apply points toward purchases already on your card or use points for:
- Transfer points to a partner program or book travel via American Express Travel
- Gift cards
- Merchandise on MembershipRewards.com
- Online and in-store purchases at participating stores
- Charitable donations
Amex makes earning and redeeming points convenient through its Membership Rewards program — but the points system is just the beginning of the perks you can receive with this card.
14 attractive Amex Platinum benefits
Although the high $695 annual fee might put off even the most frequent travelers, the American Express Platinum Card offers an array of high-value perks that are hard to ignore. Between the rewards earnings and all these benefits, this card will pay for itself and provide a lot more value beyond that in just the first year.
1. Welcome offer (value: up to $600 or more)
If you’re in the market for a new card and expect to make a large purchase or a series of purchases soon after receiving it, the welcome offer might be worthwhile.
The Amex Platinum comes with a generous welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months. If your eligible purchases during this time meet the minimum spending amount, you can expect to see your welcome offer post in your Membership Rewards account within 8 to 12 weeks.
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The value of the welcome offer varies, depending on how much you spend in the bonus categories and how you choose to redeem your points. For example, purchasing a flight through Pay With Points on Amex Travel is worth $600, while a flight booked through Expedia converts to a $420 value.
2. Airline fee credit (value: up to $200)
If you’re dreaming of free checked bags, you’re in luck with the Amex Platinum. Cardholders can get a $200 airline incidentals credit each calendar year to help offset the cost of checked bags and in-flight food and beverages.
To take advantage of this valuable credit, you’ll need to pre-select an airline and use your card for qualifying in-flight purchases. This can help to ensure that you’re credited for eligible costs.
3. Uber credits (value: up to $200)
Primary cardmembers can receive Uber VIP Status and $15 in Uber credit per month on U.S. rides, plus an additional $20 bonus in December. To take advantage of this Amex Platinum perk, make sure you have the most current version of the Uber app on your smartphone, an Uber account, and your Amex Platinum card set as a method of payment. This will ensure you receive your credits each month.
4. Hotel credit (value: up to $200)
In addition to some coveted hotel perks, which we’ll cover in a minute, you could also get a $200 hotel credit as an Amex Platinum cardmember. When you use your card to prepay for hotel stays through Amex Travel at eligible properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection portfolios, you can get up to $200 back as a statement credit each year.
There are over 1,100 properties in the FHR portfolio and 600 in The Hotel Collection portfolio, so you have plenty of options to choose from, which could make it easy to take advantage of this credit.
5. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit (value: up to $100)
Travelers who are itching to avoid long security lines can receive an application fee credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This credit renews after 4.5 years or four years, respectively.
To get the statement credit for PreCheck or Global Entry, you must use your Amex Platinum card when paying for your application. This benefit also extends to additional cards under the enrolled account.
6. CLEAR® credit (value: up to $189)
The Amex Platinum makes it a little easier to breeze through the airport and long lines at select stadiums. When you use your Platinum card to pay for your CLEAR® membership, you can get up to $189 back as a statement credit each year. An annual CLEAR® Plus membership costs $189, so taking advantage of this credit could offset that cost completely.
7. Digital entertainment credit (value: up to $240)
Whether you’re streaming your favorite show or reading the newspaper or an ebook online, you may be able to take advantage of a digital entertainment credit valued at up to $240.
When you use your Amex Platinum card to pay for a qualifying purchase with Disney+, The Disney Bundle, Hulu, ESPN+, Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times, you’ll receive up to $20 back as a statement credit each month. Enrollment required for select benefits.
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8. Equinox fitness club credit (value: up to $300)
Equinox and American Express teamed up to offer Platinum cardmembers a valuable credit worth up to $300.
When you use your Platinum Card to pay for an eligible Equinox digital or club membership, you’ll receive up to $300 annually in statement credits. Enrollment required for select benefits.
9. SoulCycle at-home bike credit (value: up to $4,500)
If you have an Equinox+ membership, you’re able to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum card and receive a $300 statement credit. This can occur up to 15 times per year. The purchase must be made in full at www.equinoxplus.com/amexbikebenefit in one transaction with your American Express Platinum card.
10. Walmart+ credits (value: up to $155 plus taxes)
American Express and Walmart have partnered to offer statement credits back on a monthly Walmart+ subscription. If you pay for this subscription with your Platinum card, you’ll receive $12.95 back per month plus any applicable local sales tax amount. Walmart+ members can receive free shipping on Walmart items with no order minimum, free grocery delivery from your local Walmart store, pharmacy savings, and gas savings.
11. Saks Fifth Avenue credits (value: up to $100)
Amex partnered with premium retail store Saks Fifth Avenue to give Platinum cardholders $100 in annual shopping credit ($50 credit from January to June, and another $50 credit from July to December). You must enroll in this benefit in order to activate the credits.
Certain purchases don’t apply, such as Saks Fifth Avenue gift cards, in-store restaurant purchases, in-store or online Saks Fifth outlet purchases, and purchases shipped outside of the U.S.
12. Airport lounge access (value: varies by location)
Whether you’re taking a break from busy airport terminals or treating yourself to premium food and beverages, waiting for your flight to board in a comfortable space can make or break your travel experience. With the Amex Platinum card, you’ll have access to the Global Lounge Collection. This is one of the largest networks of airport lounges, with over 1,200 locations in more than 130 countries.
In addition to the Amex suite of lounges, like the esteemed Centurion Lounge, guests have access to partner lounges as well. These include the Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass lounges. There’s one caveat to be aware of, though, and it goes into effect on February 1, 2023: There’s a $50 fee per guest at Centurion Lounges, unless you spend over $75,000 on your card per year. Select benefits require enrollment.
13. Hotel perks (value: up to $550)
No travel card is complete without additional benefits for hotel stays. When you book a qualified stay at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts using your card, you’ll receive an average $550 worth of convenient benefits. These perks include:
- Room upgrades
- Breakfast for you and a guest, daily
- Late check-out until 4 p.m.
- Early check-in at noon, if available
- Free Wi-Fi
Aside from the benefits above, qualifying reservations through Amex’s The Hotel Collection network — which includes hotels like Hilton and Hyatt — also afford you a complimentary room upgrade. This benefit extends up to three booked rooms in your reservation.
14. Complimentary hotel status (value: varies by location and benefits)
The hotel perks continue with hotel status with both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs. Here’s a quick breakdown of what benefits are included with your Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status:
|Hilton Honors Gold||Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite|
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Some highlights of these benefits include the potentially free room upgrades and earning bonus points from either hotel chain. In addition, the fifth night free and free continental breakfast at eligible Hilton hotels can be valuable. For Marriott, the late checkout time and a welcome gift of points are helpful. You will need to enroll (for free) to take advantage of these status perks.
Additional perks to enjoy
As a card issuer, Amex has really packed a lot into this card. The Amex Platinum provides show-stopping benefits, but it also maintains other benefits you’d expect from a premium-tier card. Here are a few more useful benefits you’ll have as a cardholder:
- Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.
- Rewards earning power: The Platinum Card earns 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
- Concierge service: Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or want to make reservations at an exclusive restaurant, an Amex Platinum card gives you access to around-the-clock concierge hotline.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance: Amex Platinum car rental insurance covers loss and damage to eligible rental cars when you decline collision damage coverage through the rental company.
- Baggage insurance: If your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen, you may be covered for up to $2,000 for checked bags and a total $3,000 for checked and carry-on luggage. A $10,000 aggregate limit applies to New York residents for everyone traveling on a covered trip.
- Extended warranty protection: New items purchased with your American Express credit cards get up to an additional year of extended warranty protection added to original U.S. manufacturer warranties.
- Return protection: If a retailer refuses your return, Amex provides a 90-day return window for eligible purchases up to $300 (excludes shipping and handling). This benefit covers a maximum $1,000 in total returns per calendar year.
- Purchase protection: Have the peace of mind in knowing that eligible purchases using your Amex Platinum card are protected for up to 90 days from the purchase date. This includes protection in the event of damage, theft, or lost goods.
- Membership experiences: Get first dibs on presale tickets to music concerts, events, and shows. The card also provides access to preferred seating at special events.
- Amex Offers: American Express cardholders can get exclusive access to savings on a wide variety of purchases through the Amex Offers program.
The Amex Platinum card often makes the list of the best credit cards, not to mention the best travel credit cards, and it could be a good fit for you and your lifestyle, depending on your travel habits and how actively you take advantage of the perks. One thing is for certain, this card offers some of the most luxurious perks in the industry.
And don’t forget, American Express also offers the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express as well. And if the Platinum Card feels like too much to you, make sure to check out the American Express® Gold Card.