With so many premium credit card choices on the market, it can be stressful to pick one that’s right for you, especially since high-end credit cards come with high annual fees. But it’s also true that often you get what you pay for, so here are five top reasons the Platinum Card from American Express can be worth your hard-earned cash.
1. The Best Domestic Lounges — and Many More
There’s no better domestic lounge network than the American Express Centurion Lounges, and with the eighth US location scheduled to open in Philadelphia at the end of October — plus the first international Centurion Lounge now open in Hong Kong — you’ll have more and more layovers with these top-notch lounges available. Amex recently tightened up its rules on the purchase of day passes, so if you want to get into a Centurion Lounge, the only keys to the doors are Amex Platinum or Centurion cards.
But eight Centurion Lounges are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lounge access with the Amex Platinum. The card will also get you into any of 33 Delta Sky Clubs in the world when you’re flying on Delta, and the Platinum’s Priority Pass membership gives you access to over 1,000 additional lounges worldwide, including free food and drinks at an ever-expanding number of airport restaurants and bars.
2. $200 Airline Fee Credit
The personal Amex Platinum comes with a substantial $550 annual fee, but if you travel with any regularity, it’s extremely easy to get more than a third of that cost back each and every year. That’s because the annual $200 airline fee credit that comes with the card can be used to offset a wide variety of airline fees, including checked bag fees, change fees, pet fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and even airline gift cards in some circumstances.
The downside to the credit — other than it not being applicable to airfare — is that you’ll have to choose one exclusive airline each year to use for your fee credit. But even with that restriction, it’s not terribly difficult to maximize this benefit and get $200 in true travel value on an annual basis.
3. $200 Uber Credit
When Amex raised the annual fee on the Platinum card earlier this year, the company also added a significant new benefit — a $15 Uber credit every month and up to $35 in December. Again, if you travel on a regular basis or live in a major city, you shouldn’t have much trouble using up this credit every month on an Uber ride or two, which offsets the annual cost of this card by another $200.
Even if you don’t happen to need an Uber in any given month, as of this writing you can use the $15 credit on Uber Eats for a food delivery to your house or workplace if the service is offered in your area. So don’t dismiss the value of this perk — even if you don’t use ride-sharing services, it can still bring you a free lunch.
4. Elite Status at Hotels and Car Rental Chains
No other premium credit card comes with elite status at as many hotel and car rental companies as the Amex Platinum. On the hotel side, you’ll get Gold status at both Hilton and Starwood Preferred Guest, and thanks to the merger between Starwood and Marriott, you can match that SPG status to Marriott Gold as well. That’s three major hotel chains where you’ll be able to get extra perks just for having the Platinum card.
On the car rental side, you’ll get complimentary elite status with Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club Executive memberships. Those perks can help the often stressful experience of renting a car go a little more smoothly.
5. Points, Points, Points!
Finally, the personal Amex Platinum card is currently offering a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. That’s the highest publicly available sign-up bonus the card has ever had since the 100k offer in 2016 (though some folks are occasionally targeted for higher bonuses). Those 60,000 points are worth $1,140 based on TPG’s most recent monthly valuations, and that’s on top of all the benefits mentioned above.
And once you’ve got the card, you can earn 5 points per dollar spent on airfare and hotel purchases. You’ll need to book through Amex Travel to earn the hotel category bonus, but the 5x on airfare can be earned by booking directly with any airline. That’s a better category bonus on airfare than any other credit card on the market, including even the business version of the Platinum card (which requires airline purchases to go through Amex Travel in order to get the 5x multiplier).
The Platinum Card from American Express isn’t a cheap card, so it’s not surprising that it comes with so many benefits. If you don’t travel a lot and won’t be able to take advantage of those perks, a less-expensive card might be more appropriate for you. But if you fly even just a handful of times a year and want to make your days on the road a little bit easier, you should consider whether the Amex Platinum might make sense for you.
For more information on the card, check out the following post: