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Platinum Card® from American Express

Caroline Lupini
Updated on: 07/04/2017
RE®: 94
Our Rating
Platinum Card® from American Express
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

For excellent/good credit
2017Best Credit Card for Travel Hackers

The American Express Platinum card is a premium travel credit card that’s part of the flexible Membership Rewards program. It comes with a whole host of great travel benefits, including airport lounge access, an airline fee credit, free Uber rides, Gold status with Hilton and SPG, Global Entry fee reimbursement and more. The card also offers an impressive 5 points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from an airline or through the Amex Travel Center.

While the Amex Platinum does come with a hefty $550 annual fee, cardholder benefits can be worth much more than that. Not only is the 60,000 points sign-up bonus worth over a $1,000 in travel, but every year you have the card you’ll get a $200 airline fee credit as well as $200 in Uber credits.

You’ll also get access to some of the best airport lounges. American Express’s Centurion Lounges are known for being luxurious, offering everything from signature cocktails and celebrity chef-designed menus to free spa treatments and shower suites. If that’s not enough, you’ll also get access to Priority Pass’s worldwide network of more than 1,000 lounges.

Bonuses and Benefits

Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Platinum Card® from American Express offers and the value of the AMEX Membership Rewards® points you earn.

Bonuses

The American Express Platinum card comes with a big 60,000 points sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 during the first three months as a cardholder. This sign-up bonus is one of the best publicly available offers we have seen for the Platinum card! Note that the $550 annual fee is not waived for the first year.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, you will receive $200 worth of airline fee credits each year. Unfortunately you can only use that credit with one airline of your choosing. So you cannot apply that statement credit to all airline fees you might accrue. Also, you can’t use that credit to buy airfare, only to cover incidentals, like baggage and change fees.

The card also comes with more than enough Uber credits to get you to and from the airport. You’ll receive $15 in Uber credits for U.S. rides each month, plus a $20 bonus in December. That’s a total of $200 annually.

What You Get

  • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • $200  annual airline fee credit 
  • $200  in Uber credits every year 
  • Complimentary lounge access, including Amex Centurion Lounges and a Priority Pass membership 

As long as your Membership Rewards account remains open and in good standing, you don’t need to worry about your points expiring. If you decide to close your American Express Platinum card account, you should make sure to have another Membership Rewards card in order to keep your points alive. If you don’t have one, you should consider downgrading to a card with a lower annual fee. You can also transfer your points to an airline partner before closing your account.

What is the value of the Membership Rewards® Points?

Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable because they can be transferred to a large number of partners, often times at a 1:1 ratio. Some of the best redemption options include transferring to Singapore Airlines and flying their A380 in Suites Class; transferring to ANA and booking one of the few remaining round-the- world awards; or flying to Hawaii via Air France/KLM Flying Blue. These redemptions can easily offer values over two cents per point.

Sign-up Bonus
Flight Type
Average CPM
RE® VALUE
60,000
points
Economy · Domestic1.81cpm$1,086
Business · Domestic1.91cpm$1,146
Economy · International1.91cpm$1,146
Business · International5.62cpm$3,372

What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?

Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.

How we calculate CPM:

÷
×100=
The final result:
???cpm

The Best Ways to Redeem Membership Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 17 airline partners and three hotel partners. As a general rule, certain programs offer higher value than other programs. Overall, the best partners for redemptions are Singapore Airlines, ANA, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada, British Airways, Delta and Etihad.

That’s a lot to take in, but it’s one of the greatest things about Membership Rewards points. Your points are super flexible. Unfortunately, it can mean spending some time figuring out the best transfer partner.

The Best Way to Redeem Rewards for Travel in

Roundtrip Domestic

  • Austin
    New York

    AustinNew York

    Economy class
    Miles price
    15,000points
    +$29 fee
    Dollars price
    $299
  • Chicago
    Los Angeles

    ChicagoLos Angeles

    Economy class
    Miles price
    24,700points
    +$0 fee
    Dollars price
    $247
  • Seattle
    Denver

    SeattleDenver

    Economy class
    Miles price
    18,600points
    +$0 fee
    Dollars price
    $186

Roundtrip International

  • New York
    Moscow

    New YorkMoscow

    Economy class
    Miles price
    51,500points
    +$251 fee
    Dollars price
    $810
  • Los Angeles
    Paris

    Los AngelesParis

    Economy class
    Miles price
    49,750points
    +$300 fee
    Dollars price
    $1,605
  • Houston
    Frankfurt

    HoustonFrankfurt

    Economy class
    Miles price
    49,750points
    +$360 fee
    Dollars price
    $1,777

Roundtrip Domestic

  • Miami
    Honolulu

    MiamiHonolulu

    Business class
    Miles price
    80,000points
    +$20 fee
    Dollars price
    $2,083
  • Miami
    Washington

    MiamiWashington

    Business class
    Miles price
    52,900points
    +$0 fee
    Dollars price
    $529
  • Pittsburgh
    Houston

    PittsburghHouston

    Business class
    Miles price
    50,000points
    +$13 fee
    Dollars price
    $827

Roundtrip International

  • Washington
    Porto

    WashingtonPorto

    Business class
    Miles price
    88,000points
    +$503 fee
    Dollars price
    $5,041
  • Los Angeles
    Tel Aviv

    Los AngelesTel Aviv

    Business class
    Miles price
    104,000points
    +$395 fee
    Dollars price
    $4,403
  • Atlanta
    Madrid

    AtlantaMadrid

    Business class
    Miles price
    88,000points
    +$654 fee
    Dollars price
    $4,044

Other ways you can redeem points

Hotel Stays

Membership Rewards points can be transferred directly to three hotel programs: Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest and Choice Privileges. Generally, transferring to hotel programs will not offer as much value as transferring to airline partners.

Car Rental

American Express partners with 20 different rental partners, including Hertz, Sixt and Thrifty Car Rental. You can redeem for rentals starting at 5,000 points, but this will not typically offer as much value as transferring to an airline.

Gift Cards

Membership Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards starting at 5,000 points. Redemption rates are terrible for gift cards, so redeeming this way is not recommended.

Cash Back

Membership Rewards cannot directly be redeemed for cash back. Points can be redeemed at low rates for gift cards and can also be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point for travel bookings made through American Express. Again, you will get much better value from your points by transferring to partners.

Everyday Earnings

The American Express Platinum card isn’t the greatest option for earning points from everyday purchases. It earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on travel purchases made directly with the airline or from American Express Travel. You’ll get just 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases since the Platinum card does not have any other bonus-earning categories.

American Express Platinum Card Rewards

Customize your spending detailsSpecify your parameters
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually
24,000points$434in dollar value
Hotel
1points/$1
Car Rental
1points/$1
AMEX Purchases
5points/$1
Airfare
5points/$1
Dining
1points/$1
All Other Purchases
1points/$1

American Express has a narrow definition of travel purchases. You must buy directly from an airlines or American Express Travel to qualify to earn 5 points per dollar. If you make a travel purchase through a travel agent, for example, you will only earn 1 point per dollar.

Travel Benefits

Lounge Access

Cardholders receive a Priority Pass Select Membership, which offers access more than 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries. You’ll also get free access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying with Delta and American Express Centurion Lounges.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Never pay a fee for making purchases while traveling abroad.

Wi-Fi

Get unlimited Wi-Fi at more than a million hotspots worldwide through Boingo.

TSA PreCheck

You’ll receive a fee credit every four years to cover TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application costs.

Earn Elite Status Fast

The American Express Platinum card does not offer the ability to fast track or earn elite status with any airline, but it does give you instant Gold Status with both Starwood and Hilton.

Fees: the cost of Having the Card

Annual Fee:
$550
Foreign Transaction Fee:
0%
Late Payment Fee:
Up to $38

See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:

Your Average Monthly Spend
Months to Cover Annual Fee
16 months

Recommendations

We strongly recommend to spend not less than $10,129 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.

The annual fee of the American Express Platinum card is $550. If you don’t consider the value of any of the card benefits, you would need to spend $30,387 per year to cover the annual fee, assuming you only earn only 1 point per dollar and that the value of a point is at least 1.81 cents. Obviously you’d have to spend less if you made some qualifying travel purchases, which earn 5 points per dollar, or get an exceptional value for your points with some well-planned redemptions.

If, however, you consider the $200 annual airline credit and $200 Uber credit, the annual fee for the Platinum card is essentially only $150. This means you would need to spend just $8,287 on non-travel purchases to offset the cost. If you spend $2,000 a month, it would only take a little over 4 months to pay off the card.

For the first year, it doesn’t matter if you spend anything on the card after you earn the sign-up bonus. That’s because the 60,000-point bonus is worth at least $1,086 in travel redemptions and easily covers the annual fee. In essence, you’ll get to enjoy the many perks and benefits that come with the card for a year for free.

We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the American Express Platinum Card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.

These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000

First Year

Signup Bonus
$1,086
Anniversary Bonus
Everyday Rewards
$434
Statement Credit
$200
Free Bags
Earnings
$1,720
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$550
Charges
-$550
Rewards Earned First Year
$1,170

Second Year

Signup Bonus
Anniversary Bonus
Everyday Rewards
$434
Statement Credit
$200
Free Bags
Earnings
$634
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$550
Charges
-$550
Rewards Earned Second Year
$84

Top 5 Benefits of the American Express Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum card is truly a great premium credit card. Two of the best benefits are access to the amazing American Express Centurion Lounges and a $200 annual airline fee credit that goes a long way toward offsetting the annual fee.

  1. Lounge Access: Experience the amazing American Express Centurion Lounges, plus Delta Sky Clubs and any of the over 1,000 Priority Pass lounges worldwide.
  2. $200 Airline Fee Credit: Recoup some of your annual fee with this credit that covers incidental fees charged by your selected airline. Includes everything from in-flight meals to baggage and change fees.
  3. Great Flexibility: Membership Rewards points can be transferred to so many partners that you’ll have options for every trip you want to take.
  4. Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus of 60,000 points. That’s worth at least $1,086 in travel.
  5. $200 Uber Credits: Every month you’ll receive $15 in credits for Uber. Get an extra $20 in December to help cover holiday travel costs, for a total of $200 per year.

Should You Get the American Express Platinum Card?

The American Express Platinum Card is a great premium rewards credit card despite its mediocre earning potential. That’ because it has fantastic perks and benefits. Therefore, it is really only a good credit card for people who can make use of those benefits, namely lounge access, the airline fee credit and the Uber credit.

Since the annual fee isn’t waived the first year, you should plan to use these benefits if you apply for the card, even considering the 60,000-point sign-up bonus. Without use of the additional card benefits, the bonus is probably not significant enough to justify the $550 annual fee. After the first year, it is even more important that you use the ongoing benefits because you won’t have a major point bonus to increase the value of the credit card.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.

  • Membership Rewards points can be worth as little as half a cent each or as much as 5+ cents each, depending on how they are redeemed. In order to increase the value of your points, you should consider transferring them to Membership Rewards airline partners like Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Delta, just to name a few.

  • It is against terms and conditions of American Express cards to sell your Membership Rewards points.

  • The best transfer partner will vary depending on where you are going, the time of year, the class of service and availability, among other variables. A good starting point in determining the best transfer partner for your trip is to look at the prices available for the same route from different frequent flyer programs.

  • The Amex Platinum is a charge card so it doesn’t come with a preset spending limit. Since it is not a credit card, you need to pay your balance in full each month or face severe penalties.

  • The annual fee of the Amex Platinum card was recently increased from $450 to $550. Unfortunately, this is a permanent change. You now have to pay $550 per year if you decide to get the card. To help offset that increase, Amex also recently added a yearly $200 Uber credit as a card benefit.
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Compare Membership Rewards Cards

If the American Express Platinum doesn’t sound like the perfect match for you, you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of other Amex cards that could be a better fit. A few worth noting are the Amex EveryDay credit card with no annual fee, the American Express Gold card with a $160 annual fee that is waived the first year, and the American Express Green card with a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.

Platinum Card® from American Express
For Excellent/Good Credit
Check which AMEX card is the right fit for you
How to Apply for this card

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Compare Membership Rewards Cards

Amex EveryDay® Credit CardAmex EveryDay® Credit CardAmerican Express® Gold CardAmerican Express® Gold CardAmerican Express® Green CardAmerican Express® Green Card
Sign-up bonus
10,000 points60,000 points0 points0 points
Annual Fee
$0$550$0 first year $160 after that$0 first year, then $95
APR On Purchases
13.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Foreign Fee
2.7%0%0%2.7%
Bonus Value
$181$1,086$0$0
Second Year Value
$434$434$434$434

In terms of sign-up bonuses, you’re not looking at much with any of these other cards except the Platinum. The EveryDay is the only one offering a sign-up bonus, but it’s just 10,000 Membership Rewards points.

However, if you are looking for a card that earns a lot of points for everyday spending, you should consider the EveryDay or Gold cards. The Gold card offers 2 points per dollar for flights and restaurants, and the EveryDay offers 1 points per dollar at supermarkets and a 20 percent bonus if you use your card 20 or more times per month. The only bonus that comes with the Amex Green is 1 points per dollar onpurchases made through Amex Travel.

Of these options, the Green card has the least to offer in terms of both the sign-up bonus and earning potential. If you are looking to either save on the annual fee or have a better everyday spending card compared to the Platinum card, both the EveryDay and Gold cards are solid options.

Compare the American Express Platinum Card to Other Cards

If you’re not set on American Express, there are cards from other issuers you may want to consider. Other premium credit cards on the market offering excellent benefits include the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige card.

60,000points offer
Platinum Card® from American Express

Check if Platinum Card® from American Express is the best option for you

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Prestige have a $95 annual fee. Like the Platinum card, they offer annual airline or travel fee credits, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee waivers and Priority Pass Select Membership.

The main differences lie in the travel protections and sign-up bonuses. The Sapphire Reserve has a sign- up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, and the Citi Prestige offers 40,000 ThankYou points. Both cards have significantly better trip delay, baggage delay and trip cancellation insurance than the Amex Platinum.

The VentureOne card is not a premium card. It has no annual fee and earns 1 points per dollar spent on all purchases. These points are effectively cash back and can be redeemed at a rate of one cent each toward travel purchases. The sign-up bonus is currently 20,000 points, which is worth $200 toward travel.

Card Overview

Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.

Card Details

Excellent credit score
Issuer
American ExpressAmerican Express
Use miles
Yes
Pay with points
Yes

Flight Features

Available airline
Any
Loyalty Program
Membership Rewards®
Flights Type
Domestic and International
Alliance
Star Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld

Travel Partners

Airlines
Yes
Hotels
Yes
Car Rental
Yes
Cruise
Yes

Card Terms and Conditions

While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the American Express Platinum Card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the Amex card.

Purchases

Intro APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Intro APR for balance transfers:
See Terms and Conditions
Ongoing APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Minimum Grace Period:
See Terms and Conditions
Extended Warranty Protection:
The length of your warranty can be matched for up to 1 additional year when you use your card for eligible purchases that come with an original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less.
Purchase Protection:
Protect eligible purchases made on your card when they're accidentally damaged, stolen or lost. Up to 90 days and $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
Return Protection:
Get a refunded for items within 90 days of the date of purchase if the vendor does not accept the return. Get up to $300 per eligible item, for a maximum of up to $1,000 annually.

Cash Advance Features

Ongoing APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Cash Advance Fee:
See Terms and Conditions

Security and Protections

American Express offers a mobile app so you can monitor your spending activity while you’re on the go. The Platinum card is outfitted with Chip + Signature technology and cardholders are never on the hook for unauthorized charges. Security features include:

Account alerts:
You can set up alerts online to be notified about spending on your card.
Control accounts on the go:
Track your account with the mobile app on the go.
EMV Chip Technology:
Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals with Chip + Signature technology.

Mobile banking

American Express offers a mobile banking app so you can monitor your expenses on the go. This will help you spot any unauthorized activity right away. The Amex Platinum card will work with Android Pay, Apply Pay and Samsung Pay.

Additional Cardholder Benefits

The Amex Platinum offers many of the benefits that typically come with premium travel cards. They include secondary auto rental collision insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage insurance and travel accident insurance. Many other premium travel cards also offer trip cancellation and delay coverage, as well as primary auto rental insurance.

American Express Travel Benefits

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
Baggage Delay Insurance:
Reimbursement for essentials such as toiletries and clothing if bags are delayed over 6 hours. Get up to $100 a day for 3 days.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
Get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
Roadside Dispatch:
Call 800-333- AMEX for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery. Service charges apply.
Travel Accident Insurance:
Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.