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Updated May 5, 2019

American Express Platinum Benefits

Read more about The Platinum Card® from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser
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Are the benefits of the Platinum Card® from American Express worth it? Read this in-depth guide to make the best use of the perks.

American Express Platinum
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Overall Score

4.0

Rewards

4.0

Fees

3.0

Benefits

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Airline Fee Credit
  • Uber Savings
  • Lounge Access
  • Concierge
  • $550 annual fee

The AMEX Platinum comes with a $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). But savvy cardholders can help make up for it by taking advantage of its perks and rewards.

Maybe you're debating whether to add a Platinum Card to your wallet. Or maybe you're just not sure you're getting the most out of it. Either way, keep reading.

We'll break down each benefit and its true value. We also give you tips on how to maximize the value.

  1. 5x on Airfare and Hotels
  2. $200 Airline Fee Credit
  3. $200 Uber Credit
  4. $100 Global Entry or TSA-Pre Application Credit
  5. Airport Lounge Access
  6. $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
  7. Platinum Concierge Service
  8. Global Wi-Fi Membership
  9. Fine Hotel & Resorts Program Perks
  10. Hotel Collection Credit
  11. Elite Status With Marriott and Hilton
  12. Discounts on Premium Cabins
  13. Status with Car Rental Companies
  14. Cruise Privileges Program
  15. Access to Special Events
  16. ShopRunner Free 2-Day Shipping
  17. AMEX Offers on Retail & Dining
  18. Car Rental Damage & Loss Insurance
  19. Travel Insurances
  20. Purchase Protections
  21. Authorized User Benefits

Is the AMEX Platinum worth it?: American Express Platinum benefits include $200 annual airline credit, unlimited access into 5 lounge networks, Global Entry or TSA-Pre application credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, discounts and credits for fine hotels, premium cabins, and cruises.

Keep reading to learn about these benefits in detail.

1. REWARDS

American Express offers a 60,000-point bonus to new members when they use their card to make at least $5,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.

What credit score do you need for a Platinum AMEX? To apply, you need to have a good or excellent credit score.

The reward structure is:

  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases

Points can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and more. Each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for flights through Amex. Points can also be transferred to select frequent flyer or hotel loyalty programs.

But for most people, the value of the card lies with the travel benefits. Let's review.

2. $200 Airline Credit

© hernanpc (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

You receive up to a $200 airline credit per calendar year. This credit is for incidentals such as:

  • Checked bags
  • Overweight/oversize baggage fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Airport lounge day passes
  • In-flight refreshments

To receive the statement credit, you need to select and enroll one qualifying airline. This isn't as flexible as Chase Sapphire Reserve's $300 travel credit, which can be used for any airline, any travel expense.

Tip: Select an airline that typically charges for a checked bag (make sure you fly with it though). For example, for domestic travel, Southwest and JetBlue already give you a free checked bag (Southwest even gives you 2). But airlines like Delta and United will both charge baggage fees.

Estimate Value: $200

3. Up to $200 Annual Uber Credit

This benefit gives you up to $200 for Uber rides each year. You get:

  • $15 in Uber credits each month
  • $35 in December

To activate, just add your AMEX card in your Uber account in the "Add Payment" section. You'll then automatically receive the credits.

Unused credits do not roll over and this is only valid for rides within the United States. This also applies for food deliveries with UberEats. So you can also get free food deliveries using the monthly credit.

Note: Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Estimate Value: $200

To get the most out of this, just make sure you take a couple of Uber rides every month. If you're going somewhere where the parking fee is typically high, use your Uber credit instead and save on parking at the same time.

4. $100 Global Entry Or TSA-Pre Credit

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Every four years, you get a $100 statement credit towards either Global Entry OR TSA Pre. To receive the statement credit, you must charge the application fee to your Platinum card.

Global Entry (part of the Trusted Travelers program) is the US government's way of approving low-risk passengers and providing them quicker access through customs during international travel. Global Entry includes TSA-Pre (expedited clearance through security at US airports).

To learn more, read our detailed guide on Global Entry.

Tip: To maximize the value even more, you can put 3 authorized users on your card. It costs $175 to add 3 authorized users (See Rates & Fees). All authorized users also get Global Entry or TSA-Pre application credit as well. So that's essentially getting Global Entry for 3 other people at less than $60 each.

Estimate Value: $100/every 5 years = $20 per year

5. AIRPORT LOUNGE Access

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The Platinum Card features complimentary access to 5 airport lounge networks:

  • Delta Sky Clubs
  • Centurion Lounges
  • American Express International Lounges
  • Airspace Lounges
  • Priority Pass Network lounges

At a participating airport lounge, you need to show your Platinum Card, photo ID, and same-day boarding pass to get in.

To a lot of people, lounge access is worth the fee and more. Lounge entry typically cost $50, so 11 visits will make up the annual fee. Some lounges, such as the luxury Centurion Lounges, offer exceptional amenities, including complimentary gourmet food.

You also get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership (activation required). This program offers unlimited access to more than 1000 airport lounges around the world. This coverage is equivalent to Priority Pass's Prestige membership, which costs $399/yr. It's even a little better as you're also allowed to bring in 2 guests at no extra charge.

What's even more: Each Additional Platinum Cardholder also get Priority Pass Select membership. So if you fully take advantage of this, this means 3 additional people can get Priority Pass Select membership (a $1,197 value) for just the $175 it costs to add 3 additional Platinum cards.

Estimate Value: $400. But depends on how often you fly per year, and if your airports have any of these lounges.

Each lounge has specific policies about bringing guests, so you'll need to review the rules carefully before you pay a visit. For instance, there may be limits on the number of guests you can bring or a minimum age limit. You may also have to pay a separate guest fee, which is automatically charged to your card.

6. Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit

Each calendar year, you get up to $100 statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card. You get:

  • Up to $50 credit between January and June
  • Up to $50 credit between July and December

You must enroll in this benefit from your Platinum account. When you make a purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue (either online or in store) with your Platinum card, you'll be automatically credited on your statement. There is no minimum purchase required.

The $100 credit is shared between the Basic Card Member and any additional card members (i.e. authorized users don't get their own credit).

Note that Saks gift cards or purchases at Saks outlets are not valid for the credit.

Estimate Value: $100

7. CONCIERGE SERVICE

Take advantage of the Platinum Concierge service. This service is actually quite valuable, though maybe not in the monetary sense.

Concierge staff is available to help you with a number of different tasks, including:

  • Finding tickets for a popular event
  • Arranging for transport between the airport and your hotel
  • Making reservations at restaurants in your travel destination
  • Helping you buy a bouquet from a local florist

These can be really time-consuming and stressful tasks. So ask the Platinum concierge to help instead. After all, time = money.

There is no service fee to use the Platinum concierge (unless you need extensive help, like planning a large-scale event or meeting). Of course, you'll be charged whatever the request costs. Usually, you tell the concierge a not-to-exceed amount, and they'll perform the task within your budget.

Value: How much do you value your time?

Did you know: The Platinum Dining Program allows you to use Concierge service to reserve a table at more than 1,000 restaurants worldwide. Consultants can also help with reviewing menu selections, providing travel directions, or request any other special arrangements before you arrive at the restaurant.

There's another service called the Platinum Travel Service. Travel Counselors are available 24/7 to provide recommendations, help you find special offers or other travel benefits, and guide you on how to use your Membership Rewards points.

8. BOINGO WI-FI

You get complimentary Boingo Wi-fi, which connects you to over 1 million hotspots worldwide. There are no roaming fees and no data limit. And you can connect up to 4 devices.

This is the same coverage as Boingo's Global Plan, which costs $39/mo. In fact, it's even better as you get unlimited access; whereas the Global Plan is just 2,000 minutes a month.

Boingo hotspots are in just about most major airports worldwide, as well as many hotels and public spaces. This benefit could really come in handy and save you from expensive roaming charges while abroad.

Estimate Value: $468. But most likely you won't be using the entire value, unless you travel internationally often.

9. FINE HOTEL AND RESORTS PROGRAM

© CreditDonkey

AMEX has a FINE HOTELS & RESORTS (FHR) program, an exclusive booking site for luxury hotels around the world. Some of the extras benefits include:

  • Noon check-in times when available
  • Room upgrades upon arrival
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • $100 food and beverage credit or complimentary spa treatments

Note: FINE HOTELS & RESORTS bookings are not eligible to receive 5x points.

But to really get the best value, you have to make use of the complimentary night feature. Many hotels have special offers for a complimentary 3rd or 4th night. We find that the FHR rates aren't always the cheapest, but the free night would be significant savings.

Keep in mind that the hotels in this program are pretty expensive. They usually already cost hundreds a night (even up to $1,000/night). But if you do get a free night, $100 food & beverage credit, and complimentary breakfast (just eat later and make it a lunch), you can easily save hundreds on a luxury vacation.

Tip: Another great thing is that you can still usually collect hotel loyalty program points with bookings made through FHR.

Estimate Value: If used, it can easily be worth over $500 savings for a stay.

10. Hotel Collection

If you book an eligible hotel stay of 2 or more consecutive nights with AMEX's The Hotel Collection, you get a $100 credit. This credit can be used for qualifying purchases such as dining, spa, and resort activities. You could also be eligible for room upgrade at check-in, if available.

You can book the stay either through amextravel.com or through Platinum Travel Services. You can book up to 3 rooms at once, and each room will receive the $100 credit, making it $300 total. The hotels offered by The Hotel Collection are usually a lot less expensive than the ones in the Fine Hotel and Resorts Program.

However, you only get 2x Membership Reward points per dollar (instead of the 5x on prepaid hotels on amextravel.com). And you also won't earn any hotel points if you're part of the hotel's loyalty program. But the $100 credit may be worth a lot more than any loyalty points you may have received.

Estimate Value: Up to $100 per eligible stay

Tip: AMEX has a Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee, where if you have booked a hotel stay on amextravel.com, and then later found a cheaper rate elsewhere online, you'll be refunded the difference. The cheaper rate must be for the same hotel, same room type, same dates, and same number of adults and children.

11. Elite Status with Marriott and Hilton

You are also fast-tracked to elite status with Marriott and Hilton:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status. Room upgrades, late checkout (subject to availability), and your choice of a complimentary welcome gift.

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status. Late checkout (subject to availability), complimentary wi-fi, discounted rates, complimentary gift such as bonus points or snacks, and 5th night free when booking a reward stay with points.

You usually need to stay a certain number of nights with the hotel per year to get elite status. So it's a nice perk that you just get it with the AMEX Platinum. Enrollment required.

Estimate Value: $50 - $100 if used. More if you're able to score a room upgrade.

12. DISCOUNTS FOR PREMIUM CABINS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

© CreditDonkey

AMEX has upgraded their International Airline Program. Now, you get discounts on premium cabins when you fly with one of their 15+ participating airlines booked through American Express Travel.

  • Discounts on Premium Economy, Business, and First Class seats
  • Can be either a refundable or non-refundable fare
  • Can purchase up to 8 tickets and receive the discount
  • Can Pay with Points (or just a portion of it) and still get miles with the airline too

The trip must originate and return to the US. You can search for fares and discounts on amextravel.com. If your itinerary is eligible for a discount, the lower price will automatically be displayed.

Previously, the only way to search and book is by calling, which was a hassle. Now you can save time and book online yourself. But if you don't see anything online, you can still call in and ask.

Tip: Previously, you got a complimentary companion ticket if you book a refundable Business or Flight Class international flight with participating airlines. You had to pay a service fee of $39 per ticket, as well as any government imposed taxes/fees and airline imposed fuel/security surcharges. This had limited benefits, as refundable fees are more expensive, and the taxes and fees can add up to a lot. In our opinion, this new program is a big improvement.

Estimate Value: $100 - $600 per ticket, if used

13. STATUS WITH AVIS, HERTZ, AND NATIONAL

Members get complimentary memberships in Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental's premium programs. This gives you perks such as:

  • Discounts
  • Free upgrades (if available)
  • Fast check-in and check-out process
  • Guaranteed a car even if you didn't make a reservation beforehand (for some programs).

This benefit can surely make it a little less hassle-free to rent a car. And with status, it's a good chance you'll get an upgrade as well. For example, National offers a guaranteed upgrade if you reserve a car at the mid-size rate.

Value: Depends on how often you rent a car. The value isn't humongous, but it's a nice perk nonetheless.

14. Cruise Privileges Program

If you book an eligible cruise of 5 nights or more with AMEX Travel, you get shipboard credit on most cruise lines. This is only for double occupancy rooms. The credit can be used towards shore excursions, spa services, on-board specialty food and drinks, on-board shopping, and even gratuities.

Cardmembers get:

  • $100 shipboard credit for inside and outside staterooms
  • $200 shipboard credit for balcony, veranda, and mini-suite staterooms
  • $300 shipboard credit for suites on Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean cruise lines
  • $300 shipboard credit for Queen Mary oceanview staterooms category ED or higher, and Queen Victoria/ Queen Elizabeth oceanview staterooms category FA or higher on Cunard Line.
  • $300 shipboard credit for stateroom categories on Ama Waterways, Oceania, Regent, Azamara, Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Uniworld, and Windstar.

Each cruise line usually also offers additional exclusive amenities for Platinum cardmembers. These can include private galley tours, spa credit, complimentary bottle of wine/champagne and hors d'oeuvres, etc.

Plus, you also get one extra point per dollar when booking with American Express Travel or any eligible Travel Associate Platform agencies.

If you are planning on taking a cruise, this benefit can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your trip. You can use the extra shipboard credit on items or activities you usually wouldn't splurge on, making your trip more fun and memorable.

Estimate Value: $100-$300 per room, if used

15. ENTERTAINMENT EXCLUSIVES

Subject to availability, you can purchase tickets to Broadway shows, score prime seats for Wimbledon, see your favorite artist live in concert, or sit in the front row at a New York fashion show.

Discounts are available for selected events when you use your Platinum Card, and you're always eligible for Preferred Seating.

By Invitation Only is a separate entertainment program for card members who are looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Most event tickets are all-inclusive and trips are already planned out, so all you need to do is show up. If you've ever wanted to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from a VIP yacht or enjoy wine tasting in Napa Valley, the Platinum Card can try to make it happen.

16. ShopRunner free 2-day shipping

You get a complimentary ShopRunner membership. This service partners with hundreds of brand-name stores to provide free 2-day shipping, free returns, and exclusive deals to members. This service usually costs $8.95/month (or $79/year).

You can shop either on ShopRunner or directly on the stores' websites. As long as an item has a ShopRunner logo next to it, it means it's eligible for free 2-day shipping with membership. You'll receive this perk as long as you don't log out of ShopRunner.

This is a small perk but it's great for the online shopping lovers.

Estimate Value: $79

17. AMEX Offers

© CreditDonkey

Amex Offers gives you discounts when you use your card at partner brands for shopping, dining, entertainment, travel, and more.

You can find offers through your American Express account or on the Amex app. If you see an offer you like, just add it to your card. Then when you use your Platinum card to pay, you'll automatically receive the deal.

Offers can be cashback (in the form of statement credit) or Membership Rewards points. This gives you the chance to earn more than just the normal 1x point on purchases.

Estimate Value: $100+

18. Car Rental Insurance

You are covered for up to $75,000 if your rental car gets damaged or stolen. You must pay the entire car rental fee in full and decline the rental company's insurance. Rental must not exceed 30 days.

However, this insurance is secondary. This means you still must file first with your own car insurance company. Amex only kicks in after your personal insurance's coverage. If you don't have car insurance, then this benefit becomes primary.

Coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.

Exceptions include vintage cars, trucks (except for pick-ups), cargo vans, motorbikes, off-road vehicles, limousines, and recreational vehicles.

19. TRAVEL INSURANCES

© CreditDonkey

The Platinum Card offers these travel insurances when you charge your trip to the card:

  • Baggage insurance: You, your spouse/partner, and dependents under 23 are reimbursed for baggage lost by a common carrier: up to $3,000 for carry-on and up to $2,000 for checked luggage. There is a limit of $1,000 for high-risk items such as electronics, jewelry, sporting equipment, and fur items.

  • Travel accident insurance: You are covered up to $500,000 in case of accidental death or dismemberment while traveling on a common carrier.

  • Premium roadside assistance: You can get roadside service at no additional cost up to 4 times per calendar year. Services include: towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change (if you have a spare), lockout service, and delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel.

  • Premium global assistance: When you travel more than 100 miles from home, Amex can provide 24/7 medical, legal, and financial assistance and referrals. The referrals are free of charge, but you'll have to pay for the cost of any services.

There are also no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees) associated with the Platinum Card, so you won't have to pay extra for purchases made outside the U.S.

20. PURCHASE PROTECTIONS

  • Return protection: If a store will not take back your purchase, you're covered up to $300 per item, and up to $1,000 per calendar year. The item must have been purchase within 90 days.

  • Purchase protection: If your item is lost, damaged, or stolen within 120 days after date of purchase (90 days for New York residents), you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per occurrence, and up to $50,000 per calendar year.

  • Extended warranty: For original manufacturers' warranties less than two years, Amex will match the length of the warranty. For warranties between 2-5 years, Amex will provide two additional years. You are covered up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per calendar year.

21. AUTHORIZED USER BENEFITS

Authorized users cost $175 for up to 3 additional Platinum cards. For the 4th additional user and each one after, it will cost $175 each.

Each additional Platinum card gets:

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, with 2 free guests
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA-Pre application every 4 years
  • Boingo plan, with the ability to connect 4 devices
  • Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Car rental benefits and status
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts program

If you add 3 additional users, each one is less than $60 per year. It's a steal to get Priority Pass Select, Global Entry, and Boingo for only $60 a year.

Authorized users don't get their own airline fee credit, Uber credit, or Saks credit.

CONCLUSION: IS THE PLATINUM CARD WORTH THE ANNUAL FEE?

In general, if you travel often, you will find that the benefits are worth the hefty annual fee. To recap, here are the most valuable benefits, in our opinion (estimate based on 4 trips):

  • Airline credit: worth up to $200/year
  • Uber savings: worth up to $200/year
  • Saks savings: worth up to $100/year
  • Global Entry credit: worth $20/year ($100/5 years)
  • Airport lounge access: worth about $400
  • Boingo Wi-fi: worth about $100
  • Marriott and Hilton Gold Status
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Platinum Concierge

But some of the benefits aren't so easy to assign a value. It all depends on if you use it or not. If you travel several times a year, you will definitely make use of the airline credit, airport lounge access, and Boingo wi-fi. And it's easy to use up the Uber credit too. All this alone could easily justify the $550 annual fee.

This card is mostly about benefits that allow you to travel in style. You can have better travel experiences and get perks like free room upgrades. And don't forget about the value of the Platinum Concierge too.

As always, terms and conditions apply.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com

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 reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on June 3, 2015. This content may have been updated on May 5, 2019. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check American Express website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the American Express Platinum card, please click here.

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The Platinum Card from American Express
Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConciergeEventsCar Rental Insurance Extended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
$550

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