The Amex Platinum Card is one of the most coveted rewards credit cards because it offers an array of luxury perks and benefits for frequent travelers and those who spend a lot on their card annually.
With a $695 annual fee, this premium card from American Express is not for everyone but can provide immense value if you maximize the credits and features.
An Overview of the Card and Its Benefits
The Amex Platinum stands out for its high-end rewards, credits, and perks more so than cash back or points. Some of the key benefits include:
- Access to Airport Lounges
Cardholders get complimentary access to Amex’s growing network of Centurion Lounges, plus Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta.
These lounges provide complimentary food, drinks, wifi, and premium atmosphere before flights.
- Hotel and Airline Status
You get automatic Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy chains, along with Hertz car rentals. Airline partners also offer elite status benefits.
- Statement Credits
$200 in Uber credits, $200 in airline fee credits, up to $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck. These offsets help balance the annual fee.
- Fine Hotels and Resorts
Bookings via Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program offers valuable perks like room upgrades and credits at luxury hotels and resorts.
There are also no foreign transaction fees, access to American Express concierge services, and more.
Is it Worth to Have Amex Platinum?
Because it costs $695 each year, determining if the Amex Platinum is worthwhile for you depends on your travel frequency, ability to use the credits, and how much you value the various travel perks.
For occasional travelers, probably not. But frequent flyers who visit airport lounges often, stay in nice hotels regularly, and would use statement credits can absolutely get value exceeding the fee each year.
Doing a break-even analysis based on your predicted card use is recommended.
Why the Amex Platinum Card is Worth the Annual Fee
With a $695 annual fee each year, the Amex Platinum is clearly a luxury card aimed at frequent travelers, not everyday use. But when you maximize the many credits and perks, that fee is often more than offset by savings and benefits you receive.
Airport Lounge Access Alone Can Exceed $695 Value
If you travel regularly and visit lounges before flights, free access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClubs and more can save hundreds or even thousands in costs each year. As the Amex lounge network continues expanding, this perk becomes even more valuable.
Elite Status Upgrades Have Tangible Value
Gold status with hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott entitles you to valuable upgrades and perks that makes travel more enjoyable. Airline elite status can also score upgrades.
Premium Perks Enhance Luxury Travel Experiences
From Fine Hotels and Resorts amenities when booking high-end hotels to rides in luxury vehicles via Uber Premium benefits in select cities, the Amex Platinum enhances luxury.
When you do the math and add up the many credits and experiences you unlock as a cardholder, the annual fee often more than pays for itself each year for frequent luxury travelers.
Earning Membership Rewards Points
While its biggest value comes from credits and experiences for travelers, the Amex Platinum Card does offer Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed in various ways or transferred to airline/hotel partners.
Points Earning Rates
- 5X points on flights and hotels booked via Amex Travel
- 5X points on prepaid hotels booked via Amex Travel
- 1X points on other eligible purchases
Membership Rewards points can move to 17 airline and 3 hotel partners to redeem rewards flights and stays, unlocking potentially higher redemptions.
Pay With Points and More
You can use Membership Rewards to pay for part or all of purchases made on your card, shop via the Amex portal with points, and more redemption options.
When used strategically, the points you earn alongside all the other Platinum Card perks can help offset costs of luxury experiences.
Is the Amex Platinum Right for You?
The Amex Platinum Card offers tremendous value but is best suited for a certain type of cardholder who can maximize its luxury travel benefits. Consider if it meets your needs:
- Frequent Travelers Who Enjoy Premium Experiences
For those who travel often, stay at nice hotels, check bags and enjoy airport lounges, upgrades and experiences, the Platinum Card’s credits and perks alone can exceed the annual fee. Enjoying luxury travel is key.
- Strategic Travel Rewards Collectors
The card fits those who enjoy collecting points/miles across programs to unlock aspirational trips and stays. Transferring Membership Rewards to airline/hotel partners can achieve this goal.
- High Spenders Who Organize Credits Strategically
With its $695 fee, this card best suits those who spend substantially during the year and take the time to maximize monthly/annual statement credits the card provides.
As you can see in this extensive overview, the Amex Platinum Credit Card offers tremendous long-term value for luxury travelers who strategically utilize its many credits, experiences, rewards points, and elite status perks it unlocks.
Can Amex Platinum Annual Fee be Waived?
The high $695 Amex Platinum Card fee is not waived the first year or afterward, but new cardholders can often get signup bonuses worth $1,000+ to help offset the fee when you first get approved.
Unfortunately there is no way to product change into the Platinum and get the fee waived either – it will always hit each cardholder account annually. Being strategic in using the many credits is key to getting value that exceeds the fee.
Who Qualifies for Amex Platinum?
Since this is a fee-based premium card, Amex Platinum approval is generally reserved for very good credit applicants. Published minimum scores vary from 700-750+ though exceptions occur. High or no preset spending limits also usually require great credit.
Having an existing relationship with American Express can help your approval odds as an existing cardholder. But in general to qualify you need sterling credit and high income – of at least $150,000 per year.
How to Get the Amex Platinum Credit Card
If you’ve decided the Amex Platinum Card offerings provide good value for your situation, here are the steps to apply and get approved:
- Check Your Eligibility
The Platinum Card requires excellent credit, generally FICO scores of 700+ at a minimum. It also helps to have an existing American Express card or high income levels over $150k+.
- Submit Your Application
You can apply online in minutes at the Amex website. Supply some basic personal information and details about your financial profile.
- Get Approved
The application process is typically quick. Approval decisions often come within 60 seconds based on factors like your credit reports, income, and existing Amex relationship potentially.
If approved, your new Platinum Card ships quickly. Just activate it when it arrives, register online, and start using your new luxury travel rewards mastercard.
Is it Worth Upgrading to Amex Platinum?
If you currently have a lower-tier American Express card like a Green or Gold Card, upgrading to the premium Amex Platinum Card can definitely make financial sense if you travel frequently or stay at high-end hotels where the elite status, credits and other perks would come in handy.
Running some estimates on your annual airport lounge visits, airline fee credits used, hotel elite stays and more can give you an idea of how much incremental value you’d get from upgrading. Often times a few thousand dollars in perks and savings make the upgrade decision an easy call for premium travelers.