The Platinum Card® from American Express (American Express is a CreditSesame.com advertiser) is one of the most prestigious rewards cards on the market today. It’s also one of the more expensive cards, as far as annual fees go. Are the American Express Platinum travel rewards worth the pricey annual fee? Let’s take a look at our analysis.
The Platinum Card® from American Express overview
You can earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Redeem your points for rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, shopping, dining and entertainment purchases online. American Express works with airline, hotel and resort partner programs like Delta, Hilton and Starwood. Additionally, receive up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to the Basic Card Member only.
Beyond that, this Card also offers a generous welcome bonus offer in which eligible new Card Members earn, 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Quick Tip: For your application process your credit score and other factors are taken into consideration, keep in mind that your credit score by itself doesn’t guarantee approval for any credit card offer. See your free credit score on Credit Sesame.
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a $550 annual fee, one of the higher annual fees on the market today. Also, keep in mind that The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, not a credit card, which means there are no interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month when you receive your statement.
The Platinum Card® from American Express travel
In addition to the rewards program, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers travel benefits. This is a way to travel in style. As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world. Access to the Global Lounge Collection, includes over 1,100 airport lounges across 120 countries, including lounges in the American Express network, The Centurion® Lounge and The International American Express lounges, or visit one of their partner lounges including Delta Sky Club®. You can also enroll in Priority Pass™ Select an independent airport lounge access program, on American Express. If you are traveling with someone else, they may be able to join you in the airport lounges in the program for free or at a discounted rate, depending on the lounge, however some lounges do not admit guests.
Another benefit is a $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline. Examples of expenses include checked bag fees, in-flight refreshments and other incidental fees charged by your one pre-selected qualifying airline. The airline fee credit is one of this card’s many nice perks that can make traveling more pleasant.
The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which is useful if you travel outside the country. So, no matter where you’re traveling, when you use The Platinum Card® from American Express there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
The Platinum Card® from American Express benefits
As a Card Member of The Platinum Card® from American Express you can receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels and Resorts. You can take advantage of benefits at participating hotels and resorts, such as late checkout, free room upgrades (when available and if room category is eligible for upgrade). Actual value will vary based on property, room rate, upgrade availability, and use of benefits. Learn more about this on the American Express website.
The Platinum Card® from American Express requirements
We imagine it may not be easy to qualify for an elite card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express. You would generally need good to excellent credit history for starters, as well as other factors, to be considered for this card. The higher your score, the better your chance may be to qualify, however a quick reminder your credit score alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll qualify for any credit card offer. Credit card issuers use a variety of different types of credit scores and other criteria to make their decisions. Keep in mind the credit scoring model can vary depending on the credit card issuer.
The Platinum Card® from American Express review
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can get access to perks and benefits, but you also pay a lot as far as the annual fee. To justify the $550 annual fee, you’d need to use the benefits to the greatest extent possible. If you travel frequently, especially overseas, The Platinum Card® from American Express might be a choice you may want to consider. For example if one day at an airport lounge cost approximately $50 to $100, you could potentially make up the annual fee in just a few airline trips if you make use of and access a participating airport lounge. Frequent travelers most likely will have no trouble using up the $200 per calendar year Airline Fee Credit. These two features alone could help outweigh the annual fee.
If you don’t think you’d take advantage of all The Platinum Card® from American Express travel benefits, consider the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express as a more affordable alternative. It has a smaller welcome bonus offer for eligible new Card Members and doesn’t come with Platinum Card® lounge access but the annual fee for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is considerably less, it has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Another solid card for frequent travelers to consider is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It has an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then an ongoing annual fee of $95, you can earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide and it has no foreign transaction fees. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer perks like lounge access, the airline fee credit or concierge service.
When it comes to prestige, you can’t beat The Platinum Card® from American Express. Whether that and the generous travel perks are worth the $550 annual fee is up to you.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee: $550
Editor’s Note: The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
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