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Updated April 6, 2022

American Express Platinum Review: Is It Worth It?

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Is The Platinum Card® from American Express worth it? Read this in-depth review to help you decide.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Travel benefits
  • 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 in first 6 months
  • Concierge service
  • $695 annual fee

Bottom Line

Excellent card for frequent travelers

In This Review:

We'll explain why The Platinum Card® from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, could be a must-have card for some people. And why it's not a good fit for others.

One thing's for sure: the Platinum Card is, in our opinion, one of the most prestigious rewards card.

But it's not for just anybody. It is one of the most expensive cards we have reviewed, with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees).

Nobody wants to pay an expensive annual fee.

So why would travelers even want to consider this card? Do they know something we don't?

For one thing, many choose AMEX Platinum to earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. If you're an avid traveler, you should apply now.

Pro Tip: To apply for the Platinum Card, you need to have a good or excellent credit score. This means you need a credit score of at least 700.

Current American Express Promotions

Premium TravelThe Platinum Card
Airline PurchasesAmerican Express Gold
Cash BackBlue Cash Preferred

Is American Express Platinum Worth It?

Let's examine the pros and cons. We'll discuss the 10 reasons to get the Platinum AMEX below. But first, let's talk about 3 reasons why the Platinum might not be right for you.

Is Amex Platinum worth the annual fee? Despite the $695 annual fee, the benefits are worth over $2,500 based on our estimates. The higher annual fee scares many people, but for some, the perks make this one of the best Amex cards to get (if they can qualify).

3 Reasons Why $695 Is Too Much

  • Not all airport lounges participate.
    For instance, if you fly American Airlines, you are out of luck. American Express and American Airlines ended their partnership, with American partnering with Citi instead.

    And United's partnership is with Chase.

    Is the AMEX Platinum still worth it then? It depends on how much you value the other benefits such as the $200 Airline Fee Credit (enrollment required), Platinum Concierge Service, and Centurion Lounges (which we will discuss below).

  • You want more than 1x points. The American Express Platinum focuses more on luxury perks instead of a high rewards structure. If you are more interested in earning points than enjoying premium benefits (such as Platinum Concierge and Global Lounge Collection), then you may want to consider a card like the American Express Gold Card (which we will compare in-depth below).

    Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants

    Good news, as of October 6, 2016, the Platinum Card offers 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. You also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

10 Reasons AMEX Platinum Is Worth It

  1. 80,000 Bonus Points: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months.

    If the spending threshold sounds hard to pull off, this card may not be a good fit for you. You'd want to put around that amount or more each month to make good use of the Platinum.

    To take advantage of this promotion, visit American Express' secure website to apply now.

    What can you do with 80,000 points? That's $800 right there if you use those rewards toward a ticket using Amex's "pay with points" option.

    Another option is to transfer AMEX points to a frequent flyer partner program, such as Delta and JetBlue, or to a hotel loyalty partner program like Hilton. We'll explain below.

  2. $200 Airline Fee Credit: You can save money when flying since cardmembers get up to $200 in airline fee credit per calendar year. To receive the statement credit, you need to enroll and select one qualifying airline. The credit helps cover incidental fees such as:

    • checked bags,
    • overweight/oversize baggage fees,
    • seat assignment fees,
    • phone reservation fees,
    • airport lounge day passes,
    • in-flight refreshments, and
    • change fees.

    $200 Airline Fee Credit

  3. Rewards: You earn Membership Rewards. Earn 1 point for each dollar spent on eligible purchases. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also, earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

    How the rewards work: You can redeem your points for a variety of rewards such as airline tickets, hotel stays, and merchandise.

    That's only the beginning. You can also transfer Membership Reward points to over a dozen frequent traveler programs such as Delta, JetBlue, and Hilton.

    Want to learn how to get started with airline miles and points? Read our Beginner's Guide to Airline Miles and Points.

  4. Airport Lounge Access: With the American Express Global Lounge Collection, you get complimentary access to 5 airport lounge networks, including Delta Sky Club lounges, the Centurion Lounges, American Express International Lounges, and Airspace Lounges.

    Lounge access is one of the main reasons why many people would even consider the $695 annual fee worthwhile.

    • Centurion Lounge can be found at Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA), and San Francisco (SFO). With plans to open soon in more airports. You'll find amenities like showers, food and beverages, conference space, workspace and family room.

    • Delta Sky Club has 33 locations worldwide. You'll find showers available at the Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle locations. You'll find a self-service bar available at the Chicago O'Hare, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Santiago locations.

      To access Delta Sky Clubs, you must be traveling the same day on a Delta operated flight. Up to two guests may enter the club for an additional fee.

    • Priority Pass Select: You get to enroll in Priority Pass Select at no additional cost. When you enroll in Priority Pass Select, you have access to over 950 participating airport lounges worldwide - it does not matter what airline or class you fly.

  5. Uber Savings: Good news Uber fans. You can earn up to a $15 credit each month (and in December, you can earn up to a $35 credit) when you add your AMEX Platinum Card as the payment method to the app. That's up to $200 for Uber rides or eat orders in the US annually.

    Keep in mind, unused credit will NOT carry over to the following month and the credit only applies to rides within the United States. This benefit is limited to the first Uber account in which the AMEX Platinum Card is added. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Benefit renews annually.

  6. Saks Fifth Avenue Credit: AMEX added more value to the Platinum card by giving you free shopping money each year. 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, and up to $50 credit between July and December. There is no minimum purchase required.

    You must enroll in this benefit from your Platinum account. 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).

  7. You can get credit toward either Global Entry or TSA Pre (which help participants passengers get through immigration or security quickly because they have been deemed "low risk").

    Note: Card Members are eligible to receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.

    Tip: What's the difference between Global Entry and TSA Pre? At participating airports, TSA Pre helps expedite security screening while Global Entry helps expedite customs and border processing. Between signing up for Global Entry or TSA Pre, we recommend Global Entry if you qualify. Global Entry is more expensive ($100 for 5 year membership vs $85 for 5 year membership), but it includes TSA Pre. Here is a link to the eligibility requirement for Global Entry.

  8. Platinum Concierge: This could be a very valuable feature if you make use of it. Think of it as an assistant. In our busy lives, little tasks could take up too much time and energy. Instead of doing it yourself, have someone else help make dining reservations, buy tickets to select concerts or sporting events, or track down a bouquet for someone special.

    If you're traveling, you can make it less stressful for yourself by using the concierge service to arrange shuttle transportation to your hotel and nail down restaurant reservations.

  9. You can save money when you travel:

    • This card does not charge a foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees), while some cards will charge 3% or so on every purchase you make while overseas.

    • AMEX's International Airline Program provides savings on premium cabins booked through American Express Platinum Travel Service with 15+ participating airlines. This is good for both refundable and non-refundable fare purchased through the program. You can purchase up to 8 tickets. You have to pay American Express a non-refundable service fee of $39 per ticket.

    • Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.

    • You get $100-$300 shipboard credit per stateroom when you book an eligible cruise of 5 nights or more with Amex Travel. The credit can be used towards shore excursions, spa services, on-board specialty food and drinks, on-board shopping, and even gratuities.

  10. You can add additional users. For the traveling family, one less-mentioned benefit is the ability to add up to 3 authorized users to your account for $195 per year (See Rates & Fees). Your additional Platinum cardholders get Airport Lounge Access too. Keep in mind, that additional users do not get the airline fee credit.

    You can add an Additional Gold Card to your Platinum Card account, for no annual fee. That way you can earn Membership Rewards points on the purchases made on both cards. Keep in mind, the additional Gold Card members do not have access to AMEX Platinum benefits such as lounge access.

  11. You get status at Marriott, Hilton, Avis, Hertz, and National.

    • Marriott Bonvoy Gold is usually for frequent Marriott guests. But with the Platinum card, you get Marriott Gold Elite Status (enrollment required).

    • Prefer Hilton instead? You are in luck. If you have the Platinum Card, you can enroll to enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status benefit.

    • You also get status with Avis, Hertz and National. Enroll in Avis Preferred Club, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club Executive memberships. This is a way to help you score upgrades, subject to availability.

Benefits: Who This Card is Good For

  • Business travelers: This card is aimed at people who spend a lot of time in the air and want to travel with ease thanks to the Platinum Card's access to 5 airport lounge networks.

  • Deal hunters: In addition to up to an airline fee credit annually, this card earns Membership Rewards points. You can transfer the points to select frequent flyer or hotel loyalty programs.

    Tip: Read our Beginner's Guide to Airline Miles and Points.

  • Expert users: From concierge service to purchase protection and car rental insurance, this card has a range of benefits to it and — because of that hefty annual fee — you'll want to be sure you know your benefits. That could mean you may need to remind yourself of the details periodically to make sure you're keeping up with all the benefits.

    Tip: Read our Beginner's Guide to AMEX Platinum Benefits.

Click here for details and see if this card is right for you

How the Platinum American Express Compares

With the Platinum's $695 annual price tag, it's worth shopping around before filling out the application. How does it stack up to other cards?

Is Platinum better than Gold?:
American Express Gold
Apply for American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card: The golden cousin of Platinum has a cheaper annual fee (See Rates & Fees). The bonus isn't as generous, but it has a more lucrative rewards structure (American Express Platinum vs Gold).

What you don't get is the same level of prestige and service. The Gold won't give you airport lounge access. The Platinum card is geared more toward frequent fliers and high spenders than the Gold card.

Is there a cheaper alternative?:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred®: This is a credit card, so you can carry a balance if you need to.

With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may find the rewards program to be more beneficial over the long run as compared to the Platinum. What you won't get is the same caliber of prestige and ease when you travel; there's no airport lounge access and no airline fee credit. So whether you go with this card over the Platinum could come down to how often you travel and with which airline (see American Express Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Preferred).

Bottom Line

In our opinion, the Platinum Card is a prestigious travel-friendly card that offers travel benefits for frequent flyers, a consistent rewards program, and an exclusive concierge service that's tough to beat.

Be sure you'll use the card to its full potential to make up for the $695 annual fee before applying for this card. Terms and limitations apply.

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

Write to David R at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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.

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.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold card, please click here.

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Comments about American Express Platinum Review: Is It Worth It?
  • Arthur Copeland from Texas
    on September 2015 said:

    I say the AMEX Platinum is worth it. At the car rental counters and air line reservations desks you get better treatment than say presenting a Discover card. you get treated as a professional . with Discover,MC or VISA you get treated as a "suburban housewife" or 'Joe six pack" so the prestige is worth it. if Discover, Visa or MC have greater acceptance then ask would it be better to go to a store or restaurant that takes AMEX? it might be a better store. so always,always have at least one AMEX card in your wallet.also if you travel and in an emergency you need travelers checks,then AMEX wins hands down. they are always there and their offices are always friendly in an hour of need. so get AMEX. the Platinum has the better perks but always carry an AMEX card especially if you travel.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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