The biggest American Express Platinum travel benefits are a 60,000-mile initial bonus, complimentary Gold Status in the Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs, a $200 annual airline credit, and 5 points per $1 spent on flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. There’s also a monthly Uber credit, no foreign transaction fee, baggage and travel insurance, and premium roadside assistance.
Amex Platinum is a charge card, which means you’ll have to pay the balance in full every month. Plus it has a $550 annual fee. So you need to make sure you’ll get your money’s worth from its travel perks before you apply.
Here is a rundown of the American Express Platinum travel benefits:
$200 in credits per year for baggage fees, in-flight meals and other airline incidentals. You can’t use the credit for airfare, gift cards, upgrades, duty–free purchases or award tickets.
Up to$15 in credits for Uber rides each month, plus a bonus $20 in December ($35 total). The credits expire at the end of each month.
- Complimentary Hotel Status
Cardholders can join Hilton Honors and SPG as Gold-level members for free. Members get complimentary room upgrades and more opportunities to earn free nights.
60,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in your first three months. Points are redeemable for around $500 in travel-related purchases, merchandise or gift cards. Points do not expire as long as the account remains open.
- Reward Points for Travel Purchases
Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on travel purchases booked through AmexTravel.com. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
Credit for the $100 Global Entry application fee or the $85 TSA PreCheck application fee, once every four years. Both services expedite re-entry into the U.S. when traveling abroad. Cardholder eligible for statement credit every four years.
Pays replacement costs for carry-on baggage, up to $3,000 per covered person per covered trip. Pays up to $2,000 for checked baggage.
Covers eligible rental vehicles for up to 30 days against damage and theft up to a maximum of $50,000. Does not cover intoxicated/reckless driving, damage to other vehicles or injuries to people in other vehicles.
- Travel Accident Insurance
Covers you and your family for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling on a common carrier (plane, train, boat or bus), up to $100,000 per person.
- Premium Roadside Assistance
Gives free service to the cardholder 4 times annually. Includes towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, tire changes if you have a spare, lockout service, and 2-gallon fuel delivery. You owe any extra cost for towing more than 10 miles or additional services.
Despite all of American Express Platinum’s travel perks, the $550 annual fee might still be too much. There are some other good options, fortunately. One is Chase Sapphire Preferred. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first three months. That’s worth $625 when redeemed for travel. And the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
The higher-end Sapphire Reserve Card is Platinum’s closest competitor. It shares most of the same features as Sapphire Preferred, but has an initial bonus worth $750 in travel. It also has a $300 annual travel credit and a $450 annual fee.