American Express Platinum Card Review Summary
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a good card for people with a good credit score who will use the card enough to justify paying its $550 annual fee. In particular, American Express Platinum card is worth it for frequent travelers who take advantage of the bonus rewards and benefits such as free airport-lounge access.
You also have to be prepared to pay the bill in full every month for American Express Platinum card to make sense. It’s not a traditional credit card, so you won’t be able to finance purchases, except for those eligible for the Pay Over Time feature.
As a result of all that, the Platinum Card® from American Express probably isn’t ideal for most people. But if you have excellent credit, a penchant for travel and a liberal budget, it’s at least worth a closer look given its assorted accoutrements.
American Express Platinum Card Review Highlights
$200 Annual Airline Credit and $200 Annual Uber credits
Each year, you stand to receive up to $200 in statement credits to cover “incidental” air travel expenses, such as baggage fees and the cost of in-flight refreshments. All you have to do is designate an airline of choice, and you will be automatically credited for eligible charges assessed by that airline as they post to your account. In addition you will also receive up to $200 in Uber credits annually.
Free Access To Airport Lounges
The Platinum Card® from American Express is your ticket to preflight leisure, providing complimentary access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide. It provides automatic entry to the American Express Centurion Lounge – which has locations in New York (La Guardia), Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, Miami and Houston – as well as the Airspace Lounge (four locations) and the Delta Sky Club (51 locations available to Platinum cardholders). It also gives you the option of enrolling in Priority Pass Select, which features more than 1000 lounges, at no cost.
Ordinarily, without the Platinum Card, a one-time pass to a Centurion Lounge costs $50 and is only available to American Express cardholders. Airspace Lounge and Delta Sky Club charge a minimum of $20 and $59, respectively, and you’d have to pay a $99 annual fee just for the privilege of shelling out another $27 per visit to a Priority Pass Select location.
Complimentary Hotel Status
As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you will have the ability to enroll in Hilton’s Hilton Honors Rewards program as a Gold-level member for free, without having to meet the spending requirements to which other consumers are subject. Ordinarily, Hilton Honors Gold membership costs at least $2,880 per year, based on Hilton's minimum stay requirements and average daily room rate.
75,000-Point Initial Bonus
Spending $5,000 during the first 6 months your account is open will earn you 75,000 bonus points, redeemable for ~$600 in gift cards or travel purchased through American Express. You have other redemption options, to be sure, but those two methods provide the most value.
Up To 10 Points Per $1 Spent
The American Express Platinum Card’s regular rewards earning rate is perhaps its least exciting benefit, providing only the market average of 1 point per $1 spent on most purchases made with the card, yet it is a benefit nonetheless. After all, you also earn 5 points per $1 spent on airfare (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel. Plus, you can now earn 10 points per $1 spent at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months.
One thing to note, however, is that rental-car reservations and non-prepaid hotel reservations are for some reason specifically excluded from earning extra points. That could potentially loom large, depending on your travel preferences.
American Express Platinum Card Review Lowlights
Little Financing Capabilities
Amex Platinum is not the traditional credit card and the fact that you normally must pay your bill in full every month in order to continue making purchases with this card does limit its versatility relative to a “normal credit card.” And since you figure to be paying so much to use this card to begin with, every bit of lost functionality matters.
Nevertheless, Amex Platinum allows you to carry a balance in some cases. Certain charges of at least $100 may qualify for the “Pay Over Time” feature, which allows you to carry an interest-accruing balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. So, you’ll need to find another card for big-ticket purchases.
$550 Annual Fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express has one major weakness: its prodigious cost. Only a few of the more than 1,000 credit cards tracked by WalletHub charge more than Platinum’s $550 annual fee. So you should think long and hard about the Platinum Card's hefty cost before you submit an application.
Other Things To Consider About American Express Platinum
No Preset Spending Limit
It doesn’t mean you don’t have a limit. Rather, this card’s No Preset Spending Limit (NPSL) feature means that Amex determines your limit on a monthly basis, based on your recent spending and payment habits and the economic climate. Unfortunately, you won’t be privy to this information, and without a clear limit in mind, you could find yourself at the wrong end of a declined transaction – perhaps even in an emergency situation when traveling.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
More and more credit cards are scrapping foreign transaction fees, as evidenced by the fact that the average foreign surcharge has declined by 38% from 2014 through 2019, according to WalletHub’s Credit Card Landscape Report. Amex Platinum is among the cards that lack such a fee. And while that should be expected from a card catered to luxury travel, the ability to save the market average of 1.5% on every purchase processed abroad could nevertheless prove to be quite valuable.
That is, of course, if you can find a merchant that accepts American Express. Amex, the world’s third-largest card network, operates in 130 countries, which might seem like a lot until you consider that Visa and Mastercard are both accepted in more than 200 countries
Credit For Expedited Airport Screening
If you apply for and are granted either Global Entry or TSA Precheck and pay the corresponding membership fees ($100 and $85, respectively) with your American Express Platinum Card, you will automatically receive a statement credit reimbursing you for the cost. You can receive one such credit every four years.
You will have access to a concierge who can book reservations on your behalf at more than 1,000 restaurants and make other related arrangements and recommendations. You can see what restaurants are available in your favorite destinations on the Platinum Dining webpage.
“By Invitation Only” Program
Reserved for Platinum and Centurion cardholders, By Invitation Only gives you access to special events such as sports games, culinary events and auto shows. You can find a full list of available experiences here.
American Express Platinum Card vs. the Competition
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express® Gold Card
|Rewards Bonus||75,000 points||100,000 miles||60,000 points|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 5 points / $1||2 miles / $1||1 - 4 points / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||See Pay Over Time APR||17.24% - 24.49% (V)||See Pay Over Time APR|
|Editors' Rating||3.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||3.8 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
|Learn More||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Expert Thoughts on The American Express Platinum Card
To help people learn more about The Platinum Card® from American Express, WalletHub's editors posed the following questions to a panel of experts. You can meet our panelists and read their responses below.
1. When does it make sense to consider a credit card with a triple-digit annual fee?
2. How do you think COVID-19 has impacted travel-centric credit card offers, such as The Platinum Card from American Express?
3. Who do you think benefits the most from the American Express Platinum Card’s Uber benefit: cardholders, American Express or Uber?