The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most popular high-end rewards cards on the market. However, there are quite a few mistakes that people make with American Express Platinum card that can end up being very costly.
These tips are not provided, commissioned or endorsed by any issuer. Opinions are our own. American Express is a WalletHub partner.
1. Not Checking Your Credit Score Before You Apply
American Express Platinum card requires good credit or better for approval. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your credit score meets this threshold before applying, or you’ll run a much higher risk of rejection. You can check your credit score for free on WalletHub.
It’s also a good idea to see if you’re pre-qualified for American Express Platinum card before applying. Pre-qualification doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved, but it means that your odds are very high.
2. Applying if You’re Not a Frequent Traveler
At its core, American Express Platinum card is aimed at people who travel a lot. Its bonus categories center around flights and hotels, as well as restaurants worldwide. It also has multiple annual credits for travel-related purchases and a 0% foreign transaction fee.
If you don’t travel often, then you will not be able to make the most of this card’s rewards and benefits. You might be better off getting one of Amex’s cash back credit cards.
3. Not Taking Full Advantage of the Rewards and Benefits
American Express Platinum card offers the most rewards on travel booked through American Express Travel, so you should make sure to use that for booking. In addition, you should plan to spend $6,000 in the first 6 months to earn the card’s initial bonus of 100,000 points.
Rewards aren’t the only thing to take advantage of, though, as there are plenty of supplemental benefits. Amex gives credits on multiple types of purchases, including airline fees and select hotel bookings, so it’s important to get your money’s worth there. Plus, one of the most elite perks you can use when you fly is the free airport lounge access the card provides.
Every year, you should more than recoup the $695 annual fee between your rewards and benefits. If you don’t, it’s not worth keeping your account open.
4. Planning to Carry a Big Balance From Month to Month
Most American Express Platinum card purchases must be paid in full each month. You can only carry a balance from month to month with select eligible charges of $100 or more using the card’s Pay Over Time feature, with interest. These charges will be included in a different balance, up to a limit. The remaining charges will move back into your regular balance, which must be paid in full each month by the payment due date. That said, it’s not a good idea to carry a balance at all, because you’ll end up accruing costly interest.
5. Allowing Your Rewards to Expire
If Amex closes your account due to inactivity, you will only have 90 days to redeem your rewards before they expire. And if you or Amex close your account for any other reason, you will forfeit your points.
You will also forfeit your American Express Platinum card rewards for a billing period if you pay late, and will need to pay a fee if you want them reinstated.
6. Assuming You Can Use Amex Cards Everywhere
You can use American Express Platinum card most places that take credit cards in the U.S., but things become more complicated when you go abroad. American Express has the lowest international acceptance out of all four major credit card networks, even though you can still use your card in more than 160 countries and territories. Not all merchants within those countries may take your card, however.