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Right now, you can earn 60,000 valuable AMEX Membership Rewards points when you open The Platinum Card® from American Express and meet the minimum spending requirements. That’s enough for a Business Class flight to Europe, 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii, or free nights at luxury Hilton hotels that can be worth $1000s!
That said, it comes with a hefty $550 annual fee. That’s NOT waived the first year. But it also comes with benefits that can more than outweigh the cost, even for a casual traveler. So getting the card could make sense for lots of folks!
I’ll dig into all the perks of this lucrative card and sign-up bonus. And help you decide!
My American Express Platinum Review
Link: The Platinum Card® from American Express
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. You’ll also get:
You’ll get other perks too, like the ability to add additional Gold authorized user cards to your account for no fee, and access to a new Global Dining Collection in partnership with world-renowned chefs.
Plus, you can add AMEX Offers to the card, that can save you money on purchases you plan on making anyways. Team member Jasmin saved nearly $200 with one of her AMEX cards last year!
Honestly, it’s a lot to take in. Especially because the AMEX Platinum Card costs so much upfront. But what you get in return can pay you back in spades!
Let’s take a look at each of the card’s benefits, including some we haven’t mentioned yet (yes, there are more!).
1. The 60,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
Link: The Ultimate Guide to AMEX Membership Rewards Points
AMEX Membership Rewards points are some of the most flexible, because you transfer them directly to several airline or hotel travel programs.
60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points is enough for:
So the bonus really is what you make of it!
You can use AMEX Membership Rewards points to fly to:
Some of those flights could cost thousands of dollars otherwise! In that case, your sign-up bonus could definitely make the annual fee worth paying for the first year!
You can also transfer AMEX Membership Rewards to certain hotel partners, one of those being Hilton.
With a 1:2 transfer ratio, 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points gets you 120,000 Hilton points. Which is enough for a night at nearly any Hilton luxury in the world!
For example, I found an award night at the Conrad Tokyo in early April 2018 (the peak of cherry blossom season this year!) for 95,000 Hilton points (~48,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points because of the 1:2 transfer ratio). If you paid cash, you’d spend ~$1,158!
Using points to avoid higher prices during peak travel season – anywhere – is a smart way to save money! 😉
2. All the Credits!
Let’s talk about the credits you get with the AMEX Platinum card!
The $200 airline fee credit and Uber credits reset every calendar year. And you can use the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every 5 years.
So, the 1st year with the AMEX Platinum Card, you can access up to $500 in credits ($200 for airline incidentals + $200 for Uber + $100 for Global Entry).
These credits alone nearly cover the annual fee. And all the other perks are yours for the remaining $50 cost. That’s a great deal!
3. 5X on Airfare
Earning 5X points per $1 spent on airfare (booked either directly or through AMEX Travel) is an industry best! You can earn 3X with other cards, but the 5X perk is unique to AMEX Platinum cards.
If you spent a lot on airfare, you can yield huge rewards. For example, if you spend $1,000 per month for flights, that would translate to 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points per year ($12,000 X 5 points). That’s like earning a whole other sign-up bonus just for using the card regularly. Then you can use them to travel even more!
4. Lounge Access All Over the World
Link: How to Find AMEX Platinum Airport Lounges
You’ll get airport lounge access with Priority Pass, Centurion, and AirSpace Lounges around the world. And you can visit an unlimited number of times! Just be sure to carefully check the guest policy if you travel with a partner or family.
If you’re near a Centurion Lounge, you can enjoy a full meal, drink, and sometimes even a spa treatment – for free!
Team member Harlan lives in Dallas, where the Centurion Lounge is about to get bigger. And he loves to grab an entree, a couple of drinks, and fast Wi-Fi before or after a flight. He values each visit at ~$50 and visits about once a month.
Depending on how often you visit, and if you have any guests, you can get real value from:
- Food and drinks
- More comfortable seating
Perks like these can make all the difference when you’ve come off a long flight and want to shower and grab a bite!
5. Elite Status With 3 Hotel Chains
Link: ONE Card + 4 Simple Steps = 3 Free Hotel Elite Statuses!
That’s right! You can get free Gold elite status with Hilton and Starwood with the AMEX Platinum Card. And you can instantly match the Starwood Gold elite status to Marriott’s Gold tier, too!
So you get elite status with 3 of the biggest hotel brands!
Depending on where you stay, folks with elite status can get:
- Free breakfast
- Upgrades to bigger rooms where available
- Late check-out
- Better rooms (views, higher floors, etc.)
- More points for paid stays
Team member Harlan enjoyed a big room with a clawfoot bathtub, a beautiful tiled floor, and huge king bed in Barcelona. That was better than the room with the queen bed he originally booked!
Depending on how often you stay at these hotel brands, elite status can go a long way towards little comforts along your journeys.
6. AMEX Offers
Link: EVERYTHING You Need to Know About AMEX Offers
The AMEX Platinum Card is eligible for AMEX Offers. Which are deals from AMEX for all sorts of common purchases and services like online orders, eating out, and travel.
Team member Jasmin saved on snacks for her kids and her phone bill, for example. And other team members take advantage of these special deals, too.
They’re a handy way to help offset the cost of the annual fee.
7. Even More Benefits!
Link: Are You Making the Most of Your American Express Benefits?
We’re not quite done! If everything above wasn’t enough, consider all the other perks of your AMEX cardmembership, like:
All of these built-in perks are there for you if you need them. They’re sort of like insurance – it’s great to know they’re there, but hopefully you’ll never have to use them!
If you buy big-ticket items, or gifts that need return protection, you’ll have that should you need it. Same goes for the roadside assistance and travel accident insurance. It would be great if every trip was free from mishaps like cancellations, missed luggage, or an issue with the rental car. But your AMEX Platinum Card can help you in a bind.
There’s no way to put a defined value on any of these services. So consider them “extras” and look into them if there’s one you think you might really benefit from.
Oh, and don’t forget, you can get free 2-day shipping at many merchants with a free ShopRunner subscription, too!
Should You Apply?
If you’re just starting in the miles & points hobby and don’t have a lot of new credit card accounts open, I suggest getting the Chase personal cards that best fit your travel goals first. That’s because Chase has some of the best rewards credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, that’s our favorite card for beginners.
But if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from any bank within the past 24 months, you’ll likely be denied for most Chase credit cards. So start there, then add others, like the AMEX Platinum Card.
It’s also important to remember that the AMEX Platinum Card is a charge card. That means you have to pay the bill in full at the end of every billing cycle. So you can NOT carry a balance month to month. If you’re comfortable with paying the card each month, and love the perks, it’s an excellent card to have in your wallet!
You can earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening a new Platinum Card® from American Express card. That’s enough to travel nearly anywhere in the world with an AMEX travel partner like Delta, Flying Blue, or Singapore Airlines!
You’ll also get:
Smaller perks like AMEX Offers and free ShopRunner shipping add to the value. But be strategic with the benefits because the $550 annual fee is NOT waived. And if you’re new to miles & points, start with Chase cards instead.
Several of our team members keep this card year and after year. What’s your favorite perk of the AMEX Platinum Card?
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