“Unique Experiences. Exceptional Service and Rewards”
To the Point
American Express’ description of the Platinum Card could not be more true. This solid metal charge card undoubtedly delivers unique experiences such as complimentary access to the most luxurious of airport lounges, the Centurion Lounge, exclusive events such as the Platinum House parties, and pop-up Centurion Lounge experiences throughout the world each year. Save time by contacting The Platinum Card Concierge; it is a complimentary 24/7 service that acts as your personal assistant to simplify your life. Book restaurant reservations, score tickets to your favorite sporting event, concert or performance, send a loved one a last minute gift, and much more. The Platinum Card earns 5x Membership Reward points per dollar spent when booking flights directly with airlines or on the American Express Travel portal (amextravel.com). Book select hotels through amextravel.com and earn 5x Membership Reward points. The Platinum Card comes with several statement credits that quickly offset the $550 annual fee. Enjoy a $200 Airline Fee credit, a $200 Uber credit, a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, a $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-check credit, and up to another $175 in hotel credits. As of December 2018, the Platinum Card comes with by far the richest perks of any card on the market.
If you travel by air often, want to zip through the security lines, frequent the best airport lounges, use Uber to get around, and stay in Marriott/SPG and/or Hilton properties with Elite Status this card is most certainly for you.
Sound good? Use our referral link to get rewarded with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards.
Want to know more? Keep reading as we break down the card details one by one to make sure you know whether or not this card makes sense for you.
At the Points Passport, we like to make the value proposition of the cards we review easy to understand. In order to do that, we break down the value into two parts: the initial sign up and the sustaining costs that occur every year after.
Phase 1 – The Sign Up Offer
With current sign up offers at 60k Membership Reward Points (MR), and referral offers reaching 75-100k MR (see link), based on a MR value of $0.02/point, the value is as follows:
60,000 Membership Reward Sign Up Offer x $0.02 = $1,200
75,000 Membership Reward Sign Up Offer x $0.02 = $1,500
100,000 Membership Reward Sign Up Offer x $0.02 = $2,000
First Year Benefits (Statement credits only)
$200 Airline Credit
$200 Uber Credit
$100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
$100 Global Entry/TSA Pre Check Credit
$600 total first year statement credits
Sign Up Bonus + Statement Credits – Annual Fee = Net Cost
60k offer: $1,200 sign up bonus + $600 first year credits – $550 = $1,250 net value.
75k offer: $1,500 sign up bonus + $600 first year credits – $550 = $1,550 net value.
100k offer: $2,000 sign up bonus + $600 first year credits – $550 = $2,050 net value.
Phase 2 – After the Sign Up Offer (Year 2+)
Year 2 Benefits
$200 Airline Credit
$200 Uber Credit
$100 Saks Fifth Avenue
$500 total/year benefits
Annual Statement Credits – Annual Fee = Net Value/Cost
$500 second year (and beyond) statement credits – $550 annual fee = $50 Net Cost
Now let’s assume you plan to actually use this card for purchasing airline tickets each year. If you spend $1,000/year on airline tickets you will earn:
$1,000 x 5x MR points = 5,000 MR points
Those 5,000 MR points are worth approximately $100.
So updating our formula, we find:
Annual Statement Credits + Earning MR – Annual Fee = Net Value/Cost
$500 second year (and beyond) statement credits + $100 in MR – $550 annual fee = $50 Net Value.
Depending on your spending patterns and how often you fly annually, your points earning can become significantly more valuable.
Deep Dive into the Platinum Card’s Benefits
5x Membership Rewards on flights and select hotels.
1x Membership Reward on all other purchases.
$200 Uber credits annually. The $200 is divided into $15 per month and $35 in December. Also, cardholders enjoy Uber VIP status which provides riders with drivers who have a rating of 4.8 stars or above.
$200 Airline Fee credit annually.
$100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit bi-annual credit. $50 in January and $50 in July.
$100 credit every 4 years for Global entry and/or TSA pre-check. Each additional card member on the account is also eligible to receive the $100 statement credit. To receive this statement credit, the application fee must be charged on the eligible additional card. We assume you’ll use this benefit once every 4 years, so when that $100 in value is spread across 4 years, it yields a $25 annual value.
Platinum Concierge. Offers you assistance anytime, day or night, wherever you are. Whether you need a reservation at a recommended restaurant, tickets to an event, or help with the perfect gift. The concierge can also assist with travel and most questions regarding Amex.
Platinum Events: The Platinum Card is your key to specialty experiences which are exclusive for Platinum Card members. Drinks and food are typically complementary at these events.
Access to the Global Lounge Collection which provides Priority Pass, and unlocks access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries including The Centurion Lounges. Drinks and food are typically complementary. Cardholders can bring up to two guests into the lounges free of charge.
Access to the Fine Hotel and Resorts Program which provides extra perks when booking specific hotel stays of two nights or more using amextravel.com. Benefits include daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, property amenity credit of $100, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, 12pm check-in when available, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Access to the Hotel Collection which provides a room upgrade when available and a $75 hotel credit when staying two consecutive nights at a qualified hotel booked with amextravel.com.
Access to Global Dining Collection which gets you special access to reservations and extraordinary experiences at restaurants as well as opportunities to meet some of your favorite chefs at exclusive culinary events.
Marriott/SPG Gold Elite Status. No stay requirements needed, after you enroll you receive all the Gold Elite Status benefits. Earn 10 points for every eligible dollar spent at Marriott and SPG properties. Enhanced room upgrades when available. 2pm late checkout and early check in when available. Receive complimentary Wi-Fi and a Marriott/SPG point gift (generally 250-500 Marriott/SPG Points) upon check in.
Hilton Honors Gold Status. Enjoy Wi-Fi, late checkout, room upgrades when available and complimentary breakfast.
No Foreign Transactions fees. Spend abroad without extra fees.
Car Rental Status’: National Emerald Club Executive Status which guarantees an upgrade and the ability to choose an available vehicle of your choice. After six rental credits, select a reward of one free rental day or receive airline miles or hotel points from one of the many partners. Avis Preferred Status lets you skip the lines, avoid paperwork and upgrade your rental vehicle. Also, you will receive 25% off your reservation, and a extra free car rental day. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards includes a one-car-class upgrade and abilities to earn points for free rentals.
Boingo Wi-Fi American Express Preferred Plan. Complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi access for up to four devices at 1 million hotspot locations worldwide in airports, cities, hotels, popular locations around town.
Membership Reward Points Transfer Partners. With the MR program you can use points for rewards for over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, and entertainment. As well as to airline and hotel partners. You can also pay your statement with points.
Purchase Protection. Protect eligible purchases made on your card when they are accidentally damaged, stolen or lost up to 120 days after purchase. $10,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 per calendar year. (90 days for residents of NY, IN, Guam, PR, and Northern Mariana Islands)
Return Protection. If you attempt to return an eligible item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price up to $300 per item, with a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year.
Extended Warranty. Match the original warranty for up to two additional years. Applies to warranties of 5 years or less. Coverage limited to actual amount charged on your card for the item up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
Departures Magazine. An exclusive magazine published seven times a year for Platinum Card members featuring luxury travel, style, culture, shopping, dining and the interesting, inspiring and unexpected.
Additional Platinum Cards. Get 3 additional metal Platinum Card authorized user cards for $175 annually. Each additional Platinum Card authorized user, after the first 3, will cost an additional $175 a year per card.
Complementary Additional Gold Cards: Add up to 99 additional authorized users who can earn you MR points when they make purchases. Also, authorized users can earn the Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check credit when the purchase is made on their card.
Amex Offers: American Express has a constant stream of offers that can deliver you even more value. A few examples of offers that I have claimed are: Spend $250 at a Waldorf Astoria property; get $50 statement credit. Spend $100 at Harry & David’s; get $20 statement credit. Receive 9x MR points when spending at Sephora. I have almost 200 Amex Offers added to my account and new ones keep flowing in daily.
The Final Point
Overall, the Points Passport recommends this card to individuals who find that they travel frequently, at least 3 times or more per year. If your home airport has a Centurion Lounge, the AMEX Platinum Card will bring you some serious value and make traveling quite enjoyable! As we discussed, the ability to far surpass the $550 annual fee is pretty simple if you take advantage of the rich perks and 5x airfare MR points. The Platinum Card is a full blown premium travel card. If you don’t travel often and are okay without traveling more luxuriously, this card is probably too expensive to earn a place in your wallet. This being said, while putting your general spending on this card is okay, especially if you want to leverage the purchase protection and/or extended warranties, it does yield a sub-optimal earnings for expenses such as dining & groceries. All of your spending, besides airfare and special Amex Offers, will only reward you with 1x MR point per dollar spent. A perfect complement to the Platinum Card is the American Express Gold Card which ears 4x MR points on dining and groceries. At the Points Passport, our two major spend categories are food and travel, so this dynamic duo fits in our wallets perfectly and we certainly maximize the value of the card to greatly exceed the premium annual fee.
Interested in applying? Support the Points Passport by using our referral link below. We’ll both get rewarded once you’re approved. With our referral link for the Platinum card, the sign up bonus is 60k with our referral offer.