American Express Platinum: Why It’s Worth the Fee

(4.5/5 - 23 Votes)


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It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that the American Express Platinum is overhyped and overpriced. But don’t let the $450 annual fee deter you: you’ll get far more than that in lounge access, airline fee credits and other juicy perks. When it comes to combining luxury and practicality, no one does it like the Amex Platinum.

Fringe benefits, front and center

The Amex Platinum card has a number of auxiliary perks that aren’t exclusively the domain of the ultra-rich, but are also huge improvements for any international travelers. And many of these new benefits are actually quantifiable, so the numbers hold out: the $450 annual fee is an investment that’ll pay for itself and then some.

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership – Cardholders have access to more than 600 airport lounges worldwide with the Priority Pass program, as well as Centurion and select Delta and Airspace lounges. It one-upped the PenFed Platinum Travel Rewards, which only offers 2 free passes a year. By contrast, AmEx offers Select access, which means cardholders get complimentary access to lounges all over the world (and $27 for guests). This sort of access normally costs around $400, and is definitely worth it to anyone who often flies overseas.
  • No more foreign transaction fees – American Express credit cards typically charge 2.7% of every purchase cardholders make overseas, which can mean hundreds of dollars to anyone spending big bucks on hotel rooms, food, rental cards and such while traveling. But this fee has now been dropped, putting the Platinum card amongst the ranks of the few credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
  • $100 credit towards the Global Entry programGlobal Entry is a government program allowing certain individuals “expedited clearance” upon re-entry into the U.S. Amex can’t guarantee that cardholders will be approved (an extensive application and background check process are necessary to prove you aren’t a risk), but they will rebate the $100 application fee.
  • Up to $200 credit toward expenses on your favorite airline – Just register your preferred airline with Amex, and they’ll refund up to $200 per year of incidentals like baggage fees, change fees, or in-flight meals.
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  • Hugo Rodriguez

    Does anyone know if there are charges to use ATMs abroad with the amex platinum?

    • Hugo Rodriguez

      I checked, there are. Hefty too.

      • NerdWallet

        You can use your Amex Platinum to get cash from an ATM by enrolling in Express Cash, but it’s expensive as all get out. There’s a 3% fee ($5 minimum, no maximum) plus any surcharges imposed by the ATM owner.

        You’re far better off using the Capital One 360 checking account, which has no foreign transaction fee and reimburses ATM surcharges.

  • Verdkey2222

    The platinum concierge is a luxury not in the respect as they will be able to get un-obtainable tickets or reservations. Its an easy 1 stop shop for these things. You call, tell them a few restaurants that you want at what time, or events. They will call you with all of the options. They will actually book everything for you in advance, you then select what you want and they will cancel the rest. If you want the service you are referring to, you need to be invited to have the centurion card.

  • solomonshv

    i thought this card had no foreign transaction fee? they still charged you?

  • solomonshv

    my former employer spent nearly $1 million a year on supplies, travel and expenses for his business. and he never got the invitation either. they do however waive his annual fee on his business platinum card.