Making the Most of American Express Platinum

The real value in this card lies in its high-end travel perks. For a heavy traveler, the fee credits and lounge access can justify the big annual fee.
May 19, 2022
Making the Most of American Express Platinum

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The Platinum Card® from American Express — by name and color — may seem like a card intended for tech CEOs, real estate moguls and oil tycoon heirs. That's not necessarily true.

While this card might not suit frugal spenders and budget travelers, don’t be too quick to write it off before seeing what it offers. If you’re a traveler who wants to move about in style, values convenience over cost and doesn’t mind paying a large annual fee when it’s justified, this card might be a good fit for you.

How to maximize rewards earnings with The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Earning the greatest overall rewards when you carry The Platinum Card® from American Express means knowing when to use it — and when you could get more value by using a different card in its place.

If you're traveling, booking your trip through American Express Travel can be particularly lucrative. Booking through this portal, you'll earn 5 points per dollar on flights and hotels and 2 points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses. You'll also earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

To give you more flexibility when booking travel, consider combining The Platinum Card® from American Express with a more general travel card, like Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which gives you 2 miles per $1 spent on everything. The rewards can be redeemed for any travel purchase, not just travel booked through Capital One. Using this strategy, you could book your flight and hotel with the The Platinum Card® from American Express and cover everything else with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or another general travel card.

Taking advantage of the card's perks

Most people won't be able to earn enough rewards in a year to cover the cost of this $695 card. But where the The Platinum Card® from American Express really shines is in its high-end luxury perks (terms apply, see rates and fees):

$200 annual airline fee credit

You can designate one airline per year when you enroll (from a list of qualified partners) to receive an airline fee credit of up to $200. Generally, the credit covers charges like baggage fees, airport lounge guest passes and in-flight refreshments.

$200 hotel credit

If you book a prepaid The Hotel Collection (two-night minimum required) or Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection reservations booked through the American Express Travel portal, you can receive statement credits up to $200 back a year to cover these purchases.

$200 Uber Cash

Once you add your card to your Uber account, you’ll automatically receive $15 Uber Cash each month, which you can use to cover Uber rides or Uber eats purchases. You’ll also get an additional $20 in December.

$189 Clear membership

You can cover the cost of a Clear membership when you pay for it with your card.

$240 digital entertainment credit

When you enroll you can get up to $20 back a month to cover the cost of Peacock, The New York Times, Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu and Sirius XM when you put the expense on your card.

Walmart+ monthly membership credit

When you open a Walmart+ monthly membership and use this card to pay for it, you'll receive a $12.95 statement credit to cover the cost.

$300 Equinox credit

When you pay for eligible monthly Equinox club membership fees or the Equinox+ digital fitness app, you’ll get a $25 statement credit to help cover the cost.

SoulCycle At-Home Bike credit

If you have an Equinox+ membership and you purchase a SoulCycle At-Home Bike, you'll receive a $300 statement credit to help you cover the cost. You'll receive this benefit on up to 15 bikes per year.

$100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit

You’ll receive up to $100 in statement credits each year when you use your card at Saks Fifth Avenue. Enrollment required.

Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Cardholders are eligible to receive either one $100 statement credit every 4 years for the application fee for Global Entry or one $85 statement credit every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck.

Airport lounge access

The Platinum Card® from American Express grants you access to more than 1,300 airport lounges, including the Centurion Lounge network, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority pass lounges. Enrollment required.

Getting the most out of The Platinum Card® from American Express

For the right cardholder, the perks more than make up for the lackluster rewards structure on The Platinum Card® from American Express. The statement credits alone are worth over $1,400, but they are somewhat limited and don't match most cardholders' spending patterns. As long as you're able to get enough value with this card to cover the $695 annual fee, The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth considering.

Given its limited rewards structure and complex perks, deciding if The Platinum Card® from American Express is right for you will take some effort, so we've created a calculator to do the math for you.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express right for you?

If you're able to take advantage of at least half of the available statement credits and don't mind purchasing most of your travel through the American Express Travel portal, The Platinum Card® from American Express can help you travel luxuriously. But if you find the bevy of statement credits and limited reward structure too restrictive to offer you much value, a travel card with more flexibility might be a better fit.

What's next?

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

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