Is the Platinum Card From American Express Worth Its Annual Fee?

There's a hefty annual fee with the card, but if you use most of the perks, it can be worthwhile to hold.
Oct 20, 2021

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Whether or not The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth the new larger $695 annual fee is really just a math problem that highly depends on your spending, travel and shopping habits.

Here's a quick look at The Platinum Card® from American Express's new perks and benefits — and their dollar value — to see if the card makes sense for you.

Easy to use benefits

$200 Uber credit

When you add The Platinum Card® from American Express to your Uber account, you'll get a monthly credit in the form of Uber Cash to spend on rides or food delivery. You'll get $15 per month, plus a bonus $20 in December, for a total of $200 per year. Be sure you use your Uber or Uber Eats app once per month because the credits do not roll over month to month. Terms apply.

$200 airline fee credit

Select one airline from a list of choices at the beginning of the year (or upon getting the card) and get $200 back in the form of statement credits for eligible purchases with that airline. The credit is not activated for tickets or upgrades, and is best used for baggage fees, seat selection fees or in-flight food and beverage purchases. Terms apply.

$179 Clear credit

Clear uses biometric screening to help speed you through security and can be used in conjunction with TSA PreCheck. New to the card in July 2021, this $179 statement credit is available to cardholders who charge the membership to their card. Terms apply.

$100 Saks credit

You'll also get $100 per year, doled out in two $50 statement credits, for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue. One credit is eligible for spend between January and June, and the second can be spent July through December. Terms apply.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express also comes with a credit to pay you back for a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) membership every four years. You're getting a $25-per-year average benefit from this, at most, if you don't have those services already or are up for renewal soon. Terms apply.

Global Lounge Collection access

If you're a frequent traveler, you'd be wise to take advantage of all of the lounge benefits that come with the card. Cardholders get access to several different lounge programs, including:

On its own, the Priority Pass membership starts at $299 (for 10 visits) and goes up to $429 (for unlimited visits). That doesn't even include the additional value you can get from the access to the card's other lounge network partners. Terms apply.

Your value here will vary depending on how much and where you travel.

Let's check the math

After accounting for the easy-to-use benefits, you're looking at $1,003 in value each year if you value the lounge access at only $299 — which is a low estimate.

Maybe you don't feel all those perks apply to you, but there are still others you may find valuable, albeit harder to use.

More difficult perks to use

$200 hotel credit

You can get $200 back as a statement credit on prepaid bookings with American Express Travel, but only at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties. These tend to be higher-end hotels and resorts, making it very easy to end up spending significantly more than $200 at one of these locations. Unless you already tend to visit a qualifying hotel, or can snag one right around $200, this benefit is a little harder to use and get value from. Terms apply.

$240 digital entertainment credit

On the surface, this digital entertainment credit sounds great, but in reality, it is fairly limited. Only four services are eligible: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times. Credit is given in the form of $20 per month, for a total of $240 per year, if you max it out. Terms apply.

$300 Equinox credit

Equinox is a high-end fitness company that offers over 100 clubs across the U.S. and Canada; however, the majority of them are located in Southern California, New York and other large cities. Membership prices vary but can easily be more than $100 per month.

The Equinox credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express is good for $25 per month throughout the year. Unless you're already an Equinox member, it is unlikely to save you money. You are better off using it toward an Equinox+ app subscription ($39.99/month) if you want to use the benefit but not pay a full membership fee for a physical gym. Terms apply.

Other perks without a hard value

Not all of the perks that come with the card have an easy-to-assign value, but you may still find them very useful based on your personal needs.

AmEx Offers: You can add special statement credits and discount offers to your card. The deals change often, but if you find ones at stores you already shop at, you can save money on everyday purchases. Recent deals included places like Home Depot, Best Buy and Instacart.

Gold status with Marriott and Hilton: For being a cardmember, you'll be able to snag Gold status in the hotel loyalty programs of both Hilton and Marriott. The value of this will vary based on how much you stay at these properties.

Cell phone protection: AmEx offers pretty solid cell phone protection if you charge your wireless bill to the card. This can run you around $10-$20 per month with other providers.

Travel insurance and purchase protections: You'll also have access to fairly extensive travel insurance and purchase protections when you buy with your card. These can be valuable in case of emergencies, trip issues, theft or damaged products.

Terms apply.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express worth its annual fee?

As the math shows, you don't even need to take advantage of all of the perks in order for The Platinum Card® from American Express to be worth its annual fee. Make sure you do the math on which benefits you will actually utilize and see if it works out for you. A $695 fee is a serious commitment.

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

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