The Platinum Card® from American Express has a lot to offer to the right cardholder. The card comes with travel perks galore — and a hefty annual fee of $550.
While that charge might scare some people off, plenty of others won't be fazed. If you're in the latter group, but need a little more convincing, here are five reasons why you should consider The Platinum Card® from American Express.
1. Annual airline credit
When many travel rewards credit cards come with an annual fee around $100, a $550 fee seems steep at first glance. One of the top benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, however, is its $200 yearly airline credit, which can be applied to cover costs associated with air travel.
The credit is applied every calendar year. To activate the credit, you select a single, qualifying airline per year (AmEx partners with Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest and United). From there, charges for things like inflight food and seat upgrades are covered up to $200. Note: You can’t use this credit for airfare.
2. Significant welcome offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders get a generous welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. If you fly often, especially internationally, hitting this threshold will be easy. If you see that minimum spend and get nervous, this isn't the card for you.
3. Straightforward rewards structure
This card's reward structure isn't flashy, and that’s by design. This card is made for travelers who want to take their experiences to the next level through redeeming their Membership Rewards points.
The card offers 5 points for every $1 spent on airfare and hotels booked directly through American Express Travel. Other eligible travel charges booked via AmEx Travel earn 2 points for every $1, and you get 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else. Terms apply.
4. Generous hotel perks
Fans of the Marriott and Hilton take note: Using The Platinum Card® from American Express immediately grants you Gold elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs. Gold elite Marriott Bonvoy members get perks like room upgrades, no blackout dates, late checkout and 25% bonus points on stays. Gold elite Hilton Honors members enjoy a free second guest during stays, digital check-in, a fifth night free when you book with rewards and more.
If you don't frequent those two chains, have no fear: This card's hotel benefits extend beyond Marriott and Hilton. If you book two or more nights at a property in AmEx's Hotel Collection, you'll get a $75 credit that can be used for dining or spa treatments and you’ll get a free room upgrade if available. Stay at one of AmEx's qualifying Fine Hotels and Resorts and you'll once again get free room upgrades when available, early check-ins and late checkouts, free breakfasts, Wi-Fi and more.
5. Airport lounge access
Flight delays become less annoying with this card. Cardholders can enroll in Priority Pass Select and have access to American Express Centurion and International lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Airspace lounges. You will be able to enjoy more than 1,000 lounges worldwide that offer free food and drinks, spa treatments and more.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Luxury isn’t cheap with the AmEx Platinum credit card 5 reasons you should be using airport lounges American Express Membership Rewards: How to earn and use them