6 Things You Should Know Before Getting the Platinum Card from American Express

Before applying, be sure you're eligible for the welcome offer and have a plan for maximizing the annual credits.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by June Casagrande

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the top premium travel cards available. It comes with travel credits, hotel elite status, access to an impressive lounge collection, travel protections and other luxury perks. Terms apply.

Here are some things you should understand before applying for The Platinum Card® from American Express.

What to know before getting The Platinum Card® from American Express

1. AmEx has a "once per lifetime" welcome offer rule

Current and former holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express are ineligible for the welcome offer. This is commonly referred to as AmEx's "once per lifetime" rule.

Not sure if you’ve had some version of this card before? AmEx will check your welcome offer eligibility when you apply for a card — even before checking your credit. If you aren’t eligible for the welcome offer, AmEx will inform you of this through a small pop-up window. After notification, you have the option to continue with the application or to cancel it.

2. The The Platinum Card® from American Express welcome offer spending requirements

The Platinum Card® from American Express currently is offering a good welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. A $6,000 spending requirement won’t be easy for everyone to meet, so consider when you'll have a lot of expenses before you open the new card.

Also, mull over what expenses you can charge to the potential card in the next few months. If you come up short of the spending requirement, consider postponing your application to a time when you have more considerable expenses on the horizon — perhaps around the holidays, when you’re finally getting around to that bathroom remodel or before booking your next trip.

3. The The Platinum Card® from American Express annual fee of $695 is higher than average

The Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent choice for people looking for a premium travel card. But it may not be the right card for you. Before committing to a $695 annual fee, look at the card's benefits and note which perks you value the most. Then compare your list with other cards — which may be more affordable — to see if they might be a better fit. Terms apply.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a lower $550 annual fee and an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit. Plus, Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a Priority Pass Select membership and TSA PreCheck, NEXUS or Global Entry credit. However, if you're also going to pay for a Clear membership, it may be worth paying more for The Platinum Card® from American Express, which will reimburse you $189 each year for Clear. Terms apply.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, meanwhile, has an even lower annual fee at $395 and also offers TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit. This card also offers complementary lounge access to the Capital One Lounges, more than 100 Plaza Premium lounges (including select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses) and more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges around the globe.

If you only travel a few times a year, the American Express® Gold Card could be a better fit. This card charges a much lower $250 annual fee, yet it offers an annual up to $120 in Uber credits for U.S. rides and food orders ($10 each month) and an annual up to $120 dining credit. You must add the American Express® Gold Card to your Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. Plus, you'll earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants and on groceries, and 3 points per dollar on flights. Terms apply.

4. Your credit score needs to be strong

Even if this card seems like it would compliment your travels well, you may not be an ideal fit for this card. American Express generally requires a good to excellent credit score to qualify for The Platinum Card® from American Express. Terms apply.

You’ll want to have at least a 690 credit score before applying for the card. So, you may need to work on building your credit score before applying for the card.

And even still, excellent credit is not always a guarantee of approval. Many factors go into a bank's decision to approve you.

5. You could potentially earn $1,400 a year in statement credits — if you use them

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers over $1,400 in statement credits each year. You'll want to maximize these credits to justify paying the $695 annual fee. Terms apply.

Many of the card’s statement credits are based on monthly amounts:

  • Digital entertainment credit: up to $20 per month.

  • Premium Uber credit: up to $15 per month for U.S. rides or Uber Eats orders, with an additional $20 bonus in December.

  • Walmart+ monthly membership credit: $12.95 per month plus taxes.

Terms apply.

Other credits are only valid per calendar year:

  • Clear credit: up to $189 per year.

  • Airline fee credit: up to $200 per year. (Enrollment required.)

  • Hotel credit: up to $200 per year.

  • SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: up to $300 per year.

  • Equinox credit: up to $300 per calendar year.

Terms apply.

Cardholders also get a Shop With Saks credit, which is applied semi-annually. You’ll get up to $50 in statement credits for purchases between January and June and up to $50 in statement credits for July through December. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If you open your card account near the end of the year, make sure that you leave yourself enough time to maximize the annual credits and the Shop With Saks credit before the close of the year.

But while $1,400 in credits sounds good, understand whether they're realistic to use based on your spending. If you don't take an Uber that month, it's a lose it credit. Meanwhile, are you really going to buy (and use) a SoulCycle bike at home? And would you shop at Saks, when you'd be fine with the same type of stuff that's a fraction of the price sold from, say, Target instead?

6. You can add different types of authorized users

When you apply for this card, you’ll have the option to add authorized users. You get two choices for adding authorized user cards: An additional Platinum card or an additional Gold card.

AmEx charges $175 to add up to three additional Platinum cards. That may sound steep — especially on top of the card's $695 annual fee. However, this can be an excellent deal, depending on how the authorized user plans to use their benefits. Terms apply.

Additional Platinum cardmembers get complimentary access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection — including AmEx’s own excellent Centurion Lounges. Plus, additional Platinum card users get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (enrollment required), Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) and access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Terms apply.

And if you add three cardmembers, you pay under $60 per person for these benefits.

Alternatively, you can add an authorized user at the Gold card level for free. Gold card authorized users don’t get the same lounge access and elite status benefits as authorized Platinum cardholders. However, they can get their own TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit and can help you earn Membership Rewards. Terms apply.

Should I get The Platinum Card® from American Express?

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most well-known premium travel cards around. With more than $1,400 in statement credits each year, lounge benefits, hotel elite status and travel protections, this card offers the complete package for luxury travelers. Terms apply.

Before committing to the $695 annual fee, there are some things you should know. Consider if the card is the right fit for you. Make sure you’re eligible credit score-wise and able to earn the welcome offer. Check the calendar to ensure you can maximize the annual credits or time your application accordingly. Finally, consider if any friends or family members would benefit from being added as an authorized user.

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

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 2023, including those best for:

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