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.
Dec 1, 2021

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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 welcome offer spending requirements

The Platinum Card® from American Express currently is offering a good welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the 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 annual fee 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 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 $179 each year for Clear. Terms apply.

» Learn more: Is Clear worth the cost?

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

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.

5. Get up to $1,400 a year in statement credits

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.

  • Equinox credit: up to $25 per month.

Terms apply.

Other credits are only valid per calendar year:

  • Clear credit: up to $179 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.

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.

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.

If you're considering 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.


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