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The Platinum Card® from American Express can be a valuable tool for any traveler who wants to take their excursions up a notch. This travel rewards card's strength lies not in its rewards structure, but in its perks. The benefits are plentiful and are enough to separate it from the pack. Here are some of the card's top perks.
The card does carry a very large annual fee of $695. So you’ll want to make sure you can make the most of these credits and benefits in order to offset the annual fee.
Best benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express includes a host of statement fee credits, including several travel-specific credits. These carry the most potential value, but can be a bit hard to unravel. Here are the main ones:
$200 annual airline incidental fee credit. This covers flight costs like checked bags and in-flight meals on your specified airline, but does not cover the airfare itself. This is a great benefit, but can be hard to use in full.
$200 annual hotel credit with AmEx Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection. Another great benefit, but only applicable to certain high-end hotels booked through AmEx Travel.
$179 annual credit for a Clear membership.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. Cardholders also get a credit once every four years for use on Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fees.
If you'd max out these credits, the card nearly pays for itself. But note the restrictions on each credit, and determine for yourself whether you can take full advantage.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is positioning itself as more than just a travel lifestyle brand, and has expanded into several credits that benefit even homebodies:
$20 monthly credit with certain digital entertainment services, including Peacock and Audible.
$50 biannual Saks Fifth Avenue credit.
$15 monthly Uber credit. Yes, this is travel if used for Uber rides, but you can also use it for takeout through Uber Eats. Includes a $20 bonus credit in December ($200 total for the year).
A helping hand
Make things a bit easier on yourself by taking advantage of your very own helping hand. Cardholders get access to the AmEx Platinum Concierge. It's a phone service that can help you book an event or reserve a table at a restaurant. Call 800-525-3355, make your request and let AmEx staff handle the rest. Terms apply.
A bump up to elite status
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with complimentary Gold elite status with the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs. Terms apply. That means whenever you stay at a Hilton or Marriott hotel, you'll enjoy perks like room upgrades when available, early check-in and late checkout, bonus points and more. If you stay in these hotels often, this is a perk that stands out.
Wide-ranging lounge access
This card opens the doors to more than 1,300 airport lounges across the globe. You get access to AmEx's Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass lounges. Enrollment required. Terms apply. Just be mindful that access rules vary. For example, while you and two guests can use a Centurion Lounge, you can use a Delta Sky Club only when you're flying Delta, and extra guests come at a price. Still, this perk is vital. Lounges and their amenities — from food to spa treatments — can make even the most frustrating day of travel feel less stressful.
If you're considering The Platinum Card® from American Express
The competition for premium travel cards is fierce, and The Platinum Card® from American Express makes its case by offering more benefits than others. It also expands these perks beyond travel, with credits for streaming services and even shopping.
Is it worth the $695 annual fee? Easily, if you diligently make use of all of these benefits. And that depends on your own preferences and commitment to tracking each benefit.
To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, 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 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