Why the American Express Platinum Card Benefits Military Members

Members of the military can get thousands of dollars of value out of the AmEx Platinum Card without having to pay the hefty annual fee.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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Members of the military know that serving the nation is a serious commitment. Between early physical training calls, unexpected deployment orders and frequent station changes, a career in the armed forces requires some sacrifices.

In return, U.S. service members are entitled to benefits that their civilian counterparts aren't eligible for. These include protection under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA), which both limit the financial strain for a person on active duty.

One feature of these acts is reduced fees for certain types of credit — and The Platinum Card® from American Express military fee waiver is no exception.

Here's a look at the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express for military members, including waived fees and the perks for cardholders.

About The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel card with an excellent rewards rate and access to a unique set of lounges, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Escape Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges, among others. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

It also has hundreds of dollars worth of travel credits that can make up for the $695 annual fee.

To maximize your card, book travel in the American Express Travel Portal or transfer your points to one of the bank's travel partners.

The current welcome offer is: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

What does the The Platinum Card® from American Express cost for military personnel?

Two types of legislation govern credit for service members: The SCRA applies to cards opened before they joined the military, while the MLA dictates the fees they are charged for cards opened while serving.

Although these laws have many applications, two of the benefits remain the same: They limit the fees banks charge people in the armed forces for credit. Therefore, The Platinum Card® from American Express has no annual fee for military members.

This is true regardless of when the card was opened. Since American Express usually charges a hefty $695 annual fee, this can represent a huge savings.

American Express also waives overlimit fees, late payment fees and returned payment fees.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Cards eligible for SCRA benefits have a maximum interest rate cap of 6%.

It’s important to note that although you won’t be on the hook for most fees, you’ll still need to be eligible for the card to gain approval. There's no special military credit score. Instead, you’ll need the excellent credit score usually required to get The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Terms apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express military benefits

As a premium travel card, The Platinum Card® from American Express has a host of benefits available to cardholders. Here are some of the most useful.

Airport lounge access

Those who hold The Platinum Card® from American Express have access to the Global Lounge Collection, which has over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide. This includes American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Lufthansa Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges. Enrollment required.

Airport lounge benefits can vary but generally include complimentary food, drinks, charging stations and seating away from the main terminal. In some lounges, you’ll also find showers, nap pods and wine-tasting options.

Terms apply.

Hotel elite status

The Platinum Card® from American Express provides complimentary hotel elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Enrollment required. You’ll receive Gold status with both programs as long as you hold the card.

The benefits of Gold status will differ depending on the program. For Marriott, you can expect late checkout, room upgrades, bonus points and a welcome gift of points.

Hilton’s Gold status has additional perks. As a Gold member, you’re entitled to room upgrades and extra bonus points. You’ll also receive complimentary breakfast (or a food and beverage credit) for you and a guest for each night of your stay.

Terms apply.

Rental car elite status

Rental car elite status can grant you perks such as free additional drivers and complimentary upgrades. The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with rental car elite status from three companies:

  • Hertz: Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status. 

  • Avis: Preferred Plus status. 

  • National Car Rental: Emerald Club Executive status. 

Terms apply.

Statement credits

Perhaps the most compelling feature of The Platinum Card® from American Express is the statement credits you’ll receive. These add up to more than $1,500 each year and span from shopping credits to hotel stays.

  • $300 Equinox credit.

  • $240 digital entertainment credit. Enrollment required.

  • $200 hotel credit for Fine Hotels and Resorts or The Hotel Collection stays.

  • $200 Uber Cash credit.

  • $200 airline fee credit. Enrollment required.

  • $189 Clear credit.

  • $155 Walmart+ credit.

  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit. Enrollment required.

Terms apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express for military spouses

Can a military spouse use the benefits of an AmEx? Whether your spouse is entitled to waived fees will depend on the law that applies to your card. If you’re eligible for benefits based on the SCRA, your spouse cannot receive a waived annual fee on their own AmEx cards.

However, if you open a card after joining the military and are eligible for MLA benefits, these also apply to your spouse and certain dependents, meaning your spouse can have annual fees, late fees and returned payment fees waived.

Keep in mind your spouse will need to have an excellent credit score for approval.

If you’re looking for AmEx Platinum Card military benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent travel card, even if you’re only away from home once or twice a year.

However, if you’re a military member, its benefits are exponentially greater. With waived fees, you can take advantage of the credits and perks it offers without paying for the membership fee out of pocket.

The card's benefits include more than $1,000 each year in statement credits, as well as complimentary hotel elite status, rental car elite status and airport lounge access. Terms apply.

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 2024, including those best for:

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