Advertiser Disclosure

Is the Platinum Card From American Express Right For Me?

April 15, 2019
Travel, Travel Credit Cards
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a true trailblazer. It debuted in 1984, making it one of the first travel rewards credit cards. All those years in the industry have given it a leg up on the competition; it comes packed with all sorts of perks. Those benefits, however, come tethered to a $550 annual fee. If the mere mention of the card’s cost doesn’t scare you off, this might be a travel rewards card to consider.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is right for you if …

You are attracted to a big welcome offer

The current welcome offer is as follows: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply. If you think you can hit that spend by prioritizing this card during those first few months to cover planned purchases, this card could be worth a shot.

» Learn more: The Platinum Card® from American Express: Luxury doesn’t come cheap

You’re an AmEx fan

This card is great for American Express brand loyalists because it rewards you for staying in the AmEx ecosystem. If you book flights and hotels through AmExTravel.com, you’ll earn 5 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent. You can also earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else. Terms apply.

You fly often

One of the top perks of the The Platinum Card® from American Express is its yearly travel credit of up to $200. This money can be used to offset the nickel and diming that often comes with airline travel. It will cover everything from seat upgrades to checked bag fees to in-flight entertainment. The credit is applied to one specific airline of your choice — AmEx partnerships include Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest and United — per year. And you can change the airline once a year. Terms apply.

You use Uber

Speaking of credit, The Platinum Card® from American Express is great for Uber fans. This card comes with a yearly credit of up to $200 to use toward the transportation service in the U.S. You’ll also get Uber VIP status, which gives you access to the top drivers with the top cars. The one catch? The credits are issued monthly — $15 a month and $35 in December — and don’t roll over each month. Terms apply.

You want access to airport lounges

Lounges are an oasis in the middle of airport chaos, providing relief in the form of free drinks and food, fast Wi-Fi, spa services and even private workspaces. If you believe those little perks add up, we have great news for you: The Platinum Card® from American Express opens the doors to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the globe. That includes AmEx’s Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass Select and Airspace lounges.Terms apply. When you consider that a Priority Pass Prestige membership costs $429 per year, the $550 annual fee of  The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t seem so steep anymore.

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 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Luxury isn’t cheap with the AmEx Platinum credit card
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
American Express Membership Rewards: How to earn and use them

About the author