Credit Card Review: AMEX Platinum

American Express offers many credit cards but the most elite option available to the general public without an invite is their Platinum card. It is an excellent option for the active traveler as the value of the benefits outweigh the annual fee. The current signup bonus ranges from 60,000 to 75,000 AMEX points after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days, although previously there have been better offers.

Current Offer

Current Offer

Primary Cardholder Benefits ($550/yr):
-5X points on airline tickets directly purchased with the airline
-1X points on all other purchases
-$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit [you can buy (4) $50 gift cards annually and use the money later, I’ve done this with Alaska Airlines for the past few years]
-$200 Annual Uber Credit ($15 per month and then $35 in December)
Global Entry Credit once every 5 years (includes PreCheck)
Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: daily breakfast for 2, room upgrades, late checkout and an amenity typically valued around $100. This is very handy if you don’t have status at the hotel you are planning to stay at as you are treated like a top tier status guest.
International Airline Program: discounts on Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class tickets
Airport Lounges with Guest Policies:

  • Centurion Lounge:
    You can bring your immediately family (spouse or domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two other travel companions with you at no additional cost.
  • Airspace Lounge:
    You can bring two guests with you at no additional cost. To bring any additional guests, you’ll be responsible for the guest fees, which vary by location.
  • Delta Sky Club (must be flying Delta):
    You can buy guest passes for your spouse or domestic partner and a child under 21, or up to two other traveling companions for $29 per person. Any additional guests may purchase day passes.
  • Priority Pass Select:
    You can bring two guests with you at no additional cost. Additional guests will be charged a fee of $32 per person, which will be charged to your Platinum Card. Due to processing, charges may not appear on your account statement for up to 60 days.
  • Escape Lounge:
    You can bring two guests with you at no additional cost. To bring any additional guests, you’ll be responsible for the guest fees, which vary by location.

-Status in Travel Programs:

Additional Cardholder Benefits (up to 3, $175/yr):
Everything above except no $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit or $200 Annual Uber Credit.

 

Pro’s:
-Access to many airport lounges including the amazing Centurion Lounges
-No foreign transaction fees
-Executive Status at National Car Rental
-AMEX points have many transfer partners with ANA being an amazing redemption value of 85,000 roundtrip in Business Class from SFO to Tokyo.
-Excellent customer service therefore using it on risky purchases/merchants reassures you have someone who will back you in case something happens

Con’s:
-Sticker shock of high annual fee, $550 per year
-Must have a high FICO score and credit history with AMEX helps

 

Conclusion: If your home base airport offers a Centurion Lounge and you use Uber on a monthly basis during your travels this card provides an amazing value. Topping it off by adding 3 additional cardmembers for a a flat rate of $175 makes it a no brainer for a traveling family. I view my overall cost as $150 per year for access to the Centurion Lounge at SFO and everything else is icing on the cake. I’ll keep this card in my wallet until I stop traveling quarterly or I change my home airport away from SFO (more likely the reason).

Old vs. New Metal AMEX Platinum

Old vs. New Metal AMEX Platinum

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1 Response

  1. September 29, 2018

    […] food quality poor? Try a new Priority Pass restaurant! Priority Pass membership is included with AMEX Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve which most frequent travelers are carrying these days. I was able to try […]

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