The American Express Platinum card is a luxury card that offers cardholders 5X points on some types of travel as well as hundreds of dollars a year in travel credits. Plus, as a Platinum cardholder, you get a lot of perks. However, the card isn’t ideal for everyone. Introduced in 1984, the American Express Platinum card was the original luxury travel card. American Express recently “relaunched” the card with its next generation of benefits.
For starters, the annual fee will run you $550. New cardholders who make $5,000 in purchases during their first three months will earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points. You’ll also get as much as $200 in Uber ride credit each year.
If you book your flights through American Express Travel or directly with the airlines, and use your card, you’ll earn 5X Membership Rewards® points.
Pros and Cons
As we said, this luxury card isn’t for everyone. The signup bonus of 60,000 points (after you make $5,000 in purchases during the first three months) is an excellent offer. If you love luxury travel perks, like Uber credits, airline fee credits, access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide (they offer the best lounge access of any card), airline fee credits fee credits, and more, the pros may outweigh the cons. You’ll receive a higher reward rate in certain categories—helping you earn miles faster, there are no foreign transaction fees, and American Express offers top-notch customer service.
Plus, once every four years, American Express will reimburse you the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre-Check ($85). There are a number of hotel perks too, like automatic upgrades, early check-in, free WiFi and more (terms apply and vary from hotel chain to hotel chain).
However, the annual fee for the card is very high. At $550 it’s one of the most expensive annual fees out there. Additionally, that airline fee credit is limited, at $200. You need to choose one airline and make sure to stick with it—make sure all your spending is with them to get the most bang for your buck here. The credit does not include your flight, just things like baggage fees and some upgrades.
Also, those Uber credits are just $15 per month, and they don’t roll over. So, if you don’t use them, you lose them.
Plus, while you will get higher reward rate in some categories, you’ll find that most of the categories you spend in offer a low rewards rate.
Who is the Platinum Card Perfect For?
If you love perks and a looking for a luxury card, this card may be perfect for you. If you’re not concerned about perks or luxury travel, then this is probably not the best fit for you. Unlike many of their competitors, American Express isn’t trying to persuade the middle class of consumers to try their premium card. They know their target market and are aiming for those who already live at or near the high end. If this is you, apply today and start racking up those bonus points!