At Experian, consumer credit and finance education is our priority. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more information, see our Editorial Policy.
In this article:
The Platinum Card® from American Express, while not for everyone, can work wonders in the hands of the right cardholder. For starters, the annual fee is sizable ($550), and it functions as a charge card, so you can't carry a balance month to month. But the rewards program is generous, and the card offers a plethora of travel and entertainment benefits. For frequent travelers with enough discretionary income to comfortably pay the annual fee and pay the balance in full monthly, this card can be a huge asset.
|Compelling travel rewards program||Very high annual fee|
|No foreign transaction fee||Must pay the card's balance in full every month|
|Exclusive travel and entertainment perks||Less widely accepted than other issuers|
|American Express Customer Service|
1 (800) 528-4800
P.O. Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535
There's a lot you can do with $550, and spending it each year on a credit card annual fee might not be your first choice. But if you have the discretionary income, and you're a jetsetter, it may be easy to justify the annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express.
The card provides statement credits for various travel and shopping expenses, and offers an abundance of valuable perks, such as airport lounge access and complimentary hotel room upgrades. Plus, you'll earn 5 points per dollar spent on travel purchases, so you can earn reward travel even faster.
However, it's key to understand that unlike most cards out there, The Platinum Card® from American Express isn't a credit card; it's a charge card. This means you must pay your entire balance at the end of every month.
You don't have the option to carry a balance since your bill is due in full monthly, so this card makes sense only for those who will use the card for purchases they can pay off right away. It won't work for someone who needs to make a bigger purchase and take a few months to pay it off. Also, keep in mind that American Express isn't accepted as widely as other cards, so you'll likely need a Visa or MasterCard in your wallet as a backup.
Generous Membership Rewards
The Platinum Card® from American Express truly is rich in rewards, especially if you travel often. If you use your new credit card to make at least $5,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening the account, you'll get an intro bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points.
You will also receive 5 points per dollar spent on any flights you book directly with an airline or through American Express Travel, and 5 points per dollar on any prepaid hotel bookings you make and pay for on AmexTravel.com.
The card is chock-full of other complimentary Platinum benefits that just make life easier. You get complimentary membership upgrades in travel programs (free Hilton Honors Gold Status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status), plus a free membership in premium car rental programs that might entail discounts and upgrades. You're also covered with free car rental loss and damage insurance if you pay for a rental car with your American Express card.
Premium Benefits to Enhance Your Travel Experience
In addition to earning bonus points on your travel purchases, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with many additional compelling travel perks.
For one, you automatically get Uber VIP status, as well as free rides in the United States up to $15 every month. You also get a $20 bonus in December. In total, this can save you up to $200 annually on Uber expenses.
As a cardholder, you get to select one qualifying airline you fly with most. When you use your Platinum Card® from American Express to pay for incidental fees with that airline, such as checked bags or in-flight food and drinks, you'll receive up to $200 in statement credits.
Who doesn't love gliding past the airport security line? If you apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and pay using your American Express card, you'll enjoy expedited security screenings (no shoe or laptop removal!) and a statement credit for that amount from American Express. You can use this benefit once every four years for Global Entry ($100) and every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck ($85). If you have additional cards on this account for family members, they can also qualify for this valuable benefit.
Luxury Comes With a High Annual Fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express has a steep annual fee—you'll shell out $550 annually. But if you're after luxurious travel benefits, this Amex doesn't disappoint.
If you book a stay within the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you'll get complimentary perks that are valued at an average of $550. This includes benefits like guaranteed late checkout, early check-in and room upgrade when available, daily breakfast for two, free Wi-Fi and more.
Cardholders also get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including more than 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries. No other program offers this much lounge access worldwide, according to American Express. The American Express network of lounges are included (the Centurion Lounge and The International American Express lounge), in addition to those from their partner networks Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select lounges.
If you have this credit card, you also get access to Platinum Travel counselors. They can help provide custom recommendations and itineraries for your travels to save you time and headache. You'll also get free 24/7 use of Platinum Card Concierge, a service that can help you make dinner reservations, purchase tickets for popular events or help you purchase the perfect gift.
While this card's annual fee is significant, if you plan to use the perks and benefits regularly, it could certainly make up for it, especially for frequent world travelers.
Bonus Shopping and Entertainment Perks
In addition to numerous travel benefits, this credit card comes with many shopping and entertainment perks. When you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue using your Platinum credit card, you'll get up to $100 in statement credits each year (enrollment required).
If you love dining out and going to events, there are many perks for you to enjoy. Cardholders also receive invitations to exclusive By Invitation Only events. American Express creates what it calls customized, once-in-a-lifetime events for Platinum Card Members only, and they range from art and performances to fashion and fine dining. The card's Preferred Seating program also gives you access to premium seats for certain sporting and cultural events, when available.
You'll also be able to participate in the Global Dining Collection. With this benefit, you get special access to restaurant reservations, special experiences and culinary events, plus unique opportunities to meet renowned chefs at exclusive events.
Manage Your Account on the Go With Amex Mobile App
It's quick and easy to stay on top of your card account with the Amex mobile app, available on iPhone and on Android. It's easy to create an account and securely log in. You can view statements through the app while you're out and about and get alerts when your next statement is ready.
From the app, you can easily check on your account activity and make a card payment, as well as view your rewards balance and look at available rewards. The app also lists exclusive American Express offers on dining, traveling, shopping and more. It allows you to set up real-time spending and fraud alerts. For Platinum card members, you can also use the app to find airport lounges and access Platinum concierge and travel assistants.
|Purchase APR: N/A||Grace Period: 25 days|
|Transfer APR: N/A||Annual Fee: $550|
|Cash Advance APR: 26.74%||Balance Transfer Fee: N/A|
|Minimum Interest Charge: N/A||Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee: None|
|Late Payment Fee: Up to $39|
|Returned Payment Fee: Up to $39|
American Express makes it very easy to add an authorized user to your account if you'd like your spouse, child or other family member to have access. The issuer's Additional Card Member policy allows you to add authorized users as young as 13 years old, giving you a chance to help them about money, and once they turn 18, their card use can help them to start building their own credit. You can set spending limits as low as $200 on the additional cards, and you can set spending alerts to help you keep tabs on purchases made with them. On your monthly statements, the charges from the authorized users are listed separately, which makes it easier to track expenses.
Any authorized users will use a card linked to your account, so any purchases they make will help you earn rewards faster. Just be aware that since you're the account holder, all of the charges are ultimately your responsibility, and your credit is on the line if they make mistakes. So only add an authorized user if you're confident they understand any limitations.
Is This Card Right for You?
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes at a price; not everyone will want to spend $550 each year on a credit card fee. But if you travel often and plan to make the most of the card's rich benefits, freebies and reward program, you can more than make up for the cost. Just make sure you only put purchases on the card that you'll be able to pay off at the end of each month since it's not a traditional credit card that lets you carry a balance.