2021 Review: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Amex's refreshed luxury card offers a raw value of $1,400 and welcome offer worth up to $7,000.
finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5
- Get this card if you enjoy frequent, high-class travel and want a welcome offer worth up to $7,000.
- Pick something else if you don’t travel much or don’t plan on taking advantage of the card’s numerous perks.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 10x
Recommended credit score
|Welcome Offer||100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe|
|Rewards||10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases|
|Purchase APR||See Pay Over Time APR|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Recommended minimum credit score||670|
Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.
With the refresh, the card keeps several luxury perks such as a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, car rental benefits and elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. But Amex has kicked these perks up to 11, offering a wealth of new statement credit opportunities in addition to the existing ones. This includes $200 in credits on eligible hotels, a $179 CLEAR credit, a $240 digital entertainment credit, and $300 in Equinox credit. All told, the card now offers up to $1,400 in statement credits, well surpassing the card’s new $695 annual fee.
These new changes elevate the Amex Platinum Card even higher than before, clearly cementing the card as a premier choice for luxury travel and experiences. However, your average cardholder or traveler will likely have trouble maximizing the card’s total value. So if you’re interested in the Amex Platinum, you’ll want to carefully review your travel and spending habits to ensure you’re able to use enough features to make up for the card’s annual fee. Otherwise, this card is the go-to luxury travel card for today’s market.
Liza Schneider, a Finder client services employee, says she and her husband have had a joint Amex Platinum Card for about six years. They have used the card’s concierge service on multiple occasions — Aziz Ansari tickets at Madison Square Garden, the U.S. Open, etc. While they didn’t get “deals” on the tickets, Liza said it was nice to have someone at Amex track everything down for them and then automatically bill her card. They also used the points at least once a year to cover airline tickets and hotels.
How to apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Click Apply now.
- Complete the application with information such as your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, total annual income and income source.
- Review your information and submit your application.
What credit score do I need?
As with most cards, you’ll have a better chance of approval for The Platinum Card® from American Express if you apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher. However, some cardholders have reported getting approved with scores in the mid-600s.
The Platinum Card® from American Express‘ major benefitsThe Platinum Card® from American Express is considered by some to be the best luxury travel card on the market. They certainly have a point, seeing as Amex has done an admirable job of stacking premium perks. Here are some of The Platinum Card® from American Express‘s highlights.
- A valuable welcome offer. 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Plus 10x points at restaurants and participating Shop Small retailers on up to $25,000 in combined purchases for your first 6 months.
- Rewards that are best for flights and hotels. Earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked through airlines or American Express Travel on up to $500,000 annually, and 1x points after that. You also earn uncapped 5x points on prepaid hotel stays booked through the Amex Travel website.
- Extensive credits to offset the annual fee. The Amex Platinum Card now comes with an extensive collection of statement credit opportunities worth up to $7,000 in total.
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- $200 hotel credit on bookings through prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel
- $179 CLEAR credit per year
- $200 in annual Uber Cash
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit you can access after enrolling through your Amex account.
- Up to $100 statement credit to cover Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee every 4 to 5 years
- $300 Equinox credit on memberships per year
- Up to $20 in statement credits each month on the following subscription services: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
- Unrivaled access to global airport lounges. Complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge, The International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass Select locations and more. You’ll find more than 1,300 eligible lounges worldwide.
- Unique travel benefits. Gold status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Complimentary benefits through the Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection programs. Membership to Departures, a lifestyle destination resource for Amex cardholders. Car rental benefits and travel protections, and cell phone protection. Access these benefits by enrolling through your Amex account.
- Other valuable perks. Platinum Card Concierge, By Invitation Only experiences, Global Dining Collection, Preferred Seating, Uber VIP and more. Amex has also teamed up with Uber Eats to offer one complimentary year of Eats Pass when you sign up using your card by December 31, 2021.
What to watch out forThe Platinum Card® from American Express is a powerhouse luxury product, but it comes with its share of downsides. Consider them carefully before applying, as they may end up pointing you to a different travel card.
- A steep $695 annual fee.
While it’s not the most expensive luxury card, The Platinum Card® from American Express is priced higher than most of its competitors.
- The welcome offer requires more skin in the game.
You must meet a higher spending requirement than you would with other luxury cards.
- Narrow bonus rewards.
If you don’t spend significantly on flights or hotels, the card will be disappointing rewards-wise.
- Credits are less flexible than those of other travel cards.
You might prefer a general travel credit that you can use for a variety of purchases.
- You can’t carry a balance on all purchases.
Unlike most other credit cards where you can carry your balance on all purchases by paying interest, The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you carry your balance only on some purchases, but not on all of them.
- Potentially limited acceptance worldwide.
While Amex is widely accepted internationally, there are still many merchants who won’t take it.
Who is this card best for?The Platinum Card® from American Express is best for frequent travelers who are used to shelling out for luxury accommodations. With that said, smart use of the card’s credits and perks may still make the card worth it for less frequent travelers. In both cases, The Platinum Card® from American Express is best suited for those who are regularly stay abreast of and use their card’s features.
Who is this card not best for?
The card isn’t well-suited for infrequent travelers. For the steep price of the card, you’ll need to use several of the perks throughout the year, which means you’ll need to be traveling at least a few times — preferably longer distances. If you don’t use the card’s travel features, you’re effectively paying nearly $700 for the earning rate you could find with a far cheaper card.
Does Amex allow cosigners or authorized users for The Platinum Card® from American Express?
Amex doesn’t allow cosigners for any of its cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, you can add an authorized user to your Amex account. Check out our Amex authorized user guide for details and how to add.
Compare Amex Platinum Card to similar credit cards
If you’re curious whether to go all in on a luxury offering, here’s a look at the Amex Platinum Card vs. two similar cards for a quick taste of the differences.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
★★★★★Terms apply, see rates & fees
|Go to site|
Minimum credit score
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance transfer APR
10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases
100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
American Express® Gold Card
★★★★★Terms apply, see rates & fees
|Go to site|
Minimum credit score
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance transfer APR
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on all other purchases
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Go to site|
Minimum credit score
15.99% to 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR
15.99% to 22.99% variable
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Compare even more credit cards
How does The Platinum Card® from American Express compare to other similar cards?
These welcome offer values are based on Finder’s current point valuations.
|U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card||Citi Prestige® Credit Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve®||The Platinum Card® from American Express||Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™|
|Welcome offer value||$750||$1,000||$900||$7,000||$0|
|Bonus reward categories||No bonus rewards|
|Annual travel credits||$325 for travel purchases||$250 for travel purchases||$300 for travel purchases||$200 air travel credit|
|Airport lounge access||Priority Pass Select||Priority Pass Select||Priority Pass Select||Highlights include:||Priority Pass Select|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit|
|Hotel elite status||None||None||None||None|
|Special hotel privileges through…||Relais & Châteaux||ThankYou Rewards portal (4th-night-free benefit)||The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection||Luxury Card Travel|
The Platinum Card® from American Express reviews and complaints
Those who have the card often say you should get it mainly if you’re a frequent traveler who likes luxury perks. Many cardholders are impressed by the lounge experience afforded by the Amex Platinum Card. Some visit multiple lounges, such as The Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club. Other customers mention the points structure is specifically tailored to those who are often on the go.
Some customers rightfully point out that the card isn’t a good choice for everyday spending, questioning whether the high annual fee is worth the value gleaned from occasional travel. Other customers say the Amex Platinum Card is less accepted worldwide than Visas and Mastercards, and that the airline credits can be relatively difficult to use completely.
On February 2020, this reddit user described their own experience with the card: “This is the type of card that you acquire for its benefits but in general don’t spend that much money on. When I had the card, for example, the only category bonus that was any good was the 5% for airlines. Other than that you’d have been better off getting a (much cheaper) rewards credit card with better bonuses in the categories you tend to spend the most on.”
How to make the most of your card
There’s lots of room to get more out of your Amex Platinum Card, including:
- Qualify for the welcome offer.
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a top-tier welcome offer, but there’s a steep spending requirement of $6,000 within the first 6 months of account opening. Time your purchases so you can easily meet your welcome-offer spending requirement. Once earned, you’ll find your points in your Membership Rewards account within eight to 12 weeks after you meet the spending requirement.
- Use your card for the right purchase categories.
The card offers bonus rewards only for eligible flights and hotels, so consider not using it for other categories of spending. Instead, pair The Platinum Card® from American Express with another card that offers bonus rewards in your preferred spending categories. You can get more tips for earning at our Amex rewards earning guide.
- Redeem points on the best value. You have a few ways to use your points, including redeeming them on travel, for cash back, or transferring them. Some methods are worth more value than others, so check out our Amex redemption guide for a better idea of your big value plays.
- Use your credits. Leveraging your credits is essential to getting the most out of The Platinum Card® from American Express. Check your card’s terms to understand how to use your credits, as you don’t want to spend first only to realize you won’t be reimbursed.
- Register for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
These Trusted Traveler Programs can save you loads of time at the airport, which is a cornerstone of luxury travel. Consider applying for one of these programs well before you’re scheduled to fly, as approval could take months.
- Enroll in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
Just head over to your Amex online account and navigate to the “Benefits” tab.
- Leverage the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program and The Hotel Collection.
It could be well worth looking for a property in these portfolios and booking with The Platinum Card® from American Express, as you’ll receive benefits that will heighten your stay.
- Use The Platinum Card® from American Express Concierge.
You might be surprised by the number of tasks Concierge can take off your plate. If you’re overwhelmed with “to-dos” or need help getting arrangements sorted, call 1-800-525-3355.
- Add additional users.
A $175 price tag for up to three additional cards could be a good deal, especially when additional users share many of the same benefits as you’ll find with The Platinum Card® from American Express.
- Pair your card.
If you want to maximize your Membership Rewards points, try pairing up your Amex Platinum Card with other Amex rewards cards. Picking up two that can earn you accelerated rewards in other categories can help you create what’s known as the Amex Trifecta, a value generating powerhouse. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Amex Gold Card are both great options for creating a trifecta.
Bottom lineThe Platinum Card® from American Express isn’t for everyone, as only a few types of consumers can get maximum value from the perks. For those who sit in the right demographic, however, the card is one of the very best options in the premium-travel space.
If you’re not sure The Platinum Card® from American Express is right for you, there are many other travel options to consider.
What’s changed with the The Platinum Card® from American Express
|07/1/2021||Old: $550 annual fee. Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.||New: $695 annual fee. Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at restaurants and Shop Small retailers, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.|
Added: $200 hotel credit on bookings through prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel
$179 CLEAR credit per year
Up to $100 statement credit to cover Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee every 4 to 5 years
$300 Equinox credit on memberships per year
Up to $20 in statement credits each month on the following subscription services: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
Compare The Platinum Card® from American Express with other cards
How we calculated the welcome offer value of The Platinum Card® from American Express
To get to our current calculations on The Platinum Card® from American Express‘s welcome offer value, we combined each part of the welcome offer: the flat bonus you earn after meeting spend requirements and the additional points you’ll earn at restaurants and Shop Small retailers in that same time period. If you reach the welcome offer earning cap of $25,000, you’ll earn 250,000 Membership Rewards points. These bonus points are in addition to the 100,000 points you’d earn for spending $6,000 in your first 6 months, leaving you with 350,000 Membership Rewards points. Finder’s current valuations for Membership Rewards points place them at around 2 cents a piece on average. Doing the math, your 350,000 Membership Rewards points at 2 cents a piece would offer a value of $7,000.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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