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The Platinum Card® from American Express review

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A first-class card for travel enthusiasts.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you spend a lot on travel, and you’re willing to pay for premium travel perks.
  • Pick something else if you want a cashback card or don’t travel much.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

60,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 5x

Points

$550

Annual fee

670

Recommended credit score

Details

Product NameThe Platinum Card® from American Express
Card typeAmerican Express
Annual fee$550
Purchase APRN/A
Balance transfer APRN/A
Cash advance rate26.74% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction feeNone
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39
Additional cardholder fee$175
Rates & feesrates & fees

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written over 450 Finder articles. As a digital nomad, Kevin gained experience with credit and debit cards, foreign transactions, exchange rates and budgeting strategies. Now, he aims to help you get the credit cards you need to travel the world like a pro, too.

Expert review

The Platinum Card® from American Express is unabashedly aimed at those who love to travel in style. With an annual fee of $550, it’s priced even higher than most similar cards. But if you’re willing to pay the price of admission, you’ll earn a generous welcome offer of 60,000 bonus points, 5x points on flights prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel and 1x points on all other purchases.

But what makes this card unique are the premium perks you get, such as complimentary access to more than 1,100 airport lounges worldwide and elite status and benefits at select hotel brands such as Hilton and Marriott. You also get Uber and travel statement credits, and TSA PreCheck and Global Entry fee credits among the other perks.

If you often travel in style, The Platinum Card® from American Express is definitely worth considering.

Apply now

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Generous welcome offer
  • One of the highest rewards rates on flights and hotels
  • Annual airline fee credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Trip cancelation and trip delay reimbursement
  • Complimentary access to airport lounges
  • Gold elite status at Marriott and Hilton
  • Platinum concierge

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Not really a credit card
  • American Express could have limited acceptance abroad
  • No 0% intro APR period on balance transfers or purchases

Upcoming benefits changes to the The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express has announced changes to some of the card’s benefits. The following changes will take effect starting January 1, 2020:

  • Added trip delay reimbursement
  • Added trip cancelation
  • Reduced the extended warranty period to one year from two years
  • Reduced the purchase protection coverage to 90 days from 120
  • Removed travel accident insurance
  • Removed roadside assistance

How to apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application form with information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.
  3. Review and submit your application.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for The Platinum Card® from American Express if you have at least a good credit score and a relatively high annual income. Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Card benefits

  • Welcome offer.

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. That’s worth around $600 at the industry rate of 1 point = 1 cent.

  • Reward points.

    Earn 5x points when you book flights directly through airlines or with American Express Travel. You’ll also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels you book through American Express Travel. On all other eligible purchases, you’ll earn 1x points. This is one of the highest rewards rates you can find with a travel credit card.

  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

    Receive complimentary access to more than 1,100 airport lounges. These include lounges in the Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass Select and The International American Express collections. You also get complimentary entry into the Centurion Lounges, which are considered among the top airport lounges in the world.

  • Airline fee credit.

    On one qualifying airline of your choice, you’ll receive up to $200 per calendar year in statement credit for incidental fees, like checked baggage charges and in-flight purchases. You can choose which airline to get your credit with from the following: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

    When you apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, pay the application fee with your Amex Platinum Card and receive approval, you’ll get a statement credit of up to $100 from American Express. You’re eligible for this credit every four years.

  • Qualify for Gold elite status at Marriott and Hilton hotels.

    Normally, you qualify for Gold Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program after 25 eligible nights in one calendar year. However, with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can upgrade to Gold Elite status without meeting those requirements.

    To attain Gold status in the Hilton Honors program, normally you’d need 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points. You earn Base Points when you spend on rooms in the Hilton portfolio and other eligible room charges, such as room service. However, with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can upgrade to Gold without meeting those requirements.

  • Uber credits.

    Each month, you’ll receive $15 in Uber credits for US rides, and you’ll get an additional $20 credit in December. If you’re a regular Uber user, these credits can help offset The Platinum Card® from American Express‘s annual fee.

  • Transfer points.

    Through the Membership Rewards program, you can transfer your points to select frequent-traveler programs. Transfers are usually a great use of Membership Rewards points, as they can be moved to most frequent-traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio.

Other Amex Platinum Card perks

Aside from the main benefits, you also get:

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    You won’t incur fees when you use your card abroad or at foreign websites.

  • Benefits at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts properties.

    Enjoy complimentary benefits like daily breakfast for two, room upgrades, noon check-in, late checkout and complimentary Wi-Fi when you stay at select properties, including the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Bellagio, Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and more.

  • The Hotel Collection extras.

    Stay at least two consecutive nights at a property in The Hotel Collection, and you’ll receive a room upgrade if available — plus up to $100 in hotel credit. You must book through American Express Travel or a qualifying travel service.

  • Travel services.

    Ask Platinum Travel agents for custom itineraries before your escapades around the world. And when you’re more than 100 miles from home, access the American Express Global Assist Hotline for help with emergencies like passport replacements, cash wires or medical issues.

    You’ll also receive complimentary membership in the Avis, National and Hertz loyalty programs. When available, you’ll receive upgrades and discounts.

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi through Boingo.

    Connect to more than a million Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world at no cost. Normally, the Boingo Global plan costs $39 a month, and you’re limited to 2,000 minutes of access. As the Amex Platinum Card cardholder, you’ll receive unlimited access.

  • American Express perks.

    Call the American Express concierge for assistance with dining reservations, gift purchases and getting into select events. Also, get access to By Invitation Only® events, preferred seating at events and Global Dining Collection restaurants and experiences.

  • Purchase benefits.

    You’ll receive extended warranties on eligible items you buy with your card. Also, you may qualify for a refund from American Express if a merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days of purchasing the product. Lastly, with Purchase Protection, your eligible items are covered against theft and accidental loss or damage.

  • Get a complimentary American Express® Gold Card.

    Add an American Express® Gold Card to your The Platinum Card® from American Express account at no cost. You’ll earn Membership Rewards points for all eligible spending on the card.

  • InCircle benefits.

    Receive a $100 Point Card when you earn 10,000 Neiman Marcus InCircle points. You can use Point Cards at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, Horchow and CUSP.

  • Departures magazine.

    Receive a complimentary subscription to Departures magazine, which is published for cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express. It highlights what’s new in luxury, in categories like travel, culture, dining, style and shopping.

Deeper dive: Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection

Airport lounges are a staple of luxury travel. The Platinum Card® from American Express gets you into more than 1,100 of them, including Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select and The International American Express Collection. It also gives you access to the world-class Centurion Lounges, which no other card provider can offer.

 Platinum amex credit card centurion lounge

You’ll find the Centurion Lounges in nine cities:

  • Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Miami
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco

They’re rare finds and among the best airport lounges you’ll find anywhere. Prior to October 2017, any American Express cardholder could access the Centurion Lounges. And even then, most could enter only by paying a fee. Now, only members with The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, American Express Corporate Platinum Card® and Centurion® Card from American Express have access.

Deeper dive: Hilton and Marriot hotel Gold elite status, a great deal

The Hilton Honors program is fairly attractive no matter which tier you’re in. Even as a basic member, you’ll receive benefits like digital check-in, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and late checkout. However, Gold does offer extra perks at select hotels, such as complimentary upgrades and breakfast and more points.

As for Gold Elite status within the Marriott Bonvoy program, you get:

  • 25% bonus points when you spend on eligible stays.
  • Late checkout.
  • Complimentary upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in.
  • A gift of welcome points when you arrive.
  • Complimentary in-room, premium Internet.
  • Earn points through select programs, like Delta Crossover Rewards™; Your World Rewards™ — a partnership with Emirates Skywards; and Eastern Explorer Rewards™ — a partnership with China Eastern Airlines.

If you plan on staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties — which include Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and more — Gold Elite status could make your visit significantly more enjoyable.

Deeper dive: Membership reward points transfer

Sometimes, you can get a better value if you transfer your points to another loyalty program. With the Amex Platinum Card, you can transfer points to these airlines and loyalty programs:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (via Aeroplan)
  • Air France-KLM
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways

And these hotels:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

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Apply now

Case study: Liza’s experience

profile pic

Liza Schneider
Client Services

My husband and I have had a joint Platinum Card® from American Express for as long as we have been married, about six years. Yes, the annual fees are expensive. But it’s the only credit card that we have, and we’re not paying multiple annual fees. In addition, as long as we pay down the balance every month, we pay no interest.

I also take advantage of the perks. I have used the concierge service on multiple occasions — Aziz Ansari tickets at Madison Square Garden, the U.S. Open, etc. Note that you don’t get any “deals” on the tickets (that I’ve experienced), but it is nice to have someone at Amex track everything down for you and then automatically bill your card.

We also use the points at least once a year to cover airline tickets and hotels. And we use the Amex Travel portal for bookings. We just went to Encore at Wynn Las Vegas entirely on Amex points. I also like the way it looks, so there’s that.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.
    The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a $550 annual fee (see rates & fees). This makes The Platinum Card® from American Express more expensive than its premium-card peers. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve® costs $450 per year.
  • A hybrid charge/credit card.
    The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full each month. However, Amex offers a Pay Over Time feature that allows you to carry balance on eligible purchases.
  • No intro APR period.

    Unfortunately, if you’re looking to carry your balance without paying interest, you may want to consider other cards.

  • Not as widely accepted overseas.

    Because The Platinum Card® from American Express is issued by American Express, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard.

Find a luxury credit card that fits your lifestyle

Is the annual fee worth it?

If you travel often and you use the card’s perks, this card may well be worth it. What’s more, you can easily offset the fee. For example, each year you get:

  • $200 in airline fee credit
  • $200 in Uber credit
  • Up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (once every four years)

Using only these perks offset around $425 of your annual fee, making the card cost $125 annually. Add in all the other perks, like hotel elite status and complimentary lounge access where a day pass on average cost around $50, and you are already ahead with the card’s value.
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Customer reviews/card rating

Customers generally think The Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent investment, saying the card largely pays for itself with its many perks, such as airline statement credit, Uber credits and lounge access.

American Express Company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1948 and earns an overall A+ rating. However, as of July 2018, 90% of its reviews are negative and it has nearly 3,000 customer complaints. Amex cardholders generally complain of rude customer service reps, missing statement credit and issues disputing charges.

The company earns a Trustpilot score of 3 out of 10. Many negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service and inflexible company policies. Positive reviews say the company employs pleasant customer service representatives. Overall, your mileage may vary with American Express customer support.

Authorized users or cosigners

Amex Platinum Card owners can add authorized users both as Platinum cardholders or Gold cardholders. Depending on which card authorized users get, they’ll get different perks and different costs.

Cost of adding authorized users

  • Amex Platinum Card. The cost for the first three Platinum cards is $175. Each additional card after that costs $175 per card.
  • Amex Gold Card. Adding authorized users as a Gold cardmember has no additional fee.

Benefits of authorized users

The benefits authorized users will enjoy are:

  • Amex Platinum Card. Get full lounge access as the main cardholder; complimentary Marriott and Hilton gold status; Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit every five years; Fine Hotels & resorts benefits; Avis, Hertz and National elite status; can use Amex offers; and the points earned go to the primary cardholder account.
  • Amex Gold Card. You only get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit once every five years, and you share the same rewards program with the Amex Platinum Card. This means you earn the same 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels like the primary cardholder.

Consider other cards if…

  • You want a lower annual fee.

    For a travel card with no annual fee, consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. If you’re OK with paying an annual fee, look into the excellent Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has a $95 annual fee the first year and charges $95 every year after. You could also consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve for a more premium option but with a lower annual fee than the Amex Platinum Card.

  • You want to carry balances over time.

    This is a charge card, so you have to pay your balance in full each month. If that cramps your style, consider another travel card. You can find excellent credit cards with 0% intro APR period.

  • You don’t travel much.
    The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t offer accelerated rewards for non-travel spending, so this may not be the card for you if you’re not a jet-setter. In this case a cashback card on everyday spending like the Blue Cash Preferred could be an option worth considering.

Redeeming points

The number of membership rewards points you earn on eligible airfare and prepaid hotels booked via Amex travel is impressive. But your redemption options are even more impressive as they include:

  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Statement credit
  • Experiences and products from a variety of retailers
  • Points transfers to select frequent-traveler programs
  • Paying for merchandise and services at Amazon, Staples, Grubhub, Expedia and other American Express partners

Note: Membership Rewards points tend to be the most valuable when redeemed for travel and transferred to frequent-traveler programs.

How much are The Platinum Card® from American Express points worth?

Depending on what you redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points, they are worth between 0.5 cents and 1 cents apiece. The lowest redemption value of 0.5 cents per point goes on shopping with points, while the highest of 1 cent per point goes for booking flights through American Express Travel and on some gift cards.

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
30,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
$150
Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. Rates & fees
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare American Express travel cards

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name, email, phone number and home address
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your total annual income and source of income

Compare The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. American Express® Gold Card

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make payments on time. Register an account on the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $39 (see rates & fees).
  • Contact customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.

Bottom line

You’ll get the most out of The Platinum Card® from American Express if you travel often. If you don’t, consider a card that offers accelerated rewards in everyday categories.

Ultimately, The Platinum Card® from American Express has a high bar to entry — but it packs premium rewards for those who pay the price of admission. If you can use the Uber, airline-fee and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck® credits, the card effectively pays for itself. And you’ll find stellar benefits that no other card provider offers, such as access to the Centurion® Lounges and Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs. If you’re looking for a high-class travel card, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a superb choice.

Not convinced this is the card for you? Compare other credit cards to find the best one for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

Images: AmericanExpress.com

Travel card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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