Platinum American Express Review

Platinum AmexThe Platinum Card from American Express is an excellent choice for people who spend more heavily on their credit cards each month and want to earn exceptional travel rewards as well as other high-end perks. It’s true that the annual membership fee of $450 is expensive. But most cardholders feel the rewards more than make up for the yearly charge.

New account holders currently are eligible to earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points after spending at least $3,000 on the Platinum Card from American Express during the first three months of card activation.

For frequent travelers, this card delivers rewards and benefits above and beyond your everyday travel rewards credit cards. These include:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Membership Rewards Program
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Airport Lounge Access and Priority Pass Select
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit

Other valuable benefits offered with the Platinum Card from American Express are:

  • Complimentary benefits at more than 750 Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to American Express Travel
  • Premium Car Rental Program
  • Accommodations at Platinum Villas
  • Premium Global Assist Hotline
  • Platinum Dining Program

Card members earn 2 points per dollar when booking travel through the online American Express travel website. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per dollar. These points can be redeemed for various rewards- entertainment, dining, shopping, and travel. Cardholders have the option of purchasing additional points if their account does not have the necessary total amount for a specific reward.

The Facts

Below we have broken down the specifics of the Platinum Card from American Express to help when deciding if it’s the right card for you.

The Good:

Substantial signup bonus:

New account holders are eligible to earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. To qualify, you must make at least $3,000 in purchases on the card during the first three months of membership (which begins from time of approval). You must also make sure to enroll in the Membership Rewards program to receive these points. The amount of time you have to earn these points can actually be less than three months depending on when you receive your card. Also, purchase dates can vary based on when the merchant submits the transaction.

Fine Hotels and Resorts Program:

Cardholders are eligible to make hotel bookings through the Fine Hotels and Resorts Program and in return, they receive additional benefits and perks. These benefits include room upgrades when available, complimentary breakfast, free night offers, early check-in times as well as guaranteed 4pm check-out, free Wi-Fi (depending upon availability), and resort credits which can be used in restaurants or for spa treatments. Card members who take advantage of this program can receive perks worth potentially thousands of dollars.

Annual $200 Airline Fee Credit:

To be eligible for this reward, card members must enroll and designate one qualifying airline at For this benefit to apply, travelers must charge incidental travel fees to the Platinum Card from American Express. These include: airport lounge day pass fees, baggage fees, flight change fees, and in-flight drinks and food purchases. Upgrades, gift cards, and duty free purchases do not qualify as incidental expenses. Specific terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

Great travel benefits:

The Platinum Card from American Express seriously delivers valuable travel perks to its cardholders. Members receive complimentary airport lounge access to Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and the Centurion Lounges. When they also enroll (at no cost) in Priority Plus Select, card members gain access to over 600 domestic and international airport lounges.

The Membership Rewards Program gives cardholders great flexibility when making their travel plans. Points can be used to book your next trip by simply going online at the American Express Travel website. There you can pay for all or part of your flight, hotel accommodations, vacation or cruise booking with your points. There are no seat restrictions or blackout dates.

No foreign transaction fees:

Card members are never charged foreign transaction fees when making purchases on the Platinum Card from American Express while outside of the U.S. For people who regularly travel abroad, this can result in big savings since many other cards add an additional 2.7% to 3% of the total purchase price on all international purchases.

Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck:

The Platinum Card from American Express gives card members a statement credit every 5 years when they apply for, are approved, and pay for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) with the card. Both of these programs offer expedited screening at select airports. This benefit can substantially reduce wait times while undergoing the security screening process which frequent fliers will greatly appreciate.

The Bad:

Payment in full each billing statement:

There is no annual percentage rate associated with the Platinum Card from American Express. However, the amount of charges for each billing cycle is due in full each month. So while there are no interest charges incurred, account holders can have substantial monthly payments depending on their spending habits.

Airport Lounge Access for card member only:

Card members need only show their Platinum Card from American Express, be enrolled in the Priority Pass program, and show a same-day flight ticket to gain admittance to more than 600 domestic and international lounges. For any travel companions, your card will automatically be charged $27 per guest.

The Ugly:

High annual fee:

At $450, this card has one of the more expensive annual fees. While it does come with a lot of travel rewards and other perks, you should carefully consider if your travel and spending habits will justify the fee.

Not everyone will qualify for the card:

The Platinum Card from American Express is aimed at higher-income applicants with very good to excellent credit.

People who currently have an American Express card account may not be eligible for the Welcome Bonus points offer. Also, applicants who have or previously have had a Platinum card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program are not eligible to receive the signup bonus points offer.