The Platinum Card® from American Express boasts a unique experience with exceptional services and rewards. It offers 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. It also pays up to 5x points per dollar spent on select travel purchases. And it comes with a wide range of travel and other benefits. We’ll break it down and to help determine if these benefits are worth the hefty $550 annual fee in this detailed review of the card.
The The Platinum Card® from American Express is among a select few elite card offers. It offers exceptional member service which is available 24/7. The card also offers 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines, as well as prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Add to that no foreign transaction fees and a slew of credits, and this card is ideal for those who love to travel.
American Express Platinum Rewards Review
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers several ways to earn rewards:
Welcome Bonus: The Platinum Card gives 75,000 Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus when you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months. The value of these Membership Rewards points depends on how you choose to redeem them.
For example, 60,000 Membership Rewards points would worth the following:-
- $600 gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond
- $420 gift card to Starbucks
- $360 statement credit
- $600 flight through American Express Travel
- $420 hotel through American Express Travel
- 60,000 Delta Skymiles
Note that these values can and do change over time.
Everyday Spending: With the Platinum Card you earn Membership Rewards points with every purchase:
- 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel
- 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
- 2x points using amextravel.com
- 1x for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases
There are many ways you can redeem your points for rewards. Keep in mind that the value of the points varies based on how they are redeemed.
Transfer points to eligible airline and hotel loyalty programs. Here is a list of some of the different loyalty programs and point conversion rates:
Air & Lodging
- Air France KLM: 1,000 points = 1,000 Flying Blue Award Miles
- British Airways: 1,000 = 1,000 Avios
- Delta Air Lines: 1,000 = 1,000 miles
- El Al Israel Airlines: 1,000 = 20 Matmid points
- Emirates: 1,000 = 1,000 Skywards Miles
- Jetblue Airways: 250 = 200 TrueBlue points
- Virgin Atlantic Airways: 1,000 = 1,000 Flying Club miles
- Choice Privileges: 1,000 = 1,000 Choice Privileges
- Hilton Honors: 1,000 = 2,000 Hilton Honors Points
- Marriott Bonvoy: 1,000 = 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points
Each loyalty program is subject to change without notice.
There are three steps to transfer the points. First, link your loyalty account to your Membership Rewards, which you can do through the Amex website. This gives access to your points.
Second, choose the amount of points to transfer. Here you will want to make sure you check availability and points needed for your planned travel before completing a transfer, especially for booking a flight or hotel room. All transfers are final so researching beforehand can be very helpful and save you frustration in the end.
Third, redeem the points or miles with the provider. You will need to check your loyalty program account to confirm the points have been successfully transferred, then redeem directly with the loyalty program.
Certificates and gift cards
Redeem gift cards from choices such as air and lodging, car service, retail, and American Express gift cards. For 10,000 membership rewards points you could get up to $100 from several choice retailers. Here are several examples of what 10,000 points could get you from the mentioned categories.
Air and Lodging
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts $85
- Carnival Corporation $100
- Delta $70
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts $100
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts $70
- Hilton $85
- Hotels.com $70
- Marriott $70
- The Ritz-Carlton $70
American Express Gift Cards
- Any Design $50
- Uber $70
- Bahama Breeze $100
- Bonefish Grill $85
- Carabba’s Italian Grill $85
- California Pizza Kitchen $100
- Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen $100
- Chili’s Grill & Bar $100
- Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar $85
- Longhorn Steakhouse $100
- Maggiano’s Little Italy $100
- Morton’s The Steakhouse $100
- Olive Garden $100
- Outback Steakhouse $85
- Panera Bread $85
- Starbucks Card $70
- The Cheesecake Factory $85
- Yard House $100
- App Store & iTunes $85
- Banana Republic $100
- Barnes & Noble $100
- Bath & Body Works $100
- Bed Bath & Beyond $100
- Best Buy $70
- Buybuy Baby $100
- Coach $100
- Crate and Barrel $100
- Gap $100
- Macy’s $85
- Neiman Marcus $100
- Nike $100
- Nordstrom $85
- Old Navy $100
- REI $100
- Saks Fifth Avenue $100
- Sam’s Club $70
- Sephora $85
- Staples $100
- Target GiftCard $70
- The Home Depot $100
- Tiffany & Co. $100
- TJX Multi-Brand $85
- Victoria’s Secret $100
- Walmart $70
- Zappos.com $100
- Aspen Snowmass $70
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort $100
- Regal Cinemas Gift Card $85
Vouchers are also available for redemption, however, they are partner dependent. This means that the voucher reward partners determine the value their vouchers provide. You will need to check with the voucher partner to find out specific details and exemptions. For AMC Theaters, for example, 9,188 points could get you 4 AMC tickets and a $25 gift card. It comes as a certificate and the point value given could change at any time based on the partner.
Pay With Points
You can use points to shop at various retailers including Best Buy, Boxed, Expedia, Grubhub, NYC Taxi, PayPal, Ticketmaster and Walmart. To use Pay With Points at Best Buy, for example, enter your eligible American Express Platinum card when checking out on BestBuy.com. You will need to click on “See Points Balance” to see your available points and the dollar value equivalency. Enter the dollar amount of points you want to use and place your order.
Expedia lets you use points to offset all or a portion of your booking total on flights, car rentals, activities, packages or pre-paid hotels on expedia.com when you select the option to pay online. Cruises and the pay later payment option are exclusions. While it is still advertised, pay with points is currently unavailable for Ticketmaster.com.
To cover a Ticketmaster charge with Pay with Points you will need to call 1-800-AXP-EARN. For all retailers, redemption options and point values are subject to change at any time. If you have more than one eligible card account linked to your membership rewards account, the value of points you receive will be the card that provides the highest point value. The minimum redemption is 5,000 points.
Use your membership rewards points to shop at Amazon.com and have everything shipped to your door. First, you’ll need to create or sign into your Amazon.com account. Go to www.amazon.com/membershiprewards to complete registration.
Second, link your Membership rewards account to your Amazon.com account. There are instructions to guide you through how to link your account. Lastly, use your points to shop. Using your points can cover all or part of your purchases.
You have total control over how many rewards points you use. The points that are applied to your order will be deducted from your order total and displayed as Rewards Points in the Order Summer according to Amazon.com.
NYC Taxi lets you use pay with points so you can get around the city faster. You must have enough membership rewards points in your account to cover both total fare and tip. The payment option “Use Points” will not appear unless you have enough points. All you do is swipe your eligible Platinum card and you will see the point balance and what is needed for the ride. If you have enough you will select the option “Use Points”. NYC Taxi pay with points is only available in New York City.
Cover Your Card Charges
If you have a Corporate Card account or additional card members, this option is not available. “You must have at least 1,000 available points in your account and points will only go towards the entire amount of an eligible charge,” according to American Express. You will need to look over your current online statement to view your eligible charges. When you select an eligible charge a checkmark will appear. By clicking on “Redeem Now” you will see a credit appear on your statement within 48 hours. You cannot use your points to cover a past due charge, or have a returned payment outstanding. According to Amex, “[t]he charge must have occurred in the U.S or in a U.S. territory. You cannot use a disputed charge with your points. All charges must be at least $1 to cover your charges.”
While paying your card charges with points is convenient, it doesn’t offer the best value. A statement credit is worth just 0.6 cents per point. Redeeming points for travel or transferring points to an airline offer much higher values.
American Express Benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers an abundance of benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:
Purchase Protection: This protection covers you if a product you purchased using The Platinum Card® from American Express is damaged. The coverage is up to $10,000 for any one covered incident and up to $50,000 for all covered incidents per card member during a calendar year for the lesser of the cost to repair, replace or reimburse the item. Yes, that’s a lot of lawyer-speak, which means it’s important to read the coverage terms and conditions carefully.
For example, a covered incident because of a natural disaster will have a maximum per occurrence limit of $500 for any one covered incident. The purchase will be covered for 120 days from the date of purchase. For more information you can go here to see the list of states where the terms and conditions are different.
Uber VIP Status: Receive VIP status and $15 each month in Uber Cash for U.S rides on your Uber account when you use your Uber Rides with Platinum. You even get a $20 bonus in December. To receive this benefit you must have downloaded the Uber App version 3.363.10000 or later for iOS or version 4.274.10000 or later for Android.
Your eligible Platinum card must be the method of payment in your Uber account. It takes up to 24 hours for the American Express benefit to become available in Uber Cash once your card has been added. The benefit will not apply to previous Uber transactions and cannot be used when paying with an UberFAMILY profile.
Your benefit can be applied to all Uber car types and UberEATS orders. There is no limit of how many transactions you apply your American Express benefit, but it will only cover up to $15 per month. In December, the total goes up to $35.
The Global Lounge Collection: Traveling becomes luxurious with The Platinum Card® from American Express as it features access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries. Featuring worldwide coverage due to American Express’ own networks such as, The Centurion Lounge and The International American Express lounges. The Centurion Lounge has unlimited complimentary to all locations. Card members are allowed to bring up to two people with them.
You must present your valid card, a boarding pass showing a confirmed reservation for same day travel, and a government issued ID. Without these three items you could be denied access to the luxurious experience. One must be 18 years old to enter without a parent or legal guardian. Those locations with a self service bar, the card member must be of legal drinking age to consume alcoholic beverages.
Fine Hotels & Resorts: Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with fine hotels and resorts. There is a three room limit per card member per stay; back to back stays within 24 hours at the same property would be considered one stay. The amount is averaged for 2018 bookings for stays of two nights. Benefits would include daily breakfast for two, room upgrade when available, property amenities valued at $100, guaranteed 4PM late checkout, noon check-in when available, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hotel Collection: Receive a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and other resort activities when staying for at least two consecutive nights. A room upgrade will be given upon arrival if available. Payment must be made in full to be eligible. The eligible card member will receive hotel credit upon checkout equal to $1 for each eligible dollar spent, up to $100. It does not include taxes, gratuities, fees and cost of the room. The credit expires at check out.
Platinum Travel Service: Travel counselors specialize in providing “custom itineraries and tailored recommendations” to help make the most of traveling for wherever you may go. Personalized Travel Service is provided by third party franchises so fees may apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status: Enroll in the complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. With this elite status, you will receive upgrades to enhanced rooms upon check-in when available. Marriott Bonvoy amenities may not be combined with the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Any reservations made through third parties and online booking sources are not eligible.
Hilton Honors Gold Status: Enroll to receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status.
No Forgein Transaction Fees: While American Express will not charge any foreign transaction fees, ATMs or merchants could charge a fee on foreign transactions.
Premium Access: Receive complimentary membership in premium car rental programs which include special upgrades and discounts. Benefits are subject to each car companies terms and conditions including age restriction and requires enrollment to receive benefits. When using an eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the car rental counter, you can still be covered if the car is damaged or stolen.
Premium Global Assist Hotline: If you are traveling more than 100 miles from home, Premium Global Assist Hotline gives you access to 24/7 medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services. Emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost with authorization and arrangements by Premium global assist hotline.
Shop Saks with Platinum: You could get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue when you use your Platinum card. According to Amex, “each card account is only eligible for up to $50 statement credit from January to June and up to a $50 statement credit from July to December”. It is not valid on Saks Fifth Avenue Gift cards or purchases at outlet locations, including online.
Platinum Concierge: Receive complementary assistance 24/7 making arrangements such as for dinner, tickets to events or finding a gift for friends or family. There is no cost for services performed on your behalf. You are responsible for any purchases, fees or shipping charges you authorize to be charged to your account. The service is not responsible for notifying a restaurant of food allergies when suggesting or making reservations at restaurants.
By Invitation Only: Get RSVP events tailored for you, such as sporting events, fashion forward runways, and fine dining experiences.
Preferred seating: Gain access to premium seats for “select cultural and sporting events.” Tickets are available through American Express Preferred Seating Program.
How Much Are American Express Membership Rewards Points Worth?
The value of Membership Rewards points varies based on how you spend them. For some retailers they offer more dollar value for the same amount of points than another retailer. For some retailers 20,000 points will get you $140 in a gift card, but for cover your charge it could only be up to $120. Generally, points are most valuable when used to book travel through American Express or transferred to one of Amex’s travel partners.
Will American Express Platinum waive the annual fee?
Yes, but only for members of the Armed Forces. The Military Lending Act provides these protections. Otherwise, Amex will not waive the fee.
Is Amex Platinum or Gold better?
It depends on if you’d like more benefits for dining or travel. The platinum is beneficial to those who are on the go and travel a lot. The gold card is more in sync with those who prefer fine arts and dining experiences.
A noticeable difference is cost. The Gold Card has an annual membership fee of $250, while the Platinum card’s annual fee is $550.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is ideal for those who travel, whether for leisure or business. Based on the benefits and rewards for travel, you could travel in style with utilizing the Global Lounge Collection and earn points booking with amextravel.com. The card provides a unique experience with exceptional service and rewards.