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The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APRSee Pay Over Time APR
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Welcome Bonus 80,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership Dollar Equivalent: $1,520 (80,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

Cardholders have access to credits for hotels, digital entertainment, Walmart+, airline fees and more. Those who can use enough credits can offset the hefty annual fee, but otherwise, the value may be out of reach. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

A Premium Card Among Premium Cards

When it comes to credit card benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is nearly unbeatable. Unlike typical credit cards, this card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. And despite an eye-watering annual fee of $695 (see rates and fees), the card offers an incredible amount of value, both in terms of travel and lifestyle benefits (Terms Apply). If you can stomach the card’s high fee and your lifestyle makes it easy to maximize the value of its high-end perks, the American Express Platinum Card may be a great fit.

Pros

  • An excellent card for premium travel and lifestyle perks
  • Access to American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges and more
  • More than $1,500 in statement credits, from hotels, Uber, CLEAR, digital entertainment and more
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels
  • Automatic Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy hotel programs

Cons

  • Very high annual fee
  • "Use it or lose it" benefits, as statement credits don't roll over
  • Long list of coupon-like perks may be hard to keep track of

The Platinum Card® from American Express isn't a standout when it comes to rewards rates, but if you're looking for a card to elevate your crtravel experience and provide solid monthly lifestyle benefits, this one should be on your radar.

Cardholders get access to various monthly and annual credits for things like airline fees, digital entertainment, food delivery, luxury shopping and more. You'll also get special travel-related perks, including airport lounge access, luxury hotel benefits and elite status. Enrollment is required for select benefits. If you're considering the Amex Platinum Card, here's everything you need to know.

Welcome Offer

When you first open an account, you can earn an impressive 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in the first six months of card membership—that's a little over $1,000 in spend per month, which should be easy to achieve for some. 

Depending on how you redeem your welcome offer, it could be worth up to $1,000 with American Express or more if you transfer your points to one of the card issuer's transfer partners, based on our editors' estimations. Keep in mind that if you've earned the welcome offer on an Amex Platinum Card in the past, you won't be eligible to receive it again. American Express has a strict once-per-lifetime rule for welcome offers on its cards.

Rewards Rates

While the card's welcome offer is impressive, it's not a rewards juggernaut in the long term. Cardholders can earn the following:

  • 5X points on flights booked directly with or American Express Travel (up to $500,000 spent per calendar year).
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com.
  • 1X points on other purchases.

Frequent travelers who spend a lot on flights and hotel stays should focus their spending in those areas on this credit card. For other purchases, you're likely better off with a different card with better rewards.

That said, you can mix your points earned with this card with other Membership Rewards point-earning credit cards—pairing it with a card like the American Express® Gold Card can make it easier to rack up points faster.

Annual Fee and APR

The Amex Platinum Card charges a steep $695 annual fee (see rates and fees)—that's one of the higher annual fees on a card that's widely accessible. Prestige cards like The Centurion® Card from American Express charge more, but those are highly exclusive, and most consumers aren't eligible to apply.

If you don't want or can't pay your balance in full each month, you can take advantage of the American Express Pay Over Time service on eligible purchases. You will be charged interest in this case, like you would for any other card.

Pay Over Time

Pay Over Time effectively allows you to treat the card as a standard credit card and carry a balance. The regular APR for Pay Over Time varies depending on your creditworthiness. Purchases and the annual fee are eligible, but you can't pay off cash advances, certain insurance premiums and other Amex fees over time. On top of the interest rate, there may also be a monthly fee of 1.33% for each purchase amount moved over to the payment plan. (See rates and fees).

Other Fees

The card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, but there is a 5% cash advance fee ($10 minimum), as well as a fee of up to $40 for late and returned payments (see rates and fees).

How to Redeem Points

The Membership Rewards program offers serious flexibility with how you can redeem your rewards. Unfortunately, American Express doesn't provide a lot of value with most redemption options. If you want to make the most of your rewards, your best bet is to transfer your points to one of the card issuer's partner airlines.

Here's a list of some ways you can redeem your points and how much they're worth.

Book Travel

You can use your points to book travel directly with the American Express Travel platform. Options include:

Redemption Value Per Point

Flights

1 cent

Fine Hotels & Resorts

1 cent

Prepaid hotels

0.7 cent

Car rentals

0.7 cent

Cruises

0.7 cent

Travel packages

0.7 cent

Excise tax offset fee (for transfers to other programs)

0.5 cent

Statement Credits

If you want to cover charges you've made to your card, you'll get 0.7 cents per point on Fine Hotels & Resorts purchases and 0.6 cents per point on all other purchases.

Pay With Points at Checkout

You can use your rewards points to pay when you're shopping online, donating to charity or even taking a taxi in New York City. Here's a breakdown of your options:

Merchant Value Per Point

Amazon

0.7 cent

Best Buy

0.7 cent

Dell.com

0.7 cent

GrubHub

0.7 cent

JustGiving

0.7 cent

Newegg

0.7 cent

NYC Taxi

1 cent

PayPal

0.7 cent

Rite Aid

0.7 cent

Saks Fifth Avenue

0.7 cent

Seamless.com

0.7 cent

Staples

0.7 cent

Gift Cards

You can redeem your hard-earned points for gift cards with a long list of merchants, with redemption values ranging from 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point, depending on the retailer or restaurant.

Additionally, you can use your points to buy American Express gift cards, which you can use anywhere Amex is accepted. However, the redemption value for this option is a measly 0.5 cents per point.

You can use the Membership Rewards points calculator to get more details on redemption values.

Merchandise

American Express has a catalog of items from several different brands and merchants that you can buy with your points. That said, the redemption value is 0.5 cents per point, making it an option to avoid.

Transfer Your Points

The best way to maximize the value of your American Express points is to transfer them to one of the card issuer's travel partners. Here's a list of both airline and hotel partners, along with the transfer ratio estimates of those points and miles based on Slickdeals' estimations and data from other points and miles experts:

Program Transfer Ratio

Air Lingus AerClub

1:1

Aeromexico Club Premier

1:1.6

Air Canada Aeroplan

1:1

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

1:1

All Nippon Airways ANA Mileage Club

1:1

Avianca LifeMiles

1:1

British Airways Executive Club

1:1

Delta SkyMiles

1:1

Emirates Skywards

1:1

Etihad Guest

1:1

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

1:1

Iberia Plus

1:1

JetBlue TrueBlue

1.25:1

Qantas Frequent Flyer

1:1

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

1:1

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

1:1

Choice Privileges Rewards

1:1

Hilton Honors

1:2

With a savvy redemption, you could get far more value by transferring your points than by redeeming them directly with Membership Rewards. The point valuations can vary, depending on your specific redemption. One of the best ways to make the most out of airline transfers is to book international first-class and business-class flights. 

While Amex does allow you to transfer rewards to hotel programs, you're better off avoiding those unless you're short a few thousand points for a stay with the partner hotel brand and need to top off your account to make it work.

A Card Loaded With Benefits

Worth a Look for Frequent Travelers Who Love Perks

Benefits

Where the Amex Platinum Card really shines is in its suite of credit card benefits. Even if you rarely use the card to get the 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels, you can get far more value from the card's benefits than its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Credits

Note that some of these benefits require that you enroll through your online account before you can use them, so make sure you check before you try to use them:

  • Airline fee credit: Up to $200 each calendar year in statement credits for eligible airline fees, such as checked baggage, in-flight food and drink and Wi-Fi charged by the airline. You can choose one airline each year for which to receive the credits.
  • Uber Cash credit: Up to $200 in Uber Cash credits each calendar year—that's $15 per month for most months and $35 in December. You can use your Uber Cash for U.S. Uber rides or for Uber Eats.
  • Digital entertainment credit: Up to $240 in annual statement credits toward select digital entertainment subscriptions each calendar year. The credit is broken down into $20 per month, and it applies to subscription fees for Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal when you purchase directly and pay with your card.
  • Prepaid hotel credit: Up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year toward prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • Other hotel credits: Book a stay at a property in the Fine Hotels & Resorts brand through Amex Travel and can get benefits such as a $100 experience credit, late checkout, daily breakfast for two and more, depending on the property.
  • Equinox credit: Up to $300 in statement credits each calendar year when you use your Amex Platinum to pay for the Equinox+ digital fitness app or eligible Equinox club memberships.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck benefit: Every four or four-and-a-half years, you can get an application fee credit toward membership in Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue credit: Every six months, cardholders get a $50 credit toward shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com. The credit is available between January and June, then again from July to December.
  • CLEAR Plus membership credit: Each year, receive a credit worth $189 toward membership to CLEAR Plus, which offers expedited security screening and can be used in conjunction with TSA PreCheck.
  • Walmart+ membership credit: When you use your card to pay for a monthly membership with Walmart+, you'll get a monthly statement credit for the subscription, worth up to $155 each year.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Airport Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum Card offers access to more airport lounge networks than any other top-tier travel credit card. Your options include:

  • The Centurion Lounge
  • Escape Lounges - The Centurion Studio Partner
  • Delta Sky Club (must be flying Delta)
  • Lufthansa Lounge
  • The Global Lounge Collection (enrollment is required for select benefits)
  • Priority Pass Select
  • Plaza Premium Lounge

There may be restrictions with some of these lounges, especially with how many guests you can bring with you. Also, the Priority Pass Select membership doesn't include the network's airport restaurant benefit, which is standard for other high-end travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Elite Status

You can enroll to get complimentary Gold status with both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty programs. Benefits vary by program but may include things like premium Wi-Fi, early check-in, late checkout and more. You'll also be able to enroll to get complimentary premium status with Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club, which can give you access to exclusive discounts and complimentary upgrades.

Travel and Shopping Protection

The Platinum Card offers several insurance protections for travel and shopping. That list includes:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance1
  • Trip delay insurance1
  • Baggage insurance2
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance3
  • Purchase protection2
  • Return protection4
  • Extended warranty2
  • Cellphone protection1

Unique Card Designs

In late 2021, the Platinum Card received two new card designs by artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley. Both designs overlay the original Platinum Card design, with Mehretu's design being abstract and Wiley's including flowers and other botanicals.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Comparing the Platinum Card to Other Cards

The Platinum Card is the first premium travel rewards credit card out there, initially launching in 1984. But more recently, other cards have provided competition for frequent travelers.

Credit Card Welcome Offer Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

The Platinum Card® from American Express

80,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership Dollar Equivalent: $1,520 (80,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

$695 1x - 5XPoints More Info

Earn 5X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines up to $500,000 a year or through amextravel.com and prepaid hotels also booked via amextravel.com. You'll also earn 1X point on other purchases.

75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$550 1x - 10xPoints More Info

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one example, offering a $300 annual travel credit, access to airport lounges, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership and more. In terms of benefits, this pales in comparison to the Platinum Card's offering. But the Sapphire Reserve does offer better rewards, such as 10X hotel and rental car reservations through Chase, 5X points on air travel through Chase, 3X points on other travel and dining and 1X point on everything else.

The card also gives you 1.5 cents per point in value on travel redemptions through Chase, plus a 1-cent-per-point cash-back redemption value and the ability to transfer points to other airline and hotel partners. The card's annual fee is $550.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Related Article

Chase Sapphire Reserve Review: 75,000 Bonus Points & Premium Travel Rewards

Read More

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card launched in November 2021. With a $395 annual fee, the card offers a $300 annual travel credit toward Capital One Travel bookings and 10,000 bonus anniversary miles, effectively covering the annual fee. It also offers access to Priority Pass Select and Capital One lounges and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. From a rewards standpoint, it gives you 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One, 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One and 2X miles on everything else.

Again, from a benefits standpoint, the Platinum Card wins this battle. But if you want more flexible travel redemption options—you can book through Capital One, use your card and get a statement credit or transfer your miles to other loyalty programs—and better rewards, the Venture X may be a more solid option.

Information for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was collected independently and not reviewed for accuracy or provided by the credit card issuer.

Is the Amex Platinum Right for You?

The American Express Platinum Card offers a wealth of benefits that outpace the cost of its annual fee. But unless you can make the most of each perk, it might not be enough to make the card worth its cost. 

Carefully consider how you might benefit from the card and whether it's worth the annual fee for you. If you're looking at the Platinum Card, consider pairing it with the American Express® Gold Card to get more rewards value. Before you apply, though, be sure to shop around and consider other top-tier credit cards to determine which one is the best fit for you.

Disclosures

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card-application/apply/prospect/terms/platinum-card/25330-10-0#FeeTable

1 Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

2 Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

3 Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

4 Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

BL

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.