American Express Platinum Card® Review

Best for: frequent travelers looking for a luxury experience

If you appreciate the finer things in life, you’ll appreciate the massive array of perks that come with The Platinum Card® from American Express. But while the best things in life might be free, those Amex perks are certainly not. Be prepared to pay $550 a year for your Platinum Card.

The basics of The Platinum Card® from Amex

  • APR: The Platinum Card is a charge card, so your balance is due in full each month. If you need cash advances, the APR is 27.49% (that APR varies with the market based on the Prime Rate).
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Reward Rates: Earn one Membership Rewards® Point for every dollar you spend, plus 5X Membership Rewards Points on flights and prepaid hotels.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points when you make $5,000 in purchases with your card in the first three months.

The Platinum Card’s standout features

  • Flight perks: Your card gives you up to $200 per year in credit towards airline fees and the cost of Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. Plus, you get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection at airports across the world so you can relax in style as you wait for your flight.
  • Uber Cash: The Platinum Card gives you $15 in Uber Cash each month, plus $20 in bonus Uber Cash in December.
  • Purchase Protection: American Express protects some purchases against damage, loss and theft. Plus, they offer return protection if the seller won’t let you return an eligible item within 90 days and extended warranties on eligible items.
  • Hotel Perks: Get benefits like free breakfast and room upgrades at Amex-designated Fine Hotels & Resorts. Your card also gives you $100 hotel credit when you use it to book any property within Amex’s The Hotel Collection. And it unlocks both Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status without you having to meet any minimum stay requirements.
  • Spend Abroad: There are no foreign transaction fees with this credit card.

The best way to use The Platinum Card from American Express

When you review The Platinum Card against your other credit card options, the first major differentiator is that relatively hefty annual membership fee. But if you travel regularly, it can more than pay for itself. Take just one trip a quarter where you score the $100 hotel credit at a hotel from The Hotel Collection. Then, use the full $200 of Uber Cash allotted to you throughout the year. In just two easy steps, your annual fee is paid.

The trick here is to make sure that any time you’re booking travel, you’re doing so through American Express. To make life easier for yourself, use their website to book whenever possible. And choose your favorite airline and stick with it whenever you can, since The Platinum Card only offers the $200 of annual airline fee credit towards a single airline of your choosing.   

Good news: if you have questions, the American Express Member Services team is there to help. They’re famous for their quality, easy-to-access, 24/7 live customer service and are generally more than happy to walk you through booking your travel to maximize your rewards and benefits.

In a nutshell

If you’re not a frequent traveler, the $550 annual membership fee required by The Platinum Card is probably a deal-breaker. But if you regularly hit the road and you want to travel in style, the multitude of benefits — from access to over 1,200 airport lounges to credit at select hotels and credit for your TSA Pre✓ costs — more than make up for that once-a-year expense. 

Plus, you get all of the other benefits that have long made Amex the go-to for premium credit card options. Those include 24/7 access to their Member Services team, protection for eligible purchases, rewards points for every dollar you spend and more. 

If this would be your first credit card, it makes sense to look elsewhere. But if you’re ready to experience the finer things in life courtesy of your plastic, The Platinum Card from American Express is calling your name. 

Kacie Goff

Personal finance writer and founder of Jot Content, a full-service content agency.

Kacie lives in Ventura, CA, with her husband and dingo-lookalike dog, Babou. When she’s not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, working in her garden or scoping out a new happy hour. Learn more at jotcontent.com.