American Express Platinum Card for Schwab Review: Luxury Benefits and Schwab Deposits [2020]

The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab has your favorite Amex benefits, plus an added bonus for Schwab investors.
Last updated Oct 14, 2020 | By Ben Walker

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The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best travel credit cards available. With the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab, you get all the benefits of the hugely popular Amex Platinum, plus additional perks thanks to the Charles Schwab partnership.

In this American Express Platinum Card for Schwab review, we’ll cover who this card is best for, its benefits and drawbacks, and the best ways to earn and redeem your rewards. This will help you decide whether the Amex Platinum for Schwab deserves a spot in your wallet.

Use Your Rewards to Amplify Your Investments

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Benefits

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points
  • Up to 5X points on eligible purchases
  • Redeem rewards as a deposit into your Schwab account
  • Luxury travel perks
  • Terms apply

Drawbacks

  • Must pay balances in full since it is a charge card
  • Has annual fee

Jump To

Who should get the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab?

The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab is an excellent card choice if you’re interested in earning Amex Membership Rewards points. These points can typically be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel, gift cards, statement credits, and online shopping purchases. However, because this card is co-branded with Charles Schwab, you also get the added bonus of redeeming your points for deposits directly into an eligible account.

In addition, the Amex Platinum for Schwab provides loads of value for frequent travelers. You receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership and free access to Amex Centurion Lounges. You also receive up to $200 in annual airline fee credits each year and up to $200 in annual Uber Cash credits.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer American Express
Annual fee $550
Welcome offer Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months
Reward rate 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
  • High earning potential: Earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • Schwab benefits: Cardholders can redeem their points for deposits into an eligible Schwab account. You can also receive up to $200 in annual statement credits each year. Receive $100 credit for qualifying Schwab Holdings worth $250,000 or $200 credit for qualifying Schwab Holdings worth $1 million or more.
  • Premium travel benefits: Access both Priority Pass lounges and Amex Centurion Lounges for free. Receive complimentary TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement. Also receive automatic Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
  • Annual credits: Receive up to $200 in annual airline fee credits for the airline of your choice and up to $200 in annual Uber Cash to use through the Uber app.
  • Travel insurance: Cardmembers receive trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance, and car rental insurance.
  • Purchase protection: Receive purchase protection and extended warranty benefits for eligible purchases.

Drawbacks to the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

  • High annual fee: The Amex Platinum for Schwab has a $550 annual fee, which is one of the highest you’ll see on most credit cards. The benefits and rewards can more than make up for the fee, but only if you’re using the card enough to get value from it.
  • Limited travel credit: Annual travel credits are nice, but the $200 annual airline fee credits you get with this card can only be used with one qualifying airline each calendar year. This limits its uses if you fly multiple airlines.
  • Schwab requirement: This card is available only if you maintain an eligible Schwab account. This makes sense, but it could pose an issue if you ever closed your linked Schwab account.

Earning and redeeming Amex Membership Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $585

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the welcome offer, and the annual fee.

In addition to the year one earnings above, Amex Platinum cardholders can also receive several annual credits. These include up to $200 in statement credits for airline fees, $200 in Uber credits, $100 in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue, and up to $100 in hotel credits on qualifying charges at select hotels. If you factor these credits in, year one value can increase to $1,185. You can also get even more value for this card if you take advantage of the complimentary benefits at airport lounges.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn rewards with your American Express Platinum Card for Schwab is by using it to make travel purchases that fall within the card’s bonus category. Specifically, any flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and eligible hotels booked with American Express Travel. Because this is the only bonus category available on the Amex Platinum for Schwab, all other types of purchases wouldn’t provide anything more than average earning potential.

Categories Rewards rate
Flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and eligible hotels booked with American Express Travel 5X
All other eligible purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

With Amex Membership Rewards points, it’s easy to find a redemption option that suits your financial needs. However, not every redemption offers the same value for your points.

For instance, here’s how much value you can expect when using 10,000 Membership Rewards points on these redemptions:

Redemption Value of 10,000 points
Using the Amex shopping portal $50
Covering card charges $60
Shopping on Amazon.com $70
Gift cards Up to $100
Booking flights through Amex Travel $100
Transferring points to travel partner companies Variable
Making Schwab deposits $125

Note: The potential value of transferring 10,000 points to travel partner companies can be well over $100, but it depends on which partner you transfer to and how those points are then used.

As you can see, travel-related redemptions are easily some of the best options when it comes to maximizing your redemptions. Shopping and covering your card charges offer a lot less value and should generally be avoided. However, cashing out your points through Schwab presents a unique opportunity to earn decent value from your rewards. If you compare credit cards, there aren’t many options out there with a benefit like this.

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab transfer partners

Because American Express partners with many other companies, this opens up redemption options for your Membership Rewards points. Consider using Amex transfer partners if you’d rather use your points to book travel directly with another loyalty program.

Keep in mind, once you’ve transferred your points to another program, they can’t be transferred back. Amex transfer partners include these airline loyalty programs:

  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest Miles
  • Finnair Plus
  • Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Scandanavian Airlines (SAS) EuroBonus
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

If you’re interested in hotel stays, Amex also partners with these hotel programs:

  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Radisson Rewards

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab FAQs

Is the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab worth it?

If you’re looking for a premium travel card from one of the top credit card companies in the world, the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab is well worth it. It has the same benefits as the Platinum Card from American Express and the added perk of being able to redeem your points for deposits into eligible Schwab accounts.

What credit score do you need for the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab?

You likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab. Good scores typically start around 670 while excellent scores start around 800.

How do you get an Amex Platinum for Schwab credit card?

You can apply for an Amex Platinum for Schwab credit card directly from the Schwab Platinum Card website. To apply, you’ll need an existing Charles Schwab account.

What’s the difference between the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab and The American Express Platinum Card?

The difference between The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab and The American Express Platinum card is the partnership American Express has with Schwab on the former card. This partnership provides Amex Platinum for Schwab cardholders with additional benefits, including an option to redeem points for deposits into an eligible Schwab account.

You can also receive $100 in annual statement credits to your Schwab account if your Schwab Holdings are greater than $250,000, or $200 if your Schwab Holdings are greater than $1,000,000.

Can you get the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab fee waived?

You can get the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab $550 annual fee waived through Amex military benefits or a retention offer, which some issuers may provide to keep you as a customer. If you’re an active-duty military member or about to enter active-duty military service, check the Amex SCRA page for information on benefits that may be available to you, including waived fees on Amex credit cards.

If you don’t qualify for waived fees through military service and don’t want to pay the $550 annual fee, you can always call into Amex customer service and see whether any retention offers are available for you. Amex will sometimes offer to waive or reduce your fees if you’re thinking about canceling your card.

Other cards to consider

The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab is an amazing travel credit card with fantastic benefits and high-quality rewards. It may not fit everyone’s financial needs and goals, though. For other card options, consider the American Express Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The American Express Gold Card also earns valuable Membership Rewards points, though at a rate of 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases. With these bonus categories, you open up your earning potential on everyday purchases. Plus, the annual fee is only $250.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is very similar to the Amex Platinum for Schwab, except this card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else. You also get valuable benefits like $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, and travel insurance. If you’re able to take advantage of these benefits, they should be more than enough value to offset the $550 annual fee.

Use Your Rewards to Amplify Your Investments

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Special Offer

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months

See how these cards compare:

American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • High rewards rate in certain categories
  • Up to $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and at restaurants
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access