7 Coveted American Express Platinum Benefits All Travelers Should Know

The American Express Platinum Card touts premium perks for well-traveled cardholders.
6 minute read | 5/16/19May 16, 2019
Young woman flying in a premium seat

As competition among premium cards grows, users are scrutinizing sign-up incentives and card benefits, hoping to access unique, high-value experiences. Among this cohort of top luxury cards is The Platinum Card from American Express, or Amex Platinum for short.

If you’re considering this highly rated card, you might be wondering how Amex Platinum compares to its competitors. To help you figure out if this is the right card for you, here’s everything you need to know about Amex Platinum benefits.

Overview: American Express Platinum Card

The personal Platinum Card from American Express is a points-based charge card that is especially valuable if you travel often and like to do so in style.

It demands a hefty $550 annual fee and has zero interest fees. Instead, the limitless card requires you to pay the balance in full each month. There are no foreign transaction fees when using the card abroad, making it a handy companion on international trips.

You’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. 

There are various ways to redeem Amex Platinum Membership Rewards points. You can apply points toward purchases already on your card or use points for:

  • Transfer points to a partner program or book travel via Amex Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise on MembershipRewards.com
  • Online and in-store purchases at participating stores
  • Charitable donations

Amex makes earning and redeeming points convenient through its Membership Rewards program — but the points system is just the beginning of the perks you can receive with this card.

7 attractive Amex Platinum benefits

Although the high annual fee might put off even the most avid travelers, the benefits offer an array of high-value perks that are hard to ignore.

1. Welcome offer (value: up to $600)

If you’re in the market for a new card and expect to make a large purchase or a series of purchases soon after receiving it, the welcome offer might be worthwhile.

New Amex Platinum cardholders can earn 60,000 after spending $5,000 on the card within the first three months of opening the account. If your eligible purchases during this time meet the minimum spending amount, you can expect to see your welcome offer post in your Membership Rewards account within 8 to 12 weeks.

The value of the welcome offer varies, depending on how you redeem your points. For example, purchasing a flight through Pay With Points on American Express Travel is worth $600, while a flight booked through Expedia converts to a $420 value.

2. Saks Fifth Avenue credits (value: $100)

Amex partnered with premium retail store Saks Fifth Avenue to give cardholders $100 in annual shopping credit ($50 credit from January to June, and another $50 credit from July to December). You must enroll in this benefit in order to activate the credits.

Certain purchases don’t apply, such as Saks Fifth Avenue gift cards, in-store restaurant purchases, in-store or online Saks Fifth outlet purchases, and purchases shipped outside of the U.S.

3. Uber credits (value: $200)

Primary cardholders can receive Uber VIP Status and $15 in Uber credit per month on U.S. rides, plus an additional $20 bonus in December. To take advantage of this Amex Platinum perk, make sure you have the most current version of the Uber app on your smartphone and set up your Amex Platinum card as a method of payment.

4. Airline fee credits (value: $200)

Amex Platinum awards loyal flyers with a $200 credit toward an airline of your choice. To activate this benefit, you must select a qualifying airline on Amex. This credit only applies to incidental costs, such as checked baggage fees and in-flight beverages charged on your Amex Platinum card.

To change your airline, you must wait until January, and then either log in to your Amex account online or call the customer service hotline on the back of your card. Credits are applied to eligible purchases based on the airline merchant code used.

5. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit (value: up to $100)

Travelers who are itching to avoid long security lines can receive an application credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This credit renews after 4.5 years or four years, respectively.

To get the statement credit for PreCheck or Global Entry, you must use your Amex Platinum card when paying for your application. This benefit also extends to additional cards under the enrolled account.

6. Access to airport lounges (value: varies by location)

Whether you’re taking a break from busy airport terminals or treating yourself to premium food and beverages, waiting for your flight to board in a comfortable space can make or break your travel experience. With the Amex Platinum card, you’ll have access to one of the largest networks of airport lounges, with over 1,200 locations in more than 130 countries.

In addition to the Amex suite of lounges, like the esteemed Centurion Lounge, guests have access to partner lounges as well, like the Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select Lounge locations.

7. Hotel perks (value: up to $650)

No travel card is complete without additional benefits for hotel stays. When you book a qualified stay at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts using your card, you’ll receive an average $550 worth of convenient benefits. These perks include:

  • Room upgrades
  • Breakfast for you and a guest, daily
  • Late check-out until 4 p.m.
  • Early check-in at noon, if available
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • A complimentary hotel amenity valued at $100, such as a spa visit

Aside from the benefits above, qualifying reservations through Amex’s The Hotel Collection network — which includes hotels like Hilton and Hyatt — also afford you a complimentary room upgrade and a $100 hotel credit toward hotel dining, spa, or other activities on the property. This benefit extends up to three booked rooms in your reservation.

Additional perks to enjoy

The Amex Platinum provides show-stopping benefits, but it also maintains other benefits you’d expect from a premium-tier card. Here are a few more useful benefits you’ll have as a cardholder:

  • Concierge service: Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or want to make reservations at an exclusive restaurant, an Amex Platinum card gives you access to around-the-clock concierge hotline.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Amex Platinum car rental insurance covers loss and damage to eligible rental cars when you decline collision damage coverage through the rental company.
  • Baggage insurance: If your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen, you may be covered for up to $2,000 for checked bags and a total $3,000 for checked and carry-on luggage. A $10,000 aggregate limit applies to New York residents for everyone traveling on a covered trip.
  • Travel accident insurance: If a travel-related accident results in your death, your beneficiaries are protected. Amex covers travel by plane, train, ship, or bus as long as the entire fare was purchased using your Platinum card.
  • Extended warranty protection: New items purchased with your Amex card get an additional two years of extended warranty protection added to original U.S. manufacturer warranties of up to five years.
  • Return protection: If a merchant refuses your return, Amex provides a 90-day return window for eligible purchases up to $300 (excludes shipping and handling). This benefit covers a maximum $1,000 in total returns per calendar year.
  • Purchase protection: Have the peace of mind in knowing that eligible purchases using your Amex Platinum card are protected for up to 120 days from the purchase date. This includes protection in the event of damage, theft, or lost goods.
  • Membership experiences: Get first dibs on presale tickets to music concerts, events, and shows. The card also provides access to preferred seating at special events.
  • Premium roadside assistance: Four times a year, Amex will cover 24/7 roadside assistance, in case you get a flat tire on the road, require a towing service, or need to jumpstart your battery.

The Amex Platinum card could be a good fit for you and your lifestyle, depending on your travel habits and how actively you take advantage of the perks. One thing is for certain, this card offers some of the most luxurious perks in the industry.

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