The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium card with a $695 annual fee, which is high compared to most travel credit cards.
But the cost could be worth it if you get enough value from the Amex Platinum Card’s rewards and benefits, including airport lounge access, elite status with different loyalty programs, and enough value each year from other perks (select benefits require enrollment).
Let’s see if the Amex Platinum is worth the $695 yearly fee by exploring how useful its benefits might be for you.
American Express Platinum annual fee and rewards
The American Express Platinum Card has a $695 annual fee and provides 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
You can also earn this welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months.
Read our full American Express Platinum review
When the American Express Platinum yearly fee is worth it
The American Express Platinum $695 yearly fee is worth it if you can earn enough value from the card’s welcome offer, rewards, and benefits, which more than offset the cost. This could be done through a combination of these three factors, or you might earn enough value from only one factor.
Let’s say you earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points through a new cardmember welcome offer. That could be worth at least $800 if redeemed for flights through American Express Travel (amextravel.com), which more than offsets the $695 annual fee, without including any value you might receive from earning rewards or using card benefits.
You can earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
The earning rate itself isn’t likely to provide enough rewards each year for most cardmembers to offset the $695 annual fee before accounting for a welcome offer or other card benefits. But it’s possible if you spend enough, typically over $10,000 per year, depending on the categories.
Perks and benefits
The Amex Platinum’s card benefits are likely the easiest way to help offset the $695 annual fee each year. Some of these benefits include:
- Up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year when incidental fees on one qualifying airline are charged to your card
- Up to $200 ($15 monthly plus $20 in December) annual Uber Cash
- Up to $240 ($20 back per month) annual digital entertainment credit for eligible purchases made with Audible, Disney+, the Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times
- Up to $200 hotel credit in annual statement credits for prepaid Amex Travel bookings through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection (requires a minimum 2-night stay)
- Up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit
- Up to $155 and applicable local sales tax per year Walmart+ credit
- Up to $100 ($50 semi-annually) annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (only one credit every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck)
- Up to $300 Equinox credit offered in statement credits each year on a digital or club membership at Equinox
(Select benefits require enrollment.)
These benefits alone easily offset the $695 annual fee and provide additional value on top.
When the American Express Platinum yearly fee is not worth it
The American Express Platinum $695 yearly fee isn’t worth it if you can’t earn enough value each year from the card’s welcome offer, rewards rate, and benefits.
Keep in mind that you likely won’t be earning any welcome offers after the first year of being a cardmember, so it comes down to whether you spend enough on the card each year and/or can take advantage of the card’s benefits.
In general, spending over $10,000 on the Amex Platinum each year might not make sense for every cardholder trying to offset the $695 annual fee. And the range of Amex Platinum benefits won’t be the best fit for every situation.
For example, you might not travel enough to use the available airport lounge access benefits, or you might not find value with the Walmart+ credit because you don’t shop at Walmart. And receiving up to $200 in Uber Cash each year might not actually be worth $200 to you. That’s because if you use Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders, the prices are often higher on Uber Eats than they would be if you ordered directly from the restaurant or store. (Select benefits require enrollment.)
If you consistently find Amex Platinum benefits don’t align with your travel habits or lifestyle, it could be difficult to offset the $695 annual fee. In many situations, the Amex Platinum won’t be worth it.
If that’s the case for you, consider other options on our list of the best travel credit cards. Most of these cards have lower annual fees and don’t require as much effort to get value from card benefits.
American Express Platinum other benefits and perks
There are loads of Amex Platinum benefits, including benefits that don’t necessarily have a set value. For example, how much value would you put on airport lounge access or having Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status? (Select benefits require enrollment.)
Here are some Amex Platinum benefits that could range in value depending on the situation.
Airport lounge access
The Amex Platinum provides access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes access to over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, including these lounge networks:
- The Centurion Network, including The Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounges - The Centurion Studio Partner
- Delta Sky Club
- Lufthansa Lounge
- Priority Pass (requires enrollment)
The value of an airport lounge access benefit goes up the more you use it, but it’s still hard to put a price on it. For example, buying a similar Priority Pass membership for a year costs over $400, and an individual Delta Sky Club annual membership costs $695.
So is this Amex Platinum benefit worth over $1,000? Maybe. It depends on how often you use the benefit. If you’re using it multiple times a month, you could be getting hundreds of dollars’ worth of value from food, beverages, and general relaxation in airport lounges. But using an airport lounge once or twice a year could mean a lot less value.
As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you can receive these elite status benefits:
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Hilton Honors Gold status
- Avis Preferred elite status
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards elite status
- National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive elite status
- (Select benefits require enrollment)
The value of receiving elite status with these different hotel and car rental loyalty programs depends on how often you book travel with the associated companies. Even if you tend to frequently use any of these programs, the value also depends on the specific situation.
For example, Hilton Honors Gold elite status provides space-available room upgrades and daily food and beverage credit (or continental breakfast) depending on the brand and region. Depending on the hotel and its location, you might not receive either of those benefits on a stay, or you might receive both.
But the value you personally receive from getting a breakfast credit or a room upgrade varies. And so it goes with many other similar benefits related to having a certain level of elite status with different loyalty programs.
In general, the levels of elite status you can receive with the Amex Platinum aren’t the highest, so you shouldn’t expect the best available benefits. But getting a complimentary car rental upgrade, hotel room upgrade, or late checkout could still offer plenty of value.
Travel and purchase insurance
Credit card travel insurance and purchase protections are typically useful only if you actually have to use them or if they help you avoid having to pay for another type of insurance. The Amex Platinum provides these types of insurance and protections:
- Car rental loss and damage insurance1
- Trip delay insurance2
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance3
- Return protection4
- Purchase protection5
- Extended warranty6
- Cell phone protection7
The actual value of each type of coverage or protection varies. As an example, you could receive up to $800 for a successful cell phone protection claim, subject to a $50 deductible and limited to two claims per 12-month period.
Is Amex Platinum worth it after a year?
It depends on if you get enough value from its benefits to more than offset the $695 annual fee. This isn’t too difficult, considering you could receive value from the many perks and credits available to Amex Platinum cardholders.
But you also have to consider whether you would be using some of those benefits in the first place, such as the up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit or the up to $100 in annual statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (select benefits require enrollment).
If you’re using only some of these services because you have an Amex Platinum card, it’s likely time to consider whether the card is worth it for you.
How much should you earn a year for Amex Platinum?
There’s no official income requirement to qualify for the Amex Platinum, but it’s typically seen as a card for people with high incomes. For example, the Departures magazine is for Amex Platinum card members, and a recent survey shows that the magazine’s readers’ average annual household income is $330,000.
For more options, check out available American Express credit cards.
Are there other travel credit cards with a lower annual fee?
There are plenty of travel credit cards with no annual fees and travel cards that have reasonable annual fees. Here are some of our recommended options:
The Amex Platinum $695 annual fee is likely worth it if you can easily take advantage of the card’s many premium travel perks and benefits. This could include using different credits to help offset the cost, but it helps to frequently use the benefits, such as airport lounge access and elite status with different loyalty programs (select benefits require enrollment).
The Amex Platinum $695 yearly fee likely isn’t worth it if you’re not a frequent traveler or you don’t get much value from the card’s various annual credits.
For more of our recommended options, compare credit cards to find the right card offer for you.
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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
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