Platinum Card® from American Express review: Worth the fee for frequent travelers

Platinum Card® from American Express review: Worth the fee for frequent travelers

That is the most typical query I’ve been requested within the 5 years since I’ve had the cardboard. 

As somebody who travels lots all year long—and the previous editor in chief of a factors and miles rewards website and the present chief of Fortune Recommends—I’ve researched and tried many bank cards. And the Platinum card is constantly my prime suggestion to pals, household, and acquaintances. 

The explanation? I’ve discovered that my Platinum card greater than pays for itself by way of the journey rewards. Advantages like airport lounge entry and an annual $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit score to get by way of safety extra shortly reduces stress and makes my journey experiences extra nice. 

Admittedly, I used to be initially drawn to the cardboard for superficial causes; it’s shiny and feels deliciously heavy in comparison with different playing cards. However the journey perks are why I’ve caught with it over time, regardless of the $695 annual payment. 

To view charges and charges of The Platinum Card® from American Categorical, see this web page.

How I earn factors

This card provides a welcome bonus to earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® factors after you spend $6,000 on purchases inside your first six months of card membership. I didn’t get to money in on this provide once I signed up, however based mostly on my expertise, this many miles might earn you two home flights on Delta, my airline of selection. 

You’ll additionally earn:

  1. 5x Membership Rewards® factors for flights booked straight with airways or with American Categorical Journey, as much as $500,000 on these purchases per calendar yr
  2. 5x Membership Rewards® factors on eligible pay as you go motels booked with American Categorical Journey
  3. 1x Membership Rewards® factors on all different purchases

These rewards are best-suited for frequent vacationers. For those who don’t journey a lot, the cardboard most likely isn’t definitely worth the payment. 

Personally, I fly 20 or extra instances a yr between visiting Fortune’s New York workplace, flying to certainly one of our many conferences, attending pals’ bachelorette events and weddings, and visiting household. Utilizing my Platinum card for reserving journey has allowed me to rack up quite a lot of factors. 

Redemption Choices:

The Platinum Card® from American Categorical provides many choices for cashing in in your Membership Rewards Factors. 

1. Commerce in factors for miles on the airline or resort of your selection. 

  • The American Categorical portal makes it straightforward to swap out factors for miles, with a wide variety of companions. 
  • Airways usually provide a 1:1 conversion for factors, however some provide higher offers. As an example, Aeroméxico provides 1,600 factors for each 1,000 you commerce in. 
  • You may as well switch your factors to a resort rewards program. Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy are each choices.

Reserving air journey is my favourite manner to make use of Membership Rewards® factors. It’s very satisfying to e-book a flight for as little as $12 paying solely taxes and charges. 

On Delta, my favourite airline, you possibly can commerce within the introductory provide factors for 80,000 miles. In my expertise, that’s simply sufficient for 2 home flights. 

Notably, Hilton Honors is providing 2,000 factors for each 1,000 you commerce in proper now. That will web you 160,000 factors with the introductory provide—a money reserving worth of about $800, in accordance with present provides on the positioning. 

2. E book journey straight by way of American Categorical

You may as well e-book journey straight by way of, or by way of the Membership Rewards Portal’s Lodge Assortment. 

This selection can permit you to bundle your airline and resort, making it potential to web a greater deal than reserving them individually. 

3. Pay with factors at checkout 

Itemizing your Platinum card as a fee methodology will robotically allow you to use rewards factors at taking part retailers like Amazon, Greatest Purchase, PayPal, and Seamless. 

Membership Rewards factors are price 0.7 cents on Amazon. Which means the 80,000 introductory provide would web you about $560 price of merchandise. 

A number of instances I’ve checked out at Amazon and was pleasantly stunned to see “pay with factors” as a fee choice. Most lately, I ordered some items and paid with factors, making my complete $0. 

4. Buying and reward playing cards 

American Categorical’ Membership Rewards portal helps you to buy merchandise and reward playing cards together with your factors with retailers like Apple, Sony, Sephora, and Greatest Purchase. 

This works extra like a factors retailer than a daily retailer, and it’s best to do the maths to see for those who’re getting an excellent worth. 

It’s totally different in that the pay with factors works on the precise web site, whereas store with factors is a particular portal on Amex that generally has sure merchandise, offers, and provides. 

You would possibly get a greater deal buying on this portal than with the basic pay with factors. As an example, I might purchase an Apple watch utilizing Store with Factors for 79,800 factors by way of the portal. But when I went to the Apple retailer and purchased a watch, I couldn’t pay with factors at checkout. 

5. Cowl your card prices 

One other factor I actually like about this card: You possibly can choose earlier card prices to cowl with factors. Most specialists advise towards this as a result of it tends to be a worse worth than different level redemptions. 

My journey expertise is significantly better with the Platinum Card

My favourite factor concerning the Platinum card is having airport lounge entry.

Earlier than I might get into lounges, my choices for killing time on the airport had been to: purchase overpriced meals and attempt to discover a seat on the gate or sit down at an overpriced restaurant and stress about getting my meals and verify in time for the flight. 

Lounges are a game-changer. I normally go to the Delta Sky Membership, which provide an array of free meals and drinks I can immediately entry. The setting tends to be far more enjoyable, with cozy chairs and ample cellphone chargers, too. 

My Platinum card additionally comes with an annual $200 assertion credit score for incidental airline charges charged to my card by one qualifying airline of my selecting. This permits me to carry a visitor to the Sky Membership 4 instances per yr and have the cost credited again to me. 

One other manner the cardboard makes journey higher is the $189 CLEAR® Plus credit score. Having CLEAR® means I can skip the safety line at most airports, saving time and stress. 

Now that I’ve gotten used to lounges, it’s laborious to return to the previous manner. As a frequent traveler,  I can justify the annual payment simply in cash I save on foods and drinks.

Extra advantages I’ve used

  • As much as $200 annual Uber Money. As much as $15 fee credit score is robotically utilized in my Uber account month-to-month. 
  • As much as $200 annual resort credit score. American Categorical will credit score as much as $200 again to you for those who e-book by way of their Lodge Assortment. There are a plethora of choices for many main cities, making it a pretty selection for holidays.
  • As much as $240 annual digital leisure credit score. This covers my streaming prices on Disney+ and Hulu, in addition to my New York Occasions subscription. 

The takeaway

I’ve at all times most well-liked my Platinum card to different choices as a result of I discover it straightforward to make use of rewards in tangible methods. The Membership Rewards® portal is user-friendly, and makes it simpler to redeem factors than different issuers I’ve used. American Categorical robotically credit again purchases I’d make anyway, like my streaming subscriptions. 

My card additionally will get me into airport lounges, helps me uncover new motels and experiences, and lets me lower by way of airline safety. 

At $695, American Categorical Platinum card has one of many highest charges of any shopper bank card. However for those who’re a frequent traveler like me, you’ll doubtless discover the cardboard greater than pays for itself.

Phrases apply to American Categorical advantages and provides. Enrollment could also be required for choose American Categorical advantages and provides. Go to to study extra.

Fortune has companions with for protection of bank card merchandise. Fortune and could obtain fee from card issuers.

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