Do not apply for the American Express Platinum Card without seeing my review. You already know its prestigious but the truth is that most cardmembers I hear from don’t even know about many of the benefits that come with it! As a result, they're missing out.
Before you fill out an application, I encourage you to read this personal review which lists and explains each benefit. This info will help you get the maximum value from your card.
Best offer for December 2013! Get 25,000 Membership Reward® points after you make $2,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. Terms and restrictions apply.
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points + get one year of Amazon Prime
To begin with, the benefits are simply unparalleled by any other credit card, period. This Platinum Card review will guide you through what it offers, but contact AmEx directly for full terms and conditions on a given benefit.
Air Travel Benefits:
Unlimited First-Class Airport Lounge Access
We all know how stressful air travel is these days, however the first-class airport lounges are the exception. The American Express Platinum provides you and your family (or two other people) complimentary access to these exclusive sanctuaries with multiple airlines.
Unwind with plush chairs and sofas. Use the complimentary phones, fax, and internet. The meticulously clean, upscale restrooms can be a lifesaver when you’ve been traveling all day long (some even have showers). My favorite benefit is the complimentary food and drinks; sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres, juices, beer, wine, etc.
The American Express Platinum Card offers you no-cost airport lounge access across the globe with the following:
Unlimited access to either of these would normally cost you hundreds of dollars per year. For example, if you wanted to buy a Sky Club membership the normal price for that would be $450 per year.
- Priority Pass Select lounges (you're free, guests are $27/each)
- Delta Sky Club
Companion Tickets For International Flights
Receive a companion ticket when you buy a qualifying business or first-class ticket for an international flight. Book through AmEx Travel Services to take advantage of this "International Airline Program" benefit. On the 2nd ticket (the companion ticket) you will only have to pay out of pocket for any applicable taxes, fees and surcharges on it (as is customary with companion ticket offers).
There are over 20 airlines that participate in this including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch, Mexicana, AeroMexico, Lufthansa, South African, Etihad, Emirates, and others.
This is such a valuable benefit because even if you just use it once, you will probably be saving thousands of dollars. If you regularly travel overseas, this perk is a must-have.
Expedited Entry Thru U.S. Customs (If Approved For Global Entry)
Global Entry is a program run by the U.S. government which let's pre-approved, low-risk travelers get speedy entry back into the country - no processing lines and no paperwork!
Instead you are granted access to self-serve kiosks where you can scan your fingerprint and passport to confirm ID and make a customs declaration (if applicable).
The application for this program costs $100 but simply pay with your Platinum Card and the fee will be credited to your account. If approved, your Global Entry membership is good for 5 years.
$200 Reimbursement For Airline Fees
Another favorite AmEx Platinum travel benefit is that you will get up to $200 in airline fees reimbursed every year! Simply select your favorite airline (any airline) and you will be eligible to receive statement credits to cover up to $200 for any incidental fees from that airline (checked luggage fees, in-flight food/drinks, on-board entertainment, etc).
This is another valuable benefit. For carry on and checked luggage, you're covered for up to $3,000. Keep in mind this is on top of the airline’s coverage, so your total coverage is even higher. To qualify for this no-cost benefit, just pay for your eligible ticket using your Platinum Card from American Express.
$100,000 Travel Accident Insurance
As the old saying goes, plan for the best but prepare for the worst. When you're traveling as an eligible common carrier conveyance passenger (on a plane, ship, bus, or train) you are insured by up to $100,000 in the event of dismemberment or accidental death (in which case your beneficiaries would be paid). Simply pay for eligible travel with your AmEx Platinum charge card - it's that easy. If you were to buy such coverage on your own, it would cost you quite a bit of money, especially for international travel.
Only the Platinum and Centurion "black card" participate in the Membership Rewards First (MRF) program, which is AmEx's highest level of rewards. Redeem your MRF points for travel, merchandise, and just about anything else at very favorable conversion rates (your points go far). You get 1 point per dollar on virtually every dollar spent and they never expire as long as you're a cardmember.
Transfer Points To Frequent Flyer Programs
The value of this benefit cannot be overstated. Only Membership Rewards let's you transfer points directly to mileage programs at over 20 airlines and hotels (see list at right).
This makes your points more valuable, because the conversion to miles is on a 1 for 1 basis with most airlines. This is why the Platinum's points are so valuable.
So instead of spending 25,000 points on a $250 retail gift card, you could convert the points to 25,000 frequent flyer miles with a participating airline of your choice. As you know, FF miles are usually worth much more than a penny per point, since you can redeem flights at set increments (like 25k miles for domestic roundtrip with some carriers).
That means your actual realized value may be up to 2-3 cents or more per point, when compared to the cost of buying the same ticket on your own (i.e. using 25,000 miles for a roundtrip ticket that would normally cost you $600).
Warning: There are many credit cards on the market that advertise "miles" that can be used on "any airline, any flight, anytime." Those are NOT airline frequent flyer miles. They basically operate like cash back cards, because each "mile" is worth just $0.01 that can be applied towards the purchase of a flight. Only AmEx allows you to convert points into real miles on over a dozen frequent flyer programs.
Hotel & Other Travel Perks:
Free Hotel Upgrades & Benefits
AmEx has partnered with nearly 750 hotels and resorts to offer a wide array of perks and upgrades. This program is called Fine Hotels & Resorts and it is exclusive to Platinum & Centurion "black card" members:
As you can imagine, this is an extremely valuable benefit which can save you a lot of money, even if you only take advantage of it once or twice a year.
- Free room upgrade when you check-in, if available
- 4:00 PM late checkout
- Complimentary breakfast for two each morning
- Additional perks like $100 food/drink/spa credits, complimentary third night stays, etc. may be offered - the exact perk(s) vary by property.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Almost every credit card on the market tacks on a 3% surcharge for purchases made outside the US (and even purchases made inside the US get slapped with the fee if the company is based elsewhere). With this AmEx you will never endure a surcharge.
Personal Concierge Service
Odds are that you’re probably too busy with work to be hassled with the tedious things in life… making dinner reservations, booking travel, or having to call around to locate that hard-to-find item.
Fortunately, you now have the benefit of a personal concierge service to handle virtually any request, any time, anywhere. Simply call your personal concierge directly, tell them what you want, and they will do all the leg work. This is especially useful if you’re trying to get last minute dinner reservations or sold out tickets.
Roadside Assistance Coverage
(up to a $200 value per year)
Why spend money on an AAA membership? As part of your Platinum Card membership, you’re covered up to four service calls per year, with $50 of coverage each time, in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Premium Car Rental Program
Enjoy the privilege of skipping lines and paperwork, going straight to your car. Get free vehicle upgrades and savings when available. These perks and others are made possible through your complimentary enrollment in Hertz #1 Club Gold, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club, and Avis Preferred.
Normally to obtain these status levels, you would need to pay fees and/or be a frequent customer. However Platinum Cardmembers are granted access to these programs for no additional cost, regardless of how often (or not) they rent from these companies.
Car Rental Collision Coverage
Pay for your rental car using your American Express Platinum and you’re covered in the event of an eligible collision.
This is especially helpful in foreign countries that have narrower streets and more aggressive drivers than what we’re typically accustomed to. Please note there are a few countries which are not included (six excluded at the time of this review). Customer service can provide you the details.
How many times have you bought something new which is accidentally damaged, lost, or even stolen a few days or weeks later? Whether its a pricy article of clothing, electronics, or something else... if you bought it with your Platinum Card, your eligible purchases are protected!
For the first 90 days on eligible purchases, you're covered up to $10,000 per occurrence (up to $50,000 per calendar year) to repair, replace, or reimburse you for the affected item(s). This is truly one of the most valuable American Express Platinum card benefits; I have used it on numerous occasions. It’s a very simple process (all it took was a phone call for me) and it saved a great deal of money, which I otherwise would have lost.
Automatic Extended Warranty
Being that most merchandise is made overseas these days, an extended warranty is now more important than ever. However if you’re a smart shopper, skip the extended warranty at checkout and instead just pay for any eligible merchandise using your AmEx Platinum Card. They automatically double the original manufacturer’s U.S. warranty coverage, up to one full additional year. You’re protected up to $10,000 per eligible item, with a max of up to $50,000 per year. So enjoy piece of mind next time you buy that eligible flat screen or computer. Like the other Platinum Card benefits, this doesn't cost you anything extra.
At one time or another, we’ve all bought something that we later could not return. Whether we lost the receipt or the store simply doesn’t accept returns, if you made that purchase with your Platinum charge card, then American Express will accept your return and reimburse you, up to $300 per item, $1,000 annually.
What are the requirements and qualifications? I often hear others incorrectly claim that you need a minimum annual income of $100,000 to be approved - that is not true! I logged into my personal account and asked thru the chat what the income requirements for the Platinum Card are and here is what they said. This screenshot taken on 12-5-2013:
So there you have it straight from the horse's mouth. As is the case with all credit card companies, they do not disclose credit score and history requirements. So if you are looking for that info you won't find it. But what we do know is that they market it towards those who have great credit.
I know a longtime Centurion cardmember whom recently switched back to the Platinum since many of the benefits are nearly identical. He felt the biggest difference was that the Centurion costs you $7,500 in fees for just the first year, while the Platinum Card only has a $450 annual fee... its benefits can easily outweigh that many times over!
Best Offer (as of December 2013)
This promo was very recently launched and it's better than what was previously offered throughout the year, so now is an opportune time to apply. Using the link below, the spend requirement to earn the bonus is only $2k within your first 3 months. Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. Terms and restrictions apply.
Here is the link to earn 25K Membership Rewards points + get one year of Amazon Prime