Our in-depth review will help you get the maximum value from your card.
Right now, the card is offering 40,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of cardmembership. Go here to apply for that offer while it's still available. This Platinum Card review will guide you through some of the card's most important benefits, but contact American Express directly for full terms and conditions on a given benefit.
Unlimited First-Class Airport Lounge Access
Air travel can be stressful, but airport lounges offer a relaxing alternative to the noise and crowds of busy airports. Unwind with plush chairs and sofas. Use the complimentary phones, fax and internet. Clean, upscale restrooms can be a lifesaver when you've been traveling all day long (some even have showers). A favorite benefit for those in the know is the complimentary food and drinks: sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres, juices, beer, wine, etc.
- Priority Pass Select. Enroll in advance for access to 600+ lounges worldwide. Your access is complimentary, and guests may enter with you for a fee of $27 per person (charged to your card).
- Delta Sky Club: You get complimentary access. Your spouse, domestic partner, children under 2, or up to two guests can get in with you for a discounted price of $29 each. Additional guests will have to purchase a day pass for $50.
- Airspace Lounges in New York (JFK), Cleveland (CLE), San Diego (SAN) and the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). The American Express Platinum provides you and two guests complimentary access to some of these exclusive sanctuaries. Bringing more than two guests? You'll have to pay a fee, which varies by location.
- Centurion Lounges, currently at Las Vegas (LAS), Dallas/Fort-Worth (DFW), San Francisco (SFO), LaGuardia (LGA), Miami (MIA) and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), these are the first of several American Express airport lounges that will open in major U.S. cities. Cardmembers may bring in immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) or up to two guests for no extra cost.
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 American Express Travel Services to take advantage of this "International Airline Program" benefit. On the second ticket (the companion ticket) you will only have to pay out of pocket for any applicable taxes, fees and surcharges (as is customary with companion ticket offers).
There are about two dozen international airlines currently participating in the program.
Even if you just use this benefit once, the potential savings could be significant. If you regularly travel overseas in first or business class, this perk is a must-have.
Statement Credit for Global Entry OR TSA PreCheck
Global Entry is a program run by the U.S. government that lets preapproved, low-risk travelers get speedy entry when they return to the U.S. from abroad – 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). If approved, your Global Entry membership is good for five years.
TSA PreCheck, meanwhile, is a program that allows travelers the TSA has deemed low-risk (and who have completed an application process) to go through an expedited screening process at any airport that's participating in the program (you get to keep your belt, shoes and jacket on and keep your laptop in its case). If you're approved, you'll get a Known Traveler Number, which gets you the above benefits and is good for five years.
The application for the Global Entry program costs $100, and the application for TSA PreCheck is $85. If you pay with your Platinum card, you can be reimbursed for either of those fees once every five years.
$200 Reimbursement for Airline Fees
Another favorite AmEx Platinum travel benefit is the $200 airline fee reimbursement you get every year. Select your favorite qualifying airline and, each year, you'll receive statement credits to cover up to $200 for eligible incidental fees from that airline (checked luggage fees, in-flight food/drinks, on-board entertainment, etc.).
You're covered for up to a maximum of $3,000 per person per trip for carry-on baggage (and for up to $2,000 for checked baggage). "High-risk" items like jewelry, sporting equipment, photography equipment, electronic equipment and computers have lower coverage maximums, however. Keep in mind this is on top of the airline's coverage. To qualify for this benefit for no additional cost, just pay for your eligible ticket using your Platinum.
$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
When you're traveling as an eligible common carrier conveyance passenger (on a plane, ship, bus, or train) you are insured for up to $500,000 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 to get that coverage. If you were to buy such protection on your own, it would cost you quite a bit of money, especially on lengthy, international trips.
Only some American Express consumer and business cards like Platinum participate in the Membership Rewards First (MRF) program, which is AmEx's highest level of rewards. It has the same benefits as the regular Membership Rewards program, but has some extras, including more exclusive redemption options (like luxury items) and travel perks. Depending on what you redeem for, your points can go far in the Membership Rewards program. You get 1 point for virtually every dollar spent on this card, and they never expire as long as you're a cardmember.
Transfer Points to Frequent Flier Programs
Membership Rewards lets you transfer points directly to numerous mileage and loyalty programs. As of August 2015, these include:
- Air Canada
- Asia Miles
- British Airways
- Delta SkyMiles
- El Al Israel Airlines
- Flying Blue
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin America
- Virgin Atlantic
- Best Western
- Choice Privileges
- Hilton HHonors
- Starwood Preferred Guest
So instead of spending 25,000 points on a $250 retail gift card, you could convert the points to 25,000 frequent flier miles with a participating airline of your choice. As you know, frequent flier miles can be worth more than a penny per point, since you can redeem flights at set increments (like 25,000 miles for domestic round-trip with some carriers).
That means your actual realized value may be up to 2 to 3 cents or more per point, compared to the cost of buying the same ticket on your own. For example, you might be able to use 25,000 miles for a round-trip ticket that would normally cost you $600. You can get even more value out of your points by booking international premium-class tickets.
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 flier miles. They basically operate like cash-back cards, because each "mile" is worth $0.01 that can be applied toward the purchase of a flight. The AmEx Membership Rewards program allows you to convert points into real miles on more than a dozen frequent flier programs. (see the list above)
Free Hotel Upgrades & Benefits
AmEx has partnered with more than 750 hotels and resorts to offer an array of perks and upgrades. This program is called Fine Hotels & Resorts and it is exclusive to Platinum and Centurion "black card" members. Depending on the availability at the participating hotel, you could receive several nice-to-have extras that everyone else has to pay for, including:
- Free room upgrade when you check-in, if available
- 4 p.m. 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
Other cards tack on a 2 percent to 3 percent surcharge for purchases made outside the U.S. (and even purchases made inside the U.S. get slapped with the fee if the company is based elsewhere). However, the American Express Platinum does not levy foreign transaction fees.
Personal Concierge Service
If work and other responsibilities leave you too busy to make dinner reservations, book travel or call around to locate a hard-to-find item, the Platinum card's personal concierge can help you with those tasks – and many others.
Simply call your personal concierge, tell them what you want, and if your request is do-able, they will do all the legwork. This is especially useful if you're trying to get last-minute dinner reservations or sold-out tickets.
Boingo Wireless Access
Your Platinum card gets you complimentary and unlimited access to Boingo hotspots worldwide. This means free Wi-Fi at many airports. You can have access with up to four devices at the same time.
If you have this card, you may no longer need a AAA membership. As part of your Platinum Card membership, you're covered up to four service calls per year in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico at no additional cost. Covered services include towing (up to 10 miles), jump starts, winching, flat tire change (if you have a spare), lockout service and fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons).
Premium Car Rental Program
Enjoy the privilege of skipping lines and paperwork, going straight to your car. Get 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 waive the rental company's coverage, and you'll be covered in the event of an eligible collision. Note that this coverage is secondary to your regular auto insurance.
There are a few countries that aren't covered (six at the time of this review). Customer service can provide you the details.
Have you ever bought something new, only to have it accidentally damaged, lost or even stolen a few days or weeks later? Whether it is a pricey 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).
Automatic Extended Warranty
You turned down the extended warranty offered by the cashier, only to have the product break right after the manufacturer's warranty – just your luck. But if you pay with this card, you won't have to worry. It automatically doubles 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 peace of mind next time you buy that eligible flat-screen or computer. Like the other Platinum Card benefits, there is no additional charge for this service.
Store won't let you return an item? Whether you lost the receipt or the store simply doesn't accept returns, if you made that purchase with your Platinum charge card, American Express may accept your return and reimburse you, up to $300 per item, $1,000 annually. The item must still be in like-new condition.
What are the requirements and qualifications? It's been incorrectly claimed that you need a minimum annual income to be approved – that is not true! Below is an excerpt from an actual chat log regarding what the income requirements for the Platinum Card are and here is what they said.
So there you have it. 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.
Offer as of August 2015
Using the link below, the spend requirement to earn the bonus is $3,000 within your first three months. Terms and restrictions apply.
Use this link to apply for the 40,000 bonus point offer
Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.