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Credit Card Review: American Express Platinum

Credit Card Review: American Express Platinum

American Express Platinum Card and Asian foods

American Express is really pulling out all the stops for its Platinum Card.  A premium card for the high flying jetsetter, the American Express Platinum is now offering a whopping 10x at U.S supermarkets and gas stations.  It caters not only to frequent flyers, but also foodies and road trippers.  Use all of the card’s features and you will more than make up for its $550 annual fee.  You won’t earn cash back or many points for non-travel purchases, but what you get are luxury travel perks for your journey.  From room upgrades at luxury hotels to private jet/limo rental discounts or concierge service, the Amex Platinum has it all.

American Express Platinum

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

75,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $5,000 during first 6 months

REWARDS

Earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or AmexTravel; 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel; 1X point on everything else

APR

15.99% – 22.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$550

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

670 – 850

American Express Platinum Card is best for …

Frequent jet setters who spend a lot of money and those looking for some luxury perks for every stage of their trip!  At 5 points per dollar on airfare and hotels, the Amex Platinum offers one of the highest rewards rates.  From upgrades at luxury hotels to access at airport lounges and statement credits for check luggage, the Platinum has it all.  However, all those travel rewards come with a steep price tag of $550/year, and there is no cash back or lots of points from non-travel purchases.  Nonetheless, some of the benefits can help offset the annual fee.

The Welcome Offer

New cardmembers can earn 75,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months of account opening.  That translates to a spending budget of at least $834/month.  According to AmexTravel, when used to book fights, the points are worth at least $750.  Transfer the points to the British Airways Executive Club and your bonus could be worth over $1,000!  That’s because British Airways Avios points are generally more valuable than average airline miles.  In addition to the massive bonus, you can also earn 10X points on purchases at U.S gas stations & supermarkets during this time period.

The welcome offer is not not available to those who have/had this card!

American Express Platinum Points & Rewards

This card offers 5X Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on airfare and hotels booked by phone through American Express Travel or online through amextravel.com.  Flights booked directly with the airline also qualify, however, flights that are part of tour packages, private jets, or charter flights are not included.  Eligible hotel purchases include pre-paid rooms or travel packages booked on amextravel.com with your Platinum Card.  Finally, you can now earn 10X points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations during the first 6 months.  Everything else is worth a measly 1X point, so it’s important to remember to use this card primarily for travel.

Points Redemption

To redeem and pay with points, you must be enrolled in the Membership Rewards Program.  When you make a purchase, points are deducted from your account but the $ amount is credited to your card.  Not only can points be used for travel, but also gift cards, taxi fares, shopping on the Membership Rewards portal, statement credits etc.  Points can also be transferred to your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program, provided they partner with American Express.  Most of the programs allow transfers at a 1:1 ratio, however some will give you more.  For instance, 1000 Membership Rewards Points are worth 2000 Hilton Honors Points.

Additional Perks

  Airline Fee Credit – up to $200/year

▪  Access to The Global Lounge Collection – over 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide

▪  Credit for Global Entry ($100) /TSA Pre✓($85)

▪  Hilton Honors Gold & Marriott Bonvoy Elite Gold Status

▪  Up to $200 Credit in Uber Cash

▪  $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit

▪  Car Rental Loss/Damage Insurance

▪  Trip Cancellation/Interruption/Delay Insurance

Bottom Line:

All in all, the American Express Platinum Card is a pretty great card for frequent travelers and big spenders.  Every part of the journey is made easier, from breezing through airport security to lounge access and possible seat upgrades.  However, it does come with a high $550 annual fee, which could be offset by some of the travel credits offered.  Take advantage of the welcome bonus, book travel through American Express Travel, and stay clear of low-yielding rewards to get the most bang for your points.  Otherwise, beyond travel, everything earns a low 1X points per $1.

Finally, occasional travelers that want a decent rewards card with a lower price tag might benefit more from the American Express Green or the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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