Amex Platinum Card Review (2021)

Amex Platinum Card Review (2021)

The Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points | $695
The Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points | $695
Earn 5x points on flights purchased directly from airlines or through Amex Travel (up to $500k/year)
$200 Annual Uber Credit
Amex Centurion Lounge Access
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Back in the day, American Express more or less had the premium card market all to itself, with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Unfortunately for Amex — and fortunately for consumers — competition has really heated up. Several years ago we saw the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and that was only the beginning.

Card issuers are constantly refreshing benefits, and over the summer we saw Amex introduce some major changes to the Platinum Card, including a higher annual fee and new perks. I wanted to take a comprehensive look at all of the updated benefits of the Amex Platinum Card, and try my best to answer the question of whether the card is still worth it.

Amex Platinum Card Basics For October 2021

There are some cards out there that I think are “no brainers” for most consumers, though the Amex Platinum Card isn’t necessarily one of them. I do think it’s a fantastic card, but only if you use it correctly. It’s more niche than some other cards.

The Amex Platinum is a card you should get for the rich benefits that it offers, and not necessarily a card you should spend a lot of money on under normal circumstances, since there are more rewarding cards for that.

Let’s first look at the basics of the card, then we’ll look at the value proposition of spending money on the card, then we’ll look at the benefits of the card, and lastly we’ll talk about whether or not this card is worth it.

Welcome Bonus Of 100,000 Points & 10x Points

The Amex Platinum Card has a phenomenal new welcome bonus, potentially worth up to 350,000 Membership Rewards points:

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 within six months
  • Plus, earn 10x Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the United States, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, within six months

That’s an amazing bonus, especially when you combine both components. Personally, I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so if you maximize both parts of the bonus (you’d earn at least 350,000 Membership Rewards points), those points are worth $5,950!

Redeem your Amex points for travel in SWISS business class

Card Eligibility Restrictions

The welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum Card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have had the card in the past. If you’ve had the card in the past you’re still eligible to be approved, you just won’t get the bonus. See here for general restrictions on getting approved for Amex cards.

$695 Annual Fee

The Amex Platinum Card has a $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees). This is one of the highest credit card annual fees out there, though for many people the perks will more than offset the fee.

If you want to add authorized users to the card, you can add up to three authorized users on the card for $175 (Rates & Fees). You pay a total of $175 regardless of whether you choose to add one, two, or three authorized users.

I’ll talk more about that below, but there’s potentially huge value in adding authorized users to the card. After all, with three authorized users you’re paying under $60 per authorized user, and they get some awesome perks as well.

Earning Points With The Amex Platinum Card

Personally, I think the Amex Platinum Card is worth having for the benefits it offers, though it’s not a card that I think is worth spending much money on (with the exception of the 10x points currently being offered as part of the bonus for new members).

Some other Amex cards offer big bonus categories. For example:

Unfortunately, the Amex Platinum Card isn’t as generous in that regard (again, aside from the current bonus for new members, which offers up to 10x points).

The Amex Gold Card is an excellent choice at restaurants

5x Points On Flights

The best bonus category on the Amex Platinum Card is that it offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, which is spectacular. This makes it the best card for airfare purchases, in my opinion.

Officially booking through online travel agencies (except amextravel.com) wouldn’t earn you bonus points, though in practice it may still sometimes code for 5x points. That’s because often online travel agencies still have the airline bill you directly when you book flights through them.

I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me, that’s the equivalent of an 8.5% return on airfare spending, which is incredible.

Earning 5x points on airfare is an excellent return on spending

The card even offers travel delay and cancelation coverage, which makes this an even better card for airfare purchases. More on that below.

5x Points On Prepaid Hotels Through Amex Travel

The card also offers 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels that are booked through Amex Travel. As a general rule of thumb, this isn’t worth it. That’s because you’re usually not earning loyalty points with your preferred hotel program when you book through Amex Travel, so that’s quite an opportunity cost.

The one exception is Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, where prepaid reservations earn 5x points. That can be a good deal because of the perks you get, and also because you still earn points with your preferred hotel loyalty program. You can also combine this with the card’s $200 annual hotel credit. I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

1x Points On Other Purchases

The above are the only bonus categories — otherwise, the Amex Platinum offers 1x points per dollar spent, which isn’t especially good. There are other cards offering 1.5x-2x points per dollar spent, so I would much rather put my spending on those cards, or on another card that’s best for everyday spending.

Redeeming Points With The Amex Platinum Card

The Amex Platinum Card earns Membership Rewards points. This is one of the four major transferable points currencies and is a favorite points currency for many. While I love Membership Rewards, I’d say that not everyone should be earning these points. Let me explain who should and shouldn’t earn Membership Rewards points.

Transfer Points To Airline & Hotel Partners 

The best way to redeem your points is to transfer them to one of the Membership Rewards airline or hotel partners. Points can be transferred to the following 20 partners, including 17 airline partners and three hotel partners:

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aer Lingus AerClub
Choice Privileges
Aeromexico Club Premier
Hilton Honors
Air Canada Aeroplan
Marriott Bonvoy
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
ANA Mileage Club
Avianca LifeMiles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Delta SkyMiles
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners

The reason this represents such a good option is that you can get outsized value towards premium airfare, especially for travel in first and business class. These tickets are often super expensive if paying cash, while they can be a good deal with points.

On top of that Amex often has transfer bonuses, which can get you even better value.

Redeem your points for Lufthansa’s incredible first class

How Not To Redeem Membership Rewards Points

I’d note that while you can redeem Membership Rewards points towards the cost of merchandise, towards gift cards, or to pay off your statement, these aren’t good uses of your points. You’ll typically get less than one cent of value per point, so that’s not how I’d redeem them.

Furthermore, while you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards the cost of a paid travel purchase at a good rate (up to 1.5 cents per point), such a good rate isn’t available with Amex Membership Rewards.

In general, I’d recommend earning Membership Rewards points if your primary interest is transferring points to partner programs.

Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Up To $1,874 In Credits

This is where the Amex Platinum Card really shines, as the card offers up to $1,874 in annual credits. As you can see, for some people this alone will get you more than double the value of the annual fee. The catch is that there are some hurdles to using all of these, so for most people it’s not exactly $1,400+ in free money.

There are a select group of people that will be able to use all of these credits, while I think most will only get a value that equates to a fraction of that. So let’s take a look at what you need to know about these credits, and how you can maximize them.

$300 Annual Equinox Credit

New as of July 2021, the Amex Platinum offers up to $300 per year in Equinox credits. This comes in the form of a $25 monthly statement credit on eligible purchases of select Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships, or a digital subscription to Equinox+.

Get up to $300 per year in Equinox credits

$300 Soulcycle Credit

New as of October 2021, the Amex Platinum offers a $300 credit when purchasing a SoulCycle bike. This credit can be used towards the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike, and it can be used for the purchase of up to 15 bikes per year.

You need to make the entire purchase of a bike in one transaction on your Amex Platinum in order to qualify for these savings. Suffice to say that this will be of limited value to most cardmembers.

$240 Annual Digital Entertainment Credit

New as of July 2021, the Amex Platinum offers up to $240 per year in digital entertainment credits. This comes in the form of a $20 monthly statement credit on eligible purchases or subscriptions with any of the following:

  • Audible
  • Peacock
  • SiriusXM
  • The New York Times

$200 Annual Hotel Credit

New as of July 2021, the Amex Platinum offers up to $200 per year in hotel credits. This is actually a pretty easy perk to use — just book a hotel through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel, and you’ll receive an annual credit of up to $200. You can use this credit with a single stay if you’d like.

Get up to a $200 per year hotel credit

$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

The Amex Platinum offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be used towards airline incidentals and fees. One is offered every calendar year, so it follows a strict January 1 through December 31 calendar.

Every year you can designate on which airline you want to receive the credit, of the following:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

You can change your airline selection in January of each year. If you don’t change your selection then you automatically keep the same airline choice as the previous year.

Unfortunately, you can’t use your credit towards the following:

Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.

So this is useful for airline ticket change fees (of which there aren’t many nowadays), baggage fees, and other costs you may incur with an airline. Personally, this is something I have no trouble maxing out.

You can designate Frontier as your airline of choice

$200 Annual Uber Credit

The Amex Platinum offers up to $200 per year in Uber credits. The way this is broken up, you get a $15 credit per month, and then in December, you get a total of $35 in credits.

To activate this benefit you need to enter your Amex Platinum Card number on your Uber account, and then you should see the benefit unlocked. You’ll see an amount added to your Uber Cash balance every month, and the discount will automatically be applied to the first eligible ride or food delivery.

Having the card also gets you Uber VIP status, though that has limited perks.

Get up to $200 per year in Uber credits

$179 Annual CLEAR Credit

New as of July 2021, the Amex Platinum offers up to $179 per year in CLEAR credits. When using your card to pay for a CLEAR membership, you’ll receive statement credits of up to $179 per calendar year.

Just for being a Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus member (even without status) you’ll pay $119 per year, and then you can add any adult as a family member for an additional $50. In other words, that credit is enough to cover an annual CLEAR membership for two people, which is awesome.

Get up to $179 per year in CLEAR credits

$155 Annual Walmart+ Credit

New as of October 2021, the Amex Platinum offers up to $155 per year in Walmart+ credits. The way this works, you receive up to $12.95 per month in credits towards a Walmart+ membership, which covers the full membership cost. Registration is required.

For those not familiar with Walmart+, it offers a variety of benefits and savings for Walmart purchases, inclduing:

  • Free shipping with no order minimum
  • Free delivery from Walmart stores for orders of $35 or more
  • Save on Prescriptions — get select prescriptions for $0, and save up to 85% on thousands more
  • Save five cents per gallon on gas at Walmart and Murphy stations
  • Scan & go — scan items as you shop in stores and pay with your phone

$100 Annual Saks Credit

The Amex Platinum offers up to $100 per year in Saks credits. This is broken up so that you get a $50 credit for the first half of the year and a $50 credit in the second half of the year.

It’s valid for Saks purchases in-store or online, and there’s no minimum purchase amount. So you could make a $50 purchase and have the entire purchase reimbursed. Registration is required.

Get up to $100 per year to spend at Saks

Amex Platinum Card Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum Card offers one of the most comprehensive lounge access benefits of any card. This is called the Global Lounge Collection, and it offers access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries. This includes proprietary Amex lounges, as well as access to lounges run by other airlines and companies.

Amex Centurion Lounge Access

Amex is well known for its Centurion Lounges, which are significantly better than what you’ll find in most airline lounges in the United States.

The lounges have hot food, cocktails, and some even have complimentary spa treatments (though these have largely been suspended for now due to coronavirus).

Currently, US locations include Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York LaGuardia, New York JFK, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle, with more to come. There’s also a Centurion Lounge in Hong Kong, and some other American Express branded lounges at other airports.

When accessing Amex Centurion Lounges you can bring two guests (this policy will change in 2023), and you can access the lounges up to three hours before departure of your flight (if you’re connecting then the three hour limit doesn’t apply).

Access Amex Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Delta SkyClub Access

When flying Delta the same day you can access any Delta SkyClub. You aren’t allowed to bring in guests for free. Delta SkyClubs are among the best membership lounges of any airline in the United States, in my opinion, so this is a great opportunity for Delta loyalists.

Access Delta SkyClubs with the Amex Platinum

Priority Pass Membership

The Amex Platinum Card offers a Priority Pass membership (enrollment required), which gives you access to 1,300+ lounges around the world. Lounge networks don’t get much more comprehensive than this. Do note that those with the Amex Platinum don’t get access to Priority Pass restaurants.

Access 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges around the world

Plaza Premium Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum offers access to Plaza Premium Lounges. Just present your Amex Platinum card and you’ll be admitted, and you can even bring one guest with you at no additional cost. This is hugely valuable, as Plaza Premium has dozens of lounges around the world.

These used to mostly belong to Priority Pass, but that’s no longer the case, so having the Amex Platinum gives you a real edge.

Access Plaza Premium lounges with the Amex Platinum

Air Space & Escape Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum offers access to the growing network of Air Space and Escape Lounges. Just present your Amex Platinum Card and you’ll be admitted, and you can even bring in guests.

Access the Escape Lounge Phoenix with the Amex Platinum

Select Lufthansa Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum Card also offers access to select Lufthansa Business & Senator Lounges around the world. This doesn’t just include lounges in Germany, but also lounges in other parts of Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

Cardmembers receive lounge access as follows when flying on select Lufthansa Group airlines (including Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian):

  • Platinum cardmembers have complimentary access to Lufthansa Business Lounges when flying in economy class
  • Platinum cardmembers have complimentary access to Lufthansa Senator Lounges when flying business class
Enjoy Lufthansa lounge access with the Amex Platinum

Other Amex Platinum Card Hotel & Airline Perks

Beyond the annual credits that potentially more than justify the annual fee, as well as an incredible lounge access program, the Amex Platinum Card also offers status with two hotel loyalty programs, access to a program that gets you valuable hotel perks, and discounts on many premium cabin airline tickets.

Hilton Honors Gold Status

You receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) for as long as you have the card. This status is useful, and offers the following perks:

  • Free breakfast and/or executive lounge access (or a food & beverage credit at properties in the United States)
  • Late check-out, subject to availability
  • Preferred rooms
  • 80% points bonus
  • Fifth night free on award stays
Receive complimentary breakfast as a Hilton Gold member

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status

You receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required) for as long as you have the card, which offers the following perks, among other things:

  • 25% bonus points on hotel stays
  • 2PM late check-out
  • A room upgrade
Receive upgraded rooms as a Marriott Gold member

TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry Credit

The Amex Platinum Card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. Just charge the $85-100 membership fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed. It doesn’t matter who the fee is being paid for, as long as you charge it to your eligible card.

Amex International Airline Program

With the Amex International Airline Program, you can save on the cost of international first class, business class, and premium economy airfare, on nearly two dozen airlines. This typically provides discounts even on already discounted tickets, so is a spectacular value.

If you book paid international premium cabin travel with any frequency, this could pay the card’s annual fee over and over.

I’ve saved on Qatar Airways business class tickets with this perk

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

With the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you can receive extra perks for stays at over 1,000 luxury hotels around the world. These benefits include the following:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • A unique property amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)
  • Guaranteed 4PM check-out
  • Noon check-in, subject to availability
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi (exclusions apply)

Best of all, the rate is typically in line with the best available rate. I get a lot of value out of this program. Having the Amex Platinum Card gets you access to this, and if you prepay your reservation you even earn 5x points.

Receive extra benefits at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Global Dining by Resy

With the Amex Platinum you have access to the new Global Dining Access program by Resy, giving access to premium events and other perks, like priority notify and VIP status.

Premium Private Jet Program

For those lucky enough to fly private, having the Amex Platinum gets you access to a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships. You also receive a $500 or $2,000 credit added to your Wheels Up account to use towards your initial flight within the first year, depending on your selected membership.

Amex Platinum Card Travel Protection & Insurance

The Amex Platinum Card offers useful travel coverage, which can offer valuable protection when you pay for your travel with the card. This is especially useful for buying airfare, since you can earn 5x Membership Rewards points while also getting great protection.

So, what are the benefits?

Trip Cancellation & Interruption Coverage

The Amex Platinum Card offers reimbursement when your trip is canceled or interrupted, as follows:

  • You can be reimbursed for up to $10,000 in non-refundable travel expenses per trip, up to $20,000 per 12 consecutive month period
  • This applies to covered reasons, which includes accidental bodily injury, inclement weather, military orders, terrorist action, call to jury duty, one’s dwelling made uninhabitable, and a quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons
  • Coverage applies to you and your family members (including domestic partners) and traveling companions who purchase a trip with your card
  • You must file your claim within 60 days of the covered event

Trip Delay Coverage

The Amex Platinum Card offers reimbursement for trip delays, as follows:

  • This applies if you’re delayed by at least six hours
  • If eligible, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per trip for necessary expenses, like hotels, meals, and other essentials

Coverage Basics

In the case of all of these Amex Platinum benefits:

  • This is valid for roundtrip tickets paid for entirely with your eligible Amex card (“roundtrip travel may consist of roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip or one-way tickets”)
  • Paying taxes on an award ticket with your card would qualify for this, as would using the Amex Pay With Points feature to pay for your ticket

There are a lot of other terms to be aware of, so you’ll always want to consult your benefits guide (here’s a sample of that).

Be covered if your trip is interrupted

Amex Platinum Authorized User Benefits

As I explained above, you can add up to three authorized users to the Amex Platinum Card for a total of $175, and that can be a great deal. You’re potentially looking at paying under $60 per person, and authorized users are getting most of the card benefits.

This includes all the lounge access perks, access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Hilton and Marriott Gold status, access to the Amex International Airline Program, additional Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credits, and more.

The main things that authorized users aren’t getting are some of the additional credits, including the Equinox credit, digital entertainment credit, hotel credit, airline fee credit, Uber credit, CLEAR credit, Walmart+ credit, and Saks credit.

Is The Amex Platinum Card Worth It?

Obviously, the answer to this question is “it depends” for just about every credit card.

The first important thing to understand is that this is a card you get for the benefits, and not for the return on spending it offers (not including the current welcome bonus), unless you spend a lot on airfare. Heck, get this card and don’t spend much on it, but then get other cards for your spending.

The card has a $695 annual fee, so here’s how I go about doing the math on the card:

  • How much do you value the $300 Equinox credit, $300 SoulCycle credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, $200 hotel credit, $179 CLEAR credit, $155 Walmart+ credit, and $100 Saks credit?
  • How much do you value the Marriott and Hilton Gold status?
  • How much value will you get from Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and the International Airline Program?
  • How much do you value the incredible lounge access perks offered by the card?
  • How many bonus points are you earning by putting airfare spending on this card at the rate of 5x points per dollar spent?

For me, the math very much adds up when I start subtracting all of those factors. While I don’t get value out of all of the credits, the credits alone more than justify the annual fee:

  • I rack up quite a few airline fees, so the $200 comes in handy
  • I use Uber constantly, so get full value out of the $200 Uber credit
  • I use the $100 Saks credit
  • I can get full value out of the $179 CLEAR credit, since it’s something I value
  • I can easily use the $200 hotel credit towards a luxury hotel stay

While I don’t want to go so far as suggesting that all of those are worth face value, I would say I get pretty close to face value out of those benefits. And that doesn’t even include the digital entertainment credits, Walmart+ credits, SoulCycle credits, or Equinox credits, which I don’t get as much value out of.

And then there are all of the other awesome perks, from 5x points on airfare, to an incredible lounge access program. The match very much works for me.

How Does The Chase Sapphire Reserve Compare?

A lot of people view the Amex Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) as the biggest competitors. The way I view it, the Sapphire Reserve is very different, and in many cases, it could make sense to have both cards. Looking at the Sapphire Reserve:

  • The card has a $550 annual fee, but offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be used towards any travel purchase
  • The card offers 3x points on dining and travel, so this is a card you actually want to spend money on
  • Ultimate Rewards points are more flexible in terms of redemption options, beyond just being able to transfer points to partners

Amex Platinum Card Summary

The Amex Platinum Card was recently refreshed, with a higher annual fee and new perks. Personally I love the card, and find it to be well worthwhile, both before and after the changes.

The Amex Platinum isn’t a card you should be using for all of your credit card spending, but rather it’s a card you should get for the perks that it offers, as well as the 5x points on airfare.

To decide if you should get the card, take the $695 annual fee, subtract how much value you’d get out of the credits, and then consider how much more you value the other perks of the card, including the great lounge access benefit.

For a frequent traveler or anyone who buys international premium cabin tickets with any frequency, I think the card is well worth it. And even for those who don’t, I’d argue the card could be worth it right now.

If you want to learn more about the Amex Platinum Card or apply, follow this link.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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  1. Eskimo

    Consensus here, and probably everywhere.

    $395 It was a good card.
    $450 It was a great card. ($200 in giftcards)
    $550 It still was a good card but not for everyone.
    $695 It sucks, and is The world's most expensive coupon book. (H/T @Steve)

    Their monthly/annual credit system sucks. If Saks or Dell ships your order late, and it passed the end of month, you lose the credits.

    1. Andrew

      Agreed. The only upside (and that probably deserves air quotes) is that if you happen to use all the crap in the coupon book already, you're probably getting a deal. But if you pay for Equinox, you probably have other problems that a metal card won't solve.

      Oh, and Morgan Stanley upped their annual credit to $695. I guess that's a win if you like their 0% yielding checking account and nutty asset management fees.

    2. Joe1293

      What other problems would you have by using Equinox

  2. Hans

    What is the currency conversion fee? In Europe they charge nearly 2% when you charge your card with other currencies. That is very expensive.

  3. Victoria

    If you cruise on certain high end cruise lines such as Silversea, you can get a $300 on board credit and a bottle of Dom on each cruise you take. The Dom is probably worth $125, so two cruises a year, and it has paid for itself.

  4. Andrew

    I buy AA miles when I’m checking in at the airport kiosks. It’s not great value but it’s something…

  5. bob

    Try as I might but I can't figure out how this card can be worth anything close to $700. That $200 airline credit makes no sense for platinum targeted customers. You would assume most of those customers are not flying basic economy so there probably is no baggage fees or fee to buy food unless you feel like buying economy class wraps to go??? And if the fine print says you can't use it to...

    Try as I might but I can't figure out how this card can be worth anything close to $700. That $200 airline credit makes no sense for platinum targeted customers. You would assume most of those customers are not flying basic economy so there probably is no baggage fees or fee to buy food unless you feel like buying economy class wraps to go??? And if the fine print says you can't use it to upgrade then how else would that work. I'm thinking it won't. I have had 50% luck in getting a credit through airfares but thats hit and miss. I wouldn't use the hotel portal because it's almost always either more expensive than booking with the chain or more restrictive like pay in advance whereas if I booked through marriott or hilton I generally get my money back with 1-3 days before arrival notice of cancellation. I don't use equinox nor do I shop at saks nor would I make myself shop there just to get the credit. The digital credit is slim pickings. So there is very very few incentives to get the card. I estimate I can get "at most optimistic" $300 worth of credits most with uber eats even though I hate the uber company. All the other stuff is not worth $400. I decided to get the delta reserve instead because it covers delta club, centurion, priority pass (even though I have like 3 other priority pass credit cards). But at least with reserve I have a better chance of getting my money back with companion 1st class tickets.

    1. Morris

      Hate to break it to you, but the Delta Reserve does not include a Priority Pass...

    2. Eskimo

      @Morris
      Hate to break it to you, but @bob has 3 other priority pass credit cards, he doesn't even care.

      Delta Reserve with centurion access (and this crazy $695 fee) has made the Reserve card much more lucrative than ever.

  6. Tocqueville

    Ben,
    If me and my wife each have the Amex Plat and we buy a $400 hotel stay through Fine Hotels and Resorts can we pay $200 and $200 on each of our cards to trigger the credit and make that $400 stay effectively free?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Andy

      there's no way to split payment on a reservation for FHR as far as i'm aware.

  7. Mark

    Ben I'm really curious how you use the airline credit each year. I don't check bags (but I assume you have status and don't pay for that). If you're up front drinks and food are free. Club access is free. I really don't know what to use it on... If that free were an airline credit like its competitors it would go a long way in easing the price increase for me.

    1. Andrew

      I second this query. Unless he's on some skeezy airline over another country, I can't rationalize which of the big 3 or other US carriers he'd fly that charges fees for stuff.

  8. Steve

    Amex Platinum: The world's most expensive coupon book

    1. Matt

      Steve is right. AmEx Plat went from being an invaluable card for frequent travelers to be being an overpriced but relatively low-end status symbol with a hodgepodge of mostly useless “benefits”.

      I will keep it for now because the new fee does not hit me until the end of 2022, but then it is time to cancel after 20 years+ with the card.

    2. Eskimo

      @Matt

      But 20+ years ago (if you had the "invitation only" Platinum card since) there wasn't much benefits either. It was more like an overpriced bragging rights until the Centurion came along.
      IIRC Platinum then had those BOGO business class fares, FHR, and Airline lounges. No stupid coupon books. But still high AF for that time.

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Mark

Ben I'm really curious how you use the airline credit each year. I don't check bags (but I assume you have status and don't pay for that). If you're up front drinks and food are free. Club access is free. I really don't know what to use it on... If that free were an airline credit like its competitors it would go a long way in easing the price increase for me.

Matt

Steve is right. AmEx Plat went from being an invaluable card for frequent travelers to be being an overpriced but relatively low-end status symbol with a hodgepodge of mostly useless “benefits”. I will keep it for now because the new fee does not hit me until the end of 2022, but then it is time to cancel after 20 years+ with the card.

bob

Try as I might but I can't figure out how this card can be worth anything close to $700. That $200 airline credit makes no sense for platinum targeted customers. You would assume most of those customers are not flying basic economy so there probably is no baggage fees or fee to buy food unless you feel like buying economy class wraps to go??? And if the fine print says you can't use it to upgrade then how else would that work. I'm thinking it won't. I have had 50% luck in getting a credit through airfares but thats hit and miss. I wouldn't use the hotel portal because it's almost always either more expensive than booking with the chain or more restrictive like pay in advance whereas if I booked through marriott or hilton I generally get my money back with 1-3 days before arrival notice of cancellation. I don't use equinox nor do I shop at saks nor would I make myself shop there just to get the credit. The digital credit is slim pickings. So there is very very few incentives to get the card. I estimate I can get "at most optimistic" $300 worth of credits most with uber eats even though I hate the uber company. All the other stuff is not worth $400. I decided to get the delta reserve instead because it covers delta club, centurion, priority pass (even though I have like 3 other priority pass credit cards). But at least with reserve I have a better chance of getting my money back with companion 1st class tickets.

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