The 6 Amex Platinum Card Benefits I Value Most

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the highest annual fee card that I have, at $550 per year (The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has a $450 annual fee, though comes with a different set of perks). That’s a lot of money to spend upfront, and arguably I don’t even get value from many of the benefits, due to the overlap of the features also offered by other cards.

With that in mind, in this post I wanted to look at the six Amex Platinum Card perks that more than justify the annual fee for me. In no particular order:

$200 annual airline fee credit

Let’s start with one of the perks that most helps offset the annual fee. The card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit. This can be used on a designated airline for all kinds of fees, and I’d say I more or less get face value from this perk, since I always end up using it for something I’d buy anyway. There are some restrictions to be aware of in terms of what you can purchase, though there are lots of opportunities with this.

$200 annual Uber credit

I’m a frequent Uber user, and just for having the Amex Platinum Card you get a $15 monthly Uber credit, and then in December you get a $35 Uber credit. Since I use Uber at least once a month for a ride of more than $15, I also value this at pretty close to face value. To me, the two $200 annual credits pretty much lower the real “out of pocket” on the card to $150 per year.

5x points on airfare

The Amex Platinum Card offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines, making it the most rewarding card for airfare purchases. Do note that the card doesn’t offer travel and baggage protection, so some may prefer using the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers 3x points and embedded travel and baggage protection. My personal strategy is to use the Amex Platinum Card for larger airfare purchases (where the difference in points earning is more substantial), and then the Chase Sapphire Reserve for smaller airfare purchases, where the opportunity cost is more limited.

Amex Centurion Lounge access

Just for having the Amex Platinum Card you get access to Amex Centurion Lounges. You can take up to two guests with you, and this gets you access to Amex’s excellent suite of lounges, which are far superior to the domestic airline lounges offered by US airlines. US locations include DallasHoustonLas VegasMiamiNew YorkPhiladelphiaSan Francisco, and Seattle. I visit Centurion Lounges well over a dozen times per year, so I’d say I get at least a couple of hundred dollars of value out of this per year.


Spa at the Amex Centurion Lounge DFW

Delta SkyClub access

Now that I’m flying Delta more, I’m finding SkyClub access with the Amex Platinum Card to be a more valuable perk. While you can’t bring guests with you for free, you can access SkyClubs whenever flying Delta same day, so I’m using this more and more. Given how much a SkyClub membership would otherwise cost, I’m getting considerable value here.


Delta SkyClub SEA

The ability to add authorized users

You can add up to three authorized users to the Amex Platinum Card for a total of $175, which I consider to be a great deal. Those authorized users get Priority Pass memberships, Delta SkyClub access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, Hilton Honors Gold status, SPG Gold status, and more. That’s a heck of a deal for under $60 per person per year.

Perks I don’t get much value out of

The above are only some of the perks of the Amex Platinum Card, and to me more than justify the annual fee. By the time you subtract the $400 in credits you get per year, I view it as paying about $150 per year for Centurion Lounge access, Delta SkyClub access, 5x points on airfare, and more.

But there are other perks that some others will value. These include:

  • A huge welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points upon completing minimum spend; I don’t value this because I am an existing cardmember, but if you’re just applying, I consider these points to be worth $1,000+
  • A Priority Pass membership with the ability to take two guests with you; the reason I don’t value this much is because I already have a Priority Pass membership through the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and it comes with better guesting privileges
  • Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card; the reason I don’t value this much is because I already have Honors Gold status through another card
  • A Global Entry fee credit; this perk is worthwhile, though can’t be used annually, so I don’t consider it a reason to get the card


Hilton Honors Gold status comes with complimentary breakfast

Bottom line

I’ve had the Amex Platinum Card, and despite the $550 annual fee, I consider it to be more than worthwhile. I feel like I get outsized value in spite of not taking advantage of all the perks, while others could get even more value out of it than I do. Furthermore, if you don’t yet have the card you can take advantage of the big welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points upon completing minimum spend.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Last month I received an offer from Amex for the 60k points that’s currently available. I had cancelled the card roughly 6 months prior, however there was no verbage in the terms excluding previous cardholders. I figured what the hell and applied, and after hitting MS the 60,000 points hit my account!!!!

  2. Not saying it’s worth offsetting much of the annual fee, but I’ve gotten pretty good value out of the concierge program. It’s much better than other cards’ concierge – they have access to more concerts than other cards and are pretty good at making dining reservations in foreign countries (where I don’t want to deal with the language barrier).

  3. Priority pass lounge access is probably more valuable to the 95% of us who have a priority pass lounge and not a centurion lounge at our local airport

  4. Unless I am mistaken, Priority Pass lounge access does not come with guest privilege. Each additional guest is charged $27.

  5. @Lucky

    “…this gets you access to Amex’s excellent suite of lounges, which are far superior to the domestic airline lounges offered by US airlines. US locations include Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle”

    For the uninitiated, the Delta lounge in Seattle is *far, far superior* to the Amex Centurion lounge in Seattle. It is in no way close (even the food is better at Delta!)

    I recognize there are lovely Centurion Lounges elsewhere and Seattle’s is better than, say, the Alaska Board Room there. But the only reason to use Centurion in Seattle is when traveling with someone as guests are free or, of course, when not traveling Delta.

  6. No one ever mentions the cruise benefits you get with the AMEX platinum, which is the whole reason I got the card. I usually get $100 shipboard credit per cruise, so that is $200 shipboard credit per year, and if I book a higher grade cabin, I get more. And it is not limited to just one line, either! I realize most of you bloggers don’t talk about cruising, but it’s actually a fairly economical way to travel and see lots of cool places for lots less than a land tour would cost.

  7. Have you re-evaluated your thoughts on 5x points vs CSR vs Citi prestige for airfare purchases in light of your recent misadventures with Swiss @ LHR?

    FDW

  8. There are also great perks if you cruise on one of the high end cruise lines such as Silversea where you get a $300 on board credit, a bottle of Dom Perignon and several other on board invitations so long as you pay for your entire cruise with the Amex Platinum. Those perks go with each cruise you book, not just once per year.

  9. I don’t think you can count the value of the 5x multiplier both when considering the fee and when considering the cost of an airline ticket purchase.

  10. I signed up for Amex Platinum Business the annual fee is $450 but the promo Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card, within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Is it insane? 20k in 3 months! I prefer to stick with benefits and keep adding money to Chase Reserve.

  11. There are a myriad lesser known benefits. For example they have a roadside assist program that will pay for roadside assistance – including up to ten miles of towing – up to four times per year. I had my car die on me on the Fourth of July in a parking lot and they had a flatbed to me in thirty minutes that towed me to the dealer for free. That better than AAA’s basic level membership provides.

  12. For me the International Airline Program is one of the best perks…..

    We usually stay in 5 * Hotels overseas so we use this option quite often when it works for us

  13. I don’t cruise and I don’t do Delta. I prefer Lyft to Uber and have a car so I rarely spend $15 per month anyway. Most of my air spend goes on my corporate card. Chase CSR has way better PP lounge benefits for families. So hard to justify $550 a year for the Amex lounges, nice as they are. I’d peg the SFO and OAK (Escape lounge) at about $10 per visit, maybe $100 per year. Amex products are pretty worthless, except for the SPG card.

  14. And for the german Amex Plat you pay 600€ and get NOTHING except the PP – suxxx!!

    @ben: is it possible to apply for an american amex as a german resident?

  15. I have been debating getting this card the last few days. I have CSR and Delta Skymiles Platinum Amex. I try to fly only Delta domestically and even though I fly paid F, it seems nice to have the Gold status for bonuses which I maintain every year. I end up with 20k MQMs from spending 50k on the Delta Amex. I like the CSR for dining and hotels. Trying to figure out if the Amex Platinum is worth it. All international flights are paid J EK. People have mentioned the International Airline Program. Would that help lower the price of my EK tickets? I don’t typically stay at Hilton or Marriotts but I like the idea of a late checkout with the status that Amex would bring. Delta SkyClubs is something I would definitely use as the PP clubs don’t seem very nice and are usually crowded. The $195 fee for the Delta card gives me companion ticket which I never use since it’s an economy and not upgradable. So basically I am paying the fee for MQMs. And I got cards for my parents at no fee. The protection offered by Amex seems far superior to CSR but I already have it with my current card. With Uber credit and Delta GIft Certificates which I have read are credited towards airfare in $50 denominations, it would lower my fee to $150. Would you guys recommend getting this card? My thought is to get the 60k bonus and then use it only to pay for my EK flights for the 5x points. This would roughly net me 100k points a year to use on hotels/leisure flights/EK F upgrade. Use the Delta card for everything except dining until I hit 50k spend and use the CSR for all dining and everything else with the exception of big purchases which I am more comfortable putting on Amex.

    As there other cards which would benefit me more? Such as the Delta Reserve? And is my strategy sound? Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

  16. @ PLV — In your case I think the card makes a LOT of sense. The International Airline Program would indeed lower the cost of your paid premium cabin tickets on Emirates significantly, assuming your travel originates in the US. You could save hundreds of dollars per ticket. That alone would make it worthwhile, in my opinion. Otherwise, the way you view the math on the card is spot on. So in your situation I think it makes a lot of sense.

  17. Remember that you can get the Ameriprise Amex platinum for free the first year. Anyone can apply online. I cancel and then repeat. You do not get a sign up bonus.

  18. @Andrew You would need a US mailing address and a Social Security number (for credit check), so a US citizen residing abroad could likely get US credit cards, but not a foreigner residing abroad.

    @Byron The fees that the card covers are things like checked baggage, lounge access, ticket change fees, seat assignment fees. Fuel surcharges are technically part of the ticket cost, so this is unlikely to work. I’m honestly not sure of the specifics for how Amex differentiates between ticket prices and fees on AA purchases, so it is possible the credit might be triggered if the fuel surcharge is low enough — In the past, I’ve had the credit cover the ~$10 taxes on an AAward ticket, even though this shouldn’t have happened.

  19. @NMH —> “For example they have a roadside assist program that will pay for roadside assistance – including up to ten miles of towing – up to four times per year.”

    Yes, well . . . my AAA membership gives me towing up to ONE HUNDRED miles per event, 4x a year.

  20. @Lucky —> There are several reasons for me *not* to get the Amex Platinum card.

    First and foremost is that, for me, the 5x points on air travel isn’t worth it due to the exact reason you cite above: “Do note that the card doesn’t offer travel and baggage protection, so some may prefer using the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers 3x points and embedded travel and baggage protection.” To me, the CSR makes more sense.

    Secondly, as @Boraxo said above, “I don’t cruise and I don’t do Delta. I prefer Lyft to Uber and have a car so I rarely spend $15 per month anyway.” The same is true for me, so those benefits are wasted on me.

    The list goes on and on — such as already receiving the Global Entry credit with other cards, etc., etc. — but I do want to add one other specific point. I find that, for me, the SPG Amex more valuable with its “transfer 20k, receive 25k” airline transfer — PLUS the huge list of transfer partners (especially with the recent loss of transfer partners with AS).

    Obviously no one size fits all. If I traveled far more frequently, the equation would certainly change — especially if (e.g.) I paid the airfare and were then reimbursed by my company. (Alas, no longer the case.) Or certainly, if I could take advance of all the credits and bring the AF down to $150 (or less). But as it stands, personally, I receive better value with other cards.

  21. @JayBird – great tip about Ameriprise Amex Plat. So what does it take to be an “Ameriprise Client”?

  22. @Jason Brandt Lewis

    while I agree on the travel protection all you have to do is pay a portion of the fare on the CSR, I will routinely buy AA gift cards and apply say $200 of the $245 fare and put the remaining 45 on the CSR.

    So I get 1000amex points from the $200 and 135UR points from the $45 and get the travel protection as well.

    Also I rarely use Uber but I can use Uber eats to get a free meal delivered to my house/office each month. This works as well for the $15 month credit.

    Ultimately you own this card if you have a local centurion, if you do its a no brainer if you don’t then yeah id pass and stick with the CSR. I have a local centurion so ill be keeping both Plat and CSR.

  23. @Lucky do you rely only on credit card benefits for travel insurance, or do you also purchase per trip or an annual travel insurance plan of some sort (medical, or comprehensive)?

  24. @Boraxo-You do not have to be an Ameriprise client at all. Just apply through the website. I am not a client and never have been. I am not sure why anyone pays the annual fee especially after receiving the one lifetime bonus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *