The 8 Amex Platinum Card Benefits I Value Most

The 8 Amex Platinum Card Benefits I Value Most

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The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is one of the most perks-rich premium credit cards out there. While the card has a steep $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees), it offers benefits that will more than help offset it for many.

I’ve had the Amex Platinum Card for years, and it’s one that I’ve never even considered canceling. In this post I wanted to share the perks of the card that get me the most value, and why I’ve never even considered canceling it. Of course everyone will have a different take on this, so I’d love to hear from OMAAT readers in the comments.

The best Amex Platinum benefits & perks

In this post, I wanted to take a look at the Amex Platinum Card perks that I value most, including plenty of credits, airport lounge access, and so much more.

$200 annual Uber credit

The Amex Platinum Card offers up to $200 in Uber Cash annually. The way this works is that you get a $15 Uber credit every month, except in December, where you get a $35 Uber credit. This is valid either toward Uber rides in the United States or it can be used toward Uber Eats. I easily maximize this benefit with Uber Eats every month, and therefore consider this to be more or less worth face value.

Use your credit toward Uber Eats purchases

$200 annual airline fee credit

The Amex Platinum offers a $200 annual airline fee credit. While there are restrictions on what you can use this credit for and you need to designate an airline, I’ve been able to get the full $200 worth of value out of this every year. Yes, there are more valuable credit card annual travel credits, but I’ve still gotten great value from this.

I use my airline fee credit with JetBlue

$200 annual hotel credit

The Amex Platinum offers a useful $200 annual hotel credit. There are some restrictions, but this is still quite easy to use. You just have to book a hotel through Amex Travel — this could include a prepaid Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts booking (no minimum stay), or you could reserve through The Hotel Collection (two night minimum stay required), and then you’ll automatically receive an annual credit of up to $200 based on your spending.

You can use this credit toward a single stay or multiple stays — whichever you prefer.

Get a $200 annual hotel credit with the Amex Platinum

$189 annual CLEAR credit

The Amex Platinum offers up to $189 per year in statement credits toward eligible CLEAR membership charges. If done correctly, that’s potentially enough for both a primary member and a family member to sign up for a year.

CLEAR offers expedited access to select airport security lines. Rather than having to wait in line to have your ID checked, you can instead use your biometric data to cut the line.

Get a $189 annual CLEAR credit with the Amex Platinum

$100 annual Saks credit

The Amex Platinum offers up to $100 in annual Saks credits. The way this works is that you get a $50 credit in the first half of the year, and a $50 credit in the second half of the year. This is valid in-store or online, and there’s no minimum purchase amount.

While I’m not usually a Saks customer, Saks sells all kinds of things that have consistent pricing among retailers, so I’ve had no issues maximizing this.

Get a $100 annual Saks credit with the Amex Platinum

5x Amex points on airfare

The Amex Platinum Card offers 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 spent per year). This is in addition to the card offering great travel coverage for airfare purchases, making this the all-around best card for airline purchases.

The Amex Platinum offers 5x points on airfare purchases

The best airport lounge access benefit

The Amex Platinum offers the most comprehensive lounge access perk of any card. For having the Amex Platinum you receive:

  • Access to Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta same day
  • A Priority Pass membership (enrollment required)
  • Access to Plaza Premium lounges
  • Access to select Lufthansa lounges when flying a Lufthansa Group airline same day
Access Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum

The ability to add authorized users

You can add up to three authorized users to the Amex Platinum Card for a total of $175 (Rates & Fees), which I consider to be a great deal. I’d argue this is one of the all-around best cards for adding authorized users.

Those authorized users get Priority Pass memberships (enrollment required), Delta Sky Club access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required), Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required), and more. That’s a heck of a deal for under $60 per person per year when you add three people.

Even Amex Platinum authorized users can get lounge access

Amex Platinum perks I’m not factoring in

The above are only some of the perks of the Amex Platinum Card, and to me more than justify the annual fee.

There are other Amex Platinum perks that some others will value, but which I don’t necessarily get much value out of, or at least don’t factor into my overall calculation of the value proposition of the card. The Amex Platinum also offers:

  • Up to $300 per year in Equinox credits, in the form of a $25 monthly statement credit toward select Equinox purchases; since I’m not an Equinox member and don’t have interest in becoming one, this isn’t worth much to me as of now
  • Up to $300 per year in SoulCycle credits, which can be used toward the purchase of an at-home bike; personally I don’t value this since I’ve never used SoulCycle
  • Up to $240 per year in digital entertainment credits, in the form of a $20 monthly statement credit toward Audible, Peacock, SiriusXM, The New York Times, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, and Hulu
  • Up to $155 per year in Walmart+ credits, in the form of a $12.95 monthly credit toward a Walmart+ membership; maybe I need to look more into this, and can take advantage of this in the future
  • Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as you have the card; the reason I don’t value this much is because I have Hilton Honors Diamond status and lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status, so I don’t get much use out of that
  • A Global Entry fee credit; this perk is worthwhile, though can only be used once every four years, so I don’t consider it a reason to get this card
  • Access to Amex Offers, which offers all kinds of amazing savings and bonus points opportunities; I do value this significantly, though don’t factor it into my valuation of the card
  • The Amex International Airline Program (IAP) offers a ton of value for international premium cabin airfare; some years this saves me hundreds or even thousands of dollars, while other years it saves me nothing
Receive complimentary breakfast as a Hilton Honors Gold member

Crunching the numbers on the Amex Platinum

In my situation, the math very easily checks out on the Amex Platinum Card. Let’s just crunch some very basic numbers:

  • The $200 Uber credit is more or less worth face value, since I spend at least $15 per month with Uber Eats
  • Let’s conservatively value the $200 airline fee credit, $200 hotel credit, $189 CLEAR credit, and $100 Saks credit at 75% of face value, to apply some discount to it; those credits alone are worth just over $500 then

That already puts the value I get out of the card at over $700, which is more than the card’s annual fee. That doesn’t factor in all the other perks, from the savings through the Amex Offers program, to the amazing lounge access perks, to the 5x points on airfare.

Bottom line

I’ve had the Amex Platinum Card for years, and consider it to be more than worthwhile. While the card has a steep annual fee, I find that the value of the perks more than justify it.

If you don’t yet have the Amex Platinum Card, this is a great time to pick it up. And if you do get approved, see this post for what to do when you get your card in the mail.

For those with the Amex Platinum, how does the math work out on the card for you?

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).

Conversations (23)
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  1. Frederik Guest

    The U.K. card is a similar price but far fewer benefits and much poorer value for money since they increased the fee, Benefits are hard to justify if now travelling less post pandemic, especially if you live outside London. You also only ever get x2 bonus points at most and have steep foreign exchange fees on the UK card.

    I would still consider the platinum if it was still around £350/75, but it is not...

    The U.K. card is a similar price but far fewer benefits and much poorer value for money since they increased the fee, Benefits are hard to justify if now travelling less post pandemic, especially if you live outside London. You also only ever get x2 bonus points at most and have steep foreign exchange fees on the UK card.

    I would still consider the platinum if it was still around £350/75, but it is not worth over £500 unless you have a very high spending. single high socialising family free lifestyle and based in Greater London area.

  2. Never In Doubt Guest

    Can’t wait until February, 2023 and the Great Centurion Lounge Clear Out!

  3. magice Member

    I never quite understand the hate/complains around Amex Platinum and its perks.

    First of all, this should be view as a "lifestyle" card rather than mere "travel" card. I know I know, it's like splitting hair, but once you view it as a more holistic status in life, it kinda makes more sense. Think Amex Gold, right? It gives 4pt for grocery. Why? Because it's not *just* a travel card. It's all about "enjoy things...

    I never quite understand the hate/complains around Amex Platinum and its perks.

    First of all, this should be view as a "lifestyle" card rather than mere "travel" card. I know I know, it's like splitting hair, but once you view it as a more holistic status in life, it kinda makes more sense. Think Amex Gold, right? It gives 4pt for grocery. Why? Because it's not *just* a travel card. It's all about "enjoy things in life," so to speak.

    Second, I personally find the discounts to be smart. Look, guys, money has to come from *somewhere*. It's either your pocket or someone's pocket. Imagine if you have an entire team looking for where you can save, but in a stylish, cool way. That's, I think, what Amex is aiming for: providing you with a coupon book for a certain lifestyle. If you like it, cool, welcome, it will cost $695, thank you very much. If you don't, well, coupon books are still cool, yo?

    I personally find the value proposition of Amex Platinum to be relatively decent. Not overly lucrative (it's not budding competitor looking for market share, yo!), but not terrible either. Personally, I never fail to finish the Uber credit, the media credit (who doesn't have either Hulu or Disney+? I also have NYTimes & Audible from way back when), the Saks credit (hand lotion for the eczema!), and the CLEAR credit. Walmark+ is... interesting? I tried it out (because it's free), but it's not exactly useful useful. So I *think* I make the fee back. Plus the lounge (I am in love with SkyClub these days for some weird reasons; they are so nice! To my baby, too!) and the chat help and the occasional questions to concierge. So if I had failed to make money back (i.e. paying a few tens of dollars), it's completely worth it.

    A lot of people out there can gobble up the airline credit and the hotel credit (which I personally find annoying to use; why pay $500 to get $200 back when there are perfectly good choices at $150?), and I think some would make way more uses of the lounges and concierge than I do. So the card is reasonably valued.

    Again, Amex isn't Capital One (or Chase when they released CSR). They don't need to win market share. They don't need to provide crazy value proposition. Their cards are solid, if a bit confusing.

    (on that note: I swear these days Chase is sleeping on their laurels; in the last 6 months, I can't think of a time I want to spend on Chase cards outside of the introduction bonus).

  4. iamhere Guest

    I don't find the Saks credit useful since it is not $100. It's really two $50 credits. Not much useful things there for only $50. Uber is useful but it has gotten increasingly annoying to use. First it was a monthly amount, but now the monthly amount is divided into a few dollars per ride. That means you would need to have a handful of rides each month to get your monthly money. The additional...

    I don't find the Saks credit useful since it is not $100. It's really two $50 credits. Not much useful things there for only $50. Uber is useful but it has gotten increasingly annoying to use. First it was a monthly amount, but now the monthly amount is divided into a few dollars per ride. That means you would need to have a handful of rides each month to get your monthly money. The additional users is only a good deal if you add three people! $175 but only one person, not a good deal. What I think you are missing from the list is that this is not a credit card. It is charge card. There may be a transaction limit but there is generally no credit line limit. I think their travel center is overpriced for both points and cash compared to other cards.

  5. Hobbs Guest

    It's a travel card. IAP discounts on business class fares, always greater than 10% from my experience. $200 FHR statement credit plus the $100 (minimum) hotel experience credit. I gift lounge day passes to my friends with the airline credit. Everything else is gravy. Also helps that NYC (LGA/JFK) is home.

  6. Joe Guest

    I've had the card since February. I've already generated $206 in cash back from the Amex offers on things I would have bought anyway.

    I'm fully utilizing the Uber credit, though I use it on Uber Eats as opposed to rides; the CSR gives me better points through Lyft for trips.

    I put Southwest down as my airline of choice and was worried I would regret it, but I've already used a little over $150...

    I've had the card since February. I've already generated $206 in cash back from the Amex offers on things I would have bought anyway.

    I'm fully utilizing the Uber credit, though I use it on Uber Eats as opposed to rides; the CSR gives me better points through Lyft for trips.

    I put Southwest down as my airline of choice and was worried I would regret it, but I've already used a little over $150 to pay the difference in changed flights or to pay the balance on flights for which I used stored credit. In Year 2 I may put it down again and, worse comes to worse, use gift card balance to pay enough of the fare to leave less than $100 pending to trigger the perk.

    The hotel credit was easy to utilize on a one-night getaway. I didn't feel it was the best use of the credit, but after the $100 on site credit, it put a nice dent in what would have been a several hundred dollar expense.

    I just signed up for Walmart Plus. I don't know how much value I'll get out of it but am willing to give it a shot. I've grown quite accustomed to Amazon, so it'll be an adjustment. If nothing else, I'll use it for groceries and stick to Amazon for other products to keep that 5% return with the Amazon card.

    In general though, what I find most useful is the way the Platinum allows me to segment off purchases I would have made anyway. I pay up front an annual fee that will go toward things I would have bought throughout the year. I know people slam it for being a coupon book, but I find it's a useful way to prepay. Even Clear has come in more handy than I would have anticipated.

  7. tipsyinmadras Gold

    It requires a concerted effort to extract value from this card - it feels like work not perks.

    Even 5x on points is meh - nearly all premium cards have met or exceeded that.
    MR points really only seem useful for transfer - otherwise you're lucky to get 0.1/point for them through Amex Travel.

  8. Jeff Guest

    This was the most hated card I ever had because it was so stressful to keep tabs on the dozens (close to 100) transactions per year I needed to time correctly to get value from the card. Had this card for three years and it was honestly stressful; I even used a spreadsheet to make sure I didn't forget things. Figure you need to keep track of almost 100 credits/year when figuring in how many...

    This was the most hated card I ever had because it was so stressful to keep tabs on the dozens (close to 100) transactions per year I needed to time correctly to get value from the card. Had this card for three years and it was honestly stressful; I even used a spreadsheet to make sure I didn't forget things. Figure you need to keep track of almost 100 credits/year when figuring in how many are monthly. I canceled the card two months ago and it's been a huge relief. No matter the value of the other things, this card would only be worth it if you use the lounges a lot, i.e. your home airport has a Centurion lounge that isn't too crowded and much better than the PP options or you always fly Delta and don't have status for lounges. Otherwise the stress and hassle just isn't worth it.

  9. Tom Guest

    Walmart+ is actually amazing. I signed up when Amex introduced the benefit, and I honestly put in at least 1 order from Walmart weekly, sometimes even 2 or 3. I basically use it for all my non-perishable stuff which can range from Coke Zero to other things like extra towels or other random stuff. I wouldn't get the card for this, but I'm happily using the value from it.

  10. Planes2Sea New Member

    When this perk was added, I felt like it cheapened the Platinum Card brand (my opinion) but thought I'd try it out just to see. It's actually been great and super convenient. It worked out so well, I cancelled my Prime membership, as the only real benefit I was using with Prime was the free shipping.

  11. Steve Diamond

    Walmart+ is great, dont use it much but when i do its extremely convenient.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      We tried Walmart+ and it was plagued with incorrect items being sent. Returns were a hassle. The customer service people at Walmart stores didn't know how to handle returns. In the end, the monthly statement credit wasn't worth the hassle / labor. Amazon works just fine.

    2. Khatl Gold

      Ditto. Though reporting issues by phone got them resolved and didn't have to return anything. For example, ordered umbrella. Received bag of dog food. Ordered milk and couple of other items. Received $300 of groceries (many of which would never use) and none of my stuff.

    3. Khatl Gold

      Ditto. Though reporting issues by phone got them resolved and didn't have to return anything. For example, ordered umbrella. Received bag of dog food. Ordered milk and couple of other items. Received $300 of groceries (many of which would never use) and none of my stuff.

    4. Steve Diamond

      Damn they just credit me back and let me keep the incorrect item. Simple process i just took a photo of the wrong item on the app and i got an instant refund.

  12. mdande7 Gold

    I ask every time, but how do YOU use the airline credit. I can't get value out of it. I don't check bags (or they are free) everything is free in First class...

    1. Traveler314 Guest

      Yes, PLEASE. we need an answer to this. I often get $0 out of this since the gift card scheme was eliminated.

    2. ECR Guest

      travelbank at United or Jetblue, essentially a gift card for flight purchases.

    3. Reno Joe Guest

      I'm not saying this is the case with Ben or this is applicable to this statement credit but . . . the fact is that reward abuse teams at the airlines, hotels, and credit card issuers read these blogs. They are looking for methods that they determine are not intended for use. No one but people on those teams know what the next method is to be shut down. Now imagine that YOU have a...

      I'm not saying this is the case with Ben or this is applicable to this statement credit but . . . the fact is that reward abuse teams at the airlines, hotels, and credit card issuers read these blogs. They are looking for methods that they determine are not intended for use. No one but people on those teams know what the next method is to be shut down. Now imagine that YOU have a method that works and it's not widely known. Do you share and risk it being shut down? Or, do you keep it to yourself in safety? You'd like to share but you don't want to hose yourself. Again, I'm not saying Ben is doing this. I encourage experimentation.

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ mdande7 -- The FlyerTalk thread on this is a great resource as to what will anecdotally trigger credits:
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-express-membership-rewards/1300475-airline-fee-250-200-reimbursement-reports-b6-only-jetblue-29.html

  13. stlsch02 New Member

    Having a newborn son Walmart +
    Would be fantastic value for you

    1. Eric Guest

      Yes, we have a 1 year old son and agree that Walmart+ via the Platinum has actually been really valuable. I've found that buying things other than diapers on Amazon is hit or miss (e.g., they often require you to buy a two-pack, or the pricing is crazy because it's a third-party seller).

      I was using Target.com quite a lot, but in many cases Walmart is cheaper. And with the Walmart+ membership you don't have...

      Yes, we have a 1 year old son and agree that Walmart+ via the Platinum has actually been really valuable. I've found that buying things other than diapers on Amazon is hit or miss (e.g., they often require you to buy a two-pack, or the pricing is crazy because it's a third-party seller).

      I was using Target.com quite a lot, but in many cases Walmart is cheaper. And with the Walmart+ membership you don't have to hit $35 minimum as you do on Target and the items have always come in two days.

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magice Member

I never quite understand the hate/complains around Amex Platinum and its perks. First of all, this should be view as a "lifestyle" card rather than mere "travel" card. I know I know, it's like splitting hair, but once you view it as a more holistic status in life, it kinda makes more sense. Think Amex Gold, right? It gives 4pt for grocery. Why? Because it's not *just* a travel card. It's all about "enjoy things in life," so to speak. Second, I personally find the discounts to be smart. Look, guys, money has to come from *somewhere*. It's either your pocket or someone's pocket. Imagine if you have an entire team looking for where you can save, but in a stylish, cool way. That's, I think, what Amex is aiming for: providing you with a coupon book for a certain lifestyle. If you like it, cool, welcome, it will cost $695, thank you very much. If you don't, well, coupon books are still cool, yo? I personally find the value proposition of Amex Platinum to be relatively decent. Not overly lucrative (it's not budding competitor looking for market share, yo!), but not terrible either. Personally, I never fail to finish the Uber credit, the media credit (who doesn't have either Hulu or Disney+? I also have NYTimes & Audible from way back when), the Saks credit (hand lotion for the eczema!), and the CLEAR credit. Walmark+ is... interesting? I tried it out (because it's free), but it's not exactly useful useful. So I *think* I make the fee back. Plus the lounge (I am in love with SkyClub these days for some weird reasons; they are so nice! To my baby, too!) and the chat help and the occasional questions to concierge. So if I had failed to make money back (i.e. paying a few tens of dollars), it's completely worth it. A lot of people out there can gobble up the airline credit and the hotel credit (which I personally find annoying to use; why pay $500 to get $200 back when there are perfectly good choices at $150?), and I think some would make way more uses of the lounges and concierge than I do. So the card is reasonably valued. Again, Amex isn't Capital One (or Chase when they released CSR). They don't need to win market share. They don't need to provide crazy value proposition. Their cards are solid, if a bit confusing. (on that note: I swear these days Chase is sleeping on their laurels; in the last 6 months, I can't think of a time I want to spend on Chase cards outside of the introduction bonus).

1
Khatl Gold

Buying priority boarding on SWA

1
ECR Guest

travelbank at United or Jetblue, essentially a gift card for flight purchases.

1
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