What To Do When You Get Your Amex Platinum Card

Filed Under: Advice, American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (review) are among the most popular premium cards out there.

They have hefty annual fees — it’s $550 for the personal version (Rates & Fees), and $595 for the business version (Rates & Fees), though for many the benefits will more than offset the annual fee.

The main reason I have these cards is because of the great perks they offer. However, if you’re a new cardmember it can be tough to navigate all these perks.

In this post I figured I’d talk about what you should do as soon as you get the Platinum Card in the mail. If you already have the card and have taken advantage of all the perks, then by all means skip this post, but it’s something I get a lot of questions about.

Activate your Priority Pass membership

Just for having the Platinum Card you get a Priority Pass membership, which gets you access to over 1,300 lounges around the world. However, you need to specifically request the card in order to take advantage of the perk. To do so, register for Priority Pass at this link.

You’ll be asked to confirm your information, and then within a couple of weeks should receive your Priority Pass card in the mail.

Priority Pass gets you access to lounges around the world

Activate your Hilton Honors Gold status

Just for having the Platinum Card you get Hilton Honors Gold status, which gets you room upgrades, club lounge access (subject to availability), free breakfast, etc. This benefit is good for as long as you have the card, though you have to register for Hilton Honors Gold status.

Receive breakfast as a Hilton Honors Gold member

Activate your Marriott Bonvoy Gold status

Just for having the Platinum Card you get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which gets you perks like room upgrades, enhanced internet, bonus points, late check-out subject to availability, and more. This benefit is good for as long as you have the card, though you have to register for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

You may receive upgraded rooms as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member

Sign-up for Global Entry

One of the perks of the Platinum Card is a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. I highly recommend getting Global Entry, since that automatically comes with TSA Pre-Check, while the inverse isn’t true.

To take advantage of this just charge the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed. There’s no registration required. You can even use this to pay the fee for a friend or family member, should you already have it.

Global-Entry
Use your credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check

Designate a preferred airline

One of the benefits of both the Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Platinum is that you get a $200 annual airline fee credit. To take advantage of this you need to designate a US airline, with the choices including Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United.

If you’re an existing cardmember, you can select your airline of choice in January of each year, and if you don’t, your previous selection will roll over. If you’re a new cardmember then you can select your preferred airline.

To verify or select your airline of choice, log into your Amex account, and then click on the “Benefits” tab along the top. Then scroll to the section that talks about the airline fee credit, and you’ll see the link to “select an airline.”

Also keep in mind that whatever airline you designate will also be the airline for which your 35% off “Pay With Points” option applies on the Amex Business Platinum. So choose your airline carefully, especially with the business card.

You can designate United as your airline of choice

Sign-up for free car rental status

Just for having an Amex Platinum Card you receive free Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Emerald Club Executive status. It’s super easy to sign-up. You can register for all of these status levels on this page or by calling Amex customer service.

Enroll in ShopRunner for free 2-day shipping

ShopRunner gives you free 2-day shipping with thousands of brands from 100+ stores. Ordinarily, an annual membership costs $79, but it’s free with an Amex Platinum Card. You can sign-up for this benefit here.

Get free two-day shipping with ShopRunner

Decide if you want to add authorized users

While the Amex Platinum has a high annual fee, you also have the option of adding authorized users at a cost:

  • On the personal version of the card, you can add up to three authorized users for $175 (Rates & Fees)
  • On the business version of the card, each authorized user costs $300 (Rates & Fees)

Why would you want to consider adding an authorized user? They’ll also get access to Centurion Lounges, as well as a Priority Pass membership. If you add three authorized users to the Amex Personal Platinum for $175, that’s like paying ~$58 per authorized user. That’s a heck of a deal for an annual Centurion Lounge membership.

Adding authorizers users can be worthwhile for Centurion Lounge access

Use your Uber credits (Personal Platinum Only)

The Amex Platinum Card offers $200 in annual Uber credits. That comes in the form of a $15 monthly Uber credit, and in December you get a $35 credit, all of which can be applied towards US rides.

To take advantage of this just add your Amex Platinum to your Uber profile. You don’t actually have to pay with the card, but rather this will cause that credit to apply to your Uber Cash balance, and automatically be used towards rides.

Get up to $200 in annual Uber credits

Enroll for Saks credits (Personal Platinum Only)

The Amex Platinum Card offers $100 in annual Saks credits. That comes in the form of a $50 credit in the first half of the year, and a $50 credit in the second half of the year. Those apply to purchases made in-store or online with Saks.

You need to enroll for the Saks benefit.

Get up to $100 in annual Saks credits

Start loading Amex Offers

One of my favorite perks of Amex cards is the Amex Offers program. With this, you can save money and earn bonus points on all kinds of purchases with American Express.

To take advantage of this, log into your account and scroll down, and you’ll see all kinds of offers. Start adding them to your account and then using your card for purchases where you can score discounts or bonus points.

I earn a significant number of points and cash back using this.

Bottom line

There are so many great perks to both the Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Platinum, to the point that it can be overwhelming at first. While there’s a lot more to uncover, the above are the first things I’d do when you get this card in the mail.

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

Comments
  1. Wow you think $500 annual fee is steep. In Singapore it’s $1712 or about $1200 USD but there are additional benefits like $800 travel / hotel credits and free hotel stay but yeah $1200 USD is painful to most

  2. @Alain, I don’t think your program is so bad. If those are true travel credits (and free hotel stay), not just the incidental fee credits that I have little use for, I’d take your offer instead of mine, all else being equal.

  3. @alain it’s $1500 AUD (so around the same in SGD). I think the benefits are better in Singapore though. Used to have it….it does from time to time have really good sign up offers in Australia though which I benefited from.

  4. Also note that each country has their own perks and offers and also the referral link only works for referrals in the same country your card is from.

  5. Ben, I am sure you get “spiffed” from Amex for touting their card, but my personal advice would be that after you have done signing up for all those suggested things… is to cut up the card, send it back and ask for a refund. I had Personal Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards for my employees for over 25 years. I finally gave up on them, after finding much better options (for points, benefits, customer service, establishment acceptance, overseas benefits, etc.). Their high fees and the “death by a thousand cuts” of benefits over the years, has made the Amex Plat card of little value to both me and my business. My business peers seem to consistently feel the same way.

  6. Regarding FHR: The breakfast and property credit, is that per room, per booking, per night?
    Two rooms for two nights, will result in how many breakfasts for how many guests and how many times the property credit?

    Thanks!

  7. Got the card for the 2nd time the 1st of December. I took care of the Dell benefit with an extended warranty and paid for two seat upgrades on United for a long domestic trip. They all reset on Jan. 1 and I will do all those over again. This will nearly wipe out the complete annual fee. The spend requirement is a bit steep, but I will get those points and next Dec. cancel this card as the Sapphire Reserve has even better benefits.

  8. So with the Amex Platinum I get Marriott Gold status but with the Marriott Bonvoy Premier card I only get Silver? I was pondering canceling the Marriott card and the only reason to keep it, is if you use the free night otherwise its $95 down the drain.

    I’ve been going through my cards and trying to get rid of some of them or downgrade them to free versions. I have the Ink Plus so I downgraded the other card to a Ink Business Cash to get rid of the fee (I don’t have anything close to $50K to churn through one card much less 2).

  9. If I add one/two/three AUs for the $175, will they also get PreCheck?

    Looking to add for my mom who sometimes gets it added to her boarding pass (based on age?), sometimes doesn’t. Last week she didn’t get and nearly missed her flight.

  10. Ref: airline (of choice) $200 fee credit — has anyone figures out a way to use this $200 credit as previously for ‘gift cards’? Starting in 2020, Amex changed the procedure (we were told) to not allow the purchase of airline specific gift cards (and then applying the $200 to the next air tkt purchased). But has anyone tried successfully to purchase a gift card? Any other work-arounds to suggest?

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