Even though The Platinum Card® from American Express has a new steep $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), this premium travel card still boasts perks and value that easily can justify its now-higher cost. Plus, a new 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points welcome offer after spending $6,000 on the card in your first six months of card membership — and a slew of new benefits — makes the Amex Platinum even more attractive for those on the fence about applying.
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The card now earns 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership. There’s also the following new perks:
- Up to $200 hotel statement credit, on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with the Amex Platinum Card
- Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in credits a month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card at participating partners
- Up to $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships or Equinox+
- Up to $179 back per year on your Clear membership when you use your card
Designed for the luxury traveler, the Amex Platinum card’s standout benefits also offer premier airport lounge access, built-in elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriot Bonvoy and top-tier redemption opportunities for flights, hotels and other hospitality and travel experiences. In addition, you’ll enjoy the utmost service from American Express’s Platinum Concierge, who can help secure reservations, plan your flights and help secure hard-to-get symphony tickets for that European holiday.
Other outstanding benefits include cell phone insurance, travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, retail statement credits and ride-sharing credits and much more. The value of this card is quite noteworthy and you should have a strategy to maximize the card’s value and utilize all the card’s benefits. We’ve outlined some ways you may not be earning all you can on your Amex Platinum.
Be sure to take advantage of the welcome offer
The new welcome offer for the Amex Platinum is a generous 100,000 points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of opening your new account. You may also be a lucky consumer who receives a targeted offer with a welcome bonus of 125,000 or 150,000 points after applying via the CardMatch tool (offers subject to change at any time). The key to maximizing your card’s value is to reach the spending threshold. For example, if an offer requires spending $6,000 in the first six months, be sure to reach that threshold by using the card to pay for things including a vacation, home improvement projects or gear such as golf clubs, skis or bicycles for your family.
Understand bonus earning opportunities
To stretch your earning potential, you now earn 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership. The card also offers 1x points on all other purchases. You can rack up points quickly; plan to rely on your card for everyday spending and household expenses. Link your Platinum Card to your utility bills, streaming services, and make it your card of choice for appliance purchases, automobile service work, furniture or any other high-ticketing spending items.
Take advantage of exclusive VIP experiences
In addition to presale options for concerts, your Platinum Card grants you access to VIP experiences, providing you with the ability to purchase tickets to By Invitation Only events and receive earlier access to select ticket packages. The By Invitation Only program is an exclusive benefit for Platinum Card and Centurion Members, which offers access to year-round customized once-in-a-lifetime events plus experiences for dining, wellness, travel, entertainment and retail. Before the pandemic, By Invitation Only events included the VIP Centre Court tickets to Wimbledon 2020 and VIP access to the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen.
Utilize your travel perks
This card is an excellent travel companion and provides upraised value when you’re on the road or in the skies. The key here is to use all the services that are included. First, take advantage of an up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. In addition, you get a cool travel credit of $200 a year for airline fees, which can be put toward expenses such as inflight meals and beverages, checked-bag fees, or inflight Wi-Fi. Note that this travel credit applies to one airline you pick, and it can be updated annually(enrollment required).
Relax in high-style pre-flight with access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, with more than 1,300 airport lounges around the globe. These include Amex Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (you must be on a same-day Delta flight) and Priority Pass lounges.(enrollment required)
Once you reach your destination, your Platinum card keeps offering luxury travel momentum. The card makes you eligible for complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. (enrollment required).But also comes with access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program, which comes with a room upgrade upon arrival, when available at check-in; daily breakfast for two; guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and Noon check-in, when available; complimentary Wi-Fi when a property includes Wi-Fi in a mandatory resort fee; and a $100 or more property, dining or spa credit (enrollment required).There’s also access to The Hotel Collection, which offers room upgrades and hotel credits for dining, spa and resort activities when you stay for two or more nights at select hotels.
Don’t assume you receive perks automatically
To garner the most value from the Platinum Card, be sure to enroll in the offers you are interested in and want. This is a simple process: simply log into your Amex account and pick your offers. You need to manually enroll for elite status with car rental partners and hotel elite status programs and enroll to receive both the $200 annual Uber statement credit and Saks Fifth Avenue $100 retail credit. Don’t assume by default you’re enrolled, because you’re not. (enrollment required)
To recoup the Amex Platinum card’s hefty $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), you must do your best to maximize all the benefits and credits that come equipped with this luxury card. The best approach is to reach your spending requirement to capture the welcome bonus, enroll in the programs that will enhance your travel experience and have a clear understanding of the path on how to maximize points.
Beyond the top-notch travel benefits, you’re receiving extra perks such as cell phone insurance, purchase protection and trip insurance coverage. Beyond valuable travel redemption opportunities, you can redeem your points for gift cards, statement credits and retail merchandise. American Express also allows you to transfer your points to partners. Check your app for applicable redemption rates, exclusions and rules.
Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy