American Express Platinum Card: Benefits, Costs & Sign-Up Bonus

by joeheg

The American Express Platinum Card is one of the “Fab Four” premium travel cards. Along with Capital One Venture X, Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve, it earns flexible award points that can be transferred to many different travel partners.

You can sign up for the American Express Platinum card by using our referral link and we receive a bonus for everyone who gets the card. Thanks!

The AMEX Platinum Card costs more than the other “premium” cards but has a number of benefits that can make it worthwhile if you can use most of them.


Annual Fee

$695 per year

Sign Up Benefits

The AMEX Platinum card currently has an increased referral sign-up bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $8,000 in purchases for the first six months.

Spending Bonus Categories

The Platinum Card earns five Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year), five Membership Rewards points on eligible prepaid hotel bookings made with and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. The 5x points for airline tickets is the highest return offered with any card; the only drawback is the charge has to be direct with the airline or AMEX Travel (not with any Online Travel Agencies). The lack of other category bonuses is disappointing for the premium travel product from American Express.

Immediate Benefits

Here’s where the Platinum Card starts to show some value. The card gives you hotel benefits like Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status. For rental cars, you get Avis Preferred Plus, National Emerald Club Executive, and Hertz President’s Circle status. In addition, you’ll get perks like an extended grace period for returns with Hertz.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

As you would hope a card marketed towards travelers would, the Platinum Card does not charge foreign transaction fees.


To offset the large annual fee, American Express offers several ways to get back money in the form of statement credits.

  • $200 Airline FEE credit – You will receive a statement credit for up to $200 in eligible purchases with the airline you select. These credits are for airline fees and can’t be used directly for ticket purchases. AMEX has made these credits harder to use, and they are no longer equivalent to a $200 rebate.
  • One Global Entry ($100) statement credit or one TSA Pre® ($85) statement credit every 4 years for an application fee charged to an eligible Platinum Card.
  • You can cover the cost of a CLEAR Plus Membership with up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for CLEAR Plus with your Platinum Card
  • Receive $15 in eligible orders with Uber Eats or Uber U.S. rides each month plus a bonus $20 in December, delivered through an exclusive Uber app experience. (Note: This credit is monthly and does not roll over to the next month; it’s “use it or lose it”). American Express Platinum cardholders are also granted Uber VIP status.
  • Streaming Media Credit – Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you use your Platinum Card for eligible purchases on Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Credit – Your Platinum Card allows you to earn up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, paid $50 semi-annually.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Property Credit – Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel using your Platinum Card
  • Walmart+ Monthly Credit – When you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership, you’ll receive $12.95 back in statement credits.

Lounge Access

American Express Platinum cardholders have access to many lounges.


American Express operates Centurion Lounges in several U.S. airports, which are widely touted by most bloggers as the best domestic airport lounges. The lounges offer buffet-style food with a menu created by a local chef, craft cocktails, and stylish seating.

American Express is expanding the Centurion Lounge network, both in the US and internationally. To get the most updated list of locations, use the AMEX app and check under the membership section.

I’ve been to several of these lounges, including CharlottePhiladelphia, San Francisco, and New York JFK (including the hidden speakeasy) and found each location to be a great place to spend time before a flight. The bartender in New York even let us have some real champagne (usually only reserved for people who have the Centurion “AMEX Black Card”) when he found out that we were traveling on our anniversary.


American Express Platinum Cardholders are also given a membership card for Priority Pass. With this membership, you can enter any of the Priority Pass network clubs with up to two guests. We’ve visited some of the clubs, and the quality can vary. We like the Club MCO locations in Orlando, but the Wingtips Lounge at JFK left something to be desired.

Platinum Cardholders also get access to Delta SkyClubs when flying on a Delta ticket. Effective February 1, 2025, eligible Platinum Card Members will receive 10 Visits per Eligible Platinum Card per year to the Delta Sky Club or to Grab and Go when traveling on a same-day Delta-operated flight.

You can access other lounges with the Platinum card, and we keep an updated list on this website.

Other Perks

Platinum cardholders can book rooms through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts website. This site gives extra perks and credits when staying at hotels that are usually way out of our price range. We used this benefit to book a room at the Park Hyatt Saigon.

Like other American Express cards, the Platinum Card lists various AMEX offers on your account throughout the year.

You will also get access to the American Express Concierge with your Platinum Card. I don’t put much value on concierge services from credit cards.  However, I’ve found the AMEX Platinum Concierge to be quite useful. I used their service to help with a reservation at the French Laundry in Yountville, CA. AMEX has a contact with them so I only had to tell the concierge the date and time I wanted, and I received back an email confirming my reservation. Otherwise, I would have needed to sit on the phone the exact minute reservations opened up on the day they were available.


The only other time I’ve contacted them was when the concierge had access to tickets to Hamilton on Broadway shortly after it opened.



I held the American Express Platinum Card for a long time because I liked its perks. I justified the annual fee by considering all the credits available but I gave up on the card when it became too difficult to use the benefits.

I changed my mind again when AMEX offered me 75,000 Membership Rewards to upgrade from my Gold Card. While many people have taken to calling the new AMEX Platinum Card a glorified luxury coupon book, I find that I’m able to get extended value from the new benefits.

Based on my math, I received $1,170 in benefits for the $695 annual fee. That was with me not taking advantage of every available benefit.

This isn’t a card for everyone, but depending on your situation, it could be a great value. For example, if you regularly use the Centurion Lounges, that alone could make it a must-have card in your wallet.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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z o October 2, 2019 - 3:41 pm

oh oh, looks like someone got a new conversion-rate target for the AmexPlat…

joeheg October 3, 2019 - 1:51 am

I wish I was at a point where I had to worry about things like that. Instead, I am really looking at getting the card again for myself.

Ron October 5, 2019 - 2:01 pm

Suuuuure you are. You’re gonna pay a $550 fee and not get a signup bonus because why? Because airline fee credit is harder to use, and the Uber credit is a pita to use? Because the few Centurion lounges out there are bursting at the seams and are harder to get in? Gimme a break. This is as sleazy a credit card pimp/shill job as it gets.

David-in-Florida October 3, 2019 - 7:40 am

$29 for SkyClub guests that enter with the AmEx Platinum Card holder – not $25. I have paid for my wife several times recently. It was reimbursed because Delta is my chosen carrier for the $200 airline fee credit.

Zj12 October 5, 2019 - 2:29 pm

For a family the platinum card can make even more sense- while it is $175 for an authorized user, that one $175 charge allows you to add up three additional users. Each user gets their own global entry reimbursement fee, priority pass membership, access to centurion lounges, and ability to enter delta lounges. Amex is also unique in that you can assign a credit limit to each user, as low as $100, so you don’t need to worry about handing your kids a card. For a family of four, the ability to enter delta or centurion lounges without fees can quickly pay off.

James Vetrone November 19, 2019 - 3:14 pm

You start the article mentioning $550.00 fee “not waived the first year”… this implies that it can be waived AFTER the first year?! If so, HOW!? I’ve been a Platinum card member for 34 years and have never had my annual fee waived. It started out at $100 a long time ago and every increase they assess, I question my loyalty. 🙁

joeheg November 19, 2019 - 11:04 pm

The meaning of the “not-waived” was to differentiate it from cards which do waive the membership fee for the first year. I agree that it’s unnecessary and have removed it from the post.


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