The Unexpected Value I Got From My AMEX Platinum

by joeheg

It’s been two years since I accepted an offer to upgrade my American Express Gold card to a Platinum AMEX. I wasn’t sure if the card was worth the $695 annual fee, but I was sure I would make out for the 1st year with the sign-up bonus. Now that I have to get enough value from the card without that sign-up bonus, why am I keeping it?

The Platinum card is not great for earning points on spending, except for earning 5X on airfare. I try not to pay for our flights and use points instead, so the card’s value has to come from the perks.

Here are the benefits I took advantage of in the past 12 months:

Streaming Media Credit – $20/month – $240 yearly.

I charge our New York Times digital subscription to the Platinum Card and receive $20 back monthly. This credit is easy for us to use.

CLEAR Membership Credit – Up to $189/year

This credit previously covered Sharon and my CLEAR memberships. However, due to the price increase, I’ll use up the benefit and have to pay an extra $60.

$200 Airline Fee Credit

It took some effort, but I eventually used my credit with Delta in 2022.

In 2023, I switched to United and used the credit in January, as it’s much easier to use with UA.

Uber Cash – Up to $200 (I used $160)

For the months we don’t need a rideshare, which is most of them, I use this credit to pay for an Uber Eats order. However, I missed out on 2 months last year.

Saks Fifth Avenue Credit – $100 per year

Due to my stupidity, I missed out on my credit for the beginning of 2022. I received full value from the credit last year.

Centurion Lounge Access

We visited two Centurion Lounges in the last 12 months: JFK & CLT.

Delta Sky Club Access

On Delta flights from Orlando, we’ve switched to visiting the Delta Sky Club instead of the nearby Club MCO location. We’ve also stopped at the Sky Clubs in Atlanta, Minneapolis & LaGuardia.

I can’t assign a value for the last two items on the list because we might be able to get into a different club with Priority Pass, and I don’t need to visit a club at all. While a lounge is nice, it’s not worth much to us.

Why did I renew my card again?

The math shows that I received $889 in credits, which could have been more if I had used all the available Uber credits. The one credit I didn’t use was for Walmart+, even though I keep talking about activating it. It’s not as much as I made last year, mostly because I didn’t get to use the Fine Hotels & Resorts credits this year.

When I canceled the Platinum AMEX in 2018, the benefits weren’t worth the price. Since then, AMEX has increased the annual fee but added several ways to make back that money and more. It helps if the credits are for things you’d spend money on, like TV/Media services and Uber/Uber Eats.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Boraxo May 5, 2024 - 3:46 pm

Has anyone made any success trying to split the clear family plan fees between 2 cards? I’m gonna try in June otherwise will just go with 2 individual memberships. No reason to pay an extra $60 just because Clear refuses to split. (Of course this assumes you have 2 individual Plat accounts)

joeheg May 5, 2024 - 11:05 pm

I’ve asked CLEAR and there’s no way to split a payment, so the only way is to split membership.

Rusty May 5, 2024 - 3:56 pm

I don’t think any BA bloggers wrote about it, but back in February Amex Plat had free tickets to my cities premier of new Ghostbusters movie.
From DOC:

Bea May 5, 2024 - 5:13 pm

The Walmart+ has additional benefits in and of itself which can increase the value. You get .10 off at the Murphey gas stations with no limit on the amount of fuel or the number of times it can be uaed in a single year.
Otger benefits include Paramount + streaming for free, no cost delivery, scan and go checkout, and early access to certain sales. While Walmaft is not my go to for grocery shopping or really much else, those added benefits are worth it imho…

Peter James May 5, 2024 - 5:49 pm

Sharon’s Green AMEX covers the CLEAR fee, why would you end up paying $60 extra for the two of you?

joeheg May 5, 2024 - 11:04 pm

I’m happy to know that someone knows which credit cards we have and what I’m planning. Previously, it would have only cost $20 extra and for that it wasn’t worth the hassle. But now that it’s $60 extra, we might have to stop with the family plan and have Sharon open her own account to save money. That seems dumb but you have to play the game you’re in.

Peter May 6, 2024 - 3:16 pm

I second @BEA! Walmart+ is worth activating for the free Paramount+ membership it comes with, alone.

I’ve started comparison shopping between and a little, too, and save a few dollars there, too, although certainly nothing to write home about.

askmrlee May 9, 2024 - 3:41 pm

But it is nice to have the option. I needed a glue gun right away and Walmart had the best value vs. a nearby Target. With W+ I could walk in and out of the store with the Scan N Go. It’s one of those benefits that’s nice to have as an option.


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