A Luxury Card for Frequent Travelers
Credit Needed: Good/Excellent
The name may give it away already, but The Platinum Card® from American Express is full of benefits for frequent travelers. If you travel in style and are all about exclusive rewards, this card is right up your alley.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers the ability to earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months. Earn 5 points for flights booked with American Express Travel or directly with airlines on up to $500,000 on these purchases per year. Plus, you earn 5 points for eligible hotel rooms booked and pre-paid for online through American Express Travel While traveling earns you the most points, there are daily benefits as well. You earn one point per dollar on other purchases.
Racking up membership points leads to rewards. These points can be used to redeem rewards in over 500 different brands, from gift cards to entertainment. You can also transfer points to partner frequent traveler programs, like Delta's SkyMiles Program. With no foreign transaction fee, this card is ideal for frequent travelers. But with an annual fee of $695, it’s not fit for all since it is on the more expensive side.
It is worth noting that cardholders qualify for $200 in airline fee credit per calendar year, which can be used for things like checking bags or in-flight purchases with one qualifying airline (enrollment required). So that helps to reduce the card fee if you’re a frequent traveler who already makes those purchases. In addition, if you’re applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you receive credit for the application fees. You’ll be reimbursed $100 for Global Entry 4 years, or $85 for TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years. This means saving time, while getting some money back.
Being a cardholder also means an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold Status. With Hilton, this means benefits at over 4,800 hotels and resorts, while earning Hilton Honors Bonus Points (enrollment required).
With these travel benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great option for frequent travelers. Being a cardholder not only earns you rewards that come with the card, but also rewards from partner programs and memberships. However, there’s an annual fee of $695, which is fitting for the high-end, luxury rewards. Terms and Conditions apply to the features of this card.
Earn 100,000-point welcome bonus - If you spend $6,000 with The Platinum Card® from American Express within the first six months of opening, you can earn a bonus 100,000 points.
Easily earned points - With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn five points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines on up to $500,000 on these purchases per year. Plus, earn 5 points for eligible hotel rooms booked and pre-paid for online through American Express Travel. You also earn one point per dollar on other purchases.
No foreign transaction fees - For those who frequently travel abroad, you’re in luck – The Platinum Card® from American Express does not charge a fee for foreign transactions.
$200 airline fee credit - You can earn up to $200 a calendar year in airline fee credit to compensate for airline incidental fees, like checked bags or in-flight purchases. This credit only applies to one airline – the airline of choice can be changed once a year. Enrollment required.
Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck - If you’re a part of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, you’ll receive statement credit every four to four and a half years to reimburse you for the application fees of either service. This is a credit of $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck®. Enrollment required.
The Global Lounge Collection - When flying, you have access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries reserved for American Express members. You also have access to partner lounges, like the Delta Sky Club or the Priority Pass Select lounge.
$200 Hotel Credit - When you book and prepay travel with your Platinum Card with Fine Hotels + Resorts, Hotel Collection or bookings with Amex Travel (minimum two-night stay) you can get up to a $200 hotel statement credit back.
Hilton Benefits - Your Platinum Card from American Express comes with benefits when staying at Hilton properties. You’re automatically elevated to Hilton Honors Gold Status, earning Hilton Honors Bonus Points and reaping benefits at over 4,800 hotels and resorts. Enrollment required.
Who it Benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express largely benefits frequent travelers due to the travel perks. You need a good to excellent credit score to be eligible for this card.
Being a cardholder comes with endless benefits. Booking flights and hotels with American Express Travel or directly with the airline earns you five points on every dollar. Once you accumulate enough points, you can pay with your points, whether it’s reserving flights or booking a cruise. With no foreign transaction fees, the Platinum Card is useful for frequent travelers, whether domestic or abroad.
But even given all the benefits, it’s at a hefty annual fee of $695. Other cards offer lower fees with excellent benefits, though they may not be as luxurious as the benefits offered by the Platinum Card. It’s helpful to consider your lifestyle and ask yourself whether it’s worth it to hold a card at this high-end level. It’s a card for frequent travelers, but probably not all frequent travelers.
How it Works
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a range of ways to earn points. If you spend over $6,000 within the first six months of opening, you will earn a bonus of 100,000 points. You earn five points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel. You also earn five points on each dollar for hotels pre-paid and booked with American Express Travel. For other purchases, you earn one point per dollar.
With all these points saved up, you can redeem them on rewards in the American Express Membership Rewards Program. These rewards range from dining to travel to entertainment. You can even use your points to reserve flights, book hotels and pay for cruises. Points can also be transferred to affiliate frequent flyer programs, like Delta’s SkyMiles Program. In addition, being a cardholder automatically gives you a range of rewards, like access to exclusive events, travel deals and a complimentary concierge service.
What's the Catch
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers luxury rewards, and the annual fee reflects that. The annual fee is $695, much higher than other travel rewards cards. Your lifestyle and spending habits must match the one that the Platinum Card needs. (See Rates and Fees)
In addition, a lot of the rewards are limited in one form or another. For example, the up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year can only be applied to one qualifying airline. If you tend to fly with different airlines or stay at less expensive hotels, the card limits your flexibility (enrollment required).
Just the Math Please
You earn five points per dollar spent on airfare bought directly from an airline or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per year. You also earn five points per dollar spent booking hotels with American Express Travel. You earn one point per dollar on everything else. If you spend $6,000 within the first six months of opening, you earn a bonus of 100,000 points.
There are no balance transfer fees or balance transfer APR with the Platinum Card from American Express.
Rates and Fees
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
APR for Balance Transfers
APR for Cash Advances
Penalty APR and When It Applies
See Rates and Fees
How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance Transfer N/A
Cash Advance A fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater, will apply
Foreign Purchase Transaction
Late Payment Up to $40
Returned Payment Up to $40
How it Stacks Up
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with many rewards, especially for frequent travelers. But it isn’t the only travel card out there. Other cards offer comparable benefits to the Platinum Card.
These points can be transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs. They can also be redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a high-end travel card that offers luxury rewards. You earn points on travel and hotels, making this a useful card for frequent travelers. Being a cardholder also gets you exclusive opportunities, like dining at world-class restaurants or access to invitation-only events like sporting games or fashion shows. American Express is affiliated and partnered with renowned traveling services, meaning the Platinum Card also gives you the opportunity to stay at world-class hotels.
But these luxury benefits do come at the hefty annual fee of $695 per year. Though other cards often waive the first year’s fee, the Platinum Card does not. But it may be a good fit for frequent flyers who are disciplined with their money and value fancy benefits. (See Rates and Fees) Terms and Conditions apply to the features of this card.
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.