Amex Centurion Lounge American Express

Amex Platinum Card Review [2020]

The Amex Platinum Card is one of the most prestigious credit cards out there. And for good reason. It’s absolutely loaded with valuable perks and has a lot to offer travelers.

But do you know everything that has to offer?

In this detailed article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the Platinum Card.

The Amex Platinum Card intro

The Amex Platinum Card is one of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards available because of the unrivaled travel benefits it offers.

While it comes with a high annual fee, all of the credits and perks make it easy to justify paying for that fee and so this card appeals to a wide audience.

Eligibility

Because the Amex Platinum Card is a charge card and not a credit card, it is not subject to all of the American Express application rules like the 1/5 rule, the 2/90 rule, and the four or five card limit.

However, this card is still subject to the Amex once per lifetime rule which states that if you have ever had this card before you cannot receive the welcome bonus again.

Tip: If you want to automate the calculations for all of these credit card rules, you should check out the free credit card app WalletFlo.

Welcome bonus

  • 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months after account opening

Getting 60,000 Membership Rewards is a terrific bonus. At a valuation of 1.75 cents per point, 60,000 points comes out to $1,050. That’s an amazing offer!

But you can do much better than that if you transfer your points out to travel partners.

American Express has some amazing travel partners, especially for airlines. In some cases, you can get over ten cents in value per point which would mean that your welcome bonus of 60,000 points is worth over $6,000!

So you definitely want to get familiar with some of these partners.

Airline ProgramRatio (MR to airline)Transfer wait time
Aer Lingus1:1Instant
AeroMexico1:1.6 24 Hours
Air Canada1:1Instant
Alitalia1:1Instant
ANA1:148 Hours
Avianca1:1Instant
British Airways1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific1:148 Hours
Delta1:1Instant
El Al1000:20 Instant
Emirates1:1Instant
Etihad1:1Instant
Flying Blue1:1Instant
Hawaiian Airlines1:1Instant
Iberia1:124 to 72 hours
JetBlue250:200Instant
Qantas1:1Instant
Singapore Airlines1:124 to 72 hours
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant

Here is a look at the hotel partners:

Hotel ProgramRatio (MR to partner)Transfer wait time
Choice1:1Instant
Hilton1:2 Instant
Marriott1:1Instant

It is possible to find a targeted offer even higher than 60,000 points. For example, there have been offers for 75,000 or even 100,000 points.

In many cases though you just have to get lucky and get hit with the targeted offer which is not the case for everybody.

Bonus categories

  • 5X points on Airfare
  • 5X points on hotels booked through Amex Travel

5X points on Airfare

The Platinum Card will earn 5X Membership Rewards on all airfare purchases made directly with the airlines.

This is a pretty phenomenal earning rate. If you value Membership Rewards at 1.75 cents per point then it’s like earning 8.75% back on airline purchases.

That is way better than most airlines credit cards.

In the past, I wasn’t huge on using the Platinum Card for airline purchases but after new travel protections were added to the card it made more sense.

Just remember that this 5X is only for purchases made directly with the airlines and not with online travel agencies, such as Expedia.

5X points on hotels booked through Amex Travel

You can also earn 5X on your hotel purchases but only whenever you make them through Amex Travel.

The issue with using Amex Travel is that you won’t earn elite credits and many times you won’t even receive elite benefits.

So in some cases your elite status perks will not get you free breakfast, upgrades, etc. For that reason, I’m not huge on using the Platinum Card for hotel bookings.

Travel credits

The Platinum Card is big on offering credits to help offset its high annual fee. There are three main credits that you will likely be using:

  • $200 Airline credit
  • $200 Uber credit
  • $100 Saks credit

$200 airline credit

The $200 airline credit can be used to offset incidental expenses for domestic airlines.

Each year, you will need to select a specific domestic airline to use this credit on and every time you make a purchase the credit will be automatically applied.

The credit can be used on the various expenses including:

  • Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
  • Itinerary change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
  • In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet because it’s not charged by the airline)
  • Airport lounge day passes & annual memberships

$200 Uber credit

The Platinum Card will also offer you $200 in annual Uber credits.

These are issued on a $15 per month basis except for the month of December when you receive a $35 credit.

You will need to link your Uber account to your Platinum Card and then each month you will see the $15 Uber credit showing up in your Uber account.

What’s great about this perk is that it also works on UberEats as well!

$100 Saks credit

The next credit is the $100 Saks credit.

This will be issued in two separate ways. First, you’ll get $50 to use between January and the end of June and then an additional $50 to use between July and December.

You can actually find some decent items at sex online for under $50. For example, I buy premium skin products and random accessories every year and get them for free. There are also a lot of great items that can be used for gifts so this credit is actually pretty useful.

Tip: If you want to easily track and manage credits and annual fees check out the free credit card app, WalletFlo.

Travel benefits

The Platinum Card is all about the benefits and there are tons of them.

I’ve written up a detailed article on these benefits which I would suggest to check out here but I will give an overview of some of the most valuable perks this card has to offer.

Lounge access

The biggest benefit that the Platinum Card offers is probably lounge access and it comes in many different forms including:

  • Centurion Lounge access for up two guests
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access for up to two guests (worth $400 per year)
  • Delta Sky Club lounge access (when you fly with them)
  • Airspace Lounges
  • Escape Lounges
  • Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Lufthansa Lounges
  • Additional lounges in the network

American Express Centurion Lounges

The most popular lounge benefit is access to American Express Centurion Lounges.

These are some of the better airport lounges you will find in the US and there are more and more of these popping up everywhere these days.

Compared to domestic airline lounges, you’ll find better food and drinks, improved service, and sometimes they will be more equipped with things like nap rooms, spas, etc.

You’ll be able to bring in two guests for free each time you visit.

Priority Pass Select

The next type of lounge access is Priority Pass access which is a network of over 1,200 airport lounge is located around the globe.

The quality of these lounges can vary and they typically are not as nice as Centurion Lounges, but I have visited some that are high-quality.

You’ll be able to bring in two guests with you for free assuming guests are allowed at that particular lounge. The drawback is that you won’t get access to the restaurant credits.

Delta Sky Club

Next there is Delta Sky Club access. Anytime you’re flying Delta, you can get into these lounges for free. You cannot bring in guests for free but they are allowed in at a discounted rate of $29 per guest.

There are also additional airport lounges you can get access to so be sure to read up on the full overview here.

Amex Centurion Lounge Hong Kong (HKG).

Hotel elite status

The Amex Platinum Card will grant you Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status.

Here’s a look at the Hilton Gold benefits:

  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • Upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Late check-out
  • 80% bonus on base points
  • Lounge access (when upgraded to lounge level rooms)
  • 5th night free

And here’s a look at the Marriott Gold benefits:

  • 25% Bonus on points
  • Late check-out
  • Upgrades
  • Enhanced internet
  • Welcome gift

Hilton Gold has the most value because you can get the complimentary breakfast for two people on your stays and sometimes you even get upgraded and get lounge access.

It’s worth noting that you could get Hilton Gold status with a cheaper cobranded Hilton credit card known as the Hilton Surpass. It’s a great hotel credit card that earns 12X on Hilton purchases and offers a free night if you spend $15,000 on it per year.

Get upgrades and other perks with elite status from the Platinum Card.

Fine Hotels and Resorts

Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) is a network of high-end luxury properties located around the globe that offer elite-like benefits which include perks like:

  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Special amenity unique to each property

Properties that belong to this network are popular brands like the Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt, Conrad, etc.

If you add up the savings with the free breakfast, late check out, potential upgrades, and the amenity credits which are usually $100, you could easily receive a few hundred dollars in value from this perk by using it on a single stay.

Sometimes you can even get the fourth night free which could save you several hundred dollars by itself!

Between the elite status perks you get with Marriott and Hilton and access to this program, it’s easy to make a case that the Platinum Card is one of the best hotel credit cards available.

International Airline Program

The Amex International Airline Program is a program that offers discounts on up to eight first class, business class, and premium economy fares when booking through Amex.

This is a program that if properly utilized could save you thousands of dollars on a single booking which is pretty incredible.

Compared to all of the other great travel perks offered by the Platinum Card, this one definitely has the best potential for super out-sized value.

Rental car benefits

The Platinum Card will get you rental car benefits with:

In reality, the status with National is the only true elite status since the others can be obtained by just signing up.

Still, signing up for these can help you expedite your car rental process and in some cases get you discounts, upgrades, or even free rentals.

$100 statement credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check

Amex Platinum Card members will get to choose from a$100 statement credit for Global Entry or $85 credit for TSA Pre-Check.

Global Entry will help you get expedited entry back into the US through immigration and customs. Meanwhile, TSA Pre-Check will let you bypass the main airport screening line while not having to take out items like:

  • Liquids due to the 3-1-1 rule
  • Laptops 
  • Belts
  • Shoes
  • Light jackets

If you are approved for Global Entry you will automatically get TSA Pre-Check, so I highly recommend most people to go with Global Entry assuming that they could pass the background check.

Tip: You might also be interested in the program CLEAR which allows you to jump to the front of the security lines.

Private Jet Program

If you’re someone interested in flying private, you can let the American Express concierge assist you with booking helicopters for airport transfers or chartering planes.

Cruise Privileges Program

Are you a cruiser?

With the Platinum Card you can get up to $300 in credits on certain cruises. On other occasions, you might also get things like a complimentary bottle of premium champagne and a box chocolates.

Look for benefits with the following brands:

  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Holland America
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Silversea Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • The Yachts of Seabourn
  • Windstar
  • Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Uniworld

Read more about the program here.

Departures Magazine

Departures is a quarterly travel magazine that is automatically issued to you.

Many people think this is a waste of paper but there have been a couple of issues where I’ve learned about some cool travel spots so you may want to think twice about discarding it.

Concierge

The Amex Platinum card also offers you access to the concierge service. The concierge can assist you with a Prairie of needs but some of the common things people ask for our:

  • Dinner reservations
  • Tickets to events
  • Last minute gifts and deliveries

If you live in a city that offers a Global Dining Collection site, the concierge could be of great use!

Auto purchasing program

You can use your Amex Platinum Card to purchase automobiles and in the process earn a ton of points. Not only that, but you can actually find discounts on vehicles by using the program.

I would suggest to look at my full review of this program to see if you think it will be worth it but it’s a great option to have and can make purchasing a vehicle much more efficient.

Amex offers

Amex Offers are special promotions that go out each month offering you special savings and ways to earn more points. These offer special deals in various types of industries, from hotel purchases to Amazon, Best Buy, etc.

Sometimes you can even save on your phone bill or cable bill!

If you do any kind of online shopping or travel, chances are you could probably save a couple of hundred bucks a year by closely monitoring these deals and utilizing them.

Shoprunner

The ShopRunner program offers the following benefits from select retailers:

  • Free two-day shipping
  • Free return shipping
  • Specials deals and discounts

Amex Platinum Travel protections

The Amex Platinum Card now comes with better travel protections than it ever did in the past.

Trip Delay

If your trip is delayed more than six hours, you can get trip delay coverage for up to $500 per trip.

Trip cancellation/interruption

If your trip is interrupted for a covered for reason (you’re sick, a bad hurricane is headed your way, etc.), you get protection up to $10,000 per trip ($20,000 per year).

This was a huge addition to the Platinum Card because it allowed users to finally take advantage of 5X on airfare without sacrificing trip cancellation benefits.

Lost luggage

You’ll also get special protections for your luggage which differs based on whether your luggage is a carry-on or checked bag.

  • Will pay a benefit for the Replacement Cost, up to $3,000, for each Covered Person on a Covered Trip for Loss of carry-on Baggage.
  • Will pay a benefit for the Replacement Cost, up to $2,000, for each Covered Person on a Covered Trip for Loss of checked Baggage

Secondary car rental coverage

If you use your Platinum Card to book a car rental you’ll be covered with secondary car rental coverage.

Secondary car rental coverage is better than nothing but it is not quite as good as the primary rental car coverage offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Amex Platinum Purchase protections

Purchase protections

The Platinum will cover your new purchases for 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.

The $10,000 limit per claim is extremely competitive. The only slight drawback is that it only applies to a 90 day period versus other premium cards that apply it to 120 day period.

Extended Warranty Protection

The Platinum provides one additional year if the original manufacturer’s warranty is between one year and five years limited up to a maximum $10,000 per occurrence.

The extended warranty used to add two additional years but after recent changes it was cut down to one year.

Still, it is one of the better extended warranties you will find because it applies to original warranties that are up to five years versus three years (which is what other cards often limit the benefit to).

Return Protection

You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $300 per item, $1,000 per year.

Military benefits

The Platinum Card offers members of the military certain benefits that make this card extra lucrative.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, (SCRA), Amex offers several military member benefits like waiving the annual fee (even the $550 fee for the Platinum Card!).

They also waive other fees like late payment fees. You can request your SCRA benefits with this link.

Special Events

  • Membership Experiences (take advantage of presale tickets and special events)
  • By Invitation Only (invites to high profile events like Cannes, celebrity chef events, etc.)
  • American Express Preferred Seating (get better seats at games, concerts, shows, and other big events).

You can read more about the preferred seating benefits here.

Authorized users

You can add up to three authorized users for only $175. After that, each authorized user will cost $175 each. Considering that authorized users get most of the benefits mentioned above, paying for authorized users can be a huge bargain with the Platinum Card.

Amex Platinum FAQ

What credit score is needed for the Platinum Card?

Generally, you want a good to excellent credit score of somewhere around 720 to get approved. You can find out more about approval requirements here.

What income is needed for the Platinum Card?

There is also no strict income or salary requirement for the Platinum Card but Platinum members, on average, do have very high incomes.

Still, there are reports of people getting approved with incomes in the $50,000 range. You can find out more about approval requirements here.

What lounge access do you get with the Platinum Card?

The Platinum Card will get you access to:

What hotel elite status do you get with the Platinum Card?

You will get automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.

What is the annual fee for the Platinum Card?

The annual fee is $550 and it is not waived.

What credits does the Platinum Card come with?

The Platinum Card comes with three main credits:

  • $200 Airline credit
  • $200 Uber credit
  • $100 Saks credit

What can I use the Amex Platinum concierge for?

You can call up the concierge to help you find dinner reservations, tickets to concerts, and last minute gift deliveries among other needs. They can also help you book your travels.

What rental car benefits do you get?

Is the Platinum Card metal?

Yes, the Platinum Card is metal and is actually quite heavy.

Can you downgrade the Platinum Card?

Yes, you can downgrade the Platinum Card to the Gold Card or to the Green Card.

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