Amex Platinum Card Review [2020]

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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.


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
ANA1:148 Hours
British Airways1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific1:148 Hours
El Al1000:20 Instant
Flying Blue1:1Instant
Hawaiian Airlines1:1Instant
Iberia1:124 to 72 hours
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
Hilton1:2 Instant

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.


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.


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 $695 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:

Centurion Lounges
Priority Pass airport lounges
Delta Sky Clubs
Airspace Lounges
Escape Lounges
Plaza Premium Lounges
Lufthansa Lounges
Additional lounges in the network

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 $695 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?

The Platinum Card will get you rental car benefits with:

Avis Preferred status
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
National Emerald Club Executive status

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.

Amex Global Lounge Collection (List of Locations) [2020]

The Amex Global Lounge Collection might be one of the most valuable travel perks offered by any travel rewards credit card. But what exactly is the Amex Global Lounge Collection and what are the lounges that you get access to? This article will walk you through the different lounges you’ll get access to with this program and what you can expect at these lounge locations in terms of quality and experience.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

What is the Amex Global Lounge Collection?

The Amex Global Lounge Collection is a program that comes with the Amex Platinum Card (full review here) which provides you access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. This is my favorite benefit of the Amex Platinum Card and it’s the main reason why I choose to hold on to the Amex Platinum Card (though there are plenty of other worthwhile benefits).

Amex Centurion Lounge Hong Kong.

Tip: Don’t miss out on my #1 rated travel card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is now offering a new high offer of 60,000 points (worth $750 in travel) after spending $4,000 in the first three months after account opening!

Why is the Amex Global Lounge Collection special?

The Amex Global Lounge Collection is special because it’s the best airport lounge access offered by another any other credit card (at least in my opinion it is). Other credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve (and many other premium level travel rewards credit cards) offer only Priority Pass airport lounge access but the Amex Global Lounge Collection goes well beyond a Priority Pass membership.

If you’re a frequent traveler or just a traveler who desires to have nice lounges to enjoy when traveling then the Amex Global Lounge Collection could be just what you need.

I’ll discuss each of the different lounges that are part of the Amex Global Lounge Collection below.

Amex Centurion Lounges

Amex Centurion Lounges are fantastic because they are some of the best lounges in the U.S. These lounges usually feature modern decor with comfy seating, great cocktails and service, and decent hot food items along with showers. Some of these lounges even have spas. I’ll (almost) always choose a Centurion Lounge over a U.S. airline’s domestic lounge or another Priority Pass lounge. 

There are two drawbacks to Centurion Lounges, though. The first is that they are only found in a limited number of airports (though they are rapidly expanding). The second is that overcrowding can be a real issue at some of these lounges (though Amex is slowly working to address the crowding issues in various ways).

Here are the locations where you can find these Centurion lounges:

You’ll also find International Centurion Lounges across the globe. These don’t always offer the same level of amenities and complimentary services and they also can be much smaller than standard Centurion Lounges. I recently visited the Centurion Lounge in Sydney, Australia and was not very impressed to tell you the truth.

Here are locations where you will find them:

  • Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Delhi (DEL)
  • Mexico City (MEX), Monterrey (MTY), Toluca (TLC)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • São Paulo (GRU)
  • Sydney (SYD)

Amex Centurion Lounge at Houston (IAH).

Priority Pass

The Platinum Card offers you Priority Pass lounge access, which is a network of over 1,000 airport lounges all around the world. You can search for Priority Pass lounge locations here.

With the Platinum Card, you’ll be able to bring in two guests with you into these lounges.

But note: access for Priority Pass members to these lounges is sometimes restricted during busy hours, so sometimes you won’t be given access to the lounge. Also, the guest policy can differ at certain lounges.

Priority Pass lounges differ in quality but many of them are great places to relax and enjoy complimentary wifi, food, drinks, and sometimes even showers and special nap areas.

I haven’t put my Priority Pass membership to use for domestic trips that much but for international trips I’ve gotten plenty of value from it. It’s especially nice when you can utilize an arrival lounge after a long international flight.

Priority Pass lounge in Cape Town, South Africa.

Delta Sky Club

To gain access to Delta Sky Clubs, you must be flying with Delta on that day. Unfortunately, guests are not complimentary and you’ll have to shell out $29 for each guest to come in to the lounge with you.

The good thing about the Platinum Card is authorized users are given this perk, so if your travel partner has a Platinum Card they can get in for free, too. To search for Delta Sky Club locations click here

Plaza Premium Lounges

Card Members may bring up to 1 companion into Plaza Premium Lounges as complimentary guests. Plaza Premium lounges are common to find in certain parts of the world like Asia.

I recently visited a Plaza Premium lounge in TPE and thought it was a very cozy lounge with a pretty good selection of hot food items and comfy seating. You can often get access to these lounges with with Priority Pass but sometimes the Platinum Card may offer you more access (better hours, etc.). Here are the locations for the Plaza Premium Lounges.

Plaza Premium lounge at Taipei (TPE).

Airspace lounges

The Platinum Card also offers access to Airspace lounges. There are currently only two of these lounges and they are found in Cleveland (CLE), and San Diego (SAN). The lounges offer basic snacks and drinks but as a Platinum cardmember, you’ll be given a $10 credit that you can use towards food and drinks, so that’s something. Entry would normally be about $35.

Escape Lounges

As one of the recent upgrades to the Platinum Card, it now offers access to Escape Lounges, too. Escape Lounges can be found at:

  • Bradley International Airport (BDL) (which is near Hartford, Connecticut)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Reno-Tahoe Airport (RNO)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • T. F. Green International Airport (PVD)

There are also a few in the UK at London Stansted, Manchester, and East Midlands.

Entry to some of these would cost your $40-45 to enter these lounges so these were nice additions to the Platinum’s lounge network.

Additional lounge perks

The Platinum Card also offers lounge access to special events and locations which include the following locations:

  • Eurostar Business Premier Lounges (London St. Pancras, Paris Gare du Nord, Brussels Midi/Zuid, and Ebbsfleet International.
  • Virgin Australia lounge access when flying Virgin Australia
  • Centurion Suite at the Barclays Center (open for sporting and entertainment events)
  • Centurion Suite at the Staples Center (open for sporting events — no complimentary food or drinks)
  • Universal Studios lounges (Orlando and Hollywood)
  • Select Lufthansa airport lounges in the satellite area of T2 in Munich Airport and in Terminal 1 Concourse B of Frankfurt Airport through 10/31/19 (read more here)

Final word

The Amex Global Lounge Collection obtained through the Amex Platinum is one of the most valuable travel perks because it offers access to the most extensive network of lounges compared to to other similar credit cards.

3 Ways to Get the Amex Platinum 100K Offer (CardMatch Link) [2020]

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Amex Platinum vs Amex Gold Card [2020]

Offers contained within this article maybe expired.

The Amex Platinum and Amex Gold Card are two of the hottest travel cards offered by American Express. But how do these two cards compare against each other? There are a number of factors to consider in order to make the best decision between these two cards and in this article I will go over all of those factors.

American Express Membership Rewards

Both of these cards will earn you American Express Membership Rewards. Out of all of the different transferable points that you can earn with credit cards, I value Membership Rewards the most. That is because I like their airline transfer partners the best.

In the past, I have used Membership Rewards to fly on some of the most premium airline products including:

Emirates bar on the A380.

Here is a full list of all of the different Membership Rewards airline partners:

  • Aeromexico 
  • Aer Lingus 
  • Air Canada
  • Avianca 
  • Flying Blue 
  • Alitalia Millemiglia 
  • ANA 
  • Cathay Pacific
  • British Airways 
  • Delta
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates 
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines 
  • Iberia Plus 
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines 
  • Virgin Atlantic 

Points earned by the Platinum or Gold Card all go into one Memberships Rewards account, so you don’t have to worry about them getting deposited into separate accounts like some other banks do.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Welcome bonuses

Amex Platinum Card 

The American Express Platinum Card has one of the most valuable welcome bonuses out of any travel credit card. The standard offer is 60,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. By comparison its competitor the Chase Sapphire Reserve only offers a bonus of 50,000 points after hitting the minimum spend. If you value Membership Rewards at 2 cents per point (a little on the higher side), that’s $1,200 worth of value!

It’s worth noting that sometimes you can get even higher bonuses of 75K (link sometimes may not work) with Google Incognito browsers and some lucky people even get targeted for the Platinum 100K offers.

Amex Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card has a welcome bonus that fluctuates a lot more than the Platinum Card. You might see the standard offer at 35,000 points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months or you might see it at as high as 40,000 or 50,000 Membership Rewards (link sometimes may not work). So with the Gold Card you want to try to time your application to go for the highest bonus if possible.

Overall, the winner to me is clear since the Platinum Card offers the higher bonus on a consistent basis and even sometimes offers special opportunities to earn even more points. However, both welcome offers can be very strong, especially when the timing is just right.

Bonus spending

Both of these cards earn some great bonus points on spend but the categories are very different for the most part.

Amex Platinum Card 

  • 5X on airfare
  • 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
  • 5X on some pre-paid FHR bookings 

It is very difficult to beat the 5X earnings on airfare. Considering how expensive airfare can be, this is an opportunity to earn a lot of points. The only issue with going this route is that the Platinum Card does not have the same depth of protections offered by other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Instead, you have to purchase protections like trip cancellation which makes earning that 5X on airfare less appealing.

The 5X earnings on hotels are not as lucrative but they still can be pretty attractive. I’m not a huge fan of booking hotels through the Amex Travel portal because you don’t earn elite night credit and sometimes have to forfeit your elite status benefits.

However, when you book through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program you can still get those elite benefits and you should get the credits, too. The Fine Hotels & Resorts program is a special program that allows you to receive elite like benefits at a lot of luxury properties all around the world.

In addition to those perks you can also get things like free nights and special amenities which allows you to potentially get hundreds of dollars in value per stay. On top of all of those benefits you could also earn 5X on those hotel purchases which is pretty incredible if you ask me. 

Amex Gold Card

  • 3X on airfare 
  • 4X points at Restaurants
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spend per calendar year)

The Amex Gold Card is my go to card for everyday spend. I put virtually all dining and supermarket purchases on my Gold Card and I rack up a ton of points every month. The Gold Card did not earn 4X on international dining purchases until recently and now that it earns for 4X at restaurants worldwide it is a much more valuable travel rewards card.

Overall, the winner for bonus categories spend is definitely the Gold Card. I love the ability to earn 5X on airfare with the Platinum but I don’t like giving up some of the travel protections I get with other cards. And while earning 5X with hotels is great it is not always practical or worthwhile. For me it’s all about getting 4X on dining and at supermarkets throughout the year and so if you are looking to earn points on your everyday spend it is hard to beat the Gold Card.

Earning 4X on the Gold Card at restaurants is a great way to rack up points.


Amex Platinum Card 

The Platinum Card is arguably the king of all benefits cards. Here is a look at some of the benefits you can get with this card:

The most important benefit that I use from the Platinum Card is airport lounge access. That airport lounge access comes in a variety of forms but my favorite is Amex Centurion Lounge access. These are some of the nicer lounges that you will find around the US.

I’m also a huge fan of the hotel elite status offered by the Platinum Card, especially Hilton Gold. With Hilton Gold, you can get real benefits like free breakfast, late check-out, and upgrades.

And then there are the travel credits. The $200 annual airline credits are not as easy-to-use as they once were but if you can put them to use that’s an easy $200 dollars you can knock off the effective annual fee. The $200 annual annual Uber credits come in the form of $15 monthly credits except for the month of December which receives a $35 credit. If you regularly use Uber this is a very easy way to also knock down that effective annual fee.

There are actually a lot more benefits to unlock with the Platinum Card than those mentioned above. For example, there is the International Airline Program that can save you thousands of dollars on business-class and first-class flights. And you also have other services like the concierge service that can provide you with last-minute dinner reservations. To find out more about some of these benefits click here

The Hong Kong Centurion Lounge at HKG.

Amex Gold Card

The Gold Card can’t really compete with the Platinum Card when it comes to benefits. But that does not mean that you can’t receive some decent benefits from the Gold Card. My favorite benefit with the Gold Card is the monthly $10 dining credit that can be used on a variety of places including:

  • Boxed
  • Grubhub
  • Seamless
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Shake Shack

This is an easy way to effectively knock the annual fee down by $120 dollars each year. The Gold Card also comes with a $100 airline credit that works the same as the Platinum Card.

As you can probably guess the clear winner in the benefits department is the Platinum Card and it’s not even close.

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Both cards offer some solid purchase protections and other benefits like roadside assistance.

Premium Roadside assistance

Premium Roadside Assistance provides the following services at no additional cost up to 4 times per calendar year:

  • Towing up to 10 miles (Card Member will be charged for the costs of towing in excess of 10 miles)
  • Winching
  • Jump starts (for dead batteries)
  • Flat tire change when Card Member has a workable spare
  • Lockout service when key is in vehicle (lockout service may be unavailable for vehicles with transponder keys.
  • Delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel.

Purchase Protection

  • Coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar yea

Return Protection

  • Coverage up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account

Annual fee

Amex Platinum Card 

  • $550

The annual fee for the Platinum Card is higher than the Gold Card as you would expect it to be considering that it offers so many more benefits. But as I have already mentioned, it is very easy to offset that with all of the different credits.

If you utilize the travel credits for Uber and for the airlines and also use the $100 worth of Sacks credits then you bring that effective annual fee all the way down to $50 dollars which is just incredible.

Amex Gold Card

  • $250

It’s very easy to get the effective annual fee down just $30 for the Gold Card if you can properly utilize the $100 airline credit. If you can’t, then just utilizing the dining credits will get the effective annual fee down to $130. That is not that bad considering how many points you can earn with the tremendous 4X bonus earning potential.

It’s a little crazy to think about dropping $800 in annual fees for two cards but when you break down the value, it’s often that not difficult to see why it would be worth getting both, especially if you put a lot of spend on the Gold Card and take advantage of some of the Platinum benefits.

Final word

Overall, these are two very different cards. The Platinum Card is a card geared for people who really value travel benefits. Meanwhile, the Gold Card is primarily about earning points through bonus spend on categories like dining and supermarkets. Personally, I hold both of these cards and use them quite frequently so it often is a good idea to get both of these cards. Just make sure that you have done your math and know that you will be getting value from these cards.

Amex Platinum Hotel Status Guide: (Marriott, SPG, & Hilton) [2020]

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The Amex Platinum comes with a host of valuable travel benefits and one area where the Platinum Card shines is with hotel status. But what exactly are these elite status benefits and how valuable are they? 

In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about the hotel elite status offered by the Platinum Card which includes status with Hilton and Marriott.

I’ll talk about the types of benefits offered by these statuses like free breakfasts and upgrades and also discuss some lesser-known hotel perks that you may not have realized the Platinum Card also comes with.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

What hotel status does the Amex Platinum offer?

The Amex Platinum Card offers elite status with the following hotels:

In addition, the Platinum provides you with access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts which offers a lot of elite-like perks.

Below, I’ll highlight the key benefits you’ll get with Hilton Gold and Marriott Gold but first here’s a quick refresher on all of the major benefits that you’ll receive with the Amex Platinum Card.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Amex Platinum benefits

  • 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months (75K offer in Google Incognito and there are even methods to get 100K offers)
  • $200 annual airline credit
  • $200 annual Uber credit
  • Priority Pass access for you and two guests
  • Centurion lounges access for you and two guests
  • Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status
  • Marriott Gold
  • 5X on airfare and 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
  • TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry $100 credit

You can read more in-depth about all of these benefits here

Hilton Honors Gold

Hilton Honors Gold is one of my favorite mid-tier hotel elite statuses because it provides you with meaningful benefits that add real value to your hotel stay.

These benefits include the following:

  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • 80% elite status bonus
  • Late check out
  • Upgrades
  • Lounge access (sometimes 

Complimentary Breakfast

Let’s face it, most hotels like you price gouge you when it comes to breakfast. But many of us allow this to happen because grabbing a bite to eat at the hotel is super-convenient and many hotels offer some pretty tasty breakfasts. So when a hotel elite status offers a free option for breakfast, this is something that catches the attention of a lot of people. 

Hilton Honors Gold provides you with a complimentary breakfast for you and a travel companion. If you are traveling with kids or other people you can sometimes get a free breakfast for them but this will come down to the discretion of the hotel.

For many travelers, this elite status benefit is the primary concern and is what makes obtaining Hilton Gold status truly worth it.

80% elite status bonus

Hilton allows you to earn 10 base points per dollar spent on Hilton stays. As a Gold member, you’ll receive an 80% bonus on your base points so you’ll be earning a total of 18 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent which is only two fewer points than what Hilton Diamond members earn.

At a valuation of .5 cent per point, that’s the equivalent of getting 9% back on Hilton stays which is actually pretty a nice return. Hilton likes to run promos throughout the year so you can often increase those earnings by jumping on these promos. You can also earn more Hilton points by using a Hilton co-branded credit card to increase your earnings.

The take-a-way here is that the Platinum Card gets your a nice bonus on your Hilton earnings which can allow you to cash in on savings.

Late check out

Hilton offers late check out but in my experience they often limit late check out to 12 or 1pm, though it’s possible to get a much later check out time. It all depends on the property and what type of events are going on/capacity at that time. You can find recent data points for Hilton late check out here


With Hilton Gold you’ll be entitled to upgrades. Hilton excludes “executive suites, villas and specialty accommodations […] subject to the discretion of the hotel,” which means that it’s possible to get bumped up to a suite with mere Gold status, it’s just going to depend on the property. More likely, you’ll just get bumped to a bigger room or a room with a better view assuming that’s available.

Executive Floor Lounge Access Policy

While Diamond Members are granted access to the executive lounges, Gold Members are only given these privileges when they “receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.”

So it’s possible to get lounge access as a Gold member, but first you’ll need to get upgraded to an Executive level floor for that to happen.

You can read more about Hilton Gold here

The Bow Suite at the Hilton Auckland, New Zealand.

Marriott Rewards Gold/(formerly SPG Gold)

The American Express Platinum Card used to provide Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold which translated into a matched status of Marriott Gold. However, with the recent merger between SPG and Marriott, you’ll only have Marriott Gold status going forward.

That normally would not be a problem except that Marriott Gold status was devalued after the merger. Marriott added new elite tiers for Platinum and by doing so Gold status lost some of its key benefits like a free breakfast. As a result, the new Marriott Gold is much more on par with the old Marriott Silver.

Here are the three key benefits of the new Marriott Gold:

  • 25% bonus points 
  • 2pm late check out
  • Upgrades

25% bonus points

Marriott offers you 10 base points per dollar spent at eligible properties (which is a lot of properties after the merger). With the Gold 25% bonus, that’s 12.5 points earned per dollar spent on your stays.

You might think that’s not as good as Hilton since you earn 18 points per dollar spent but Marriott points are worth more than Hilton points. I value Marriott points at .8 cent per point so 12.5 Marriott points is like getting 10% back on your stays which is better than what Hilton offers. Marriott also offers promotions and co-branded cards for earning Marriott points, so it’s also a very rewarding program.

2pm late check out

The 2pm late check out is based on availability so you might not always be able to get it. In my experience, Marriott has been pretty good at honoring my late check-out requests, so I put a good amount of value in this benefit since it makes my travels more convenient.


Here’s what the official Marriott terms and conditions say about upgrades:

This benefit is based on room availability at check-in and is limited to a Member’s personal guestroom at no additional charge.  Suite upgrades are excluded for Gold Elite Members.  Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors.  At The Ritz-Carlton, rooms with direct Club access are excluded.

So like Hilton Gold suites are excluded and most likely you’ll be put in a room with a better view or more room. But note that you could be upgraded to an executive floor which would provide you with lounge access which is great since that means you’d likely be able to enjoy a complimentary breakfast.

Marriott Renaissance Phoenix Lobby.

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts

The Platinum offers access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts.

This isn’t an actual hotel elite status but it’s a program where you can receive elite-level perks like like upgrades, free breakfast, $100 credits, free wifi, and late check-out. And it’s also possible to still earn your points for your preferred hotel loyalty program.

The rates are usually among the best rates for the hotels and they’ve got a full roster of popular five-star luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Conrad, Four Seasons, etc. And there’s even a rumor that the Platinum Card will eventually earn 5X on Fine Hotels and Resorts. Read more about the program here.

I would seriously give this program a look if you were trying to stay at a luxury hotel but didn’t have elite status with that program.

Hilton Aspire Card

If you are really interested in getting the best status with Hilton you might want to check out the Hilton Aspire card. It’s another premium Amex card and it offers top-tier Hilton Diamond status. Here’s a rundown of all of the benefits offered by the Aspire.

Hilton Aspire Bonus
  • 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 

You can read my comparison on the Platinum Card vs the Hilton Aspire card to see a closer look at how these cards stack up to each other.

Final word

The Amex Platinum is a benefits-rich card and a lot of its value comes from perks like its amazing airport lounge access. But the hotel elite perks are very strong for the Amex Platinum as well, especially for Hilton. By just taking advantage of them on a couple of occasions one can help offset the high annual fee of the Platinum Card.

Amex Platinum to Add New $100 Credit for Saks

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In 2017, the American Express Platinum Card underwent a huge facelift as new $200 Uber credits were added to the card along with other perks like 5X on airfare. Unfortunately, the annual fee also increased from $450 to $500. Since that annual fee rose to $550, many people have been forced to rely more on the credits offered by the Amex Platinum in order to justify the annual fee. And now there will be one more credit to help accomplish that.

Amex Platinum credits

To date, the Amex Platinum offers the following credits:

  • $200 airline incidental credit
  • $200 Uber credit
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit (every four years)

The new Platinum credit

But now the Platinum Card will come with an additional $100 credit to Saks Fifth Avenue.

The new credit will offer a $50 credit from January to June and a $50 credit from July to December. The credit should work with both in-store purchases and online purchases.

It’s not clear if it will work with gift cards but many speculate that it will.

The credit is part of a new program called “Shop Saks with Platinum,” which is set to launch on July 1, 2018. Like other Platinum credits, you’ll need to register at a link.

Now, the Platinum will come with annual credits totaling $500 (not counting the Global Entry credit). If you can purchase gift cards and be reimbursed this is a pretty big perk because you can knock down your annual fee to close to an effective $50 by utilizing all of your credits.

But if that doesn’t work, then obviously this perk won’t benefit people much who don’t shop at Saks Fifth Avenue.

I’m not a huge fan of credits like the Uber credit and the Saks Fifth Avenue credit that are not issued on an annual basis because they make things more complicated and increase the odds of the credits going to waste, but getting two credits per year isn’t too bad.

It’s also not clear if you’ll be able to use the credit at Saks Off Fifth, which offers discount SAKS clothing and would thus be easier to utilize your credit (though you could always use a gift card at Off Fifth if gift cards activate the credit).

Final word

Overall, it’s nice to see a new perk that helps to mitigate the annual fee of the Platinum Card by $100 but we’ll have to see just how broad this credit is to realize it’s true value.

Amex Platinum Car Rental Benefits (Insurance & Elite Status) [2020]

The Amex Platinum is loaded with a host of benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status, and travel credits as well as a host of rental car benefits.

But what exactly are the Amex Platinum car rental benefits and how valuable are they? 

This article will explain all of the different elite status benefits you should receive with your American Express Platinum Card as well as the car rental insurance policy that the card comes with. 

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

What is the Amex Platinum car rental insurance policy?

The Amex Platinum comes with rental car insurance, also known as collision damage waiver (CDW), that will cover you up to $75,000 for 30 consecutive days. The coverage offered is secondary, which means that it covers what your insurance provider does not cover.

So if you were to get into a car accident, the Amex Platinum car rental insurance would still require you to file a claim with your car insurance provider. That’s a bad deal because it means that your monthly premium could go up and it’s just never fun to have to deal with insurance companies.

Compare the Platinum’s policy to the Chase Sapphire Reserve which offers primary rental car insurance for claims up to $75,000 for periods of 31 consecutive days.

Even the Chase Sapphire Preferred, with its low $95 annual fee, offers primary rental car coverage.

So the rental car coverage offered by the Platinum Card isn’t exactly its strongest selling point. 

Who is covered by the Amex Platinum rental car insurance?

The following people will be provided with coverage:

  1. You are a Basic Card Member or Additional Card Member
  2. You were the person who signed the Rental Agreement
  3. You maintain your Permanent Residence within the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands; and
  4. You have fully activated coverage

This means that if you have a spouse or travel partner who is added as a driver who signed the rental agreement and you paid for the contract with your Platinum Card, they will be entitled to coverage just like you would be.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

How to activate coverage

Rental Vehicle is activated when:

1. You decline the full collision damage waiver (CDW) or similar option, or pay for a partial collision damage waiver, offered by the Rental Company;

2. You or the Authorized Driver is named on the Rental Agreement as the person renting and take control and possession of the Rental Vehicle; and

3. You use Your Account, American Express Membership Reward Points and/or American Express Pay with Points to hold or place a deposit at the time the rental is checked out and to pay for the entire rental from the rental company.

Coverage will not be activated if you pay for any portion of the Rental Vehicle by some other means.

So if you want the coverage offered by the Amex Platinum, make sure that you don’t split up the payment between multiple credit cards.

Amex Platinum rental car exclusions

There are certain types of vehicles not covered by the Platinum Card’s rental car policy.

Many of these exclusions are pretty standard but pay special attention to the bolded below — many people don’t realize that their rental coverage does not cover rentals in places Australia and Italy.

Vehicle exclusions

  • Cargo vans, custom vans, vans with a seating capacity over 8 passengers, cube van or box truck, or any truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or more;
  • Rental Vehicles which have been customized or modified from the manufacturer’s factory specifications except for driver’s assistance equipment for the physically challenged
  • Any Rental Vehicles used by an Authorized Driver for commercial or hire purposes;
  • Leased or mini-leased vehicles
  • “Antique cars” which means cars that are 20 years old or have not been manufactured for 10 or more years;
  • Limousines;
  • Off-road vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, recreational vehicles, golf or motorized carts, campers, trailers and any other vehicle which is not a Rental Vehicle; and
  • Rental Vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, New Zealand and any country on the OFAC sanctioned country list.

Losses that are not covered

You also need to be aware that some types of losses that will NOT be covered.

  • Intentional Damage by an Authorized Driver of the Rental Vehicle
  • Damage that occurred prior to the Rental Period
  • Manufacturing defects in the Rental Vehicle
  • Confiscation by authority
  • Wear and tear, including gradual deterioration
  • Damage which is due and confined to freezing, mechanical or electrical breakdown or failure unless such Damage results from a Theft covered by the Plan
  • Theft or Damage to Rental Vehicles that are unlocked or not Secured at the time of Theft or Damage
  • Theft of or Damage to tires (flats or blowouts), unless Damaged by fire, malicious mischief, vandalism, or stolen, unless the loss is coincident with and from the same cause as other loss covered by the Plan
  • Damage to any vehicle other than the Rental Vehicle
Make sure you’re aware of exclusions.

How to file a claim

When it comes to filing your rental car insurance claim, you need to make sure that you keep all the documentation needed to support your claim and that you file your claim within 30 days.

Report and file your claim

If your claim involves any type of criminal activity (theft, damage, vandalism, etc.) then the incident must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency as soon as reasonably possible.

This requirement applies regardless of whether the Rental Vehicle is involved with other vehicles. Failure to notify may result in denial of benefits.

You also need to file your notice of claim within thirty (30) days of the loss.

You or the Authorized Driver may contact the Company by calling toll-free stateside 1-800-338-1670 or, if from overseas, by calling collect 1-216-617-2500.

You can also write them at:

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Claims Unit
  • PO Box 94729, Cleveland, Ohio 44101-4729

You may have to submit further documentation to show proof of loss. Make sure you adhere to the deadlines which require you to show proof of loss within 60 days.

Provide documents (if needed)

Other documents you may have to provide include:

  • An itemized repair bill
  • A copy of charge slip for the rental of the Rental Vehicle, Rental Agreement or machine generated receipt to show rental was charged and paid for with an American Express Card
  • A police report (if applicable)
  • Photos of the Damaged Rental Vehicle, if available
  • A copy of the Card Member’s, Authorized Driver’s or employer’s auto insurance coverage, or a notarized letter stating no insurance
  • A copy of all claim documents and correspondence
  • A copy of the Rental Company’s utilization log 
  • A copy of the driver’s license of the Card Member and/or Authorized Driver, unless the driver’s license number shows on the Rental Agreement
  • A copy of the written Rental Agreement, front and back, which documents when the Rental Vehicle was checked out and checked in
  • Information pertaining to other available insurance coverage(s)

You can read more about the filing process here.

How to get primary rental car coverage

It is possible to get primary rental car coverage with the Amex Platinum.

However, you’ll have to pay extra (flat rate of $19.95 / $24.95 per rental period). It’s not terribly expensive to get primary rental car coverage and it even offers a higher coverage limit and longer coverage period (42 days), so it could be worth it.

You can read more about Amex car rental insurance and Amex travel insurance here

Amex Platinum rental car elite benefits

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get the following elite statuses:

These will offer you perks like special discounts, upgrades, and expedited service for picking up your vehicle.

Keep in mind there are other ways to save money on rental cars with sites like AutoSlash or other travel portals like Costco Travel — always consider your alternatives.

Avis Preferred status

  • Enjoy expedited service and go straight to your car at most locations.
  • Keep rental preferences on file and track your activity and rewards.
  • Exclusive monthly email offers.
  • Receive a free weekend rental certificate when you use code AWD#A756900 and rent twice within 6 months (first half or second half of the year).

Note: Avis Preferred is open to the general public so it’s not a “true elite” status.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

To unlock your Platinum Card Car Rental Privileges, include CDP #211762 in your Hertz reservation and pay with your Platinum Card.

If you are already a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards member simply add CDP #211762 to your profile.

Bypass the Counter

When you arrive, you’ll reach your car as quickly as possible, with expedited service at over 40 of the world’s largest airports if enrolled in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.

Bonus points

As a Platinum Card Member, you’ll get a 10% bonus on Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points if enrolled in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.

Special Savings

The road seems just a little smoother with special savings for Platinum Card Members on the best available rates at participating locations worldwide.

Some discounts may be up to 25% off the contract prices.

Grace period

Receive a four-hour grace period on returns in the US.

Upgrade Your Drive

Once you’re ready to get on the road, you can do so in comfort and style, with perks including complimentary one-car-class upgrade based on availability.

Have a memorable weekend

Receive special savings for Platinum Card Members on weekend rental rates at participating locations for the Hertz Prestige Collection – high-end luxury vehicles that can transform any trip into a special one.

Be sure to look into Hertz status matchesYou might be able to match your Executive status from National to a higher tier with Hertz.

National Emerald Club Executive status

The Executive status with National is the only “true” elite status offered by the Amex Platinum.

Priority Service

Get expedited services when renting in Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guaranteed Upgrades

You’re always guaranteed a free upgrade when you reserve using the Midsize rate (in US and Canada).

Drop & Go

With convenient email receipts, just drop off your car and go (if your car has not been damaged during the rental).

Executive Area Access

Choose any car (full size and above) in the Executive Area and only pay the mid size rate (in US and Canada).

Faster Free Rental Days

Earn 1 rental credit for every qualified car rental. Free Rental Day = 6 credits.

No Second Driver Fees (excluding rentals in Europe)

Never pay extra when family members and business associates do the driving.

 Final word

The Platinum Card offers some decent rental car benefits but nothing extremely valuable.

Secondary rental car coverage doesn’t even compete with lower annual fee cards like the Sapphire Preferred. But the rental car elite status perks are pretty good, allowing you to receive things like expedited access and free upgrades.

So while these perks aren’t exactly deal breakers, I’d still do my best to take advantage of them.

Amex Platinum Card Losing 5X on MPX?

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The Platinum Card from American Express is an extremely valuable travel rewards credit card. But most of its value comes in the form of benefits, such as lounge access, $200 Uber credits, and a $200 airline credit. The Platinum Card does earn 5X on airfare and pre-paid hotel purchases through the but outside of that, it doesn’t offer compelling bonus earning potential.

However, it’s been possible to have purchases made on the United MPX App to code as travel which in turn activated the 5X bonus earning on the Platinum. This allowed users to earn 5X on all sorts of dining and shopping purchases (in addition to United miles), which made the Platinum Card an extremely valuable bonus earning credit card for many.

Platinum Card lost 5X on MPX?

But now data points are indicating that the Platinum Card is no longer awarding 5X on MPX purchases, even though they are coding as travel.

This is a major loss to the Platinum Card for those who regularly took advantage of this. While it hurts to see it go, we all knew that this was a type of loophole that would eventually come to an end. The first sign was when MPX purchases no longer triggered the $200 airline credit and so the 5X coding actually lasted even longer than I initially thought that it would.

Does this affect the value of the Platinum Card?

For anybody who regularly used the MPX App such as myself, I think this does alter the value proposition of the Platinum Card. This easily loses me 10,000 to 20,000 Membership Rewards or more a year, so it would be difficult to say that it didn’t affect the value of the card.

I’ll still be holding onto my Platinum Card for the Centurion Lounge access but this does mean that my Platinum Card will be getting a lot less action in the future. Other cards such as the Sapphire Reserve have been known to still earn bonus points on specific categories (such as dining) when making purchases on the MPX App, so that will probably be my go-to for the future.

H/T: The Frequent Miler / Flyertalk

Amex Platinum Card News: New Lounges, Metal Cards

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The Platinum Card from American Express is one of my top travel credit cards (#2) for a lot of reasons. It has a great sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards, grants hotel status with Hilton and SPG/Marriott, up to $400 worth of credit, and has the best lounge access offered by any premium card (at least I think it does). And now the lounge perks will be getting a little bit sweeter.

Las Vegas Centurion Lounge.

New, larger lounge at DFW

Via VFTW, the American Express Centurion Lounge at DFW will be relocating and expanding sometime in the first half of 2018. The new lounge will have 3000 square feet more space and will also be adding new features like an extra shower, private telephone rooms, and a private “mother’s room.”

The Centurion Lounge at DFW is one of the largest Centurion lounges (if not the largest) but like many other Centurion Lounges it’s been plagued by overcrowding. This new lounge will replace the old lounge (moving from near D14 to near gate D17) so there will still only be one Centurion Lounge at DFW but at least it will be bigger. (I personally think overcrowding is still going to be a persistent issue for all of these lounges until more start to pop up.)

More lounge access abroad

The Platinum Card is also offering enhanced lounge access abroad. When you fly, Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian you’ll be able to access Lufthansa lounges in Munich.

As reported by OMAAT:

  • Platinum cardmembers get access to the Lufthansa Business Lounges in the Terminal 2 Satellite when flying Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian in any class of service
  • Platinum cardmembers get access to the Lufthansa Senator Lounges in the Terminal 2 Satellite when flying Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian in business class
  • Centurion cardmembers get access to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in the Terminal 2 Satellite when flying Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian in any class of service

What stands out is that lounge access will be granted regardless of which class of service you book your flight in. Unfortunately, guests will not be included but this is still a valuable new perk. I think that the Platinum Card will increasingly offer more options for lounge access and continue to be one of the best credit cards for all-around premium benefits. It’s also interesting to see a distinguishing benefit for the Centurion Card, as there’s currently a lot of overlap with the Platinum Card in terms of benefits offered.

New metal cards

While the metal cards for the personal Platinum Card have been out for a while, you can now request metal cards for the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. You can do this by calling in or by logging in online and requesting the metal card. I think the thrill (assuming there ever was one) of metal cards has died out over the past year but I still like the feel and look of metal cards, especially the way the metal Platinum Cards look.

What Are the American Express Platinum Card Authorized User Benefits?

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most valuable credit cards available on the market. It’s rich in benefits, such as lounge access, travel credits, hotel elite status, and more. One of the biggest perks of the Platinum Card is that you can add authorized users for a reasonable fee and they receive almost all of the same perks as the primary cardmember. So here’s a breakdown of the Amex Platinum authorized user benefits.

Two different types of authorized users

One thing that is unique about the Platinum Card is that you can add two different types of authorized users. You can add Gold Cards or Platinum Cards.

Gold Cards

You can add up to 99 (yes 99) gold cards at no additional cost.

The Gold Cards only receive a fraction of the Platinum Card perks. You can earn 5X on airfare and hotels purchased through the Amex travel portal. You can also take advantage of the $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit. So basically the Gold Cards are useful in helping you earn more Membership Rewards through bonus spend and by allowing you to cash in on the Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit. Aside from that, there’s not a lot of value there.

Note: Even though American Express discontinued the Gold Card, it’s still available for Platinum authorized users.

Platinum Cards

  • You can add up to 3 authorized users for $175.
  • Starting with your fourth authorized user, each one will cost $175

As a point of comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve requires $75 for each authorized user and the Citi Prestige requires $50.

Paying $175 for up to three authorized users is a phenomenal deal. If you were to split that cost between a trio, that’s only ~$58 per person. Considering the level of benefits offered by the Platinum Card for authorized users, this is a steal.

Platinum Card authorized user benefits
Amex Centurion Lounge at IAH.

Amex Platinum authorized user benefits

The Platinum Card probably offers the best complete package for lounge access. With the the Platinum Card you’re offered the following:

Plus numerous other lounge perks discussed in this article.

Getting all of those perks even for $175 is a steal, assuming you take advantage of them.

Platinum Card authorized user benefits
Amex Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.

Hotel elite status

The Platinum Card will also offer authorized user hotel elite status.

I’ve received a ton of additional value from my elite status with these hotels. I regularly receive upgrades to better rooms/suites, free breakfasts, gifts, drinks, etc. What I really like is to leverage the SPG/Marriott Gold status to complete a status challenge to earn Marriott Platinum status. That also translates into SPG Platinum Status and even earns you Silver Status with United Airlines, among many other perks.

Platinum Card authorized user benefits
Marriott Gold can get you hotel rooms with better views.

Additional Amex Platinum authorized user benefits

Some of the additional perks include:

  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check
  • Free Boingo Wifi subscription (worth $120 per year)
  • Rental car benefits like express check-in, free upgrades, and discounts with status.
  • Concierge service
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts

Amex Offers

As an authorized user, you’re still able to take advantage of Amex Offers, which are special promotions that can save you money with all kinds of different merchants. Everything from airfare, hotels, to Best Buy and Amazon show up on these offers.

You’ll need to create your own log-in account (separate from the primacy cardholder) so that you can see them when you log-in, however. Otherwise, you’ll have no way to access these offers.

You might consider this one of the least valuable Amex Platinum authorized user benefits, but don’t underestimate the amount of money that this perk save you. If you consistently monitor these offers, you could end up saving yourself a few hundred bucks a year, depending on your spending habits.

Amex Centurion Lounge American Express
Amex Centurion Lounge entrance.

What you don’t get

$200 airline credit

Something to keep in mind about Platinum Card authorized users is that they don’t get their “own” $200 airline credit. What I mean by that is that each Platinum Card account and all of the authorized user accounts tied to it, only receives one pool of airline credits that must be split among all of the authorized users.

So for example, if you have one primary Platinum Card member and three authorized users, then those four people essentially split a pool of $200 worth of airline credit. Each authorized user can use the statement credits but that will prevent the other cards from using them if that authorized user uses them all up. Both Platinum Card and Gold Card authorized users can use this benefit.

Uber credit

The $200 Uber credit is different. It is only effective for the primary cardholder and not available for authorized users. So if an authorized user adds a Platinum Card to their Uber account, they will not be able to use any of the $200 credit because it’s not one of the Platinum Card authorized user benefits.

You can however, add the primary cardholder to an Uber account in someone else’s name and use the credit. You just have to make sure that the primary cardholder deleted the Platinum Card from the first Uber account so that will become effective for the second account.

Final word on Amex Platinum authorized user benefits

Adding three Platinum Card authorized users for $175 is a sweet spot among premium cards because of all of the benefits offered by this card. Even if you only travel a couple of times a year, if you’re only paying around $60 for all of these perks, then Platinum Card authorized user benefits can be well worth your money.

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