The Platinum Card® from American Express is an outstanding option among travel rewards cards for those who spend a significant amount of time on the road or in the air. Whether you travel for business, for fun or both, this card is worth a closer look – especially if you enjoy airport lounges, hotel upgrades, Uber VIP status and bypassing long security lines.
|Card||APR||Annual Fee||Welcome Bonus||Credit Needed||Key features|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||This is a charge card, so the expectation is that the balance will be paid in full each month. Cash advances have a 26.74% Variable APR.||$550 (See Rates & Fees)||60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.||Excellent||Travel rewards rate of 1:1 on general purchases, 5:1 on eligible hotels through Amex Travel, 5:1 flights booked with Amex Travel or directly through airline.|
What we like about The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express has a long list of benefits and perks that go beyond the hefty Membership Rewards points bonus. Frequent travelers should be able to rack up points quickly with 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com and 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
American Express does its best to make sure that cardmembers have every incentive to travel throughout the year with a $200 airline fee credit per year for incidentals like in-flight food and drinks and $200 in savings on U.S. Uber rides annually.
Cardholders also get hotel and resort perks like early check-in and late check-out, room upgrades, complimentary Wi-Fi and free breakfast through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. They’ll even foot the bill for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees once every four years if you charge the fee to your American Express Platinum card.
Things to consider
The $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee may fall outside the average travel credit card owner’s comfort zone. For occasional travelers or those who use credit cards infrequently, the American Express Platinum charge card may not be worth it.
Before you get this card, make sure you’ll spend enough with it on eligible travel expenses to take advantage of its points-earning potential and the resulting rewards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express travel rewards details
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a travel rewards card targeting those who take multiple trips each year, use Uber for transportation while traveling and prefer airport lounges over hanging out with the general population while waiting for their flight.
As a new user, when you spend $5,000 on purchases with the The Platinum Card® from American Express within the first 90 days of opening the account, you’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points. You’ll get 5X rewards on hotels and flights booked through amextravel.com as well as flights booked directly with an airline.
To maximize this benefit, it’s important to use the card when paying for any and all travel expenses. Not only do you get 5X the points when you use the card for most travel costs, but you’ll also get a $200 annual airline fee credit on incidentals with any single airline. You’ll also enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month.
Your Amex points won’t expire while you have an American Express Membership Rewards card open and in good standing. You can either use your points to book travel through the Amex Travel portal or you can transfer them to an Amex hotel or airline transfer partner. You can link your hotel and airline loyalty accounts through your Amex account online.
The Platinum Card® from American Express fees
Since The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, not a credit card, there’s no APR associated with carrying a balance. If you don’t pay the balance in full each month, there’s up to a $39 late fee (See Rates & Fees). Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5% of the cash advance, whichever is greater and have a 26.74% Variable APR (See Rates & Fees).
How does it compare to other travel rewards cards?
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is another popular travel credit card option with a decent welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 with the card within 90 days of opening the account. Ongoing rewards are two miles per dollar on every purchase.
For those who can’t stomach the $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee with The Platinum Card® from American Express and want the option of carrying a balance, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a good option.
Another travel rewards card with a lucrative sign-up bonus and good ongoing rewards program is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with a $95 annual fee. The 60,000-point welcome bonus is worth $750 after spending $4,000 on purchases with the card within 90 days of opening the account. You’ll earn 2X points on dining and travel, plus get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
If you want a great travel rewards card with a lower annual fee, solid rewards earning potential, and the ability to carry a balance from month to month, both the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card fills in the gaps where The Platinum Card® from American Express falls short.
The bottom line
The Platinum Card® from American Express has a great Membership Rewards bonus and the potential for lucrative ongoing rewards earning potential when you use it to pay for travel expenses.
Frequent travelers who enjoy perks like Uber VIP status, access to airport lounges and hotel room upgrades may find that benefits of this card outweigh the annual fee.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
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