Is the Platinum Card From American Express Worth Its Annual Fee?


The Platinum Card® from American Express is considered a heavyweight in the traveler rewards card world. This card packs serious luxury power and has a hefty $550 annual fee. The big question when considering this card isn’t if it will it provide enough perks, but if it’s worth that annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth the annual fee if you…

Fly often

One of the best perks of this card is its $200 airline fee credit. The credit is applied every calendar year. Terms apply. To activate the credit, you select a single, qualifying airline per year (AmEx partners with Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest and United).

» Learn more: The Platinum Card® from American Express review: Luxury isn’t cheap

The credit can’t be used for airfare, but it covers the little fees that tend to stack up for flyers. This includes seat upgrades, inflight purchases, checked bags and more. If you’re constantly soaring 35,000 feet in the air, it’s nice to not be concerned with a $50 charge here or a $25 charge there.

Like lounging at airports

Just as this card provides some peace of mind with its annual airline credit, the card also gives you actual peace as you traverse airports. The Platinum Card® from American Express grants you access to airport lounges across the globe, which can make the chaos of an airport melt into the background.

There are nine AmEx Centurion Lounges worldwide that offer free drinks and food, luxurious seating and spa treatments. You’ll also have access to any of the more than 1,000 Priority Pass Select lounges. If you’re flying Delta, you’ll be able to use Delta Sky Club lounges.

Use Uber

If you take Uber often, The Platinum Card® from American Express provides you with another perk: $200 in credit for use on Uber. Terms apply. The credit is applied monthly, $15 each month and an extra $20 in December. The credits don’t roll over, so be sure to use them each month. You can also apply these credits to Uber Eats orders.

» Learn more: 5 things to know about Uber’s loyalty program

The Platinum Card® from American Express also grants you Uber VIP status, which is only available in select cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and Denver. If you live in one of those qualifying cities, you’ll be linked only with drivers who have a 4.8 rating or higher and “high quality” vehicles.

Rent cars when you travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express grants you instant Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status. Depending on which car rental company you choose, you’ll be permitted to skip lines, granted late return grace periods, cheap vehicle upgrades and more. When you just hopped off a four-hour flight and need to drive 45 minutes to your hotel, VIP status at rental car companies is huge.

Need a helping hand

Another perk of this card that helps ease the sting of the card’s annual fee is its concierge service. If your to-do list has a to-do list, the concierge is priceless. They can send flowers to a co-worker for their birthday. They can nab reservations at the best restaurants for your next trip abroad. The concierge can even help you score rare tickets on Broadway. It’s a great benefit for cardholders constantly on the move.

Stay at Hilton or Marriott hotels

The Platinum Card® from American Express grants you automatic status at Hilton and Marriott hotels. With Hilton Honors Gold Status, you’ll get perks like a free fifth night, room discounts and upgrades and free Wi-Fi, as well as earn reward nights faster with an 80% bonus on base points earned. Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status earns you 10 points per dollar spent, plus a 25% point bonus over base members, room upgrades, late checkouts and a welcome gift.

Still unsure? See if our calculator can help.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Luxury isn’t cheap with the AmEx Platinum credit card
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
American Express Membership Rewards: How to earn and use them



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