|Card Details and Application Link|
The Platinum Card® from American Express
125K after $6K spend in first 6 months plus 15x on eligible purchases when you Shop Small in the US and at restaurants worldwide on up to $25K in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
Click Here to Apply (this is NOT an affiliate link)
$695 Annual Fee
FM Mini Review: This card is absolutely loaded with high end perks. Depending upon your situation, those perks may be worth the annual fee or much more.
Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card
Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Noteworthy perks: ⚬ $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline ⚬ $200 prepaid hotel credit annually valid on Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection bookings. ⚬ Up to $300 in Equinox credits. ⚬ Up to $240 in credits for select streaming services annually. ⚬ $179 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually. ⚬ Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status for Basic Member only ⚬ Complimentary Uber Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months (must enroll by 12/31/21) ⚬ Up to $100 in credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 in credits semi-annually, enrollment required) ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement or $85 TSA Precheck reimbursement once every 5 years ⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ Rental car elite status ⚬ Marriott Gold status ⚬ Hilton HHonors Gold status ⚬ Free Gold card AUs. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)
See also: Amex Platinum Guide
The Platinum Card from American Express comes loaded with high end perks: Hundreds of dollars per year in various credit reimbursements, access to multiple types of airport lounges, hotel and car elite status, and much more. All of this goodness comes at a steep price, but many find it worth it.
There are multiple versions of the consumer Amex Platinum card. For a complete roundup of the various flavors of Platinum, along with advice of which is best, see: Amex Platinum Complete Guide.
In this post, you’ll find information specific to the generic Platinum card from American Express…
Amex Application Tips
Check application status here.
Should you apply?
Platinum card welcome bonuses are usually worth considerably more than the card’s annual fee. So, as long as you can make use of some of the card’s perks, and as long as you can meet the offer’s minimum spend requirements, it makes sense to sign up for at least one year. You can always cancel (or downgrade to a less expensive card) once the annual fee comes due in year 2 so as to avoid paying for the second year.
Amex Platinum Reconsideration
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new account holders); 866-314-0237 (current account holders)
Amex Platinum Application strategy
Even better is to sign up for each card mid-year so that you can earn two sets of calendar year credit reimbursements with each signup. For example, if you sign up for a Platinum card in mid 2021, you can earn the full $200 in airline fee reimbursements in 2021 and again in 2022 before cancelling the card once the 2nd annual fee comes due. It's even possible to stretch it out to three credits with one annual fee by signing up in early December and earning credits this year, next year, and in early January of the year after that. See also: Amex Airline Fee Reimbursements. What still works?
How to Meet Minimum Spend requirements
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount do NOT include fees or interest charges, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents.That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):
- Primary cardholder: $695 per year
- Optional Authorized Users:
- $175 per year for up to 3 Platinum authorized users. Platinum authorized users get lounge access and elite benefits.
- Free Gold authorized users. These authorized users do not get lounge access benefits. Plus, even though the name sounds the same, these authorized users do not get any of the perks available to Amex Gold Card cardholders.
Save money by sharing
If you have family or friends that you trust, consider sharing the cost of renewing your Platinum card each year by adding them as Platinum authorized users. Your friends won’t get airline fee or other credit reimbursements, but they will get lounge access, elite status, and more. The trick is to make sure they use the card only for the perks and not for spend since you will be responsible for any payments made with the card.
A Delta SkyClub membership alone costs $545 for 12 months. You can give friends the same access when flying Delta by adding them as authorized users. How much would your friends pay you for this benefit? You can restrict the card so that your friends can’t actually use it for spend.
Amex Platinum Perks
Access to high end perks is the reason to hold an Amex Platinum card.
Perks for all Platinum cards
|Benefit||How to access or enroll||Available to Platinum Authorized users?|
|5X points at amextravel.com: Earn 5X points for prepaid hotel and airline bookings at Amextravel.com||This benefit is automatic.||Yes. Points and bonus points are added to the primary card holder's account.|
|$200 airline fee credit: Amex will automatically reimburse up to $200 per calendar year for airline fees for your selected airline only. Eligible fees include: baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases, and airport lounge day passes.||Log in and go to Benefit page and click “Select a Qualifying Airline”. For tips on using this benefit, please see: Amex airline fee reimbursements. What still works?||No. Spend on authorized user cards does count, but only $200 per year will be reimbursed altogether.|
|Airport Lounge Access - Centurion Lounges, Airspace Lounges, Escape Lounges: Cardholder plus two guests are allowed free. Beginning 2/1/23, in most cases guests will be charged $50 each (details here).||No need to enroll. Simply show your Platinum card when visiting a Centurion Lounge.||Yes|
|Airport Lounge Access - Delta SkyClubs: Cardholder is allowed free when flying Delta same day. Extra charge for guests.||No need to enroll. Simply show your Platinum card and same day boarding pass when visiting a Delta SkyClub.||Yes|
|Airport Lounge Access - Priority Pass Select Lounges: Priority Pass Select member plus two guests are allowed free entrance. Unfortunately, this membership does not include Priority Pass restaurants.||You must sign up for Priority Pass Select. Go to benefit page and click “Enroll in Priority Pass”. You will receive a membership card by mail. Present Priority Pass card and boarding pass at lounge entrance.||Yes. Each authorized user must sign up for Priority Pass Select.|
|Airport Lounge Access - select Lufthansa Lounges||Free access to Lufthansa Business Lounges (with confirmed ticket) or to Senator Lounges (with Business Class ticket) in the satellite building of Terminal 2 at Munich Airport and in Terminal 1, Departure Area B, at Frankfurt Airport. Valid only when flying Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian Airlines.||Yes|
|Cell Phone Protection: Max $800 per claim, $50 deductible.||No need to enroll. Pay your cell phone bill with your Platinum card.||Yes|
|CLEAR credit: Get up to $179 per year reimbursed for CLEAR subscriptions.||No need to enroll. Pay for CLEAR with your Platinum card. See also: 5 ways to get CLEAR for less.||No. Spend on authorized user cards does count, but only $179 per year will be reimbursed altogether.|
|Global Entry or TSA Pre fee credit: Full reimbursement for signup fee once every 5 years, per card. Note: signup for Global Entry since that includes TSA Pre.||Sign up for Global Entry here. Pay with your Platinum card. Reimbursement should happen automatically.||Yes. Pay with the authorized user card in order to get reimbursed. Terms state “Additional Cards on eligible Consumer and Business accounts are also eligible for the $100 statement credit”. This works with no fee Green and Gold authorized user cards too.|
|Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance||Call the Premium Global Assist Hotline: 1-800-333-Amex (toll free), or 1-715-343-7977 (direct-dial collect)||Yes|
|Hilton HHonors Gold Status: Hilton Gold members receive free breakfast, room upgrades when available, and other perks at Hilton hotels.||Go to benefit page, find the Hilton HHonors Gold benefit, and click “Enroll Now”.||Yes. Authorized users may have to call Amex to enroll.|
|Marriott Gold Status: Marriott Gold members receive a points welcome gift with each stay, room upgrades when available, 2pm late checkout, and other perks (details here).||Go to benefit page, find the Marriott Gold benefit, and click “Enroll in Marriott Gold”.||Yes. Authorized users may have to call Amex to enroll.|
|International Airline Program: Save money when booking premium cabin international flights originating in the US or Canada.||Book your flight on amextravel.com. Make sure to log into your Amex account to see flight discounts.||Yes|
|Fine Hotels & Resorts: Book high-end hotels through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and get: room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, 4pm late checkout, noon check-in, free wifi, and unique property amenity. Also: Earn 5X Membership Rewards for prepaid bookings.||Browse to www.americanexpressfhr.com and log into your Platinum account.||Yes|
|Preferred Hotels & Resorts Elite Status: Lifetime elite status offers perks such as extra points, welcome amenity||Click here to enroll||Yes|
|Fiesta Rewards Platinum Status||Use the Spanish language page: http://www.fiestarewards.com/inscripcion and enter code: AMEXPLATINUM||Yes|
|National Car Rental Executive status: Book midsize cars and select any car from the Executive Aisle for no extra charge.||Enroll here.||Yes|
|Hertz Rental Car Privileges: Special elite-like benefits for Platinum cardholders, plus discounts, plus four hour grace period for rental car returns.||Details and enrollment form found here.||Yes|
|Cruise Benefits: Pay for your cruise with your Platinum card and receive $100 to $300 per stateroom shipboard credit plus additional amenities unique to each cruise line||Participating cruise lines and other info can be found here.||Yes|
|Premium Private Jet Program: 20% off plus one time $500 credit towards Wheels Up Connect or 40% off plus one time $2K towards Wheels Up Core memberships.||Sign up here.||Yes|
|ShopRunner: Free shipping at a number of merchants.||Sign up here.||Yes|
|Neiman Marcus In-Circle||Call 1-800-525-3355 to enroll||Yes|
Additional Consumer Platinum Perks
|Benefit||How to access or enroll||Available to Platinum Authorized Users?|
|$200 in Uber / Uber Eats Credits: Amex will reimburse $15 per month ($35 in December) for Uber charges. You will also get Uber VIP status.||Add your Platinum card number to your Uber account as a payment method. You do not have to pay with the Platinum card in order to get this benefit. Important: when requesting a ride, select Uber Cash for payment in order to use your credits.||No. Authorized user cards do not receive their own $200 in Uber credits or VIP status.|
|$200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back per calendar year towards prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings||No need to enroll. Book through Amex Travel and pay with your Platinum card.||No. Spend on Authorized user cards does count, but only $200 per year will be reimbursed altogether.|
|$240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Up to $20 per month in credits for subscriptions to Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.||Enroll here. Enroll in any of the listed services and pay with your Platinum card.||No. Spend on Authorized user cards does count, but only $20 per month will be reimbursed altogether.|
|$100 in Saks Fifth Avenue Credits: Up to $50 in credits each year from January through June; and another $50 July through December.||Enroll here. Pay with your consumer Platinum card at Saks Fifth Avenue online or at locations in the US and US Territories.||No. Spend on Authorized user cards does count, but only $50 per 6 months will be reimbursed altogether.|
|$300 Equinox Credit: Get $25 per month for select Equinox subscriptions.||Enroll here. Use your Platinum card to pay for monthly Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.||No. Spend on Authorized user cards does count, but only $25 per month will be reimbursed altogether.|
|5X points on flights booked directly with airlines. With business cards you must book through Amex Travel to get 5X.||Automatic benefit||Yes. Points and bonus points are added to the primary card holder's account.|
|Active Military Fee Waiver: Amex will waive consumer card fees (including annual fees) for US active military personnel.||Call the number of the back of your card and tell them you are serving on active duty military and had heard that AMEX offers to handle your account in accordance with the Military Lending Act (MLA)||Yes (primary user must call and can get fees waived for additional cardholders)|
In general, Membership Rewards points are worth up to 1 cent each when redeemed for merchandise or gift cards. Fortunately, there are three ways in which it is possible to get more value: redeem points for flights, transfer points to hotel or airline partners, or invest rewards. More on each below…
The Business Platinum Card offers a 35% Airline Bonus: Get 35% of your points back when you redeem points through Amex Travel for either a First or Business class flight on any airline, or for any flights with your selected airline.
After you receive the 35% rebate, the value works out to 1.54 cents per point. That's very good, but it does require owning this ultra-premium card.
The best use of Membership Rewards points, in my opinion, is to transfer points to airline and hotel partners in order to book high value awards. Your best bet is usually to wait until you find a great flight or night award before transferring points. One exception: Amex often offers 30% or higher transfer bonuses to certain programs (Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are two recent examples). If you’re confident that you’ll use the points for good value, it may make sense to transfer points when those bonuses are in effect.
For specific examples of great ways to use points transferred to airline miles, please see: Amex Membership Rewards sweet spots.
Current Transfer Bonuses
Here are the currently available transfer bonuses from Amex Membership Rewards (this table will update automatically when new offers are found):
|Transfer Bonus Details||End Date Sortable|
|30% transfer bonus to Flying Blue from Membership Rewards|
1,000 Membership Rewards = 1,300 Flying Blue miles with this promotion
Points can be transferred to the loyalty accounts of the primary cardholder or any authorized user or employee on the account.
It is free to transfer Membership Rewards points to foreign airlines. For transfers to US airlines, however, Amex charges an “excise tax offset fee” of $0.0006 per point (with a maximum fee of $99). Airlines subject to this fee are noted below.
|Rewards Program||Amex Transfer Ratio||Best Uses|
|AeroMexico ClubPremier||1 to 1.6||AeroMexico is a SkyTeam partner. Club Premier points can be used to book flights on AeroMexico, SkyTeam alliance members (such as Delta or Korean Air), or on select partner airlines. Unfortunately many have reported that awards are extremely difficult to book through AeroMexico so we do not recommend transferring points to this program. If you want to fly AeroMexico, look to transfer points to another SkyTeam partner (such as Air France) and then book AeroMexico with that program.|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1 to 1||Redeem for Star Alliance flights and/or flights with Air Canada partners (such as Etihad). No fuel surcharges; $39 CAD award booking fee; 5,000 points to add stopover on one-way award. See: Air Canada Aeroplan: Everything you need to know.|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||1 to 1||Monthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France miles can be used to book Sky Team awards, including Delta awards.|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||1 to 1||Alitalia is a member of the SkyTeam alliance. Unfortunately, fuel surcharges can be quite high, and partner awards cannot be booked online. Worse, after numerous devaluations, few sweetspots exist in this program.|
|ANA Mileage Club||1 to 1||Redeem for Star Alliance flights. Multiple stopovers allowed. ANA offers many great sweet-spot awards, including flying around the world in business class for as few as 115K miles! See also: ANA - a terrific Membership Rewards gem.|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1 to 1||Avianca LifeMiles can be great for Star Alliance awards. They offer reasonable award prices and no fuel surcharges on awards. They also offer shorthaul awards within the US (for flying United, for example) for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. Best of all, their mixed-cabin pricing can lead to fantastic first-class award prices. See this post for details.|
|Avios (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus)||1 to 1||While flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges. Great value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights. Iberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. Aer Lingus shares the "Avios" currency with British Airways and Iberia. In most cases it is best to move points to one of those programs in order to book awards for less. See also: Complete guide to Avios - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1 to 1||Cathay Pacific has a decent distance based award chart, but they no longer allow stopovers longer than 24 hours. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a good option for booking American Airlines flights with a distance based award chart, especially if other OneWorld Alliance miles aren't available. For long distance flights, it is possible to reduce the cost of first class by adding on a business class flight. See this post for details.|
|Choice||1 to 1||Choice Privileges points seem to be randomly valuable within the US, but dependably valuable internationally in expensive locations such as Scandinavia and Japan|
|Delta SkyMiles||1 to 1 plus excise tax||Delta no longer charges change or cancellation fees on awards originating in North America. Flash award sales can offer great value. See: Best uses for Delta miles.|
|Emirates Skywards||1 to 1||The best use of Emirates miles is to fly Emirates itself. See: Emirates Sweet Spot Awards - First class from 30K miles round trip.|
|Etihad Guest||1 to 1||Etihad has a very competitive award chart for American Airlines flights, among others. For example, they charge only 50,000 miles one-way for business class flights from North America to Europe. Partner awards must be booked over the phone.|
|Hawaiian Miles||1 to 1 plus excise tax||Hawaiian Airlines’ award prices tend to be quite high, but there are some not-terrible uses: fly to neighboring islands for 7.5K miles, fly first class round-trip from Hawaii to South Pacific islands for as few as 95K miles, fly first class round-trip from Hawaii to Australia for as few as 130K miles.|
|Hilton||1 to 2||5th Night Free awards. Best value is usually found with very low end or very high end Hilton hotels.|
|JetBlue||250 to 200 plus excise tax||JetBlue points offer the most value when cheap ticket prices are available and when award taxes are high relative to the overall cost of the ticket (more details can be found here). The JetBlue Plus Card and the JetBlue Business Card offer a 10% rebate on awards, so you can get more value by holding one of these cards.|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1 to 1||5th Night Free awards. Opportunities to get outsized value exist but can be hard to find.|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1 to 1||Best use is probably for flights on El Al with no fuel surcharges. Also useful for short AA flights. Qantas offers distance based award charts similar to Cathay Pacific. Both are OneWorld Alliance members. I recommend comparing award prices across both programs before transferring to either. Qantas offers round the world business class awards for only 280,000 points (but with many restrictions)|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1 to 1||Use to book Singapore Airlines First Class awards (generally reserved for their own members), Alaska Airlines economy awards, or for Star Alliance awards (including United Airlines).|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1 to 1||Virgin Atlantic offers quite a few sweet spot awards including ANA first class between the US and Japan for as low as 110K points round-trip; and US to Europe on Delta One business class for only 50K points one-way. See: Best uses for Virgin Atlantic points (Sweet Spot Spotlight).|
Cash back (invest with rewards)
Considering the fact that there are so many ways to earn lots of Membership Rewards points, the ability to cash out at 1.25 cents per point is excellent.
You can also redeem points for gift cards or merchandise. At most, with this approach you’ll get 1 cent per point value, but usually you’ll get quite a bit less.
You can also use points to pay some merchants directly (Amazon.com, for example). Don’t do this. These options offer very poor value. Further, they may compromise the security of your account (i.e. if someone hacks into your Amazon account, they might spend your Ultimate Rewards points – causing you a headache in getting your points reinstated).
Combine PointsAmex automatically pools all of your points together. When you earn points with different cards, the point total shown when viewing either card is the total across cards.
Share PointsUnlike Chase and Citibank, Amex doesn’t allow members to move points from one person’s account to another. That said, it is possible to transfer one person’s points to another person’s loyalty program account. The key is that the person who receives the points must be an authorized user or employee on the other person’s account. For example, my wife can transfer Membership Rewards points to my Virgin Atlantic account as long as I’m an authorized user (or employee) on any of her Membership Rewards cards.
An authorized user card must be active for 90 days before it will unlock the ability to transfer your points to the authorized user’s loyalty program account.
How to Keep Points AliveThankfully, it is very easy to keep Amex Membership Rewards points alive. Simply keep any Membership Rewards card open. For example, if you are about to close your one and only Membership Rewards card, then open another Membership Rewards card account first in order to preserve your points. Amex offers some no-fee Membership Rewards cards, such as the Blue Business Plus and the Amex Everyday, so this shouldn't be much of a burden.
Amex Platinum: Keep or Cancel?
Deciding whether to keep or cancel Amex Platinum cards can be a tough decision. Given the card’s very high annual fee, it’s a significant investment to keep the card year after year. If you make good use of the card’s perks and rebates, though, it can be well worth it. For example, a Delta SkyClub membership alone currently costs $545 for 12 months, but you get the same access when you’re a Platinum cardholder. Plus, the Platinum card gives you access to many other lounges including Amex Centurion Lounges and Escape Lounges, both of which are arguably the best domestic airport lounges in the US.