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AMEX Platinum Card Review: Lounge Access + 100K Bonus

Last updated: June 28,2022
Originally Published: November 29,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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The Platinum Card from American Express is one the most popular premium travel credit cards in the market in the early days of points and miles. Even until now, there’s still a growing consumer demand for the Amex Platinum card despite its high annual fees.

The card’s main selling point is its solid rewards rates, annual statement credits amounting up to $1,500, and exclusive access to more than a hundred airport lounges around the world. These perks are the main reasons why the Amex Platinum has stood strong against other competitors luxury cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

The Amex Platinum Card comes with a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points.

Amex Platinum Card Key Details

  • Get a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 within the first 6 months of card membership
  • Earn 5X points for direct airline bookings or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Several statement credits for airline fees, hotel stays, entertainment, shopping, and more
  • Travel and purchase protection
  • Airport lounge access to more than 1000+ lounges worldwide
  • 24-hours access to Amex Concierge

In July 2021, the Amex Platinum Card has increased its annual fees from $550 to $695. It’s really expensive compared to other premium cards but its perks and benefits are able to compensate for that amount.

New cardholders who signed up this 2021 will be charged with the current fee but existing cardholders will still have until January 2022 before paying the new rates.


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Amex Platinum 100K Bonus

The Amex Platinum Card currently has a welcome bonus of 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within six months of card membership.

Since Amex points are worth 1.8 to 2 cents apiece, the Amex Platinum 100k bonus points could amount to $1,800 or $2,000 which can at least cover the cost of the annual fees for the first 3 years.

Rewards Categories

If you’re a new cardholder, you can earn 10x points at restaurants or when you Shop Small in the US within the first 6 months of card membership (up to $25,000 in combined purchases).

The rest of the ongoing rewards categories are as follows:

  • 5x Membership Rewards points on direct airline bookings or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x points at prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Membership Rewards can be redeemed for hotel stays, gift cards, food, and flights at Amextravel.com. However, you can get more value from your points by transferring them to partner loyalty programs.

Here’s a list of partners and there corresponding where you can transfer your Amex points:

Airlines:

  • Aer Lingus. (1:1)
  • AeroMexico. (1:1.6)
  • Air Canada. (1:1)
  • Air France/KLM. (1:1)
  • Alitalia. (1:1)
  • ANA. (1:1)
  • Avianca. (1:1)
  • British Airways. (1:1)
  • Cathay Pacific. (1:1)
  • Delta Air Lines. (1:1)
  • Emirates. (1:1)
  • Etihad Airways. (1:1)
  • Hawaiian Airlines. (1:1)
  • Iberia Plus. (1:1)
  • JetBlue Airways. (2.5:2)
  • Qantas. (1:1)
  • Singapore Airlines. (1:1)
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways. (1:1)

Hotels:

  • Choice Hotels.(1:1)
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts. (1:2)
  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts. (1:1)

This transfer partner list is constantly changing so please see the Amex’ website to get the latest updates regarding the card’s transfer partners.

Travel Credits

The Amex Platinum Card comes with numerous annual statement credits that can also help cover the cost of your annual fees. Here’s what you cardholders should expect:

  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts(R) or The Hotel Collection bookings, which require a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card(R). And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card(R).
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases using your card on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment is required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. The cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • $200 on airline credits every year which you can use for baggage fees or in-flight services.
  • $200 Uber Cash credits: $15 monthly statement credits from January – November, and $35 statement credits for December. You can use these credits for rides or eats in the US.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $100 application fee credit for Global Entry every four years or an $85 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4 1/2 years .

Travel and Purchase Protection

Just like any other travel credit card, the Amex Platinum card also comes with basic travel insurance and buyer protection. Here are more details about them:

  • Get up to $500 for trips that have been delayed for more than 6 hours.
  • Get up to $10,000 for eligible trips that have been cancelled
  • 1-year warranty extension from manufacturers of only 5 years or less
  • Get reimbursed for products you have bought as long as the claim was maid within 90 days.
  • Return eligible items within 90 days from the purchase date

Lounge Access

Primary cardholders of the Amex Platinum card can bring two guests to any of the 1000+ lounges worldwide in the American Express Global Lounge collection. These lounges come with complimentary meals cooked by renowned chefs, wine bards, free WIFI, relaxation areas, spa services, and even sleeping areas.

Frequent travelers can greatly benefit from this perk since the regular price for a single visit to an airport lounge typically costs $25+. You can even add authorized users on your card ($175 per user) which means they will enjoy the same benefits and also bring their own guests

Some of the lounges included in the Amex Global Lounge collection are the Delta Sky Club, Airspace lounges, and the famous Centurion Lounges.

The Amex Platinum Card is our king of the hill when it comes to lounge access, with Priority Pass membership included amongst others. Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

The Amex Platinum card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership which even gives you more access to more than 7,000+ Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide. You can also bring two guests for free with you. Other premium cards that also come with Priority Pass access are the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.

Lastly, Amex Platinum cardholders will also have access to Delta Sky Club lounges when flying on Delta-operated flights (or Delta-marketed, WestJet-operated flights). Just show your card and same-day boarding pass. 

Amex Concierge

While some people say that the Amex Concierge isn’t as good as it used to be, it’s still a great perk to have since they can help you with booking hotel reservations, getting a car rental, finding a local tour guide, and more.

In fact, they might also cater to some unusual requests that aren’t travel related such as getting a birthday cake or looking for a shoe repair specialist in your area.

Who Is the Amex Platinum Card for?

The Amex Platinum Card is a luxury card so its main target markets are:

  • Frequent flyers who will make most of the free lounge access
  • Consumers who spend a lot of money on flights, hotel stays, and restaurants both locally and abroad

However, even with the high annual fee of $695, the card isn’t just for people with deep pockets. There are multiple ways where you can maximize the benefits of your card and eventually cover the cost of the annual fee.

For example, a big family going on a vacation can make use of the $200 airline annual credit to pay for extra luggage fees or purchase in-flight services, and use the $200 hotel annual credit to pay for extra hotel costs.

During their trip, they can also use the $200 Uber Cash credit to pay for rides or food. Redeeming these statement credits leaves you with only $95 on your annual fee.

Amex Platinum VS Chase Sapphire Reserve

You can’t talk about the Amex Platinum Card without bringing up the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. These two are the most popular cards in the premium credit card category.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve currently has a welcome bonus of 50,000 Chase points to new cardholders who can spend $4,000 within three months of card membership. Here are its rewards categories:

  • Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after spending the first $300 on your card for travel purchases every year.
  • Earn 5X points on air travel
  • Earn 3X points on other travel and dining
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

The card also comes with premium benefits and statement credits which you can use for travel. You can read our full review here.


Read More: Amex Personal Platinum vs Business Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve


Bottomline

The Amex Platinum Card is a great card to have if you can maximize all the annual statement credits and make use of the free lounge access. There’s no sense in getting the card if you don’t use these perks because they can compensate for the card’s expensive annual fee.

If you’re just a casual traveler who wants to earn points, you can opt for a mid-tier travel credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee), American Express Gold Card ($250 annual fee), or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card ($95 annual fee).

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
  • Receive up to $300 cashback every year as statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel.

 

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