American Express Platinum Card: A Standard for Luxury and Privilege

Marcy Bialeschki
April 16, 2020

The draw of some credit cards is the number of rewards customers receive. Many people choose a card based on how much extra money they can grow by using the card. Not true for American Express Platinum Card owners. This customer is not primarily interested in earning extra money from their card. It’s more about getting the most out of the money they spend.

American Express Platinum is a charge card, not a credit card. Charge cards are intended to be paid in full every month. Therefore, Amex assumes the cardholder will not be subjected to additional fees such as APR, late fees, or balance transfer fees. This concept makes the $550 annual fee -- one of the highest in the business -- a bit easier to swallow.

Some people may be wondering why anyone would spend $550 in yearly fees. Still, most American Express Platinum owners don't blink an eye. They argue that what they get for their money is well worth the price. American Express allows their members to recoup their annual fee with a collection of luxury benefits. The list below offers $1,150 in benefits credit. That’s more than double the annual fee.

Fine Hotels and Resorts Program Membership: Cardholders receive $550 in benefits at fine hotels and resorts. Benefits may vary depending on the location, but typical uses of the credit include breakfast, guaranteed late check out at 4 pm, room upgrade when available, and complimentary wifi.

Airline Fee Credit: Cardholders can designate an airline and receive $200 in credit when purchasing approved items with the Amex Platinum card. Fee credit can be used for such expenses as baggage fees and in-flight meals but cannot be applied towards the ticket price.

Uber Credit: Amex Platinum customers receive $200 per year in Uber credit when paying with their card. This credit divides into $15 per month, with $20 in December. Customers can also use this credit with Uber Eats.

The Hotel Collection: In addition to perks provided by the Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, Amex Platinum cardholders will enjoy an additional $100 in credit on qualified purchases at hotels. Credit from the Hotel Collection can be used on such purchases as dining, spa experiences, resort activities, and room upgrades when available. Members must book at least two consecutive nights to receive this reward.

Shopping Statement Credit: Members will receive $100 annually for purchases at Saks 5th Ave. or This credit separates into $50 from January to June and $50 from July to December.

5x Membership Rewards: Amex Platinum cardholders get 5x the points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Additionally, members receive 5x the points on prepaid hotels booked on

Membership Privileges

In addition to $1,150 in statement credit offered annually, American Express Platinum members receive an impressive bundle of benefits that cater to luxury-seeking members. When researching the benefits of this card, prospective members will find the services and perks are never-ending. The lure of this card lies in the lavish amenities such as automatic upgrades, premium services, exclusive access, and other premium benefits like the ones listed below.

Amex Platinum cardholders enjoy automatic Gold Elite Status with both Hilton and Marriot hotels. This advantage equates to a multitude of perks: free parking, complimentary breakfast (if offered), and exceptional bonus points offers.

Premium Concierge service is standard for all Amex Platinum members.

Amex Platinum cardholders can take advantage of the Cruise Privilege Program if they book a 5+ night cruise through an approved channel and on an eligible cruise line. The Cruise Privilege Program offers card members up to $300 in shipboard credit on eligible purchases.

Amex Platinum card membership includes the Global Lounge Collection. This service provides access to over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, and the numbers are growing. With this service, members and two guests and any children under two years old can relax in a comfortable space in the airport. Most lounges offer complimentary snacks, appetizers, and drinks. Some offer upscale refreshments like gourmet food and signature cocktails. The Global Lounge Collection includes the following airport lounge members: Centurion Lounge, The International American Express, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass.

The International Airline Program is also automatically available to Platinum members. Benefits of this program include discounted First Class, Business Class, and Premium Economy tickets on about 25 airlines. Cardholders should consider booking their flights directly through the American Express International Airline Program. Not all airlines will offer discounts on every flight. Members will most likely get the best deal by booking directly through American Express.

Amex Platinum members can enjoy free 2-day shipping and free returns on eligible items from over 100 retailers with their Shop Runner Membership. Cardholders enroll in the program using their card. Members redeem benefits by signing into Shop Runner at checkout.

Owning an Amex Platinum card earns the member invite-only status for such elite events as the Kentucky Derby, Wimbledon, and more. Tickets to such activities must be purchased with the Amex Platinum card. Platinum cardholders also earn global access to reservations at luxurious restaurants and chef meet-and-greet events.

Basic Protection and Benefits

Aside from all the extras members receive, they can expect some of the basic protections and benefits as well. Yet, membership does have its privileges because even some of these expected benefits are amped-up, delivering the quality and service American Express Platinum members expect.

Trip Delay Protection: Amex Platinum cardholders can be reimbursed up to $500 per trip for reasonable expenses if their trip is delayed 6+ days.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection: Amex Platinum members have up to $10,000 in coverage per trip if their trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason.

Rental Car Insurance: Not only does the Amex Platinum card provide rental car insurance, but members also have automatic access to Elite Status. Elite Status often allows members to bypass waiting at the counter. Upgrades are also available on eligible vehicles. Members can enroll in this benefit on the Amex website.

Travel Shopping Protections: Amex wants its members to feel secure when making purchases on the Platinum card. They offer an impressive assortment of protection, including an extended warranty that lengthens the manufacturer’s 5-year or less warranty by one year. Platinum cardholders also benefit from 90-day theft, accidental damage, and loss protection coverage on their purchases. Finally, the Platinum card provides return protection. Amex could refund the cardholder’s money up to $300 for purchases made that the merchant will not refund. There is a 90-day window on this benefit.

Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Credit: Pay for either the Global Entry service or TSA Pre-Check service with the Amex Platinum card and get reimbursed. American Express will credit $100 to a member’s account for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Pre-Check.

Amex Platinum card membership also provides other useful benefits, including baggage insurance, a complimentary American Express Gold Card to use in conjunction with the Platinum card, 24/7 exemplary customer service, a convenient Amex app, and an extra Platinum card free of charge for another user 13 or older.

Having an Amex Platinum card also enrolls members in the Membership Rewards Program to earn points. Even though the main draw of this card is not the points earned, card companies stay competitive by utilizing the appeal of cash back or points. American Express is no different. The Platinum card offers a competitive rewards program, especially for travelers.

Membership Rewards Points

Although this card does not offer great rewards for everyday spending, it is a terrific card for the frequent traveler. American Express gives the Platinum card a 5x the points reward for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Likewise, prepaid hotels booked on earn 5x the points.

American Express’s new member offer provides 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5000 on the card in 3 months. This bonus equates to an impressive $1,200. American Express also makes paying with points simple. Points can be applied to flights on any airline booked with American Express Travel. Members will enjoy no blackout dates or seat restrictions for flights booked using Member Rewards Points. Hotels, resorts, vacation packages, cruises, dining, entertainment, gift cards, and retail items can also be purchased using Member Reward Points.

The Perfect Customer

Carrying the load of weighty perks and benefits, the American Express Platinum card is not for everyone. Here’s a breakdown to simplify exactly who the Platinum card targets.


People who will make an effort to recoup the $550 annual fee by utilizing the statement credit rewards

People who use airline travel frequently and who want the comfort of the Global Lounge Collection

People who attend exclusive events and premium restaurants, and people who want upgrades in a vast assortment of categories

People who expect superior service everywhere they go

People who don’t bat an eye at the $550 annual fee


People who want rewards points for everyday purchases

People who will not travel enough to recoup the annual fee

People who don’t expect or need lavish services, upgrades, and access

People who do not pay their bill off every month

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