American Express Platinum Review

American Express Platinum Card

Reviewed by Credit Carrots (2019)

American Express Platinum Review

TL;DR: This is a fantastic card with a respectable rewards points earn rate. Where it really shines is the additional benefits that are included.

If you’re looking for luxurious perks such as airport lounge membership, access to private dining events from famous chefs, and an unbeatable suite of insurance benefits then this just might be the card for you!

AMERICAN EXPRESS PLATINUM

The original luxury travel credit card continues to evolve and impress its customers all over the world.

Annual Fee

The AMEX platinum has an annual fee of $550.

Top Five Travel Benefits

  • Lounge Access
  • $200 Airline credit
  • Global Entry / TSE-Pre Credit
  • Hilton and Starwood/Marriott Gold Status
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Top Additional Perks

  • Platinum Concierge Service
  • Global Dining Collection
  • No FX Fees

Introduction

What the AMEX Platinum is all about

When it comes to luxury credit cards, the American Express Platinum is one of the most prestigious cards available. This card was originally launched in the 1980’s, and has continued to evolve and delight its users to this day.

This card is right at the top of the travel rewards world along with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige.

The American Express Platinum comes with an hefty annual fee of $550 a year. If you’re looking for the best return on your investment in terms of earning rewards points then this is likely not the card for you.

However, if you’re looking for an exceptional customer experience, an amazing suite of insurance benefits, and luxurious perks then you might just be the type of person that American Express is targeting with its platinum card.

A key differentiator for American Express is their customer experience. Very few companies in the world treat their clients as well as American Express does. As a platinum member, you will have access to their platinum-only contacts as well as the platinum concierge. It’s tough to quantify the value of their customer service in dollar amounts, but if you’ve ever dealt with their team you get the feeling that AMEX employees genuinely care about solving your problem – whether it be a lost card, reversing fraudulent charges, making restaurant reservations, or making an insurance claim.

How to Earn Rewards Points

American Express Reward Points Earn Rates

Before we get into the detail of the different ways you can earn American Express Rewards points, we want to first clarify how much an AMEX rewards point is worth.

Based on our research, we value an American Express Rewards point at 1.5 cents. that means if you spend a dollar to earn a rewards point, then you are essentially getting 1.5% of value back.

Here are the different ways you can earn points:

1 rewards point per dollar spent on everyday purchases (ie. you’re getting 1.5% of your spend back in reward point value).

5 rewards points per dollar spent for flights and hotels booked directly through American Express Travel (ie. you’re getting 7.5% of your spend back in rewards point value).

While the AMEX platinum doesn’t have the best overall earn rate in the industry, the 5X category bonus is truly impressive and unmatched by any other card. However, AMEX travel doesn’t always offer the best prices so you’re likely getting only about 6% of your spend back in rewards point value when it’s all said and done.

How to Redeem Rewards Points

Redeeming American Express Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the most flexible and valuable point currencies on the market. The value of your rewards point will depend on the redemption option you choose.

The most popular redemption options are below:

Cash Back Redemption. You can redeem your rewards points for a statement credit at a conversion rate of 0.6 cents per point. This means if you redeem 1,000 points you will get $6 back. This is a low value redemption option so we don’t recommend using it unless you’re in a pinch!

Amazon Redemption. You can redeem your rewards points for Amazon purchases at a conversion rate of 0.7 cents per point. This means if you redeem 1,000 points you will get $7 back. This option requires you to link your Amazon account to your AMEX account. This isn’t a great redemption rate, but it is a useful feature during the holiday season if you’ve got a bunch of points saved up for gifts.

Uber Redemption. You can redeem your rewards points for Uber rides at a conversion rate of 1.0 cents per point. This means if you redeem 1,000 points you will get $10 back. With Uber available in so many cities now this is a solid redemption option for your points. We find ourselves using this option at least once a month.

Transfers to Partner Programs. As previously mentioned, we value an AMEX reward point at 1.5 cents. The best way to get at least that value is to transfer your rewards points to one of American Express’s partner programs. Transferring to partner programs can get you over 2.0 cents back per rewards points depending on what you are booking. The best partner programs are:

  • ANA
  • British Airways Avios
  • Choice Hotels
  • Etihad Guest Partner Award Bookings
  • Singapore Airlines

Click here for a full list of partner programs.

AMEX Travel. You can redeem your rewards points for travel booked through American Express Travel. Flight costs can be redeemed at a conversion rate of 1.0 cents per point. Other travel charges (such as cars, hotels, vacation packages etc.) can be redeemed at a conversion rate between 0.7 cents – 0.85 cents per point.

The prices on AMEX travel typically aren’t the lowest around so we would advise staying away from this option unless you can find either a great sale or a good deal with the fixed points flight program.

For a full list of redemption options, check out the American Express website.

Additional Benefits and Features

What else does the American Express Platinum get you?

The American Express Platinum card has a rich set of luxurious perks that we love. The perks that come with the card more than makes up for its middle-of-the-road rewards points earn rate.

Our favorite benefits of the AMEX platinum include:

  • A $100 fee credit for Global Entry or an $85 fee credit for TSA Pre Check. This can be redeemed once every four years. TSA Pre will allow you to be expedited through airport security. If you don’t already have this, then you are missing out!
  • A $200 annual airline fee credit. The credit can be applied towards things such as baggage fees, pet flight fees, and change fees. This credit is given by calendar year so you can redeem this multiple times within 12 months (eg. if you get the card in November of this year the credit will reset in January of next year). The only bad thing about this credit is that it can only be used with one airline (that you select).
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This includes the legendary Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs (only when flying with Delta). With lounge access you’ll actually look forward to arriving at the airport early and relaxing!
  • A $200 Uber credit. This is split into $15 monthly credits plus a $20 bonus in December. We wish the card didn’t limit the credit to $15/month, but it’s still a nice feature.
  • Complimentary Gold status at Hilton and Starwood Hotels. Since Marriott acquired Starwood, the Gold status can be transferred from SPG to Marriott. The Gold status will offer you perks such as free wi-fi and late checkout which can be a lifesaver!
  • Complimentary status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive. The car rental status upgrades will allow you to skip the line when picking up your car, and provide complimentary vehicle upgrades where available.
  • No foreign transaction fees. This is a key feature for any international traveler. If you’re charging a foreign currency to your standard credit card, it would cost you over 2% extra for the currency conversion. With no FX fees on the AMEX platinum, you only pay what the banks pay to convert your currency.
  • Access to the Global Dining Collection. The dining collection gives you access to exclusive events with famous chefs as well as things like special menus and complimentary beverages at their restaurants. To get access, just contact the Platinum concierge and they can arrange this for you.
  • Access to the Platinum Concierge Service. The American Express Platinum concierge is the best in the business. We have used concierges from all of the premium credit cards, and AMEX has the best one – no contest. Their experience with getting access to special events is unparalleled.
  • Robust travel insurance coverage. This is the best insurance coverage you’re going to find on a credit card. The insurance package covers car rental loss and damage, lost/stolen/damaged baggage, premium roadside assistance, and travel medical/accidents.

For a full list of all benefits click here.