The American Express Platinum Card is a credit card that offers services, discounts, and various other perks to reward its members. Many of its rewards and benefits are particularly beneficial to cardholders who travel on a regular basis. This card is among the most expensive credit cards to hold, but depending on your lifestyle, it may be worth the cost to have one.
The idea of enticing people to spend money by offering rewards is one of capitalism’s greatest inventions and has been prevalent throughout modern history. In 1851, for example, the B.A. Babbitt Company began offering certificates in packages of Sweet Home laundry soap. Once customers collected enough tickets, they could exchange them for color lithographs. Although the benefits may have changed over time, the idea of offering rewards for customer loyalty stuck around. Now it often takes the form of credit card rewards programs. And among the most talked about credit cards today is the American Express Platinum Card. Let’s review some of the Amex Platinum Card’s benefits.
Are the Amex Platinum benefits worth it?
The Amex Platinum Card offers various membership rewards points, services, and discounts. But it also comes with a rather high annual fee of $695. As this is one of the higher annual fees for credit cards, you might wonder if Amex Platinum’s benefits are worth the cost. It depends on how you use the card. For those that travel extensively, there are a whole host of benefits, including credits for airlines, rental cars, TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and hotels. There are also everyday benefits, such as digital entertainment, transportation, and shopping credits. However, some of these benefits might not be all they are cracked up to be.
We will divide the Amex perks into two sections: daily life and travel. We will then apply our SuperMoney “perk score,” which is on a scale of 1-10, to try to evaluate how valuable this perk or reward really is. Please note that these benefits and perks could change at any moment. So, check with your credit card provider before making a decision on whether the benefits are worth the annual fee.
Everyday life benefits
These benefits could be helpful in your everyday life.
The Walmart+ credit gives Amex Platinum holders up to $155 of credit towards a Walmart+ membership. As the 2022 book value of a Walmart+ membership is $12.95 a month, the Amex card will cover almost all of the Walmart+ fee for a year. Walmart+ works similarly to Amazon Prime in that it offers free delivery from your local Walmart on orders up to $35 and various store discounts that aren’t available to normal Walmart customers. Given that Walmart sells a little bit of everything you might need, we are giving it a solid perk level score of 7.
Potential value: $155
Perk score: 7
Digital entertainment credit
The digital entertainment credit can be used to reimburse the following services: Audible, Peacock, and the New York Times. You can combine and/or mix around different services, but the maximum reimbursement that Amex Platinum will give you is $20 per month or $240 per year. The idea to reimburse you for your digital subscriptions is solid, but the selection is limited (you may not want to read the New York Times, for example). Due to its limited selection, we give it a perk score of 5.
Potential value: $240
Perk score: 5
If you use your Amex Platinum card as a payment method, you will be eligible to receive a $15 monthly credit (plus a December bonus credit of $20) in the form of Uber cash. It can be used for Uber and its delivery services, such as Uber Eats. Many people already use Uber, so this is a plus. But Amex doesn’t let you roll over the credits, which is somewhat annoying. You need to spend your $15 every month or you lose it, and that results in a perk score of 6.
Potential value: $200
Perk score: 6
Equinox is a high-end gym and fitness company that has various locations around the U.S. and Canada. The Amex Platinum Card will give you $25 a month towards an Equinox membership with a total yearly reimbursement option of up to $300. Equinox memberships are notoriously expensive, with a basic membership price of $168 per month plus an initiation fee. Although we like the gym membership idea, the fact that you would still have to spend a fortune on it is a large downside of this perk. You might be better off putting your credit towards the Equinox app, which costs $39.99 a month.
Potential value: $300
Perk score: 3
Saks Fifth Avenue credit
The Amex Platinum Card offers a $100 credit for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue by way of two $50 statement credits per year. This does not include applicable local sales tax. One $50 credit can be used from January through June, and the other can be used from July through December. Saks is a great place to shop for high-end clothing brands, so this credit can be quite useful. The only downside is that the amount is pretty low considering the prices for name-brand threads.
Potential value: $100
Perk score: 5
These benefits are most helpful if you travel frequently.
Airline fee credit
At the beginning of every year, you can select one airline and receive $200 in statement fee credit. Using this credit for eligible ticket purchases from said airlines would seem like a great way to knock down the price of tickets. Unfortunately, the credit cannot be used for ticket purchases or upgrades. Instead, you are relegated to using the card for baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, food, and seat selection, for example. We don’t like the limited usage of these annual credits, so it’s going to knock this perk score down to a 3.
Potential value: $200
Perk score: 3
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
If you travel extensively, particularly if you travel internationally, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can save you a mountain of time. TSA PreCheck allows you to cruise through airport security while Global Entry allows you to cruise through immigration and customs. You are able to receive either $100 in annual statement credits towards Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck. Both of these will either cover or be close to covering all the expenses for Global Entry ($100 for five years) or TSA PreCheck ($78 for five years). The fact that your statement will cover the costs of both of these gives it a solid perk score of 9.
Potential value: $85-$100
Perk score: 9
Like the TSA PreCheck, Clear lets you glide through security in many airports by utilizing your biometric data (your eyes and face). It’s another service that can help speed things up for those that travel extensively. Although we tend to err on the side of caution in regard to supplying your biometric data to anyone, the perk in itself is great. The statement credit of $189 covers the entire annual cost of Clear.
Potential value: $189
Perk score: 9
Amex Platinum will give $200 back as a statement credit for prepaid hotels booked with the card. However, the selection of hotels does not have much of a range of affordability. The prepaid hotel credit only works for hotels that Amex considers “Fine Hotels + Resorts” or “The Hotel Collection” properties, and in some cases, it will need to be for a minimum two-night stay. These are high-end accommodations. So although a $200 credit is nice, it’s a fraction of what it would cost to actually book a high-end hotel.
Potential value: $200
Perk score: 2
If you’re looking for a credit card with benefits for travelers, use our tool to compare travel rewards credit cards.
So, is an Amex Platinum worth it based on quantifiable perks and rewards?
Let’s first add up the potential values and perk scores to see what we have.
Total value: $1,684
Average perk score: 5.4
The total potential value of all the quantifiable perks combined is $1,684, which is respectable but not huge. However, with a perk score of only 5.4, it might not be worth it for a yearly fee of $695. However, if you combine these quantifiable perks with some of the unquantifiable or variable perks and a signing bonus, the picture starts to change.
Additional perks and rewards
Don’t forget about these other perks that don’t come with a dollar amount.
Gold status with Marriott and Hilton
Card membership allows you to receive gold status on various Marriott and Hilton hotels. Gold status in these hotel loyalty programs will make you eligible for upgrades as well as a variety of other benefits. The value of this might fluctuate depending on how many times you stay at these properties and how long you stay.
Airport lounge access
Cell phone protection
If you pay your cell phone bill with your Amex Platinum card, you will receive cell phone protection as well. This can run upwards of $20 a month to buy separately, so it’s a good value.
Amex offers various forms of travel insurance that protect you from trip cancellations, trip delays, and rental car damage, among other issues. These travel insurance perks are included with your Amex Platinum Card, and they differ from other Amex cards.
Signing bonus: 80,000 membership rewards points
For signing up for the card, Amex gives you 80,000 membership rewards points after you spend $6,000 on the card. According to Amex, each reward point is valued at around two cents. Therefore, 80,000 membership rewards points should be valued at $1,600. However, it’s important to note that you have to spend the $6,000 in order to qualify.
So is it worth it in the end?
With the quantifiable perks, the unquantifiable perks, and the signing bonus, the Amex Platinum Card is probably worth it for frequent travelers. Those that don’t travel as often can decide for themselves based on the other benefits.
Is it worth keeping Amex Platinum?
That depends on what you use it for. If you travel frequently, there are some good annual perks, such as airport lounge access, airline fee credits, and coverage of the cost of TSA PreCheck or Clear. If you are not a big traveler, you can probably get equivalent benefits with a card that has a more modest annual fee (or no annual fee).
Can the Amex Platinum annual fee be waived?
Yes, in certain cases. Amex waives the annual fee for military members, for example.
Is Amex Platinum for millionaires?
Not necessarily. It’s for everyone who can afford the annual fee, has the required credit score, and sees the value. You will have to be able to afford the annual fee of several hundred dollars and you will have to spend enough money to get the bonus points. For example, at the time of publication, you would need to spend $6,000 on the card to get the 80,000 reward points.
How much income do you need for Amex Platinum?
You need an annual income of over $100,000 to qualify for the card.
Is Amex platinum a heavy card?
Yes, most of the premium cards are heavier than the normal ones. The Amex platinum card weighs 18.5 grams, which is considered heavy for a card.
- The Amex Platinum Card offers a variety of perks and rewards for both daily life and travel. But it comes with a $695 annual fee.
- The card typically offers rewards in the form of statement credits that can be applied to expenses ranging from Walmart+ to TSA PreCheck.
- Although the card offers some valuable deals, the lack of selection and high-end options that require you to spend a lot of money to qualify for the rewards could be seen as drawbacks.
- Besides the quantifiable rewards, Amex Platinum also offers unquantifiable rewards and a signing bonus that make the annual fee more “worth it.”
View Article Sources
- How Do I Apply for TSA PreCheck?- Transportation Security Administration
- Walmart+ Program – Walmart
- Amex Platinum Card Benefits – American Express
- Amex Points vs. Chase Points, Which is Better? – SuperMoney
- Is Amex Concierge Better Than Chase Concierge Services? – SuperMoney
- American Express Benefit Levels – SuperMoney