/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process | Ad Disclosure

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Ad Disclosure

This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com This compensation may impact how and where links appear. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Close

The Platinum Card® from American Express review

The Platinum Card is one of the top premium credit cards on the market, but is it worth the $695 annual fee?
erin-gobler-author.jpg
Written by Erin Gobler, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Toni Husbands

Rewards credit cards have become the standard in recent years, and people expect more perks such as cashback, travel rewards, sign-up bonuses, and more. Premium travel credit cards take these perks to the next level, but the extra perks come at a price.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the top -- if not the top -- premium travel credit cards on the market. It comes with an exceptional welcome bonus, travel credits, bonus rewards categories, and more. But there's one catch: the $695 annual fee. 

So is the high annual fee worth it? We'll be exploring that in this article, as well as sharing the top perks the card provides.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Recommended CreditExcellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Annual Fee$695
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Rewards & Redemption Details

In this review, we'll cover everything you need to know about the card, including pros and cons, rewards, and frequently asked questions. Continue reading to learn more and decide if the Platinum Card is right for you

Pros:

  • Large welcome bonus

  • Bonus rewards categories

  • Excellent travel perks

  • Many extra card benefits

Cons:

  • High annual fee

  • Subpar reward redemption for a premium card

  • No introductory APR

Earning Platinum Card rewards

The Platinum Card from American Express  comes with plenty of ways to earn points. First, you'll earn 5X points on flights that you book directly with American Express Travel or with airlines. This bonus is good on your first $500,000 of flights per calendar year. You'll also earn 5X points on prepaid hotels that you book through AmexTravel.com. Finally, you'll earn 1X points.

Losing Platinum Card rewards

While there are several ways to earn Membership Rewards points, it's also possible to lose points. You'll lose points when you:

  • Make a late payment

  • Have your card account canceled by AmEx

  • Cancel your Rewards account

  • Engage in or attempt to abuse misuse or game Membership Rewards

  • Have a negative points balance

Redeeming Platinum Card rewards

Like other rewards credit cards, there are a few different ways you can redeem your Membership Rewards points. First, the best way to maximize your rewards is to transfer them to an airline or hotel loyalty program. For these transfers, you'll get 1,000 miles, points, or credits with your loyalty program for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points. There are a few exceptions, including Aeromexico and Hilton, where your Membership Rewards points are with more or fewer points with the travel partner.

Another way to redeem your Membership Rewards points is to book travel directly through American Express Travel. For airfare, airline upgrades, and Uber/NYC taxi purchases, you'll get one cent per point.

There are other ways to redeem your rewards points that won't get you quite as much value. 

Here are a few other options:

  • Gift cards: Up to 1.1 cent per point

  • Other American Express Travel purchases: 0.7 cents per point

  • Expedia travel: 0.7 cents per point

  • Shopping partners: 0.7 cents per point

  • Statement credit: 0.6 cents per point

Other Platinum Card perks

The new cardmember bonus and Membership Rewards bonus categories are both big selling points for the Platinum Card. But another area where the card really shines is its other perks, which, if you take advantage of them, allow you to make your money back on the card fully.

Travel perks

The Platinum Card comes with the following travel perks:

  • Up to $200 hotel credit each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection when you book with American Express Travel (requires a minimum, consecutive two-night stay) and pay with your American Express Platinum

  • The Global Lounge Collection in more than 1,400 airport lounges in 140 different countries

  • Up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year when incidental fees such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments are charged to your American Express Platinum

  • Up to $200 Uber Cash throughout the year as well as Uber VIP membership

  • Up to $189 CLEAR® Credit that allows you to use the touchless ID to move more quickly through airports and stadiums across the United States

  • International Airline Program to give you lower fares on the best international seats for up to 8 tickets per booking

  • Fee credit of $100 for Global Entry every four and a half years or $85 for TSA PreCheck every four years through any Authorized Enrollment Provider

  • Fine Hotels + Resorts® Program to provide up to $200 in extra perks -- including daily breakfast, late checkout, experience credit, and more -- when you book a hotel and resort stay through American Express Travel

  • $100 experience credit for dining, spa treatments, and more when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel (requires a minimum, consecutive two-night stay) 

  • Platinum travel service to provide custom itineraries, tailored recommendations, and more

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status, which allows you to receive upgrades and enhanced rooms when you check-in

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status

  • No foreign transaction fees (See Rates and Fees)

  • Premium car rental status

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

  • Premium Global Assist hotline when you travel more than 100 miles from home

  • Trip delay insurance

  • Trip cancellation insurance

Shopping and entertainment perks

The Platinum Card also comes with the following shopping and entertainment credits:

  • Up to $240 digital entertainment credits when you pay for eligible purchases at participating partners

  • Up to $300 Equinox credit when you pay select monthly Equinox membership fees

  • Up to $300 credit on each SoulCycle At-Home bike purchase (max of 15 per calendar year)

  • Global Dining Access by Resy to unlock exclusive reservations and special dining experiences

  • Up to $100 statement credits each year for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue ($50 every 6 months)

  • By Invitation Only, which gives you entry to once-in-a-lifetime events, including sporting events, fashion events, fine dining, and more

  • Preferred seating for select cultural and sporting events

  • Return protection on eligible items for 90 days

  • Incircle Point Card credits toward purchase at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, and Horchow

  • Purchase protection when purchases are stolen, damaged, or lost

  • Extended warranty for up to an additional one year on warranties of five years or less

Is the Platinum Card worth it?

There's no doubt that the Platinum Card comes with a steep annual fee that might immediately turn some people away. But with all of the benefits that come with it, the card is more than worth it -- but only if you're able to take advantage of all the card perks.

First, the card's welcome bonus alone can be worth nearly twice the high annual fee if you use it on travel expenses, either directly through the airline or hotel or by booking your travel through American Express Travel.

Many of the other card benefits combined can equal significantly more than the annual fee -- those benefits include the $200 hotel credit, $200 airline credit, $300 Equinox credit, $200 Uber Cash, $240 digital entertainment credit, $100 Saks statement credits, and more.

That being said, if you don't find yourself taking advantage of many of the card perks, then the $695 annual fee isn't worth the Membership Rewards you might earn with the card. And since some of the card benefits require you to spend money to earn the reward, it may not be worth it if you end up having to spend money you otherwise wouldn't have to earn the rewards.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

The credit card that competes most closely with the American Express Platinum Card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. The Sapphire Reserve Card has a slightly lower annual fee and many similar perks. However, the Sapphire Reserve Card doesn't have quite as many perks as the Platinum Card, and its welcome bonus is almost half as much as the Platinum's.


Related

American Express Green Card review
American Express Green Card

American Express Green Card review

Credit Cards
Does your health insurance cover international emergencies? Half of Americans don't know - Survey
gettyimages-1281027916.jpg

Does your health insurance cover international emergencies? Half of Americans don't know - Survey

Credit Cards
The 4 best Amazon credit cards of 2022
The Best Amazon Credit Cards

The 4 best Amazon credit cards of 2022

Credit Cards