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I’ve been an American Express Platinum cardmember for years and love the great perks that come along with it – most notably access to Centurion Lounges, the Fine Hotels & Resorts program which includes properties like the St. Regis Bali and the annual $200 airline fee credit. There are still a bunch of other benefits that I hadn’t yet been taking advantage like the By Invitation Only events that I was introduced to earlier this year when I teamed up with Amex on Platinum For A Year.

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By Invitation Only (BIO) events are exclusive to Platinum members (Login to your Amex account and search for By Invitation Only) or call 1-800-321-RSVP (7787). While some of the sporting events, like Wimbledon ($5,200!) and the Kentucky Derby are pricy, some of the NYC Fashion Week events are much more reasonable and give access that you can’t otherwise buy. If you’ve got money to spend and want access, By Invitation Only can get you into sold-out events at cheaper prices than what many ticket brokers charge. In general, American Express has staff onsite at many events so you’re taken care of and don’t have to worry about buying scalped tickets that could potentially be fake.


Snag a VIP Wimbledon experience for $5,200 a person
Snag a VIP Wimbledon experience for $5,200 a person

My Donna Karan Experience
In February I attended “An Evening with Donna Karan at Urban Zen,” in Karan’s boutique in the West Village for a night of cocktails and shopping. It was an intimate gathering of just 55 Platinum card members and some famous faces even joined – like uber-supermodel Karlie Kloss, who couldn’t have been nicer. Centurion Lounges are nice and all, but using your Platinum Card to hang out with one of the world’s hottest models is pretty rad!

The evening began at 6:30 for a welcome reception at Urban Zen where attendees could enjoy champagne and canapés. Around 7:15 everyone entered into Donna Karan’s private loft for a fashion presentation given by fashion editor Hal Rubenstein and Donna Karan herself. Following the presentation event goers were given a $500 shopping credit to be used that night at the Urban Zen Boutique. Seeing as tickets to the entire event were only $275, it was a great deal if you were in the market for some new merchandise, although your purchase had to be $1,000 or greater, not including tax, shipping or alterations.

Hal Rubenstein, Donna Karan and TPG!
Hal Rubenstein, Donna Karan and TPG!

Fashion vs. Comfort?
During Donna Karan’s presentation we got to ask questions and naturally mine related to travel. Bali is one of her favorite destinations, so I asked if she was in the “dress-up to travel” camp or “dress comfortably- even in first class” and she was firmly in the latter camp stating that comfort trumps fashion in her opinion. She recommends dressing in solid colors and comfortable fabrics (she prefers black) when traveling. Can’t say I disagree- while many bemoan the “glory” days of travel, I think it is possible to dress comfortably and nicely and I have no qualms slipping into airline PJs on ultra-longhaul flights!

I’m actually headed to the Kentucky Derby for my next Amex Platinum event- let me know if you’ll be in town and we can do a TPG reader meetup- drinks on me (as long as I can pay and get the points!)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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