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4 unique perks that keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet

July 11, 2021
14 min read
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Among premium travel rewards cards, one consumer card stands out due to its excellent cardmember benefits. This card is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers a massive selection of luxury travel perks.

However, many travel rewards cards offer some of the same perks as the Amex Platinum, such as Priority Pass lounge access and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits. So, you may question whether you should keep the Amex Platinum if you're traveling less and already have other cards with similar perks. Enrollment required for select benefits.

But, despite its new massive $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), the Amex Platinum remains a staple in my wallet. After all, the Amex Platinum provides a collection of unique perks that aren't available on any other readily available consumer card. Today, I'll discuss four of them that are keeping this card securely in my wallet.

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Amex Platinum overview

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Many travelers regard the Amex Platinum as the king of premium travel rewards cards. But, the Amex Platinum also has several non-travel benefits. Even so, as most cardmembers halted or decreased travel during the coronavirus pandemic, Amex offered various limited-time benefits designed to provide value and keep customers from dropping the card.

Before diving into my favorite four unique Amex Platinum perks, let's take a quick look at what you should know about the Amex Platinum.

Current welcome offer

The welcome offer on the Amex Platinum is currently 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.

However, you may also want to check the CardMatch tool for an Amex Platinum offer that better suits your situation (offer subject to change at any time).

Related: Who’s eligible for the current Amex Platinum offer?

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Standout Amex Platinum perks

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Whether you're a new cardmember or an existing cardmember, the Amex Platinum offers many cardmember perks, including:

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

When considered together, it's no wonder the Amex Platinum is one of the best travel rewards cards. I'll discuss my favorite four perks unique to the Amex Platinum in the remainder of this guide.

Related: How to maximize benefits with the Amex Platinum Card

$240 Digital Entertainment Credit

This is essentially free money for me. The Amex Platinum will give you up to $20 in statement credits every month when you use the card to pay for a membership with one or more of these providers:

  • Peacock
  • Audible
  • SiriusXM
  • The New York Times

I know that's not a huge selection (hopefully it'll quickly grow over time), but I've got subscriptions to both Peacock and Audible Premium Plus, which costs almost exactly $20 per month. That's $240 per year that I'll save for absolutely zero effort.

This benefit effectively lowers the card's annual fee to $455 per year single-handedly. It puts me in the position of deciding whether the remaining card benefits are worth that dollar amount -- and they definitely, definitely are.

Related: How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit

Unmatched airport lounge access

The American Express Centurion Lounge in Denver (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

I keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet due to the unique lounge access it unlocks. Specifically, as an Amex Platinum or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardmember, you'll get access to lounges in the following networks (enrollment required for some):

Amex has announced a significant expansion to its network of Centurion Lounges and Centurion Studios, with more than 40 locations planned worldwide. As part of this expansion, U.S.-based Escape Lounges will be rebranded as Escape Lounges– The Centurion Studio Partner. And Amex is expanding access to Lufthansa lounges worldwide to include various European and U.S. airports.

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

Sure, I have Priority Pass lounge access through several other cards. And I could get Delta Sky Club lounge access with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

But, you pretty much need to have an Amex Platinum, Amex Business Platinum or Amex Centurion card to get access to Amex's Centurion Lounges. And there's simplicity in not carrying a separate card for Delta Sky Club lounge access. Plus, I've enjoyed visiting U.S. Escape Lounges at several airports.

As such, even if it's not a rational decision, the primary reason I'm keeping the Amex Platinum in my wallet is lounge access. Specifically, I want to have Centurion Lounge access and Delta Sky Club access when flying same-day Delta flights as the pandemic subsides and I restart my global digital nomad travels.

Unfortunately, entrance requirements and guest allotment vary from lounge to lounge. So it's best to check Amex's Global Lounge Collection page before visiting. And, although you can access most of the lounge types listed above by showing your Amex Platinum card, picture identification and a valid boarding pass, you'll need to enroll in Priority Pass before you can visit lounges in the Priority Pass network.

Related: Which airline lounges in the U.S. are currently open?

Amex's Fine Hotels and Resorts' $200 credit

A room at the Park Hyatt Beijing, part of the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

One of the most undervalued benefits available to American Express cardmembers with a Platinum or Centurion-branded card such as the Amex Platinum is the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. In short, you get elite-like perks when you book rooms through the program. And Amex has recently increased the incentive to book through this program in a big way (I'll explain shortly).

I've used this program to book several stays, including at the Park Hyatt Beijing, Loews Chicago Hotel and Cordis Auckland. When you book through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you'll get the following onsite perks:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available at check-in
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
  • Noon check-in, when available at check-in
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Experience credit that varies by property but is worth at least $100

I've had great experiences on each of my Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stays, so maintaining access to the program certainly plays into my decision to keep the Amex Platinum card. After all, I've gotten great value from booking short stays through the program. For example, I once got $160 of food and drink included on a $153 stay in Chicago.

Best of all, you may get elite perks and earnings when you book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. For example, I got elite perks and earnings when I booked the Park Hyatt Beijing through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. And several other TPG staffers have reported getting elite perks and earnings on their bookings more recent than my stay. However, since you aren't booking directly with the hotel, elite perks and earnings aren't guaranteed.

And get this -- the Amex Platinum now comes with up to $200 back in statement credits annually when you book prepaid Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts (or a two-night stay at The Hotel Collection) with American Express Travel when you pay with the Amex Platinum. That's huge! (Enrollment required)

Related: TPG's Scott Mayerowitz desperately needed a night away: Here’s how this awesome Amex perk helped

Elite status with two hotel loyalty programs

Your Hilton Gold status will give you a daily food/beverage credit based on the hotel brand through the end of 2021.  (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The final perk that encourages me to keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet is hotel elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Specifically, as an Amex Platinum cardmember, I can enroll in complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status. And, I'll keep these statuses without needing to meet the standard elite qualification requirements as long as I'm an Amex Platinum cardmember and Amex continues to offer this benefit.

Hilton Honors Gold status

I rely on the Hilton Honors Gold status provided by the Amex Platinum card for the following perks:

  • 80% elite status bonus: Receive an 80% bonus on all the Hilton Honors base points you earn
  • Space-available room upgrades: Up to executive floor room types
  • Complimentary breakfast: Available either as a My Way member benefit or as a brand amenity at most Hilton brands (this benefit has changed for 2021 -- you'll now receive a daily food/beverage credit worth a dollar amount specific to the hotel brand at which you're staying. Read here for more details)
  • Fifth night free: Hilton Honors elite members get every fifth night free when booking a stay of five nights or more using points
  • Late check-out: Must be requested and subject to availability
  • Complimentary internet: Complimentary in-room and lobby standard internet access during stays at most Hilton brands

To earn Hilton Honors Gold status, you typically need to stay 40 nights, stay 20 times or earn 75,000 Hilton Honors base points within a calendar year. However, Hilton Honors halved its elite-qualification requirements in 2021. You can also get Hilton Honors status as a benefit on several other cards. But, I prefer the simplicity of getting Hilton Gold status from the Amex Platinum.

Related: 14 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

Marriott Bonvoy status

Until I decided to earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status last year, I relied on the Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status provided by my Amex Platinum card. While it isn't the best elite status out there, it's much better than nothing. Marriott Gold Elite status provides the following perks:

  • 25% more bonus points on stays: Earn 25% more points than base-level members on eligible purchases with Marriott
  • Enhanced room upgrade: Based on availability at check-in, but may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities and rooms on executive floors (excluding suite upgrades)
  • 2 p.m. late check-out: Based on availability
  • Enhanced in-room internet: Get the fastest internet offered by the hotel
  • Welcome points: 250 points or 500 points depending on the brand (worth $2-4 based on TPG’s valuations)

Unfortunately, unlike cobranded Marriott Bonvoy cards, the Amex Platinum doesn't provide 15 elite night credits each year. So, if you're looking to earn a higher tier of Marriott Bonvoy elite status, you may want to get a Marriott Bonvoy card instead of (or in addition to) the Amex Platinum.

Related: Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the American Express Platinum?

Bottom line

The Platinum Card from American Express provides several unique perks that I don't want to let go of.

Sure, some of these perks are available through other methods. But for many travelers, the Amex Platinum Card is by far the best way to get all of these perks in one simple bundle.

It's worth noting that additional Platinum cardholders are eligible for three of the four unique perks I highlighted in this guide. In fact, I actually use these perks as an additional Platinum cardholder on my husband's Amex Platinum card. Amex Platinum cardmembers can pay $175 (see rates and fees) each year to add up to three additional Platinum cardholders. So, you can share most of the Amex Platinum's perks with up to three other people for a relatively modest annual cost.

Additional reporting by Joseph Hostetler

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.

Featured image by WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more