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3 reasons my husband and I are keeping our Amex Platinum Cards

Feb. 22, 2021
10 min read
American Express Platinum_Montreal
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


It isn't easy to top The Platinum Card® from American Express when it comes to premium travel perks. But, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic -- and associated border closures and flight cancellations -- my husband and I haven't traveled internationally much in the last year. And although we're now taking some discrete international trips, I'm not sure when we'll completely return to our global digital nomad lifestyle.

When my husband's Amex Platinum annual fee came due last October, we considered canceling. After all, on top of his annual fee, we also pay a $175 annual fee (see rates and fees) to have three additional cardmembers (including me) on his account. But, after considering the pros and cons, we decided to keep his Amex Platinum card and the three additional cardmembers on his account. And, especially since Amex recently revamped the Platinum Card, I expect we'll renew again this year. In this post, I'll describe why we'll likely keep our Amex Platinum cards for another year.

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Perks that provide value when we aren't traveling

In months where we don't need an Uber ride, we order take-out food through Uber Eats. (Photo by Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock)

Historically, Amex has centered most of the Amex Platinum benefits around travel. But, even though we're traveling less right now, we can still get value from the Amex Platinum's non-travel benefits. These non-travel benefits include:

  • Up to $200 in Uber credits, split into monthly $15 credits for rides or Eats orders in the U.S. plus an up-to-$20 bonus in December.
  • Up to $100 in Saks credits, split into two $50 statement credits for the two halves of the year. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits, split into $20 statement credits each month for eligible purchases with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $300 in Equinox credits, split into $25 statement credits each month for select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • Assorted Amex Offers, although eligibility for some offers is limited. You must enroll for offers in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Even ignoring any value we might get from Amex Offers and Equinox credits, the Uber, Saks and digital entertainment credits will provide us up to $540 of value each year. This value goes a long way toward justifying the $870 we'll need to pay in annual fees later this year. After all, the Amex Platinum annual fee is $695 (see rates and fees) and the annual fee to have up to three additional Platinum cardmembers is $175 (see rates and fees).

Keeping his Amex Platinum account open also offers value in several other ways, even while we're traveling less. For example, the Amex Platinum offers purchase protection, extended warranty protection and return protection when we purchase eligible items with our cards. Although we typically use Citi credit cards that provide a two-year extension for extended warranty protection, Amex's shopping protections do occasionally provide us value.

Plus, having access to the Amex Platinum and its benefits as a cardmember provides intangible value to us professionally. After all, we both frequently write about the Amex Platinum card. For example, I once wrote about how I got $160 of food and drink included on a $153 Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts stay. And I recently wrote about unique perks that keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet.

Related: 16 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

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Valuable perks for future travel

Hilton Gold elite status will get you breakfast when staying at Hilton hotels, such as the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

If we weren't starting to take some discrete international trips, it would be more difficult to justify keeping our Amex Platinum cards. But although we still have our recreational vehicle as a base, we're starting to travel internationally again and have many trips booked for late 2021 and early 2022. It's unclear how many of these trips we'll end up taking, but we expect our Amex Platinum cards will begin to provide more value as we increase our international travel.

In particular, the following Amex Platinum benefits will provide value as we restart travel:

Of course, the value provided by these perks is challenging to calculate, even in a typical year filled with travel. And we often book flights using the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card because we prefer Chase's less-restrictive included travel insurance.

However, we get significant value from Amex's Fine Hotels and Resorts program and Amex's Global Lounge Collection. As such, we'll easily get value from the newly added $200 prepaid hotel booking credit each year.

And although I earned Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status organically last year and plan to earn Titanium Elite this year, I rely on Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) as an Amex Platinum additional cardmember when staying with Hilton. And the Amex Platinum's emergency medical transportation assistance is a primary reason we generally don't purchase travel insurance.

Related: Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card is right for you?

Additional cardmember benefits

Additional Platinum cardmembers get access to Centurion Lounges, including the Amex Centurion Lounge at JFK. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

After my husband signed up for the Amex Platinum in 2017, he added his mom, dad and me as additional Platinum cardmembers on his account. After all, Amex Platinum cardmembers can add up to three additional Platinum cardmembers for a flat additional $175 fee (see rates and fees). And additional Platinum cardmembers get many of the same benefits as primary cardmembers, including:

Note that additional Platinum cardmembers are different than additional Gold cardmembers, which you can add for no extra cost. And complimentary Gold cards are different than the popular American Express® Gold Card. In short, complimentary Gold cards don't provide many perks besides the same earning rates as the Amex Platinum and access to book hotel stays through The Hotel Collection.

Having three additional Platinum cardmembers who also use the card's benefits certainly pushed my husband to keep his Amex Platinum. Sure, he could have canceled his account and I could have signed up for an Amex Platinum card. But I'm likely not eligible for the Amex Platinum's welcome bonus. And, due to Amex's welcome bonus policies, I am not willing to sign up for the Amex Platinum without a welcome bonus.

Related: Check to see if you’re targeted for 150k or 125k Amex Platinum offer, 75k Amex Gold offer via CardMatch

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum currently offers a welcome offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

So, if you don't already have an Amex Platinum card and you're eligible for the Amex Platinum's welcome offer, now may be an excellent time to apply. After all, as I discussed in this guide, you can still get significant value from the card even if you aren't traveling frequently right now. And by applying now, you can build up your stash of American Express Membership Rewards points for some much-anticipated post-pandemic travel.

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

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Featured image by (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / 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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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 unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023