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Official Application Link: The Platinum Card from American Express (60,000-point bonus offer)
Since late March 2017, Amex has offered an increased welcome bonus for its Platinum Card: 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. The previous welcome bonus for the card was 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, so while this offer isn’t as high as the 100,000-point sign-up bonuses we’ve seen before, it’s better than what you’ll get most of the time.
If you were able to take advantage and got approved for the Amex Platinum, congratulations! The card is one of the premier travel rewards credit cards out there, and with it, you’ll be able to take advantage of perks like 5x points on airfare and hotels, $200 in annual Uber credits and more. While the $550 annual fee may seem hefty, the benefits that come with the card far outweigh that fee.
Now that you have the card, there are a few things you should set up to begin taking advantage of all of its perks. Read on for a list of 10 things I think you should take advantage of as soon as your new Platinum card arrives in the mail.
1. Claim Your Annual $200 Uber and Airline Fee Credits
One of the best perks of the Amex Platinum card is its annual $200 airline fee credit for one airline — since you get this credit every calendar year, you can use it twice during your first year as a member, giving you a $400 return in the first 365 days. The credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more. Technically, you can’t purchase tickets or use the credit for award taxes/fees; however, depending on how the airline codes your purchase, you may get reimbursed. You may also be able to trigger the credit when you buy an airline gift card. Note that while you’re technically limited to the airline you select for the entire calendar year, reports indicate that you might be able to change your selection by contacting customer service. You can choose your airline on the Amex website.
And, as of March 2017, Platinum cardholders get up to $200 in Uber credits each year. Once you add the card to your Uber account, you’ll automatically receive $15 in credit to use each month, plus an additional $20 in December. Credits can be applied to rides within the United States and expire at the end of the month. See our guide for more details on how to get started.
2. Request Gold Status from Starwood and Hilton
You have to manually enroll with each chain in order to get the benefits of Gold status from SPG and Hilton Honors. That being said, it’s not that difficult to do. You can get your SPG Gold status by enrolling on the Amex site, and you can get Hilton Honors Gold by doing the same. You’ll get some solid perks from each — we value SPG Gold status around $685 and Hilton Honors Gold status around $980, assuming you spend a certain number of nights at each chain’s hotels. Plus, now that Starwood has merged with Marriott, you can match your complimentary SPG Gold status to Gold in the Marriott Rewards program.
3. Sign up for Global Entry (and TSA PreCheck)
These days, it’s pretty much a given that there will be long wait times for airport security during peak travel periods. That makes now a better time than ever to sign up for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Once you have Global Entry, you automatically get TSA PreCheck, so that’s your best option. When you sign up for Global Entry with your new Amex Platinum card, you’ll get a credit to your account to cover the cost once every four years. This is a perk you’ll definitely want to take advantage of as soon as possible.
4. Get Your Car Rental Program Elite Status
In addition to Gold Hilton Honors and SPG elite status, you’ll also get status with several car rental programs when you enroll. You’ll get Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status. You’ll need to enroll for these benefits, and you can do so on the Amex website.
5. Register for Free Boingo Wi-Fi
One of the worst parts of being stuck at the airport is having to pay for Wi-Fi. With your Amex Platinum, you can get complimentary access to the Boingo Preferred Plan, which includes unlimited access to Wi-Fi hotspots at more than 1,000,000 locations worldwide. You can sync this access with up to four devices. To get this benefit, you’ll need to register on the Amex website.
6. Sign up for Free Two-Day Shipping with ShopRunner
ShopRunner gives you free two-day shipping and free return shipping on eligible items at participating online stores. This is a nice benefit if you have your eyes on something and want to get it within two days — especially because expedited shipping can be pretty expensive. You must purchase using your Amex Platinum card. To use this service, go to ShopRunner’s Amex site.
7. Book 5-star Hotels Through Amex FHR and Browse the Global Dining Collection for Spectacular Restaurant Access
This perk is only available to Platinum, Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN and Centurion cardholders. The Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program gives you benefits at a selection of top international hotels and other participating properties. Benefits include noon check-in (when available), room upgrade (when available), daily breakfast for two people, complimentary Wi-Fi, guaranteed 4pm late checkout and, at select properties, a third or fourth night for free. You can search for FHR properties on the Amex website.
You’ll also want to check out the recently launched Global Dining Collection, which gets Platinum and Centurion cardholders special access at fine-dining restaurants all over the world. The program also includes events with top chefs, such as Massimo Bottura, whom TPG met at one of the program’s dinners in Hong Kong. You can book available events and restaurants by calling the Concierge number on the back of your card.
8. Contact the Platinum Concierge for Travel Arrangements and Reservations
Booking your own reservations can be a somewhat daunting task, especially at high-demand restaurants and events. As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you have access to a special phone service that can assist you in booking high-demand restaurants and events, as well as finding a perfect dinner spot or even delivering items on demand. You’ll need to call to activate this benefit, and make sure you sign up for texting when you do so to make things more convenient.
9. Carry Your Card When You Travel
The Amex Platinum is a premier travel rewards credit card for a reason — it gives you some very valuable benefits. For that reason, you should always carry your Platinum card with you when you travel. One of the greatest travel perks is lounge access, and with the card, you’ll get access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when you’re flying Delta), Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass lounges (get your membership card here), though Centurion Lounge agents can look up your account info if you do end up leaving your card behind. You can use the card for purchases when you’re abroad, too, as there are no foreign transaction fees. There’s also dispute resolution, purchase and return protection, baggage insurance plan and extended warranty coverage.
10. Add up to Three Authorized Users
With your new Amex Platinum card, you can add up to three authorized users to your account for a total of $175 per year, but that can really help you maximize the value you’re already getting from being a cardholder. Authorized users can get lounge access, the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, SPG and Hilton Gold status, Boingo Wi-Fi access, Amex FHR benefits and more.
The Amex Platinum can be tremendously valuable for frequent travelers, and once you’ve signed up there are some benefits you should start using right away. From getting an annual airline fee credit to additional perks like complimentary Global Entry and SPG and Hilton Honors Gold status, it’s easy to get a lot of value from the card despite its $550 annual fee.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy
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), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 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 $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can 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.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees