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APPLY HERE: The Platinum Card® from American Express – 60,000 Points

The Amex Platinum may have a $550 annual fee, but it doesn’t take much to get much more than that in value from its perks. This card ranks consistently as the #1 card for perks for travelers, and with a strong bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spent in the first three months (which we value at $1,140), it’s one of the cards I never leave home without.

To ensure you’re getting full value from all the benefits, make sure you know these key features of your card. (You can apply now and if you’re approved, you can instantly get a number so you can use the Delta or Centurion Lounge, so you don’t even have to wait for the card to come.) Here are 11 of the top perks to focus on to make sure you’re getting maximum value from this premium card.

1. Airport Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum offers access to various airport lounges, but the access policies aren’t the same across all of them. For example, you can access Centurion Lounges for free along with two guests no matter what airline you’re flying, but you can only access Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying Delta, and up to two guests can enter, but for an additional fee. Delta lounge membership costs $495 for an individual membership (and starting in 2019, it will only apply when you’re traveling on Delta, like with the Amex Platinum’s access policy), so this is a huge perk! You can use either lounge on departure or arrival, but you must have a ticket (you cant go to Centurion at LaGuardia for lunch if you aren’t flying!). And keep in mind you can’t even access a Centurion Lounge unless you have an Amex Platinum (personal or business) or Centurion card.

2. $200 Annual Airline Credit

One of the best perks of the Amex Platinum card is its annual $200 airline fee credit for one airline. The credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more. Choose an airline that you fly the most on the Amex website, or choose a carrier that you can get a gift card with.

3. Up to $200 in Annual Uber Credits

Amex Platinum cardholders get up to $200 in Uber credits each year, split into $15 credits each month except in December, when you get $35. The credits don’t roll over from month to month, but it’s very easy to get the full $200 even if you only use the ride-sharing app occasionally. To sign up, go to the Payment section of the Uber app and add your Platinum card.

 

4. SPG, Marriott and Hilton Gold Status

Stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita and enjoy SPG Gold status benefits.

The Amex Platinum gets you complimentary elite status in no fewer than three programs. 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 at $690 and Hilton Honors Gold status at $860, 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. We value Marriott Gold status at $2,665, so that’s getting you tons more value.

5. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Application Fee

These days, it’s pretty much a given that there will be long wait times at the airport, which makes TSA PreCheck for expedited security and Global Entry for fast-track immigration upon reentering the US absolute no-brainers. With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get a credit to your account to cover the cost once every four years — choose Global Entry since it includes PreCheck enrollment. If you already have a membership, you can use your Platinum card to gift Global Entry to a friend.

6. Amex FHR for Great Hotel Perks

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR), available to holders of the Amex Platinum, the Business Platinum and Centurion cards, is a great option for booking paid hotel stays, since you’ll get some stellar benefits like room upgrades, free breakfast, guaranteed late checkout and a unique amenity with each property. Another huge plus is that if you have elite status with a hotel you’re staying at, you’ll enjoy any perks connected to your status level on stays booked through FHR, unlike with Amex Travel and most online travel agencies. You’ll also earn points and elite credit for your stay. Search for hotels on the FHR site here.

7. Free Boingo Wi-Fi

Get free Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices. (Photo by anyaberkut/Getty Images)
Get free Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices. (Photo by anyaberkut/Getty Images)

Boingo is free in-airport Wi-Fi access, and it’s available in many other places as well. Get your account set up here. The Boingo Unlimited plan costs $9.95 per month, so you’re looking at about $120 in value per year.

8. Car Rental Program Elite Status

Get complimentary Avis Preferred status in time for your next car rental. (Photo by Austin Neill via Unsplash)
Get complimentary Avis Preferred status in time for your next car rental. (Photo by Austin Neill via Unsplash)

In addition to Gold Hilton Honors and SPG (and therefore Marriott) 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.

9. Platinum Concierge

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 — the number is 800-525-33-55. Make sure you sign up for texting when you do so to make things more convenient. Note that the Concierge isn’t where you should turn for most travel and vacation bookings, as they’ll likely refer you to Amex Travel instead.

10. Get 3 Additional Cards for a Total of $175

You can add three authorized users to your Amex Platinum for $175 per year. That works out to just $58.33 per user, and they’re getting almost all of the benefits listed in this post, including lounge access, an application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, hotel elite status with three programs and Boingo Wi-Fi. Pretty much only the annual Uber and airline fee credits are excluded — but think about it, lounge access to Centurion and Delta Sky Clubs alone gets your authorized users hundreds of dollars in value, not to mention status across Hilton, Marriott and SPG!

11. Exceptional Purchase Protection

Amex purchase protection covered the cost of a Moncler jacket I lost in Iceland.

A final perk that makes the Amex Platinum stand out is purchase protection. With the Platinum card, you’re covered up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year against accidental damage, loss or theft of items up to 90 days from the purchase date. I used this benefit to save the day after my brand-new Moncler jacket was misplaced.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.

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 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.

Apply Now
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 amextravel.com.
  • 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
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.