21 of the Amex Platinum Card’s most valuable benefits

Jul 29, 2021

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The Platinum Card® from American Express may have a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), but it doesn’t take a lot to get much more than that in value from its existing and new perks. This card ranks consistently as No. 1 in benefits for travelers, and with a strong welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in your first six months of card membership — which TPG values at $2,000 — it’s one of the cards I never leave home without.

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But you may not know just how valuable the Amex Platinum is. To ensure you’re getting full value from all the benefits, you need to familiarize yourself with these key features. Below I outline 21 of the top perks to focus on to ensure you’re getting maximum value from this premium card.

Related: The Platinum Card from American Express review

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

In This Post

1. $200 travel credit

Use your $200 travel credit toward booking a berth on Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess. (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

During the peak of the pandemic in August 2020, American Express offered cardmembers a temporary up to $200 travel credit (separate from the existing airline fee credit) to keep them from ditching the travel perks-heavy card. The travel credit targeted those who renewed their card between April 2020 and March 2021. The credit, which expires on Dec. 31, can be used for airfare, hotels, rental cars and cruises.

Related: Amex Platinum cardholders: You might have $200 in travel credit to use by Dec. 31

2. Annual hotel credit

The lobby of the Park Hyatt Beijing, part of American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The card already comes with access to both the Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection programs with Amex Travel when you prepay with your Amex Platinum. Both of these programs offer you elite-like perks when you book a room. Now you can use this new up to $200 hotel credit in the form of a statement credit on prepaid bookings for both hotel programs. Enrollment required. 

Related: Here’s your guide to the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit

3. Clear membership credit

Clear airport
A Clear membership is a new perk that comes with the Amex Platinum Card. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The Amex Platinum Card now comes with an up-to-$179 annual Clear statement credit to cover your annual membership. This is valuable as travel rebounds in record numbers, causing long lines at airport security checkpoints. Clear users have a separate lane where their identity is verified using a fingerprint or an iris scan. After your identity is verified, a Clear representative will escort you to the top of the Transportation Security Administration screening line. If you’re also enrolled in TSA PreCheck, then you’ll be taken directly to the PreCheck line. Children under 18 may use the Clear line for free when traveling with a paid member. Enrollment is required.

Related: Clear expedited airport security program — is it worth it?

4. Digital entertainment credit

Your Amex Platinum Card will cover your SirusXM monthly fee. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Cardholders now receive a new up-to-$240 annual digital entertainment credit, in the form of $20 in monthly statement credits, when you pay for eligible purchases with the Amex Platinum at Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock. The partners are limited, but this credit could either pay for an existing membership or encourage you to try new ones. Enrollment is required.

Related: How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit

5. Equinox credit

Get a $25 statement credit each month at Equinox. (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)

This premium fitness center has more than 100 locations, mainly in major cities. While membership isn’t cheap, the $25 statement credit each month on your Platinum card is better than nothing. A less expensive option is using the credit to cover Equinox+, a more affordable virtual workout platform that costs $39.99 a month. Enrollment is required.

Related: Amex adds virtual Equinox gym credit for select cardholders

6. The Global Dining Access program by Resy

Amex Platinum cardholders had access to the first-ever The Resy Drive-Thru, where guests enjoyed a 10-course tasting menu from the comfort of their own cars while chefs prepared dishes from restaurant tents spaced through the event experience. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Resy)

This revamped dining program gives Platinum cardholders exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants. That access includes prime time tables at many of the most in-demand restaurants in the U.S. and overseas, including Carbone New York, Don Angie, Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park, Cosme, Lilia and many more. The program also will allow cardholders to book high-profile chef dinners, curated culinary experiences, virtual cooking classes and presales of Resy events.

Related: Amex exec details the future of Resy, including exclusive dining access and events for cardholders

7. Airport lounge access

The Escape Lounge at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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 on same-day Delta flights. No guests are included, but you may purchase access for up to two traveling companions at the discounted price of $39 per person.

A Delta Sky Club lounge membership costs $545 for an individual membership, so this is a huge perk. You can use either lounge on departure or arrival, but you must have a ticket (you can’t go to Centurion at LaGuardia for lunch if you aren’t flying!). And keep in mind that you can’t even access a Centurion Lounge unless you have an Amex Platinum (personal or business) or Centurion card.

American Express has also announced an expansion of its Centurion Lounge program. Escape Lounges are already part of the Amex Global Lounge Collection, a network of 1,300 airport lounges in 500 airports and 140 countries.

Now, Amex is fully incorporating Escape Lounges into the Centurion network. All U.S. lounges will now be called “Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner.” Guests will have a better selection of complimentary cocktails, spirits, wines and premium snacks (in addition to the full menu and bar available).

Related: Amex to scale to over 40 Centurion-branded lounges worldwide, reduces upcoming guest fee for children

8. $200 annual airline credit

(Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

One of the best perks of the Amex Platinum Card is its annual up-to-$200 airline incidental fee statement credit for one airline. The credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more. Choose the airline that you fly the most on the Amex website. Enrollment is required.

Related: What still triggers Amex airline fee reimbursements?

9. International Airline Program

Etihad Business Class Seat A380
Use the International Airline Program to get a discount on premium cabin seats, such as an Etihad business-class seat on an Airbus A380. (Photo by Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock)

This program allows eligible cardholders to purchase up to eight tickets at discounted fares from more than two dozen participating airlines as long as the cardholder is traveling on the same reservation. You can save on international first-class, business-class and premium economy seats.

Related: Why the Amex International Airline Program discount is worth it

10. Trip delay/cancellation coverage

(Photo by bunhill/Getty Images)

When traveling, stuff happens that is out of our control, including delays and cancellations — but Amex is ready to help. If you pay for a trip with your Amex Platinum Card and a covered reason delays your trip by more than six hours, trip delay insurance can reimburse certain expenses purchased with your same card, up to $500 per trip.

If your trip is canceled or interrupted,  your nonrefundable expenses bought with the card will be covered, up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per eligible card per 12-consecutive-month period.

Related: The best credit cards that offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance

11. Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash, plus an Uber Eats Pass

(Photo by Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Amex Platinum cardholders get up to $200 in Uber Cash each calendar year (for U.S. services), split into $15 credits each month except in December, when you get $35 (enrollment required). 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-hailing app occasionally. Also, U.S. consumers with an Amex Platinum Card have 12 months of complimentary access to Eats Pass*, valued at $10 per month, when they enroll by Dec. 31. Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly rate.

Related: 4 ways to use your Amex Platinum Uber Cash while stuck at home

12. Marriott and Hilton Gold status

Stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita and enjoy Marriott Bonvoy Gold status benefits. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The Amex Platinum gets you complimentary Gold elite status in two hotel loyalty programs —  Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. With Hilton, Gold status comes with 80% bonus points on stays, space-available room upgrades, free continental breakfast, no resort fees on reward stays and free Wi-Fi.

Bonvoy Gold includes 25% bonus points, room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout, welcome gift or points, free enhanced Wi-Fi and mobile check-in and mobile key. Enrollment is required.

13. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee

(Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

These days, it’s pretty much a given that there will be long wait times at the airport, making TSA PreCheck for expedited security and Global Entry for fast-track immigration upon reentering the U.S. absolute no-brainers. With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get a credit to your account to cover the application fee (up to $100) for these programs once every four years. You should 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.

14. Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection

The Aman Sveti Stefan in Jordan. (Photo by Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts)

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, 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, such as 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.

There’s also The Hotel Collection, where you get a $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities like dining or spa treatments. There’s a minimum two-night stay required to be eligible for the benefit (qualifying activities vary by property).

15. 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 Marriott Bonvoy elite status, you’ll also 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. Plus, when you use your card to pay for your rental, you have secondary coverage for damage to or theft of a rental car. Note that coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Italy and New Zealand.

Related: When to use American Express’ Premium Car Rental protection

16. Platinum Concierge

Use the Amex Platinum Concierge to book a reservation at the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you have access to the Platinum Concierge, 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 Platinum Travel instead.

Related: 6 ways an Amex Platinum concierge can help get you through the pandemic

17. Premium Global Assist Hotline

(Photo by Getty Images)

You’re out of town and the worst happens — a travel catastrophe. The hotline is here to help. When you travel more than 100 miles from home, get 24/7 medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services. Emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost if authorized and arranged by Premium Global Assist Hotline. Please note that you may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Related: Everything you need to know about Amex’s Premium Global Assist Hotline

18. Up to 3 authorized cards

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)

A table on Amex’s website compares the benefits offered to additional cardholders. You can add three authorized users to your Amex Platinum for $175 per year (see rates and fees). That works out to just $58.33 per user, and they’re getting almost all of the benefits listed in this post. You can also get a Gold card (not to be confused with the American Express® Gold Card) at no charge (see rates and fees).

Related: What’s the difference between the Amex Gold Card and the authorized-user Gold Card?

19. Saks Fifth Avenue credit

(Photo by John Greim/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Get up to $100 in statement credits annually ($50 between January and June and another $50 between July and December) to spend at Saks Fifth Avenue, saks.com or Barneys when you use your Amex Platinum Card. Enrollment is required.

Related: 10 gifts you can buy using your Amex Platinum $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit

20. Control your payments

Cardholders have the option to pay their bill in full, carry a balance with interest or use Amex’s Plan It® feature to split up large qualifying purchases into monthly payments with a fixed monthly fee, up to your Pay Over Time limit. There is no sign up, application or enrollment required for this feature.

21. Purchase/return protection and extended warranty

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

These final perks make the Amex Platinum stand out. With purchase protection, 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. With return protection, if you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, you’ll get a refund, excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year per card account. When you use your card to buy eligible items, your manufacturer’s warranty is extended for up to a year.

Related: Choosing the best American Express credit card for you

Bottom line

The American Express Platinum Card is far more than a hunk of silver metal. At the same time, some might be put off by the card’s higher $695 annual fee. If you look at all the perks — and credits — this card more than pays for itself every year. So make sure you’re taking full advantage of everything the Amex Platinum has to offer.

*Click here for Uber Eats Pass terms and conditions.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here

Featured photo by Eden Batki/The Points Guy.

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.