3 unique perks that keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet
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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.
But, despite its pretty massive $550 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 three of these unique perks that are keeping this card securing in my wallet.
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Amex Platinum overview
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 to cardmembers.
Before diving into my favorite three unique Amex Platinum perks, let’s take a quick look at what you should know about the Amex Platinum.
Current welcome offer
There’s currently an elevated welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum for eligible new cardmembers.
Specifically, you can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. Plus, you can earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases) during your first six months of card membership.
This means you can earn up to 225,000 points with this Amex Platinum welcome offer. However, you may also want to check the CardMatch tool for potentially even sweeter targeted offers before applying.
Standout Amex Platinum perks
Whether you’re a new cardmember or an existing cardmember, the Amex Platinum offers many cardmember perks, including:
- 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com (on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year); 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com; 1x points on other purchases
- Up to $200 in Uber credit each year to use in the U.S. on Uber rides or Eats orders, provided as up to $15 every month plus an up to $20 bonus in December
- Up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com, provided as up to $50 on a semi-annual basis, once you enroll
- Access to various airport lounges through Amex’s Global Lounge Collection
- Book select international airline tickets at a discount through Amex’s International Airline Program
- Application fee credit every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck (up to $100)
- Get elite-like perks when booking hotel stays through Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program
- Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors
- Secondary rental car damage and theft coverage when you rent an eligible car with your card
- Premium Global Assist hotline
- Travel protections including trip delay insurance and trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Shopping protections including extended warranty protection, return protection and purchase protection
When considered together, it’s no wonder the Amex Platinum is one of the best travel rewards cards. In the remainder of this guide, I’ll discuss my favorite three perks unique to the Amex Platinum and its business counterpart, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
Unmatched airport lounge access
I keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet due to the unique lounge access it unlocks. Specifically, as an Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum cardmember, you’ll get access to lounges in the following networks:
- American Express Centurion Lounges
- Delta Sky Club lounges when flying same-day on Delta or its partner airlines
- Priority Pass Select lounges
- U.S. Escape Lounges
- Airspace lounges
- Plaza Premium lounges
- International American Express Lounges
- Select Lufthansa Lounges (as a limited-time perk that’s often extended)
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. Plus, some Plaza Premium lounges participate in Priority Pass.
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 Delta once 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.
Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program
One of the most undervalued benefits available to American Express cardmembers with a Platinum or Centurion-branded card like the Amex Platinum is the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. In short, you get elite-like perks when you book through Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
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 and 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 and Resorts stays, so maintaining access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts 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 and Resorts. For example, I got elite perks and earnings when I booked the Park Hyatt Beijing through Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts. And several other TPG staffers have reported getting elite perks and earnings on Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings more recently than my stay. However, since you aren’t booking directly with the hotel, elite perks and earnings aren’t guaranteed.
Elite status with two hotel loyalty programs
The final perk that encourages me to keep the Amex Platinum in my wallet is hotel elite status with both 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
- 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.
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express provides several unique perks that I don’t want to let go.
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 the three 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.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
Featured image by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.
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- Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
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- Enjoy complimentary 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 through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
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