Why the Amex Platinum card is still in the wallets of these TPG staffers
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Many who carry The Platinum Card® from American Express may question why they should keep it — and its $550 annual fee (see rates and fees) — in their wallets. While the card pays for itself with its myriad travel-related benefits, the pickings can be slim on other purchases.
Although American Express has stepped up to the plate to offer some limited-time benefits — most that end on Dec. 31, 2020 — some feel even more benefits could have been added similar to what Chase did with its cards. So, why would anyone still keep the Amex Platinum Card in their wallets? I polled TPG staffers to explain why.
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Steve Sibley, President
I love the Amex Platinum because American Express has been super responsive to the pandemic by shifting benefits with the wireless and streaming credits. I thought the American Express $50 Shop Small initiative was super cool! And I’ve got a couple of million points built up and given all the other moves, I haven’t felt the need to shift most of my spending over to other cards.
Clint Henderson, Senior News Editor
While I’m not traveling as much as normal this year (and forfeiting my access to Centurion lounges) I have saved enough money and earned enough points to make keeping my American Express Platinum card a no-brainer. I saved $50 with a stay at a Residence Inn through Amex Offers. That also scored me another $50 for a stay at a Grand Hyatt. I’m planning on several more hotel stays and the potential for as much as $60 back through additional hotel stays (Hilton and/or other brands).
I’ve saved $180 this year from statement credits for my wireless bill and for streaming service. I got $100 back from a Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50/six months). I also earned more than 32,000 Membership Rewards Points this year, including 20,000 points as a bonus for keeping my card. I also earned the whole $200 available in airline fee credit for fees at Delta Air Lines. Those rebates came from pet in cabin fees.
While I haven’t been able to maximize my Uber credits, I have gotten $75 in value from those and will likely be able to get the extra $20 credit next month. I’ve also liked having automatic gold status with both Hilton and Marriott just for holding the card even though I haven’t stayed at as many hotels this year. That’s $300 just in statement/Uber credits. I think the annual fee is definitely still worth it. As the old tagline goes, “Membership has its privileges!”
Benét Wilson, Senior Credit Cards Editor
I’ve done a small bit of traveling, and as airport lounges have reopened, I took advantage of them. The Mera International Business Lounge at Cancun International Airport (CUN) no longer has a buffet, but you can scan a QR code for a great selection of food and drinks.
The Club CHS at South Carolina’s Charleston International Airport (CHS) had a buffet, but staff were on hand to deliver food. In February, I had a five-hour layover at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) on my way home and it was nice to spend it in the Pearl Lounge. I even managed to sneak in a nap before my Washington Dulles (IAD) flight. I’ve also used Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts to book a few rooms with some sweet perks.
Melanie Lieberman, Senior Travel Editor
I’m double-dipping with HBO Max by using the streaming credit and an Amex Offer, so I’m making money on the subscription. The Amex Platinum up to $200 travel credit works with Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts, so I booked a $200 hotel ($209, then taxes and fees) and got a $100 property credit, free breakfast and a $200 Amex credit. I also earned 5x Membership Rewards points on the hotel booking. You can’t afford not to have an Amex Platinum card right now, especially since I’m earning money by spending!
Kelley King, Credit Cards SEO Associate
Looking at my October spending, I like to use my Amex Platinum for my purchases (specifically retail stores and places with an Amex Offer) where no other card gets a bonus. I find the Amex Platinum to be the best return on points and I also want to go on a big trip in 2021 when I can, so I’m hoarding my points (I’m at 191,000 right now) to pay for it.
Victoria Walker, Points, Miles, and Deals Reporter
I’m still taking advantage of Uber Eats with my Amex Platinum card. Since I’m not taking many Uber rides lately, all of that money goes directly to takeout. I typically use the card’s $200 annual credit up during the first three days of the month.
Plus, now my card now comes with free 12-month access to Eats Pass — valued at $10 per month — when you enroll by Dec. 31, 2021. It includes unlimited deliveries with a $0 fee, plus 5% off restaurant orders over $15. Additionally, members in select markets get free grocery delivery on orders over $30.
The temporary phone bill and streaming credits have also saved me a lot of money during the pandemic.
Emily McNutt, Global News Editor
I’ve found the Amex Offers available on the card to be extremely useful. Especially during the pandemic, it seems like more have been added than usual — with more rewarding benefits at a variety of new retailers. Before making a purchase, I’ll always scan my offers to make sure I’m not missing out on any bonus points or savings.
Nicholas Ellis, Reviews Editor
Since I’m hardly taking normal Ubers, I’ve been using the credits for UberEats monthly. And since I’ve spent so much time at home, I’ve used my $50 Saks credit to buy a ridiculously overpriced candle or two for good vibes in my apartment. I’ve also found several Amex Offers to be especially useful for various purchases I’ve needed to make over the last several months. Any bonus points I can earn will go a long way to helping me pay for a premium-cabin flight that I’ll hopefully be taking as soon as travel restrictions are lifted globally.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy
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