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The Platinum Card® from American Express is the highest annual fee card that I have, at $550 per year (The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has a $450 annual fee, though comes with a different set of perks). That’s a lot of money to spend upfront, and arguably I don’t even get value from many of the benefits, due to the overlap of the features also offered by other cards.
With that in mind, in this post I wanted to look at the six Amex Platinum Card perks that more than justify the annual fee for me. In no particular order:
$200 annual airline fee credit
Let’s start with one of the perks that most helps offset the annual fee. The card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit. This can be used on a designated airline for all kinds of fees, and I’d say I more or less get face value from this perk, since I always end up using it for something I’d buy anyway. There are some restrictions to be aware of in terms of what you can purchase, though there are lots of opportunities with this.
$200 annual Uber credit
I’m a frequent Uber user, and just for having the Amex Platinum Card you get a $15 monthly Uber credit, and then in December you get a $35 Uber credit. Since I use Uber at least once a month for a ride of more than $15, I also value this at pretty close to face value. To me, the two $200 annual credits pretty much lower the real “out of pocket” on the card to $150 per year.
5x points on airfare
The Amex Platinum Card offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines, making it the most rewarding card for airfare purchases. Do note that the card doesn’t offer travel and baggage protection, so some may prefer using the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, which offers 3x points and embedded travel and baggage protection. My personal strategy is to use the Amex Platinum Card for larger airfare purchases (where the difference in points earning is more substantial), and then the Chase Sapphire Reserve for smaller airfare purchases, where the opportunity cost is more limited.
Amex Centurion Lounge access
Just for having the Amex Platinum Card you get access to Amex Centurion Lounges. You can take up to two guests with you, and this gets you access to Amex’s excellent suite of lounges, which are far superior to the domestic airline lounges offered by US airlines. US locations include Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. I visit Centurion Lounges well over a dozen times per year, so I’d say I get at least a couple of hundred dollars of value out of this per year.
Spa at the Amex Centurion Lounge DFW
Delta SkyClub access
Now that I’m flying Delta more, I’m finding SkyClub access with the Amex Platinum Card to be a more valuable perk. While you can’t bring guests with you for free, you can access SkyClubs whenever flying Delta same day, so I’m using this more and more. Given how much a SkyClub membership would otherwise cost, I’m getting considerable value here.
Delta SkyClub SEA
The ability to add authorized users
You can add up to three authorized users to the Amex Platinum Card for a total of $175, which I consider to be a great deal. Those authorized users get Priority Pass memberships, Delta SkyClub access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, Hilton Honors Gold status, SPG Gold status, and more. That’s a heck of a deal for under $60 per person per year.
Perks I don’t get much value out of
The above are only some of the perks of the Amex Platinum Card, and to me more than justify the annual fee. By the time you subtract the $400 in credits you get per year, I view it as paying about $150 per year for Centurion Lounge access, Delta SkyClub access, 5x points on airfare, and more.
But there are other perks that some others will value. These include:
- A huge sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points upon completing minimum spend; I don’t value this because I am an existing cardmember, but if you’re just applying, I consider these points to be worth $1,000+
- A Priority Pass membership with the ability to take two guests with you; the reason I don’t value this much is because I already have a Priority Pass membership through the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, and it comes with better guesting privileges
- Hilton Honors Gold & SPG Gold status for as long as you have the card; the reason I don’t value this much is because I already have Honors Gold status through another card, and I’m an SPG Platinum member
- A Global Entry fee credit; this perk is worthwhile, though can’t be used annually, so I don’t consider it a reason to get the card
Hilton Honors Gold status comes with complimentary breakfast
I’ve had the Amex Platinum Card, and despite the $550 annual fee, I consider it to be more than worthwhile. I feel like I get outsized value in spite of not taking advantage of all the perks, while others could get even more value out of it than I do. Furthermore, if you don’t yet have the card you can take advantage of the big sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points upon completing minimum spend.