With the recent updates made today, March 30th, to the American Express Platinum card, I thought it would be a good time to share why my favorite card in my wallet is my American Express Platinum.
Besides its new metal design, the American Express Platinum Card is a monster of a card in a lot of different ways. Its annual fee as one example, recently increased from $450/year to $550/year. While it does carry a steep annual fee, a lot of its features tend to balance out the expense.
Some of the features I’ve come to use often are:
$200 Airline Credit
Every year, the American Express Platinum Card gives you credit to a preferred airline of your choice for you to use on any type of fees you may encounter such as baggage fees, or even meals on the plane. While it doesn’t give you credit toward airline tickets directly, some users have found success buying gift cards from the airline at $50 increments.
For my use, I selected Delta as my preferred airline when I travel and always use my Amex to pay for baggage fees. They instantly get credited back once the charge clears and we are good to go!
$200 Uber Credit
One recent change that came with the new version of the card launched on March 30, 2017 was the addition of the $200 Uber Credit.
Every month, your Uber account will be credited with $15 worth of Uber Credit and $35 in December. The downside is, the credit disappears after every month. As an example, my Uber account was credited today with $15, but I have till tomorrow to spend it till it renews again on April 1.
If you’re an avid user of Uber, this could work out greatly in your favor. In my city, while it is available, I don’t use it as often. On the plus side, the credit is also valid for UberEats, which I will totally take advantage of.
$100 Global Entry/TSA Pre Check
Airline security is annoying. With the card, you can get $100 towards Global Entry or $85 toward TSA Pre Check. I decided to go with Global Entry because it automatically includes TSA Pre Check.
Skipping the long line when coming in through customs while flying international is always a nice feeling.
American Express Centurion Lounge
One of my favorite features of the card is the Amex Centurion Lounge Access. If you find yourself traveling (as of March 30) through Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), New York City (LGA), Miami (MIA), Mexico City (MEX), Seattle (SEA) or San Francisco (SFO), you can stop by the lounge before your flight or your layover for free. You are also able to bring in two guests for free. If you’re not an Amex Platinum or Centurion member, the cost to enter the lounge is $50.
I’ve personally visited all but San Francisco’s lounges and they are definitely something I’ve enjoyed.
In DFW as an example, one of my most visited locations, you are able to get a free massage and manicure at the spa, enjoy free breakfast, lunch and/or dinner as well as free premium drinks. You can even rent out a shower suite as well.
American Express is continually adding more lounges with Hong Kong and Philadelphia next on the list.
5x Points on Airfare and Hotels
While the American Express Platinum Card usually only credits you 1 point per dollar spent on the card, the recent changes now allow you to receive 5 points per dollar when purchasing airline tickets through the airline or through amextravel.com and 5 points per dollar when booking hotels through amextravel.com
This addition easily beats out any of the competition when it comes to points earned when purchasing airfare. With outsiders valuing Membership Reward Points at $0.019/point, you can earn a lot of added savings.
If you’re the type that purchases flights on your personal cards, you should pick up this card for this feature alone.
Starwood Preferred is one of the best hotel programs out there. From the W Hotel, Westin or even the St. Regis, SPG is a great program to be a part of if you are not already.
With the card, you can fill out a quick form to get instantly upgraded to SPG Gold status.
With Gold, you have access all the benefits of Preferred membership, plus:
- Earn three Starpoints for every dollar spent on eligible stays — a 50% bonus over Preferred.
- 4p.m. late checkout.
- An upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in — corner room, higher floor, or better view.
- A welcome gift upon arrival – a choice between bonus Starpoints, complimentary premium in-room internet or a beverage. I always choose the points.
With the recent merger of Marriott and SPG, you are also matched to Marriott Gold and Ritz Carlton Gold automatically as well.
Included with the card are four free Roadside Assistance offers. Similar to using your insurance’s roadside assistance, American Express allows you to use their preferred companies four times at no charge. This feature came in handy when I was having battery trouble with my vehicle.
Travel and Baggage Insurance
One of the features that I recently didn’t know this card carried was Travel and Baggage Insurance.
On my recent trip to Spain, I left my carry-on on the plane. Because I booked the flight with my American Express Platinum Card, I was able to get reimbursed for the carry on and its contents, up to $3000.
Other features that I (thankfully) haven’t used but are available include:
- $250 a day per person for food if your airline is delayed more than 4 hours.
- $500 per person if your luggage fails to arrive after 4 hours.
- Another $500 if they don’t arrive after 48 hours
Talk about generous.
There are a ton of other features that come with the American Express Platinum Card but these were just a few highlights that I use day in and day out.
With American Express’s current offer of 60,000 Membership Reward points, there are plenty of great redemption options thanks to its 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners, so you have no shortage of options for putting your rewards to use.
Between the airline credit of $200, Uber credit of another $200, Global Entry of $100, and the current offer of 60,000 Membership Reward points (currently valued at $1,140), this card easily pays for itself.