The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the top travel credit cards on the market that earns 5x points on flights and provides airport lounge access. However, the card falls short when it comes to trip delays and cancellations since it doesn’t provide any complimentary coverage. Here’s how to maximize the benefits from the Amex Platinum card to justify the $550 annual fee.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
1. $200 in Uber Credits
Get $200 in Uber Cash each calendar year, distributed in monthly increments of $15, plus a $20 bonus in December ($35 in December total).
The Uber Cash can only be used in the United States, and you must enroll the Platinum card in the benefit by adding your card to the Uber app. The credits expire at the end of each month, and unused credits won’t roll over.
Pro-tip: If you don’t take Ubers often, the Uber credit can also be used for UberEats. Be sure to select the Uber Cash option at checkout to apply the credits.
2. $200 Airline Fee Credit
The $200 airline fee credit can be used toward incidentals like checked bags and in-flight refreshments when you pay with the Amex Platinum card.
You must enroll in the benefit and select a qualifying airline for the calendar year. The airline options are:
American Airlines and US Airways
Delta Air Lines
3. $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
Get up to $100 in statement credits each calendar year for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, in-person or online. The $100 credit is issued in $50 increments semi-annually. Similar to the Uber credits, the Saks credit doesn’t roll over to the next semi-annual period, so be sure to use them before they disappear.
Pro-tip: Saks usually has sales where you can find good quality items for under $50. You can also use an online shopping portal like Ebates to earn additional cash back on the purchase.
4. Access the American Express Lounge Network
Amex Platinum cardholders can enjoy complimentary lounge access at the airport and select sports arenas. You must have your physical Amex Platinum card present to gain entry to the lounges.
Amex Centurion Lounges: (DFW, HKG, IAH, LAS, LGA, PHL, MIA, SEA, SFO)
Delta Sky Club: when flying Delta
Other partner lounges: Escape Lounges, American Express Airport Lounges, etc.
Sports Suites/Lounges: Centurion Suite at Staples Center and Barclays Center
Delta SkyClub Access is a perk that makes the Amex Platinum’s annual fee worth it if you fly Delta often. Annual membership to the Delta Sky Clubs without an Amex Platinum card retails for $845 or 84,500 miles.
Ways to access Delta Sky Clubs:
Amex Platinum (w/ Delta boarding pass)
SkyTeam Elite Plus (Delta Gold/Plat/Diamond) flying
SkyTeam international or connecting to SkyTeam international flight
Sky Club member ($845/yr retail) w/ Delta boarding pass
Delta One (domestic or international)
SkyTeam business/first international)
Amex Delta Reserve w/ Delta boarding pass
Pro-tip: if you want a good seat in the Sports Suites, start standing in line before the doors to the arena open. Access is granted on a first come, first serve basis.
5. Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection
Receive exclusive benefits when you book a hotel stay through the Fine Hotels & Resorts portal.
Room upgrade upon arrival, based on availability
Daily breakfast for two people
Guaranteed 4 pm late check-out
Noon check-in, when available
Unique property amenity like food or spa credit valued at a minimum of US $100
Pro-tip: Some properties in Las Vegas are less than $250/night, depending on when you go.
6. Amex Concierge: Pre-Sale Tickets and Dining Reservations
The American Express Platinum Concierge is one of the most underrated benefits. Ticketmaster is an American Express partner, so there is usually a special batch of tickets for concerts/events reserved for Platinum cardholders.
There are often pre-sale dates for concerts/events for Platinum cardholders before tickets are released to the general public sale.
Amex also has a relationship with a handful of restaurants, so if you want to get a reservation at a popular restaurant, they might be able to snag one for you.
Pro-tip: Let the concierge know if you’re celebrating a special occasion, and you might receive a surprise at the restaurant.
7. Return Protection
Return protection will refund your eligible purchase within 90 days from the date of purchase if you try and return an item, and the merchant won’t take it back. American Express may refund the full purchase, up to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per the calendar year. Terms apply.
The fine print: The full cost of the item must be charged to the eligible Amex Platinum card. It’s possible that you may have to return the item to American Express; they’ll cover the shipping cost.
8. Purchase Protection
Buy with confidence knowing that American Express will protect eligible purchases made on your card against accidental damage or theft, for up to 120 days* from the date of purchase.
*For residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Northern Mariana Islands coverage duration remains at 90 days.
I use the Amex Platinum card for all my electronic and high-ticket purchases in case something goes wrong within the first 120 days.
Amex Platinum provides “Tier 3” coverage; includes lost
Tier 3 = lost + damage + stolen
Normal cards = damage + stolen
You must file a claim within 30 days of the incident, and you will only be covered up to the amount charged on your card, up to $1,000 per occurrence. Coverage cannot exceed $50,000 per cardmember account, per the calendar year. Terms apply.
9. Extended Warranty
The extended warranty benefit can extend the terms of the original manufacturer's warranty on warranties of five years or less.
American Express may match the length of the original warranty if it’s less than one year, and they’ll provide an additional year if the original warranty is between one and five years.
You will only be covered up to the amount charged on the eligible card, up to a maximum of $10,000 per occurrence; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member year. Terms apply.
For computer purchases and all other electronics, I put the full amount on my Amex Platinum card because I value extended warranty. It’s important to note that the card account has to be open/active at the time you file a claim (a closed Amex Platinum card doesn’t help).
The Amex Platinum card isn’t the best when it comes to travel protections, but the auxiliary benefits are what makes the card worth the annual fee.
If you can maximize the airline, Saks, and Uber credits, along with the other benefits listed above, the Amex Platinum is worth considering. Use the calculator here to see if the Amex Platinum fits your spending habits.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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