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Apply online for The Platinum Card® from American ExpressSponsored card
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The Platinum Card® from American Express Review

Pros & Cons

  • Flight delays are never fun, but with access to the Global Lounge Collection you can wait for the next available flight in comfort thanks to complimentary access hundreds of airport lounges worldwide.
  • Speaking of airplane travel, the Platinum Card® from American Express provides up to $200 a year in statement credits to cover incidental airline charges, like baggage fees and in-flight refreshments, charged on the card with a pre-selected airline.
  • The annual fee is waived for active military personnel.
  • If you anticipate needing to carry a balance, you'll want to look for a credit card as opposed to this charge card which requires the balance be paid in full each billing cycle.
Terms and Limitations Apply

Top Features

Rewards
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor
American Express is a CardRatings.com advertiser.

Let's get this out of the way right away: The Platinum Card® from American Express isn't for everyone.

It carries a sizable annual fee at $550 and requires a level of fiscal responsibility many consumers find too daunting to take on. But for those with excellent credit and strong fiscal discipline, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers unique perks and benefits that make membership well worth it, and that led us to name this card the 2018 Editor's Choice pick for Best Luxury Credit Card and it routinely makes our Best Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access as well.

The Platinum Card® from American Express Essentials

As a charge card (as opposed to a credit card) The Platinum Card® from American Express has no interest rate since cardholders are expected to pay their balances in full at the end of each billing period. It should also be noted that the card does not come with a spending limit unless the cardholder specifically requests one. Obviously, these factors combined mean this card requires excellent fiscal discipline. Since the card must be paid off each month, however, it could also help you avoid crippling debt or the accumulation of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest payments.

The annual fee of $550 is high enough to give some consumers pause when considering The Platinum Card® from American Express, but a quick look at some of the card's benefits show that membership easily pays for itself if you utilize the full gamut of perks and features.

Some of those features include:

  • 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.
  • Five points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and one point per dollar on other purchases.
  • 24/7 Platinum Club Concierge service to help with travel arrangements, obtaining tickets to events or even picking out the perfect gift for that special someone.
  • A credit of $100 or $85 for your Global Entry or TSA Precheck®, respectively, application fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express should be of special interest if you travel a great deal. (There's also a business version if you're a frequent business traveler). With membership, you can earn up to $200 annually in statement credit to cover fees such as luggage costs, in-flight meals or similar charges associated with an airline of your choice from a list of qualifying airlines. Plus, you're also eligible for up to $200 annually in Uber savings.

And those annoying flight delays when you have to wait for hours in uncomfortable terminal seats? Banish the thought. With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection. You can also enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, free of charge.

What Our Editors Like Best About The Platinum Card® from American Express

It's a charge card, not a credit card. Cardholders are expected to pay their complete balance upon receipt of their monthly bill.

It's generally best to treat charge cards more like cash than like traditional credit cards. You will need the full amount of cash to pay off the bill within the billing cycle, so this isn't the card for you if you're looking to make a large purchase and spend some time paying it off. The benefit of a charge card, though, is the security and convenience of making purchases, large or small, without carrying cash or that almost-extinct checkbook around. Plus, you'll avoid the pitfall of making a large purchase and then racking up interest charges when you fail to pay it off right away.

Paying your bill in full each month also helps you keep a strong credit rating for those important purchases that will require debt, like a home or a car.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express Worth It?

It's true: The $550 annual fee is steep – and potentially offputting unless you take the time to really break down the potential value with The Platinum Card® from American Express (and, of course, carefully consider your own spending habits and needs).

For starters, there's the $200 per year in incidental airline fee credit that can, on its own, effectively reduce your annual fee to $350.

Still not convinced?

Ok, let's next consider that airport lounge access. Having this card means you'll have complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection as well as complimentary access to lounges that are part of the Prioirty Pass™ Select network, which is a massive and far-flung network of airport lounges; it's also not cheap to access. The annual fee for a standard membership is $99 and each time you visit a lounge, you'll pay $32. To get any free visits to the lounges, you'll need the Standard Plus membership at an annual fee of $299; even then you only receive 10 visits free each year and then you pay $32 per visit. Want all of your visits to be free? You'll need the Prestige membership at a whopping $429 per year. As you can see, the complimentary access to the Priority Pass™ Select network completely offsets the rest of the card's annual fee.

All this and we haven't even talked about the 24/7 concierge services or the access to the Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels and Resorts programs that include hotel credits for spa services, meals and more.

The perks continue with members' opportunity to purchase premium seating tickets to select events, as well as once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the areas of dining, fashion, entertainment and sports. Remember, too, that with The Platinum Card® from American Express you'll earn one Membership Rewards® point for each $1 you spend on the card and five points per $1 on flights and hotels booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel. Those points can be redeemed for products, services, travel and more, so you can make this card work for you – and offset its annual fee – even beyond the automatic perks.

Potential Downsides of The Platinum Card® from American Express

Paying off your balance in full every month does take financial discipline, and not everyone can handle the responsibility. If you don't pay it off, you'll pay and hefty late fee that becomes a percentage of your unpaid balance if you miss two months of payments. If you are a person who wants or needs to carry over a balance, you will want to look into credit cards, rather than a charge card.

The annual fee of $550 is also daunting. Indeed, luxury comes with a price tag. If you are not going to take advantage of the perks, you might wonder if the card is worth the fee. There are features-heavy cards that offer similar perks for a lesser fee.

How The Platinum Card® from American Express Compares to Other Cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

One of the obvious differences with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is in its annual fee -- just $95 per year after a $0 Intro for the first year. That fee does net you some decent features that will more than suffice for the average traveler, but it does not bring you an airline fee credit or quite the wide range of luxury perks offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders earn 2x points on travel and dining, so there's an opportunity to earn more points with Chase Sapphire Preferred® if you enjoy dining out (you'll only earn one point per dollar on your restaurant purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express).

When redeeming points for statement credits or gift cards, however, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points redeem at 1 cent per point as compared to The Platinum Card® from American Express Membership Rewards® points that redeem at 6 cents per point on statement credits and 1 cent per point on gift cards.

If you want to redeem for travel, though, Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders earn 20 percent back on Chase Ultimate Rewards® points redemptions for travel through the Chase online portal.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Citi Prestige® Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

The Citi Prestige® Card (Citi is a cardratings.com advertiser) is also designed for luxury-minded cardholders, but, since it's a credit card, you can carry a balance on this one. The Citi Prestige® Card charges a $450 annual fee, and the introductory bonus offer allows you to earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Many of the perks are similar, with just the amounts varying slightly. For instance, the Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 airline travel credit each year, and you can receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck®, just as you can with the The Platinum Card® from American Express. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers slightly less at $200 annually, but the real difference is that The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders must select a qualifying airline once per year in order to take advantage of this perk.

Both cards provide complimentary access to many VIP lounges at airports throughout the world and across the country. Citi Prestige® cardholders enjoy a complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay at hotels booked through Citi Prestige® Concierge.

Much like The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Citi Prestige® Card comes with a 24/7 concierge service.

The Citi Prestige® Card Thank You® points program gives cardholders the chance to earn 3x points on air travel and hotels, 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases, so rewards earning potential is likely better with the Citi Prestige® Card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. American Express® Gold Card

With a more budget-friendly annual fee of $250, the American Express® Gold Card could be a good option for you if you're looking for perks but can't justify The Platinum Card® from American Express's annual fee.

As you might expect, the Gold version doesn't have as generous a perks package as its Platinum cousin, but don't move on just yet. New card members receive 25,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases with their new card within the first three months, making the bonus points just a bit easier to attain than with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

American Express® Gold Card users don't receive the access to airport lounges, concierge service or many of the other special perks that come with The Platinum Card® from American Express membership, but the overall points program matches up well and may even be better for you.

American Express® Gold Card members receive three points for each $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airlines or through amextravel.com and four points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants and on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 spent annually), so there are opportunities to rack up points with the American Express® Gold Card that The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn't offer.

Who Should GetThe Platinum Card® from American Express?

As mentioned at the top, this card is not for everyone.

It is best suited for consumers who travel quite a bit and are able to take full advantage of the generous perks available with the card. In other words, you'll want to fully use the $200 airline fee credit and the hotel perks as well as, if possible, the discounted companion fare if you're going to offset the annual fee.

This page was last updated on November 15, 2018

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Rewards
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in. Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit. Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
New! Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months that's a $300 cash redemption value
Regular APR
N/A
17.99% - 24.99% Variable 
14.49%-26.99% Variable 
Annual Fee
$550
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
$0
Rates and Fees
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

The Platinum Card® from American Express details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Period
N/A
Purchase Intro
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
N/A 
Annual Fee
$550

What American Express says about this card

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy 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 with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Credit Card Consumer Average Ratings:

Overall Ratings
Reward Program
Card Benefit
Customer Service

Credit Card Consumer Reviews:

  1. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    Michael Gorman ( Jun 16, 2012 at 9:07 am)

    Great service, especially for travel and reservations, good offers at hotels, etc. No limit. Always available with limited waittime. Expensive to own one, but reassuring.


  2. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    Michael Gorman ( Jun 16, 2012 at 9:06 am)

    Great service, especially for travel and reservations, good offers at hotels, etc. No limit. Always available with limited waittime. Expensive to own one, but reassuring.


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Featured offers
Currently available on the The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards®
After you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

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Apply online for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

  • New! Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 14.49%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good