5 ways you might be missing the value of your Amex Platinum card


Even though The Platinum Card® from American Express has a steep $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), this premium travel card still boasts enough perks that the annual fee can be worth it — if you use them. Plus, the card has a history of juicy welcome bonuses, ranging in value from $1,200-$2,000 in TPG’s valuations.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

The card also offers the following perks each year (which require enrollment in advance):

On top of $1,500 in available statement credits each year, the Platinum card offers airport lounge access, elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriot Bonvoy and valuable Membership Rewards points that you can use for flights, hotels and other hospitality and travel experiences. In addition, you’ll enjoy American Express’s Platinum Concierge — a service that can help secure reservations, plan your flights and secure hard-to-get symphony tickets for that European holiday. You’ll also enjoy shopping protections and travel protections with your card.

While maximizing the Amex Platinum card can take some effort, it pays off. Here are some ways you may be missing value with your Platinum card.

Related: American Express Platinum card review

Take advantage of the welcome offer

New applicants for the Amex Platinum card can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of cardmembership. TPG values this bonus at $1,600.

If you use the CardMatch tool, you may be targeted for a welcome bonus of 125,000 or 150,000 points (offers subject to change at any time).

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The key to maximizing your card’s value is to reach the spending threshold to earn the bonus. By shifting all of your spending (utilities, meals, rent, etc.) onto this card until you complete the spending requirement, you’ll add extra value to your card in the first year.

Related: 12 ways to meet credit card bonus minimum spending requirements


Understand bonus earning opportunities

While the Platinum Card is a great card for travel expenses, unfortunately, it’s not your best card for everyday purchases.

You’ll earn points on the Platinum card as follows:

  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 of these purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar).
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

This makes the Amex Platinum one of the best cards for booking flights or paying taxes and fees on award tickets.

Related: 10 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

Access exclusive VIP experiences

The Platinum Card grants access to VIP experiences and early access to ticket presales, as well as By Invitation Only events. These can help you get into popular events that are likely to sell out.

The By Invitation Only program is an exclusive benefit for Platinum and Centurion cardmembers, which offers access to year-round, customized, once-in-a-lifetime events plus experiences for dining, wellness, travel, entertainment and retail.

The Amex Platinum card can provide VIP access or early ticket sales for festivals and events. @RCASSETTY1/TWENTY20

Related: The best credit cards for concert tickets and VIP access

Utilize your travel perks

This card is an excellent travel companion and provides value on the road or in the skies. The key here is to use all the services that are included.

First, take advantage of an up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and up to $189 to offset your annual Clear membership fee. In addition, you can use up to $200 a year for airline fees with your preferred airline; these credits can cover expenses like inflight meals and beverages, checked-bag fees or inflight Wi-Fi. Cardmembers also can use up to $200 per year in hotel credits and up to $200 per year in Uber Cash (valid on rides and Uber eats orders in the U.S.). Enrollment is required in advance for some benefits.

You also can relax in style before your flight with access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including more than 1,500 airport lounges around the globe. These include Amex Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (you must be on a same-day Delta flight) and Priority Pass lounges (enrollment is required).

Related: Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

The Amex Centurion Lounge at SFO airport. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Once you reach your destination, your Platinum card offers additional luxury travel perks. You can enroll for complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and take advantage of the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR) program. This program offers room upgrades upon arrival (when available), daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and Noon check-in (when available), complimentary Wi-Fi and a $100 or more property, dining or spa credit.

There’s also access to The Hotel Collection, which offers room upgrades and hotel credits for dining, spa and resort activities when you stay for two or more nights at select hotels.

Related: A comparison of luxury hotel programs from credit card issuers: Amex, Chase and Capital One

Don’t assume you receive perks automatically

To obtain the most value from the Platinum Card, you must enroll in the offers you are interested in and want. This is a simple process: log into your Amex account and pick your offers.

You need to manually enroll for elite status with car rental partners and hotel elite status programs and enroll to receive both the $200 annual Uber statement credit and Saks Fifth Avenue $100 retail credit. Don’t assume you’re automatically enrolled for these benefits when you receive your card.

The same applies to using Amex Offers for extra points or cash back (as a statement credit). These targeted offers can provide valuable rebates or bonuses on your purchases throughout the year, but you must add them to your card before making an eligible purchase.

Related: The secret to getting more (and sometimes better) Amex Offers on your card

Bottom Line

You need to use the benefits to justify the Amex Platinum card’s hefty $695 annual fee. The best approach is to reach your spending requirement to capture the welcome bonus, enroll in the programs that will enhance your travel experience, and clearly understand the card’s perks. It may not be possible to use all of them, but evaluate which you can use and whether they’re enough to make the annual fee worth it.

Related: Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the American Express Platinum?

Some of the Platinum Card’s benefits are obvious, like using it to access airport lounges. Others can be overlooked, and some benefits require enrollment before using them. If you understand what your card offers, you shouldn’t miss value from the Amex Platinum card going forward.

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.


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