Charge Card Vs Credit Card
Finally, youll need to make sure that you can actually get the card youre applying for!
Amex is usually quite generous with who theyll approve, and they have no income requirements. But there is one specific rule that might trip you up: you can only have four Amex credit cards at a time.
Amex is unique amongst Canadian credit issuers in that they are the only one that offers charge cards. Theyre similar to credit cards, except they have no preset spending limit, and an obligation to pay in full every month .
Luckily, Amex doesnt count charge cards against the four-card limit. You can have as many charge cards as you want, but only four cards.
The Platinum Card is a charge card, and it wont impact your limit. Hooray!
Verdict: As a charge card, the Platinum Card wins, since it wont fill a precious credit card slot.
$100 Global Entry Or Tsa Precheck Credit
Every four years, you get a $100 statement credit towards either Global Entry OR TSA PreCheck. To receive the statement credit, you must charge the application fee to your Platinum card.
Global Entry is the US government’s way of approving low-risk passengers and providing them quicker access through customs during international travel. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck .
To learn more, read our detailed guide on Global Entry.
You’re automatically credited for one application when you pay for it using the Platinum card. So if you don’t plan to apply, you can “gift” it to a friend. It doesn’t matter whose name is on the application.
Estimate Value: $100/every 5 years = $20 per year
Designate A Preferred Airline
One of the benefits of both the Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Platinum is that you get a $200 annual airline fee credit. To take advantage of this you need to designate a US airline, with the choices including Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United.
If youre an existing cardmember, you can select your airline of choice in January of each year, and if you dont, your previous selection will roll over. If youre a new cardmember then you can select your preferred airline.
To verify or select your airline of choice, log into your Amex account, and then click on the Benefits tab along the top. Then scroll to the section that talks about the airline fee credit, and youll see the link to select an airline.
Also keep in mind that whatever airline you designate will also be the airline for which your 35% off Pay With Points option applies on the Amex Business Platinum. Choose your airline carefully, especially with the business card.
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Unlimited Airport Lounge Access
One of the biggest benefits of the American Express Platinum Card is the unlimited lounge access you get. While I have no problem slumming it in the common area, Ill admit lounge access is very nice.
Unsurprisingly, most lounges have more comfortable seating. They also offer free drinks and snacks, free WIFI, and some even offer showers. Paying a membership fee and then US$32 each visit likely wouldnt be worth it, but with an unlimited pass? I can come and go as I please.
If you look at the Priority Pass website, a membership with 10 free visits is US$299 , while an unlimited pass is US$429 . Plus, your American Express Platinum even works on some lounges where the priority pass doesnt, which means even more lounge access options for cardholders.
While I havent been flying as much during pandemic times, Im still making the most out of lounge passes when I visit the airport. Im more comfortable. I can get work done. I get free food and drinks instead of having to pay. Without a doubt, airport experiences got so much better thanks to lounge access.
What Is The Amex Concierge
The Amex Platinum Concierge is definitely an under-rated benefit of the Platinum Card. Its totally free for as long as you have the card, and is there to offer you 24/7 assistance with a whole host of things.
Need a table for four at a fully-booked place in Paris or New York? No problem. Looking for the perfect gift for a friend visiting from out of town? Easy.
I mainly use the Platinum Concierge to help me build travel itineraries when Im visiting a new city, and theyve done a remarkable job. After a minute or two on the phone getting to know my preferences , they send back a document of 30+ pages outlining restaurants and bars to check out, cultural attractions, events taking place when Im there, and a lot more. It takes them 24-48 hours to compile it all, which is extremely quick.
You can request help using email as well, though I find just calling them up is faster and easier.
Signup Bonus: $10 of CRO when you stake $1,000 of CRO
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$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit
The Amex Platinum offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be used towards airline incidentals and fees. One is offered every calendar year, so it follows a strict January 1 through December 31 calendar.
Every year you can designate on which airline you want to receive the credit, of the following:
- Alaska Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
You can change your airline selection in January of each year. If you dont change your selection then you automatically keep the same airline choice as the previous year.
Unfortunately, you cant use your credit towards the following:
Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.
So this is useful for airline ticket change fees , baggage fees, and other costs you may incur with an airline. Personally, this is something I have no trouble maxing out.
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Up To $1874 In Credits
This is where the Amex Platinum Card really shines, as the card offers up to $1,874 in annual credits. As you can see, for some people this alone will get you more than double the value of the annual fee. The catch is that there are some hurdles to using all of these, so for most people its not exactly $1,400+ in free money.
There are a select group of people that will be able to use all of these credits, while I think most will only get a value that equates to a fraction of that. So lets take a look at what you need to know about these credits, and how you can maximize them.
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Is The Amex Platinum Card Worth It
Obviously, the answer to this question is it depends for just about every credit card.
The first important thing to understand is that this is a card you get for the benefits, and not for the return on spending it offers , unless you spend a lot on airfare. Heck, get this card and dont spend much on it, but then get other cards for your spending.
The card has a $695 annual fee, so heres how I go about doing the math on the card:
- How much do you value the $300 Equinox credit, $300 SoulCycle credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, $200 hotel credit, $179 CLEAR credit, $155 Walmart+ credit, and $100 Saks credit?
- How much do you value the Marriott and Hilton Gold status?
- How much value will you get from Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and the International Airline Program?
- How much do you value the incredible lounge access perks offered by the card?
- How many bonus points are you earning by putting airfare spending on this card at the rate of 5x points per dollar spent?
For me, the math very much adds up when I start subtracting all of those factors. While I dont get value out of all of the credits, the credits alone more than justify the annual fee:
And then there are all of the other awesome perks, from 5x points on airfare, to an incredible lounge access program. The match very much works for me.
Enroll For Walmart+ Credits
The Amex Platinum offers up to $155 in annual Walmart+ credits. The way this works, receive a $12.95 monthly credit towards a Walmart+ membership, which covers the entire cost of it. Walmart+ can save you money on shipping and delivery of Walmart purchases, as well as on prescriptions and gas.
You need to enroll for the Walmart+ benefit.
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Here Are Some Popular Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass Lounges:
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Swissport Lounge
Offers refreshments, alcohol, TV, magazines and Wi-Fi. They may limit guests based on space constraints.
- Los Angeles International Airport: Alaska Lounge
Amenities include refreshments, alcohol, TV, magazines, Wi-Fi and flight information. You are limited to two free guests.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: The Club at DFW
You have access to refreshments, alcohol, TV, Wi-Fi, fax and showers. There are no stated guest restrictions.
- Beijing Capital International Airport: Air China First & Business Class Lounge
Offers refreshments, alcohol, internet access, TV, newspapers and telephones. They may limit guests based on space constraints.
- Dubai International Airport: Marhaba Lounge
Amenities include refreshments, alcohol, TV, magazines, Wi-Fi and flight information. There are no stated guest restrictions.
So, as you can see, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass benefit gives you a wide range of comforts all over the world. If you take full advantage of this perk, that’s an extra $429 in value you get out of your card every year.
Chase still offers referral bonuses on several other cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The process is the same for all the eligible cards, and it’s good to know the procedure in case the Chase Sapphire Reserve referral bonus ever comes back.
Emerald Club Executive Membership With National
This is one of the benefits of the Platinum card that youll love if you do a lot of driving. You can enroll in the Nationals Emerald Club program and automatically be upgraded to their Executive status level. When youre Executive, you can select from a special aisle of cars at participating locations usually including a bunch of great rental options!
This benefit of the Platinum card has made National my favorite car rental company. Recently, Ive been able to upgrade to a VW Bug convertible, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Cadillac XTSeven though I paid for the cheapest economy car possible!
The Amex Platinum is also one of the best credit cards for car rental insurance.
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Frequent Flyers Who Want The Broadest Airport Lounge Access Available
While plenty of premium travel credit cards offer Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, the Amex Platinum gives you access to more airport lounges than any other premium credit card.
You do get Priority Pass membership, but you also get access to Amex Centurion lounges in destinations like Dallas, Denver and Hong Kong. You can also enter Delta Sky Clubs when you fly with Delta Air Lines.
People Whod Be Better Off With The Amex Business Platinum Card
For example, the Business Platinum has an annual fee of $595 but it doesnt offer the same up to $200 Uber Cash that the personal version does. It adds another bonus category though 1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year and also provides up to $400 of Dell statement credits each year . You can also access the Pay With Points redemption option on the Business Platinum card, which gets you a 35% rebate on many flights booked using your Amex points . This is notably not available on the personal Amex Platinum. Enrollment required for select benefits.
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Trip Delay & Cancellation Coverage
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, American Express is adding trip delay and cancellation coverage to the Platinum Card. Add in the 5x points per dollar you earn when booking flights directly with the airline, and the American Express Platinum Card will become the absolute best way to book flights starting in 2020.
If you pay for your round-trip flight with the Platinum Card or put the taxes and fees from an award flight on it you will be eligible for:
- Trip Cancellation Insurance: You can get reimbursed for up to $10,000 of nonrefundable expenses and up to $20,000 a year total if your flight is canceled due to weather, an injury or illness, and other covered reasons.
- Trip Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed by more than six hours, you are eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement for lodging, food, and other associated expenses.
To qualify for coverage, flights must be round-trip. Though booking two one-way flights would still qualify for coverage.
How Does The Chase Sapphire Reserve Compare
A lot of people view the Amex Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card as the biggest competitors. The way I view it, the Sapphire Reserve is very different, and in many cases, it could make sense to have both cards. Looking at the Sapphire Reserve:
- The card has a $550 annual fee, but offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be used towards any travel purchase
- The card offers 3x points on dining and travel, so this is a card you actually want to spend money on
- Ultimate Rewards points are more flexible in terms of redemption options, beyond just being able to transfer points to partners
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American Express Platinum Card Welcome Offer
You can currently earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. But you may be able to get much more.
If you have never had an American Express credit card, you may be targeted for a welcome offer for up to 125,000 points via the CardMatch tool from creditcards.com.
In addition to the bonus points, youll also earn 10x points per dollar spent at restaurants and at select purchases with small businesses on up to $25,000 spent in the first six months. That makes it possible to earn up to 350,000 points with the welcome bonus alone.
We place a high value on Membership Rewards points, as they are extremely flexible. I typically have no problem getting at least 1.6 cents for every one point, making the welcome offer alone worth far more than what you would pay for the annual fee. And with a network of premier airline transfer partners, its fairly easy to do far better.
Take, for example, the ANA first class flight I booked from Chicago-OHare to Tokyo Haneda . The cash price of this flight was over $22,000, yet I booked it for only 93,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. That means I got nearly 24 cents out of every point I used, making it one of the best deals in the world of points and miles.
Approval Factors And Benefits For The American Express Platinum Card
Use this guide to jump to specific approval factors and benefits:
With its generous welcome bonus, tiered purchase rewards, annual travel credits, and fringe benefits that will make any frequent flier drool , the Amex Platinum metal credit card is highly sought after.
But, the Amex Platinum has a high annual fee of $695 .
While many travelers have their eyes on it, how hard is it to get The Platinum Card® from American Express? Lets find out what the Amex Platinum requirements are.
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Amex Platinum Card Summary
The Amex Platinum Card was recently refreshed, with a higher annual fee and new perks. Personally I love the card, and find it to be well worthwhile, both before and after the changes.
The Amex Platinum isnt a card you should be using for all of your credit card spending, but rather its a card you should get for the perks that it offers, as well as the 5x points on airfare.
To decide if you should get the card, take the $695 annual fee, subtract how much value youd get out of the credits, and then consider how much more you value the other perks of the card, including the great lounge access benefit.
For a frequent traveler or anyone who buys international premium cabin tickets with any frequency, I think the card is well worth it. And even for those who dont, Id argue the card could be worth it right now.
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Ben I’m really curious how you use the airline credit each year. I don’t check bags . If you’re up front drinks and food are free. Club access is free. I really don’t know what to use it on… If that free were an airline credit like its competitors it would go a long way in easing the price increase for me.