• Aditya Bagaria

American Express Platinum Card review!


Background:

This is the premium credit card offered for consumers. There is a business version of the card as well; however, there is not much difference between the two cards.


Annual Fee: $550


What type of earning do I get?

5x Membership Rewards Points on flights booked directly with the airline or American Express Travel.


5x points on hotels booked through American Express Travel (amextravel.com).

All other purchases are 1x points!


Caveat: New cardholders get 10x points on U.S. supermarkets and gas stations for the first 6 months up to $15,000.


Benefits:

$200 of Uber credits

· While you may say this is a benefit that may go to waste, think again. These credits can be used for Uber Eats as well. The credits are given in a weird fashion. You receive $15 every month, with $35 in December. You can essentially get a free meal (or two) every month courtesy of the credit. For instance, a regular Subway meal in the Seattle area costs about $6.50. $6.50 * 2 = $13. With taxes, you are at $14.30, so you still have $0.70 to spend. In December, you can get about 4 dishes at a Subway for free. Either way, the money can be used wherever Uber Eats is available. Most restaurants are, along with chains such as Chipotle and 7-Eleven! And, of course, you can use them on regular Uber trips.


$200 of Airline Fee Credits

· This covers incidental fees such as baggage fees, food, and WiFi. You select an airline in January of every calendar year. You are not allowed to change your choice after January 31st. If you don’t have an airline-specific credit card such as the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card that waives luggage fees for your first bag, this can come in very handy!


$100 annually at Saks Fifth Avenue

· This credit is received at $50 on a semi-annual basis. There are so many things you can buy with credit. Maybe you want to get that lipstick you’ve been eyeing for the past month. Or maybe that Aesop Hand Wash set. Either way, here is a link to some items you can buy: Shop Designer Gifts under $50 | FAST SHIPPING | Saks Fifth Avenue


TSA Precheck or Global Entry

· This one is pretty standard among premium credit cards. Every 4 years, you can get a $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck. I would suggest going with Global Entry as it offers TSA Precheck as well and faster immigration when you travel internationally. Plus, you get an extra $15 of value with Global Entry when compared to TSA Precheck.


Marriot Bonvoy Gold Status

· This one is pretty valuable. You can get room-upgrades and more with this benefit. The most value is in breakfast, and with Marriot’s convoluted system, you have to be at least Platinum Elite to get breakfast at properties such as the St. Regis.


Hilton Honors Gold Status

· This one is also extremely valuable. You get room upgrades (not including suites), and, most importantly, free breakfast for you and a companion in your room at all properties including the Waldorf Astoria.


Airport Lounge Access

· You get access to Centurion lounges for you and one guest. The cardholder is also entitled to entire Delta Sky Clubs whenever traveling on Delta Airlines. American Express also partners with Priority Pass so you can enter lounges through that route with 2 guests. You can’t use the card at Priority Pass restaurants so be mindful!


Car Rental Elite Status

· Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive. You can get vehicle upgrades with these, but I wouldn’t count on these to be extremely valuable.


Consumer Protections

· Trip Delay Protection: Up to $500 if your vacation is delayed at least 6 hours.


· Trip Cancellation/Interruption Protection: Reimbursement of up to $10,000 for a covered reason if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip.


· Extended Warranty: Adds a year on top of a manufacturer’s existing coverage.


· Purchase protection: Theft, accidental damage, or loss is covered within 90 days of purchase. A great example might be that new phone or laptop that you leave behind 😊


International Airline Program

· Discounted premium-economy, business, and international tickets through American Express travel on about 25 airlines!


Free Shoprunner

· Free two-day shipping and returns! Can’t beat that 😊


Analysis:

· The Platinum Card has a hefty annual fee of $550. If you are a frequent traveler, the Uber credits, airline fee credit, and lounge access should provide more than enough value for the annual fee to make sense. I wouldn’t count this as a daily spend card, but rather as a card that provides a ton of benefits at a low cost.

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