Why the AMEX Platinum is Worth $550

platinum-card

I’ve been a happy holder of the American Express Platinum card since the beginning of the year, and despite my original intent to churn the card, I’ve been surprised to realize its value and I expect to renew it in 2018. To tell you more about my perceived value of this card, I’ve developed a Q&A below.

What is a quick summary of the top benefits provided to the cardholder? 

  • $200/year in Uber Credits
  • $200/year in Airline Fee reimbursements
  • Gold status with hotels: Marriott, SPG and Hilton
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check
  • Airport lounge access with Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Club and Preferred Pass which grants access to the Alaska Airline lounges among others

I’m worried I won’t get the value of $550 I put into the card, should I still apply? Absolutely. Because the first year is risk free with the 60,000 point signup bonus. Though I would implore you to find a more economical redemption, you could technically redeem those points for a $600 statement credit which would more than cover the annual fee.

What sets this card apart from other luxury cards? The status!! Status with hotels, rental cars, and better lounge access.

This card earns 5X reward points (nearly 10% back) on airfare purchases, and travel purchases through AMEX Travel. But is this a card to use for all purchases? All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. I have three main cards, and will use different ones for restaurant and gas purchases when I’m feeling thrifty because much better “points/cash back” exist for those categories. However, the purchase protection on this card is incredible (protect eligible purchases made on your Card – up to $10,000 – when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the date of purchase), so I use it for any “big ticket” items I purchase.

How does this card earn you Gold status with Marriott? This one’s harder to identify, but the perks exists because Marriott bought SPG and they are matching status. So the card gets you Gold SPG, and then when you link your Marriott account to your SPG account, your status is matched to Gold Marriott. URL for linking your accounts.

This card reimburses $200 in airline fees a year; I avoid fees. Is this still helpful? The $200 fee reimbursement will credit against baggage fees, seat upgrades and in-flight food and beverage charges. So whether you establish a budget for enjoying a treat in the air, or upgrading your seats before you board, think of it as your annual travel perk budget. The reimbursement is also helpful if you find yourself needing to make a last minute change as change fees will be reimbursed as well.

So what’s the takeaway? When you consider the airline and Uber credits (which can also be used for Uber Eats), this card only costs you $150/year. For that, you’ll likely be upgraded at any Marriott, SPG or Hilton property you stay at, enjoy the best airport lounge access available from a card benefit and receive nearly 10% back on airfare purchases. Going to spend $1,500 on airfare this year? The card just paid for itself.

Thanks for reading. If you decide to pull the trigger, use my referral link which will net me 15K points while getting you the 60K.