When is the American Express Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee?

When is the American Express Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee?

Plenty of top-ranked consumer credit cards today come with no annual fee. And this includes rewards cards that you let earn free airline miles, hotel reservations, merchandise and cash back as you spend.

Why then would anyone want to apply for a credit card that comes with an annual fee?

And why would anyone want a credit card with an annual fee as high as $695?

The Platinum Card(R) from American Express is recognized as one of the top consumer credit cards available. And this high-end card is the one that comes with that $695 annual fee. Are the consumers holding this card just foolish with their money?

Are they only interested in the card for its prestige value?

Actually, no. The Platinum Card(R) from American Express comes with a high annual fee for a reason: It’s loaded with special features and perks.

And if you’re the kind of consumer who takes advantage of all of these additional features, then that annual fee doesn’t seem all that high.

Rewards Points

The Platinum Card boasts a solid rewards program. That’s, in fact, its chief benefit.

You earn one rewards point for every dollar that you spend with this card. You can nab four rewards points for every dollar you charge when you shop at American Express’ online BonusPointsMall.com. And you earn two rewards points for every dollar that you charge on American Express Travel.

You can then turn your points into free airline miles, stays at hotels, car rentals, home electronics, gift certificates to high-end restaurants and tickets to concerts and sporting events.

You can even turn your points into world-class wines and high-end jewelry.

Airline Bonuses

When you hold a Platinum Card(R) from American Express, you receive many great benefits.

  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status are available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.

Personal Assistance

Ever want your own concierge, on duty 24 hours a day?

With the Platinum Card, you get a version of this. Once you hold this credit card, you have automatic access to American Express’ personal assistance service. You can call American Express to have the company make restaurant reservations, book airline flights and nab you that perfect anniversary gift for your spouse. And all you have to do is make a phone call.

Hotel Amenities

You can use your Platinum Card(R) from American Express at more than 700 boutique resorts and high-end hotels across the country to receive special amenities and luxuries that other guests don’t have access to.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.

Airport Club Access

The Platinum Card comes with built-in airport club access to the country’s biggest airlines. With the card, you receive free access to the American Airlines Admirals Club, Delta Sky Club, and US Airways Clubs. The card’s Priority Pass Select service gives you free access to more than 600 other participating airport lounges across the globe.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Shopping in Foreign Lands

If you’re a frequent international traveler, the American Express Platinum Card offers yet another perk: You can use the card to pay for purchases overseas without having to pay the foreign transaction fees that many other credit cards levy.

The Point is Clear

Yes, this card does come with a hefty annual fee. But if you use your card properly and you’re a frequent traveler, the annual savings you’ll realize will easily outdistance the $695 annual fee.

Is There Any Alternative?

The only card we have come across that offers a rewards program and travel perks comparable to the Platinum Card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you want to see the two cards compared, click here.

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