American Express has been producing a line of high-value credit cards, some of which carry a high annual fee. However, American Express is one of the best credit card issuers, providing the best financial services. Such services include credit cards normally associated with luxury and a high-maintenance lifestyle, making them exclusive.
American Express ensures that its customers will receive equally high benefits or rewards matching the high annual fee.
One great example is the Platinum Card from American Express, which has a $695 annual fee, higher than its competitors. However, the Amex Platinum Card carries unbeatable benefits, best suited for frequent travelers. The Platinum Card is a rewards credit card that offers cardholders a hefty welcome bonus, annual credits, and exclusive perks.
Thus, the main question remains: is the Platinum Card from American Express worth the annual fee?
· The American Express Platinum Card has a $695 annual fee, relatively higher than other competing credit cards
· The Amex Platinum Card has great benefits and rewards for the cardholder, which other competing cards cannot offer
· Due to its exclusivity, the Platinum Card is often associated with those who have a luxurious lifestyle
When is Amex Platinum Worth It?
If you are a frequent traveler looking for a luxurious card that matches your lifestyle, then Amex Platinum Card is the go-to card. What the card lacks in its high fees, including a $695 annual fee, it makes up in its rewards. The card carries a huge welcome bonus, where cardholders earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points during account opening.
However, they will need to meet some conditions to qualify for the one-time bonus and spend $6,000 within six months of card membership. Thus, the card requires high spenders to unlock the welcome bonus, among other benefits offered by the card.
The Amex Platinum Card is specifically tailored for frequent travelers since most benefits are for people who travel often. Amex Platinum's benefits are mainly tied to travel and dining purchases made by the cardholder. Additionally, the Platinum Card allows cardholders to earn Amex Membership Rewards points for purchases made with the card.
However, the rewards are given depending on the types of purchases made, whether on travel or other purchases. For example, cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards points for flights or prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
Although the yearly fee for the American Express Platinum Card is very high, the benefits make it worth it. Additionally, the Platinum Card from American Express is exclusive, and only some can afford the card's high fees or balance in full. The card was also originally rolled out as a charge card, meaning it has no preset spending limit.
Thus, the cardholder must pay back the credit card balance in full every month without interest. However, there are payment plans that allow cardholders to pay back the balance with interest or at a fee for eligible purchases.
Amex Platinum Benefits
The Platinum Card from American Express comes packed with benefits, especially for travel and travel purchases annually made using the card. Cardholders will earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points in the first six months upon account opening, which is worth $800. Cardholders will earn 5X Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with respective airlines or prepaid hotels booked directly with Amex Travel.
They will also receive Membership Rewards points for eligible purchases of goods and services, which equals one point per dollar spent. Aside from points and rewards, the cardholder will receive annual statement credits for hotels, transport, and travel, among others.
Additionally, cardholders will still have the value of their points when they redeem them, unlike most high-end credit cards. Most airlines and hotels partnering with the American Express Platinum card have a transfer ratio of 1:1. Therefore, the cardholder will receive one cent for every point they redeem, which maximizes the value of their points.
The cardholder can also redeem Membership Rewards points through gift cards used in partner retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Walmart. However, cardholders may receive 0.7 cents, lower or higher, for every point redeemed, depending on the retailer.
Other benefits offered by the Platinum Card include travel insurance, hotel elite status in partner hotels, and car rentals. Cardholders can access any lounge worldwide from the International American Express Lounges partners, including Priority Pass membership. Also, cardholders will receive annual or monthly credits for digital entertainment, including membership in exclusive fitness clubs like Equinox.
Thus, the American Express Platinum Card has a lot to offer its users globally with no foreign transaction fees due to its widespread reach.
Below are detailed benefits and rewards associated with the Platinum Card from American Express:
· Cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards points after booking their flights directly with the airlines. Alternatively, they will receive the 5X Membership Rewards points for flights or prepaid hotels booked directly with American Express Travel. However, cardholders will only receive five points for travel purchases up to $500,000 every calendar year.
· Cardholders will receive Membership Rewards points for making eligible purchases. However, they will only receive one point per dollar spent on the other purchases made, especially during travel.
· There are annual airline fee credits worth $200 received as a statement credit for incidental fees, including baggage fees. The annual airline fee credit is only applicable for a select qualifying airline.
· Statement credits are available for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR programs, although there is prior enrollment required. The benefit is an authorized user benefit, meaning only Amex Platinum cardholders can access the benefit.
· Low airfare for the cardholder and travel companion after booking premium class through the Amex International Airline Program.
· Complimentary airport lounge access through the airport lounges partnering with the International American Express Lounges. Thus, cardholders have access to the Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta, and statement credits on Priority Pass Select membership.
· Cardholders will have access to trip delay insurance with reimbursements of up to $500 per person for a six-hour delay. Also, the card offers baggage insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance offered non-refundable expenses made during a trip.
· Cardholders earn statement credits worth up to $200 per calendar year for staying in prepaid Fine Hotels Resorts or the Hotel Collection. Prepaid hotel bookings through Amex Travel for a minimum two-night stay earns cardholders the statement credit. Additionally, cardholders receive an authorized user benefit of a $100 statement credit for a minimum two-night stay through The Hotel Collection bookings.
· Earn gold elite status in partner hotels, that is, Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy Hotels, without requiring a co-branded card. However, some requirements are needed to achieve the gold status and other accompanying rewards.
· Earn gifts and credits from prepaid Fine Hotels or Resorts by booking through American Express Travel.
· You can choose a preferred metal card design for all types of the stainless-steel Platinum Card. The designs include classic Platinum, Platinum x Julie Mehretu, and Platinum x Kehinde Wiley.
· Cardholders receive a $240 digital entertainment credit every calendar year used for paying select streaming subscriptions. Cardholders enjoy digital entertainment credit for services such as Disney Bundle, Hulu, SiriusXM, and Audible, among other services.
· Cardholders will also receive a $300 statement credit every calendar for eligible Equinox club memberships. Also, the statement credit covers membership to the Equinox+ fitness app, although there is prior enrollment required.
· Amex Platinum also has offers for retail, including a $155 statement credit for Walmart+, which covers the $12.95 monthly membership. It also covers any applicable local sales tax after using the American Express Platinum Card for shopping through Walmart+.
· Cardholders will receive a $100 statement credit for shopping in-store and online at Saks Fifth Avenue. The statement credit is divided into $50 from January to June and $50 from July to December, with prior enrollment required.
· Cardholders will also receive $200 Uber Cash credit every calendar year, with Uber VIP status for a Basic Card Member only. The statement credit can be divided into $15 monthly and up to $35 for Uber Eats and Rides in December.
· Platinum Card members will receive exclusive restaurant reservations through the Global Dining Access by Resy program.
· The Platinum Card from American Express offers cell protection, although it is subject to the terms and liability.
When is Amex Platinum Not Worth It?
Although the American Express Platinum Card has extensive benefits and rewards, you will have to spend more to receive them. Additionally, the card carries a $695 annual fee, one of the highest compared to the card's competitors. Thus, not everyone can afford it, making it unsuitable for low-income earners who cannot spend as much to receive the rewards.
For example, the 80,000 Membership Rewards points require cardholders to spend above $6,000 within six months of card membership. $6,000 is a lot to spend on goods and services using a credit card within a few months for most people.
The Amex Platinum Card is the most suitable card for frequent travelers who take advantage of the benefits during travel. The best benefits, including rewards, are those tied to travel and travel purchases made through the card. Some benefits offer exclusive access to certain areas, such as airport lounges and the Equinox fitness club, which are not easily accessible.
Therefore, the card is unsuitable for people who make frequent daily spending and travel less since they will receive lesser Membership Rewards points. Additionally, there are few retailers that the Platinum Card partners with, limiting anyone who makes frequent daily spending.
The complicated rewards categories also put the Platinum Card at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. Credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve Rewards Card offers points for flights, car rentals, and hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Thus, the card has a wider set of categories in which cardholders earn points, even during travel.
Another credit card is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card, which offers miles on more categories for travel. One can only receive the 5X Membership Rewards points for the Platinum Card by booking through Amex Travel.
Below is a summary of the cons of using the American Express Platinum Card:
Cons of the Platinum Card
· High annual fee of $695
· The rewards program is complicated for an average user
· Limited categories to earn Membership Rewards points
· The card is not suitable for low-income earners
· The card carries high interest for the payment plans
· Restrictive categories to earn Membership Rewards points
· The card requires a good to excellent credit score to qualify for an application
· There are many other requirements an applicant should fulfill to stand a chance of a successful application
· Maximizing the rewards the card offers requires a lot of work, which is harder to achieve
Why is the Amex Fee so High?
The Amex Platinum Card annual fee was initially set at $550, and then American Express raised it to $695 on 1st July 2021. However, the credit card came with new benefits for the cardholder, including the $200 annual travel credit. With premium cards come premium benefits, rewards, and Amex Offers that American Express gives to all cardholders.
Most of the benefits offered by the card are unique and ensure the cardholders have the best services while traveling. Thus, the Platinum Card can boast of having the most exclusive and elusive perks other premium cards cannot offer.
Additionally, the card's value remains equally high even after the cardholder utilizes the welcome bonus upon account opening. The credit card is a high-value card, holding over $3,500 in potential value when utilized fully. Most of the statement credits given are from different categories in travel, accessible every calendar year.
Some of the benefits are of very exclusive areas that are hard to access, such as the Equinox fitness club. Thus, the Platinum Card must maintain its reputation as an exclusive card to those affording a lavish lifestyle.
The American Express Platinum Card was initially rolled out as a charge card since cardholders pay the balance monthly. However, American Express offers a payment plan that allows cardholders to pay the balance on eligible purchases at a fee or interest. The variable APR charged ranges between 20.24% and 27.24%, depending on the cardholder's creditworthiness.
If the cardholder fails to pay the balance on time, they are charged a 29.99% APR as a penalty. Thus, the APR may be quite high for some cardholders since they must also pay for other purchases made in full.
Statements Credits vs. Annual Fee
A statement credit is a reward your credit card issuer may offer as you spend using your card on eligible purchases. Statement credits will be issued to your credit card account, showing your credit balance lowered. For example, if you use the Amex Platinum Card for hotels, you will receive a $200 statement credit.
The amount will be deducted from your card balance, thus, lowering the amount paid back after taking credit. Statement credits are different from cash backs since cashback is an amount of money “given back” to the cardholder after spending.
The Amex Platinum Card offers statement credits worth over $2,000 every calendar year for most of its benefits. Thus, it is up to the cardholder to maximize the statement credits and lower the credit balance paid every month. The amount of money earned as statement credits is more than double the annual fee charged on the card.
Therefore, the cardholder is in a position to recover the annual fee paid for the card every calendar year. Additionally, the welcome bonus boosts the card's value, although it is a one-time offer within a year after account opening.
Therefore, it is up to the cardholder to see where best they spend and receive as many statement credits as possible. However, since the card is tailored for frequent travelers, those who use flights and hotels will benefit more. It is important to note that the cardholder should pay the minimum payment on time to avoid late fees and penalties.
The statement credit will only be deducted from your credit card balance, not your minimum monthly payment. Therefore, knowing the terms and conditions for utilizing your statement credit is important.
How to Waive the Amex Platinum Annual Fee
There are a few ways the cardholder can evade paying the $695 annual fee charged on the Platinum Card. The cardholder should be qualified and meet the conditions set by American Express to avoid paying the yearly fee. Therefore, it is necessary to contact American Express to see whether the conditions apply to you.
Otherwise, most cardholders must pay the annual fee for their Amex Platinum Card to enjoy the card’s benefits.
Some of the ways in which you can waive the annual fee for the Amex Platinum Card include the following:
1. You can contact American Express and inquire whether you qualify for the offer
After your second year of card membership, some people are legible to receive the offer for waiving the annual fee. Usually, the offer depends on the cardholder's creditworthiness and spending behavior, as monitored by American Express. Additionally, the cardholder's payment behavior and amount of Membership Rewards points earned will play a role in the qualification process.
However, meeting all the set conditions will not guarantee that the cardholder qualifies for the offer.
2. Qualifying under the Military Lending Act.
Federal laws are in place to offer those active duty certain levels of protection, including financial protection. Thus, American Express usually considers the Military Lending Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Anyone active in duty is legible to receive the fee waiver while using the Platinum Card. However, the fee waiver is only valid for the years an individual is active in duty or service.
3. Applying for a different version of the Amex Platinum Card.
Different versions are available for American Express customers, which work the same as the normal card. Such versions include the Amex Platinum Card for Charles Schwab and the Platinum Card for Morgan Stanley. However, there are some preset conditions and requirements that the cardholder of the different versions should meet.
The cardholder must have active accounts for either Charles Schwab or Morgan Stanley, including holding shares or assets at the brokerage. The other versions offer more benefits to the cardholder, including the annual fee waiver, among others.
The Platinum Card from American Express is a high-value credit card usually associated with luxury. The benefits and rewards are mainly tailored for frequent travelers during travel as they make travel purchases. Thus, the Amex Platinum Card works best for those looking for exclusive perks and complimentary access during travel.
However, the card carries a hefty $695 annual fee, making the Platinum Card unattainable for many people. The steep fee makes the Platinum Card even more exclusive since not everyone can afford the card.
Although the annual fee is quite high, the benefits and rewards match the fee for all cardholders. Thus, the cardholder will enjoy rewards in the form of statement credits on hotels, airlines, entertainment, and even Uber Cash. There are exceptions for cardholders who can waive their annual fee but must meet the preset conditions.
However, the card carries some disadvantages, including limited categories in that cardholders earn Membership Rewards points. Ultimately, the Amex Platinum Card is worth the annual fee as long as you can utilize the benefits and rewards earned.
When is the annual fee charged on the Amex Platinum?
An annual fee is more of a maintenance fee charged to a credit card every calendar year. Usually, it appears as a statement on your credit card account within the month you opened your credit card account. New cardholders will see the annual fee for the Amex Platinum Card on their first billing statement.
Then, they will receive it every year when the cardholder has opened the credit card account. Amex Platinum Card usually charges a $695 annual fee due to its premium benefits.
How can I get approved for the Amex Platinum?
The Platinum Card from American Express is a high-value card, meaning that it is exclusive, and only a few people qualify for it. First, the applicant should have a good to excellent credit score, that is, a score between 690 to 850. Also, many other factors are at play regarding the application process, including the applicant's income.
Thus, having a good or excellent credit score is one of many factors that gets an applicant approved for the card. However, you can get a pre-qualification test before the card application to see your odds of qualifying for the card.
Should I get the Amex Platinum?
The Platinum Card from American Express is worth the annual fee if you are a frequent traveler since it is packed with the best benefits for travel. Additionally, the card will offer access to exclusive areas, such as airport lounges worldwide. The Amex Platinum Card is a rewards credit card; therefore, you will earn Membership Rewards points for eligible purchases.
If you are looking for luxury and maximum benefits in one card, then the Amex Platinum Card is the one for you. Maximum utilization of the benefits and statement credits the card offers will earn your $695 annual fee back.