American Express Platinum Card

($695 Annual Fee, waived for military)

The American Express Platinum Card is one of the most premium travel cards on the market. It comes with a hefty $695 annual fee. Which is waived for active duty military members and their spouses! That’s over $1200 in savings annually!  But, in addition to savings, you get the added benefits that the card offers!  The card comes with over $1300 in credits and other valuable benefits like airport lounge access (free food and drink!), concierge service, and access to their luxury hotel booking service.

Credits that are included with the American Express Platinum Card:

  • $200 Hotel Credit: Receive a $200 statement credit annually when you book a Fine Hotels and Resorts hotel (minimum 1 night) or the Hotel Collection (2 night minimum stay) through American Express Travel when you use your Platinum Card.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit ($20/month):  Use your Platinum card to pay for your monthly subscription to any of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Receive up to $200 in statement credits annual in “incidental fees” for the airline you select.  However, some airline tickets that cost less than $100 will trigger this credit!
  • $200 in Uber Cash: Receive VIP Uber status and $15 in Uber cash monthly January – November and $25 for December. Monthly Uber cash can be used for either Uber or Uber eats. Credits do not roll over to the next month. It’s a use it or lose it type of deal.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Receive $25 back in month in select Equinox memberships. This is kind of a pointless credit since most people don’t have access to Equinox and if you do, $25 isn’t much to help offset their significant membership fee.
  • $179 CLEAR®  Credit: Receive up to $179 back annual on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $100/$85 Global Entry/TSA Precheck Credit: Receive either a statement credit for the cost of enrollment in either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($85).  Credit is valid only every 4 years.  Authorized users will each receive their own credit.
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit: Receive up to two $50 credits every year for purchases made at Saks Fifth Avenue. First credit is given for purchases made January 1 – June 30. Second credit is for purchases made July 1-December 31.
Other Benefits
  • Airport Lounge Access: The Platinum card gives you access to several different lounges.  But what does an airport lounge provide? It gives you a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the airport and free food and drink. Yes, free! The Platinum Card gives you access to several different lounges, which are listed below:
    • Centurion Lounges: These are American Express’s signature lounges that offer a nice place to rest, connect, eat, and drink before a flight.
      • Access: In order to get into a Centurion lounge, you need to have one of the follow American Express cards:  Platinum, Centurion, or Delta Reserve (must be flying Delta same day to access).  Currently, Platinum card holders and 2 additional guests are allowed access to the lounge for free. This means if you and your spouse both are Platinum cardholders (either as an authorized user or have individual cards), you can each bring in 2 guests for fee. So you can get your family of 6 into the lounge for free.  However, American Express has indicated that this will change February  1, 2023.  After February 1, 2023, Platinum cardholders will still be given free access to the lounge –  however, each guest will be an additional $50 fee (children will be $30), unless the cardholder spends more than $75,000 annually. So I would if you plan to travel as a family before February 2023, I would definitely try and enjoy the lounge before they make those changes.
      • What’s included: Free food and drinks! Centurion lounges typically have hot food prepared by a renowned local chef. Both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are included.  They have drinks that range from juice to premium shelf alcohol! I do always like to have small bills on hand for tip 🙂 It’s a good place to fill up before a flight and avoid the busy and expensive airport restaurants. Imagine how much you can save feeding your family in a nice relaxing space.
      • Other Amenities: Some Centurion lounges have family rooms and showers.  We parents know that having a separate place for small children can be a game changer.  I know I sure do appreciate it!
    • Delta Sky Club: Delta Sky Clubs are lounges that are specific to Delta. American Express Platinum cardholders are given free access to Delta Sky Club lounges as long they have a same day flight with Delta.  Platinum cardholders may also bring in up to 2 additional guests for an additional fee.  In my limited experience, I have found that the Sky Clubs at some of the airports to be nicer and more spacious than the Centurion Lounge.
    • Priority Pass: Priority Pass is a program that has a network of lounges around the world that members have access to. Typically, membership is available for a fee, but it is included with the Amex Platinum card! A lot of the premium travel cards include a priority pass membership, each with varying benefits, so I always make sure to label my priority pass cards with which credit card they came with! The Platinum card will give you access to the lounges, but won’t give you dining credits like the Chase Sapphire Reserve will.
  • American Express Platinum Concierge Service: A great benefit of the Platinum card is the concierge service that is included! The concierge is there to assist you with whatever you may need! Cardholders tend to use the service to make hard to get dining reservations, purchase event and show tickets, order flowers, etc.  I have personally used the concierge to get reservations at restaurants that were completely booked in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I guess the American Express Concierge name goes a long way!
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection: American Express Travel has a network of luxury hotels that are a part of their Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection.  If you book a stay through the FHR, you will receive added benefits such as guaranteed late check out, minimum $100 resort/dining credit, free room upgrade if available, free daily breakfast for up to 2 people (about $30 per person), and noon check in when available.  Cardholders also get a $200 credit annually to use towards a FHR stay.
  • Gold Status with Hilton and Marriott:
    • Hilton
      • 80% point bonus. TPG values Hilton points at .6 cents per point
      •  Fifth night free on award stays
      • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay
      • Room upgrades if available. Suites are excluded
      • Breakfast credit domestically. Credit ranges from $10 for one person to $50 for two people depending on the hotel brand. Complimentary breakfast is available for gold members internationally.
    • Marriott
      • 25% point bonus TPG values Marriott points at .8 cents per point.
      • Late 2pm checkout, subject to availability
      • Free Enhanced internet
      • Room upgrades if available. Suites are excluded.
      • Welcome points ranging from 250-500 at check-in.
  • Elite Status with Car Rental Companies: Elite status with companies like National, Avis, Hertz gives you free upgrades and discounted rates.
  • Secondary Car Insurance: If you book your car rental using your American Express Platinum card, you will automatically be covered under their secondary car insurance plan. Secondary insurance means that you will be covered only after your primary car insurance kicks in.  Although this option is great, we prefer to book using our Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card which gives us primary coverage.
  • Trip Insurance: If you pay for your trip using your Platinum card, American Express offers Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance.
  • Free Authorized Users ($175 Value): Since American Express waives fees for military members, you can add up to 3 family for free! Each authorized user will be given their own Global Entry/ TSA credit, gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton,  and elite status with car rental companies.  If you have children older than 13, this is an excellent time to add them as an authorized user to your account and start building their credit score.