How do we get access to all these airline lounges?!?
Here is our secret, it’s our American Express Platinum credit card. A few years ago someone was telling us the benefits of the American Express Platinum Charge Card.
When we went to look at the card, all we saw was the $550 fee?!?!
Then, we started to read about the benefits and once you do the math, you really see the value that you get for the card. If you non-rev, commute or travel frequently this is the card to have in your wallet. We aren’t trying to push a credit card on you, instead, we want to help give you a better understanding of the benefits. This card isn’t for everyone. Let’s take an in-depth look at the card benefits and what it can do for you!
- Let’s get some basics questions out-of-the-way:
- $550 Annual fee is charged on your first statement. It is not waived for the first year.
- You can add up to three other people for a total of $175. (This is if you have one, two or three additional cards, doesn’t matter. The maximum benefit is to add three people instead of just one. Either way, it’s an additional $175 for one, two or three additional cards).
- Each additional card holder on your account gets the SAME benefits as you do, with the exception of the $200 airline reimbursement credit, which is $200 per ACCOUNT. Each card holder gets all other benefits seen below.
- If you are Active Military, AmEx will waive the annual fee.
- You do need good credit to apply.
- This is a Charge Card! This means by default, you MUST pay off the full amount each month. AmEx is beginning to offer payment plans for Charge Cards, but you should expect to pay off the statement amount each month. If you are offered a “charge over time” plan, wait! AmEx sometimes will give a points offer to sign up. We’ve seen 10k points offered for making the charge card a credit card.
- Since this is a Charge Card, there is no Credit Limit. This does NOT mean you can spend as much as you want on the card. This means AmEx may raise or lower your spending limit based on your previous activity.
- You get 1 Membership Reward point for each dollar you spend. 5X points for airfare booked directly with the airline and 5X points for hotels booked through amextravel.com. Booking airfare direct with the airline is good! Booking hotels though amextravel.com (with SPG, Marriott, etc) is not a good idea. Most hotels will not honor or give points for stays for hotel bookings through OTA (online travel agents). So do homework before making a hotel reservation.
- The card is now a heavy metal design.
- There is a sign up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards Points.
OK, so exactly what benefits do you get with the card that make it worth the $450/$625 Annual Fee? There are a couple benefits that basically off sets the annual fee in the first year and are GREAT for frequent travelers:
- You will receive a $200 annual airline fee refunded as statement credit. This is every calendar year (Jan 1st – Dec 31st).
- We used it for upgrades on our AA tickets. You could also use it for on board food purchases, checked bags and many other airline charges. The purchase will post to your card account and you then will see the credit back to the account in a few days. What’s great about this, is you get the $200 credit each calendar year.
- – $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-check fee refunded as statement credit. This is for all card holders on the account.
What if you already have Global Entry or Pre-check? Well, you can pay for Global Entry or Pre-check for anyone else in your family using your Platinum card, and AmEx will give you the $100 credit.
Here are the other GREAT benefits that makes the AmEx Platinum card so valuable to us:
Amex Centurion Lounges
Access to AmEx Centurion lounges for free for you and family, or up to 2 guests. There have been reports that you need a full fare ticket to enter, so be advised. Great lounge locations in Seattle, Sydney and their newest location, Hong Kong!
Priority pass membership, providing access for you at any Priority Pass lounge. Guests have to pay an additional fee. This membership gets you into the Alaska Airlines lounges and many others. For FREE! All you need is a boarding pass (staff travel OK) and your Priority Pass card. There are different rules for each club, so make sure you read up on them before you enter.
Delta Sky Club
Delta Sky Club lounge access if you are flying Delta. Guests have to pay a $29 fee. All you need is a Delta boarding pass (staff travel ok, subject to capacity limits) and you are in!
Simply show your ID, boarding pass and AmEx Platinum Card. Works great for entry into NRT Delta Sky Club with many others.
AmEx Offers have more than paid for the $550 of our Platinum Card. We’ve posted about how they work here. Every few weeks AmEx will post some great offers to add to your card.
Once added, simply complete the requirement to see the statement credit. This is another great benefit of the card.
Hilton HHonors & SPG Gold Status
Free upgrades and breakfast are just a few of the benefits.
What’s also great? currently with SPG you can crossover your benefits with Marriott. This will make you a Marriott Gold! Huge perk!
Uber Monthly Credit
Amex Platinum just added a $200 in Uber credits each year. Basically you get $15 increments each month except for December, when you’ll get a $35 credit. AmEx recently added this when they raised the annual fee (from $450 to $550), and for anyone who frequently uses the ride-sharing service, it shouldn’t be hard to get the full $200 in value from this benefit. We’ve also found it to work with Uber Eats as well.
Also note that you can only use these credits on Uber rides in the US, and you don’t have to pay the balance of your ride with an Amex card. The credits expire at the end of each month. Use it or lose it!
Other great benefits that come with the card:
- Free Boingo Wi-Fi
- Roadside Assistance, an excellent benefit, see here
- Purchase/Return Protection
- Extended Warranty
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
- AmEx Fine Hotel Resorts benefits
- AmEx Concierge Service
- Shoprunner and more!
- You can see the complete list of benefits here
So, as you can see, if you do a bit of travel, this is a great card to have in your pocket. If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the card for you, however, if you find yourself traveling once a month or more, then the AmEx Platinum can provide great access to airline lounges!
If you don’t mind, please apply through my link here, we get a small referral bonus.
Otherwise, feel free to signup under the American Express website.
So, what questions didn’t we answer about the card?