The Platinum Card from American Express is a consumer rewards charge card that is known for its high end rewards and travel benefits. There are a couple of things that will jump out at you when you’re scrutinizing this card, such as the fact that it caters to the high end crowd, offers luxurious rewards and has a pretty high annual fee of $450. So if you’re in the market for a top of the line card like this, then do read on. The Platinum Card from American Express has a solid rewards program that will address the needs of more discriminating travelers.
The Platinum Card From American Express: The Rewards Program
Let’s check out the rewards program first. Thanks to the Membership Rewards First program, you can earn points for purchases in a variety of categories. Since the ratio is one point per dollar for each approved purchase, it’s possible to accumulate a lot of points when you use the card on a regular basis. If you shop through the Bonus Points Mall, you can earn TEN times the usual number of points with certain retailers.
If you can spend $2,000 within the first three months of membership in the rewards program, then you’ll be eligible to receive a bonus of 25,000 points. These points amount to one round-trip airline ticket (in coach or economy class). You’re also eligible for $200 in Airline Fee Credits to use against niggling fees you may be charged by your airline such as those charged for checked in luggage and beverages in flight. Another bonus is that you’re eligible for a companion ticket (on discount) if you purchase a full fare Business or First Class international ticket. The companion ticket may be subject to taxes and fees so you’ll need to verify this offer if you’re pursuing it.
When you redeem your points, you can earn Membership Rewards points. You can also earn double points by making your travel plans with American Express Travel. Other great aspects of these points is that they don’t expire, and you aren’t restricted to how many points you can bank, so it’s possible to save up quite a number of them. When you want to redeem the points for flights, you won’t be stuck with blackout dates or restrictions.
In case you don’t have any current travel plans, you can also redeem your points for goodies at shopAmex (American Express’ online mall). A few of the categories available are electronics, jewelry, fashion and accessories, and gifts.
Airport Clubs and Other Travel Benefits
The Platinum Card from AmEx is known for its exclusive travel and hotel rewards as well as other outstanding benefits. Let’s start by checking out their travel specific privileges here. While you’re on the go, you’re given special treatment, as this card will help you skip U.S. custom lines. You can also use the Platinum Card to enjoy the amenities of the Airport Club Access Program. This way, you can relax at airports around the world. Your Priority Pass will give you special access to certain airport clubs. Some of these clubs include: the Delta Crown Room Club, the Continental Airlines Presidents Club, and the American Airlines Admirals Club. The card also emphasizes no fees on foreign transactions.
The Platinum Card Concierge can help you acquire tickets to events, help secure restaurant reservations, and assist you with a variety of needs. For instance, the concierge can handle your arrangements when you need a special gift. Another useful benefit is the Event Ticket Protection Plan in case you run into a situation where you can’t make an event. You might be reimbursed up to $2,000 for eligible events.
You can also expect purchase protection, extended warranties for eligible products, fraud protection, and coverage for approved purchases that break or need repairs.
It’s A Charge Card, So There’s No Balance To Maintain
Just like with other charge cards, you’ll be required to pay your balance in full each month when you use this card. That way, you don’t have to fret over paying exorbitant amounts in interest. It’s a good tool for those consumers who prefer a credit card with a clean slate each month. In time, you might encounter the ability to use the Flexible Payment Feature or the Extended Payment Option (but this will be at the discretion of AmEx. You’ll need to first see if you’re eligible to opt into this feature). These features will allow you to pay certain charges over time, but the convenience will cost you in terms of interest.
Unlike other credit cards that have a fixed line of credit, this card doesn’t come with a pre-set spending limit. However, you don’t get a free pass to go buy everything. Instead, you’ll find that the amount you can purchase will rise or fall based on your usage of the card, your credit history, the timeliness of your payments, and a few other variables.
The annual fee of $450 may seem steep to some consumers. However, if you’re willing to employ a little diligence when it comes to accruing rewards points, you can make that annual fee pay for itself over the span of several months. For many of us, the annual fee will be covered by a few months of groceries or gas fill ups. Also consider how much you’ve traveled in the last year — for the typical traveler, a monthly fee of $37.50 costs less than parking and a few meals out. But regardless of its top benefits, it may turn out that this card is not a fit for you or your lifestyle. Check it out thoroughly if the exclusive rewards (which still merit the higher costs of the card) are worth having.
Those who need additional cards can pay $175 for three. After three cards, it’s $175 for each additional card. Late fees will vary from state to state.
Given all this, it all boils down to whether you’re ready to upgrade your rewards program or whether you want the advantage of starting each month with a zero balance. Or maybe you’d like to travel in style?
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
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