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Is The Platinum Card From American Express Worth its $695 Annual Fee? | Credit Cards

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However, these top-tier benefits come at a cost: a $695 annual fee, which can be steep for some travelers. Although the card’s list of benefits sounds enticing, you might question whether the AmEx Platinum annual fee is worth it. Here’s what to consider.

Valuable Benefits That Offset the AmEx Platinum Annual Fee

Deciding whether The Platinum Card from American Express is worth it for you depends on whether you’ll maximize the card’s perks.

“I recommend cardholders look at the ongoing annual value of the card, not counting the (welcome offer), as that only happens once,” says Matthew Goldman, a consultant who helps early stage companies design credit and debit card programs through his company, Tovati LLC.

The Platinum Card from American Express earns five American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar on certain flight and hotel purchases, and it offers a host of perks beyond that. Consider how much you’re able to use them when calculating the card’s value for you.

80,000-Point Welcome Bonus

Eligible new cardholders who’ve never had The Platinum Card from American Express can earn an additional 80,000 Membership Rewards points. But to receive this welcome offer, you must spend at least $6,000 on your card within the first six months of opening the account.

This bonus alone is worth $800 when redeemed for flights or $560 when redeemed for prepaid hotels, cars or cruises through American Express Travel. Therefore, if you can reach the required spend on the card within the first six months, you’ll make significant progress on making the card worthwhile in its first year.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit

Standing in congested airport security lines can make your travel experience feel more hectic. The Platinum Card from American Express provides cardholders with a statement credit of $100 for Global Entry membership or $85 for TSA PreCheck.

You can only receive credit for one program, and you must apply for membership and pay for the application fee using your AmEx Platinum Card. This benefit is only applicable to five-year plans for either program, and you can only receive the credit every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck or every four years for Global Entry.

$189 Clear Plus Credit

For another way to speed through airport security lines, the AmEx Platinum Card gives you a statement credit of up to $189 for an annual membership fee to Clear Plus when charged to your card. Using fingerprints and eye scans, your Clear membership can help verify your identity at selected airports in the U.S.

$200 Uber Cash

Platinum cardholders can receive up to $200 in Uber Cash each year, which you can use for rides with Uber and orders from Uber Eats. To receive the credit, you must use an eligible version of the Uber app and link your Platinum Card as your Uber account’s method of payment.

Each month, you’ll receive a $15 credit that can be found in your Uber Cash balance; in December, you’ll receive an extra $20 on top of the standard $15 credit. Enable your Uber Cash balance option so you can apply your credit to your rides and order through Uber Eats.

Unused credit does not roll over into the next month – this is a benefit that you’ll need to use or lose.

$200 Airline Fee Credit

Another credit that can be worthwhile if you’re a regular traveler is the $200 annual airline fee credit. The credit applies to incidental charges such as in-flight purchases or baggage fees that were made using your Platinum Card with your chosen qualifying airline.

To be eligible for the credit, you must select your preferred airline ahead of time. Qualifying airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

$240 Digital Entertainment Credit

The Platinum Card rewards you for your streaming habits with an annual credit of up to $240. Get up to $20 per month in statement credit for eligible subscriptions, including Audible, Disney+, Peacock, SiriusXM and The New York Times.

You’ll need to enroll in this benefit to receive the credit, and subscriptions must be charged to your AmEx Platinum Card.

$300 Equinox and SoulCycle Credits

Stay fit physically and financially with up to $300 in statement credits from Equinox fitness clubs. This benefit is valid on an Equinox+ digital subscription or club membership – just charge your fees to your Platinum Card. You can also get a $300 statement credit if you use your card to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike.

$200 Hotel Credit

When you book one of 2,000 hotels through American Express Travel, you can earn up to $200 in statement credits per year. With hotels from Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection, each prepaid stay you book also comes with a $100 experience credit you can use for spas or dining, plus complimentary room upgrades when available.

$100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit

Avid Saks shoppers can take advantage of a $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit when using their Platinum Card on an eligible purchase. A credit of up to $50 is available for transactions between January and June, and another one is available from July to December.

Be aware that payments made using a digital wallet or contactless card reader may not be processed as an eligible purchase, so these transactions may not receive the credit.

$155 Walmart+ Credit

The annual $155 in statement credits to cover your Walmart+ membership can score you cost-saving benefits when shopping online and in-store. Use your membership to get free shipping with online orders, plus free same-day grocery deliveries.

This benefit covers the $12.95 per month Walmart+ membership fee, plus any applicable taxes. To be eligible, your membership fee must be charged to your AmEx Platinum Card.

Airport Lounge Access

Avid travelers can enjoy access to more than 1,400 airport lounges in 650 global cities and counting. Gain access to multiple airport lounge networks, including The Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge, Delta Sky Club and Lufthansa Lounge. However, Delta recently announced changes that could limit some cardholders’ access to Delta Sky Clubs.

Aside from being able to kick up your feet in a comfortable space, these lounges often provide self-serve food and beverages, and amenities like showers and Wi-Fi at no additional cost.

Enrollment required for select benefits. Terms apply.

Is The Platinum Card from AmEx Right for You?

There’s no doubt that the most significant perks of the AmEx Platinum Card are travel-focused and at the upper end of the quality scale. That’s why Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and consumer finance analyst at U.S. News, says this card could make sense if you travel a lot and “like a little luxury” in the process.

However, some consumers may want to explore different rewards cards – especially if they barely break even between relevant perks and the steep annual fee. “For me, it’s not about breaking even,” Harzog says. “I think you need to make a good profit on any card’s annual fee.”

If you feel that your spending patterns and the card perks can’t add up to help you come out ahead on The Platinum Card’s annual fee each year, Harzog says you’re not stuck. There are plenty of rewards cards with lower annual fees that might better sync with how you spend.

If you don’t feel that you’ll take advantage of a large proportion of card benefits, you might be better off exploring another card with a lower annual fee or one with no annual fee at all.

Sarah Goldberg
Sarah Goldberg

Sarah is a seasoned financial market expert with a decade of experience. She's known for her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate complex financial concepts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, is a licensed financial advisor, and enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.

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