The American Express Platinum card has amazing benefits that justify the $550 annual fee. You get a $200 airline credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 Saks credit, Centurion Airport Lounge access, Delta SkyClub Access when flying Delta, Priority Pass with two guests, Global Entry credit, elite status with Marriott, Hilton, and Hertz, and many other great benefits.
I always try to keep one version of the Platinum card active each year just to take advantage of the benefits (there is also the Business Platinum, Schwab Platinum, Morgan Stanley Platinum, and Ameriprise Platinum).
However, there are two disadvantages to the Platinum card. First, the lack of trip delay insurance (you are covered up to $500 per person in the event of a 6-hour or overnight delay), which is a standard protection on most high annual fee cards. You will have to weigh whether you want 5x points with the Platinum card or 3x points plus trip delay insurance with a credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve. I generally opt for the trip delay insurance with a 3x travel card for the peace of mind of knowing I’m covered just in case there is a weather-related event or mechanical issue.
The other disadvantage is that you only earn 1 point per dollar on everything that is not a flight or AmexTravel.com. This makes me put a lot of my spending on my American Express Blue Business Plus, which has no annual fee and offers 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000 in spending each year).
- Target Bonus: 100,000 Membership Rewards Points (see below)
- Current Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points
Annual Fee: $550
Earning Membership Rewards Points
- 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with an airline, flights or hotels booked on AmexTravel.com, and hotels booked using the Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
- 1x Membership Rewards points everywhere else
Platinum Card Benefits
Below is a general overview of the benefits.
- $200 Airline Credit (for upgrades, bag fees, etc.)
- $200 Uber credit ($15 per month January to November; $35 in December)
- Uber VIP Status
- $100 Saks credit ($50 in January to June; $50 July to December)
- Airport Lounge Access
- American Express Centurion Lounges
- Delta SkyClub (when flying Delta)
- Escape Lounges
- Airspace Lounges
- Priority Pass (airport lounge access and $25-28 dining credit per person at certain airport restaurants)
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit (authorized users get this benefit as well)
- Elite Status: Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold, Avis Preferred, Hertz 5-Star, and National Emerald Club Executive.
- Travel Collection Membership
- Medical Evacuation Insurance
- Secondary Rental Car Insurance
- Roadside Assitance
- 90-day price protection
- Extended Warranty
- No Foreign Transactions
Authorized User Fee
- $175 total for 3 people (Authorized users get all of the benefits, including Priority Pass and airport lounge access, except for the Airline, Uber, and Saks fee credits)
- Free Gold cards (up to 99 authorized users), but Gold cards have limited benefits. Gold cards get the 5x on categories below plus the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credit, but Gold cards don’t get Priority Pass, other fee credits, or any airport lounge access.
Military Fee Waiver
Any U.S. military member on active duty or the reserves (or National Guard under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days) can get the annual fee for the Platinum card waived. Additionally, the annual fee is waived for any active duty member registered as an authorized user (e.g., if a father adds his active duty son or daughter as an authorized user, the father’s account would also get the waiver). All you need to do is request the waiver from American Express, who uses an automated system linked to the Department of Defense to verify your eligibility.
Triggering the 100,000 Point Platinum Bonus
Due to American Express’ lifetime language, you should really wait until a 100,o00 point bonus for the standard personal Platinum card rather than the standard 60,000 points bonus. Below are several ways that you could possibly trigger the 100,000 bonus.
Several times a year the website CardMatch.com will offer targeted people a 100,000 bonus for the American Express Platinum. If you are targeted, you will see a “Cardmatch Special Offers” tab on your left side.
I got started with collecting points with a leaked link 100,000 Platinum card. We will post when a leaked link is available, but there has not been a leaked link in the past 12 months. If there is one available, (1) you should apply immediately, (2) only put legitimate spending on the card, and (3) and spend an extra $500 or so on the card. American Express hates when people use the leaked links, therefore, you can expect all of your transactions to get scrutinized and your membership rewards balance may be frozen while they conduct their 8-week review.
This trick is a little complicated, but the best shot at triggering the 100,000 bonus or other good bonuses for other cards. First, delete your cookies from your browser and then open up an incognito window. Visit this link for American Express’ Prequalified Offers Page. On this page you want American Express to be able to match you to your credit score, but you do not want American Express to match you as an existing customer. You can accomplish this by misspelling your name and address. For example, a person name Clyde Johnson may instead enter Clyd Johnso or Becky Johnson may change enter Becki Johnson. Your address is less important, but you can try leaving off the word road/drive/blvd or leaving off the apartment number.
- Unsuccessful– If you are asked to log in to American Express, you failed. American Express recognized you as a customer. Try again with another misspelling or variation on your name.
- Unsuccessful– If you are not asked to log in but get the message “we could not find Pre-Qualified Offers for you at this time. Based on your interests, we recommend the following Cards for you” that means that neither American Express or your credit score were matched. Therefore, you varied your name and address too much.
- Successful– If you are not asked to log in and you get the message “[insert first name here], we have found the following Pre-Qualified Card offers for you. These offers are only available here. We invite you to apply for one today” you were successful in the misspelling trick. Here, you should see the best incognito offers for you. Hopefully one is a 100,000 platinum or another card at or above the target bonus we recommend on our other pages.
- Note: You can expect that any misspelling that you enter may be added to your credit report. You can go back later and ask the credit bureau to remove this spelling from your file.
Wait for an Offer
If none of the above ways work for you, you could wait for a 100,000 bonus. In the meantime, you could open up one of the other versions of the American Express Platinum, get that versions bonus, and wait for the 100,000 point bonus to come back around.