American Express Platinum 2016 Review

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At first glance, the high $450 annual fee associated with the American Express Platinum card may seem overpriced and not worth it. A closer look, however,  will quickly reveal the many unique benefits this card has to offer. Now you can save money, improve your travel experiences, and bolster your point haul all at the same time.

Amex Platinum

The Benefits

The Platinum Card offered by American Express awards 1 Membership Reward point for each dollar spent. These Membership Reward points can be redeemed for a host of perks including travel and merchandise.

You can even earn 2 points per $1 spent when you use your card for booking trips online through the American Express travel services website. Sadly, car reservations and non-prepaid hotels don’t qualify for these double points though.

The sign-up bonus is impressive with this card. You can earn 40,000 points in the first three months if you spend $3000, just don’t forget to enroll in the Membership Rewards program the moment you receive your card.

Once you’ve racked up enough points, redeem them for rewards in travel, dining, entertainment, and shopping. If you’re so close to a reward and need a couple more points, you can buy them. Membership reward points don’t have an expiration date, allowing you to save them and redeem them whenever it is convenient for you.


$100 Toward Global Entry or $85 Towards TSA Pre✓™

With the Platinum Express card you can receive $100 credit toward the Global Entry program or $85 for TSA Pre✓™. These are government programs that give certain individuals a faster clearance upon re-entry into the United States and helps avoid long airport security lines allowing faster check-in times.

The programs have a lengthy application process, at least one interview, and an extensive background check process to ensure you aren’t a risk, but considering the card will rebate the $100 application fee (Global Entry) or $85 (TSA Pre✓™) it’s worth applying.

You will continue to receive this credit every five years when you reapply. Once approved you can skip immigration and re-enter the U.S. quickly. It’s totally worth it if you travel outside of the U.S. frequently. 


$200 In Airline Credit

Another perk of the Platinum card is the $200 credit toward expenses that you rack up with your favorite airliner. All you have to do is register your preferred and qualifying airline. Once you’re enrolled, charge your incidental air travel fees on your card and enjoy a $200 refund per year. These incidentals can include baggage fees, flight-change fees, and inflight meals, drinks, and airport lounge day passes.

Purchases of airline tickets, gift cards, award tickets, duty free purchases, mileage points transfer fees or mileage point purchases, and upgrades are not counted towards this annual rebate.


Companion Ticket Discount

Bring along a friend and save money on a companion ticket each time you buy a qualifying First Class international or Business class ticket with your card. Over 25 airlines currently participate in this perk.


Avoid Obnoxious Foreign Transaction Fees

If your oversea destination accepts American Express, then you have can avoid paying foreign transaction fees on purchases and enjoy more secure transactions thanks to an EMV chip. Just think, the majority of credit cards charge you a 3-5% foreign transaction fee when you pay in non-US currency.  You can avoid all of these fees and save money, regardless of what country you’re in.


Excellent Value for Lounge Access Worldwide

Frequent flyers who love luxury and travel frequently benefit the most from this card. Through the American Platinum card you will have access to Airport Club Access and Priority Pass Select .These two programs will give you access to over 800 domestic and international lounges, including Delta Sky Club and CenturionSM lounges. Just imagine, layovers can actually be enjoyable with this perk.  Access to these lounges usually costs $400 on its own, so it’s worth the annual fee that provides even more perks.

To enjoy these complimentary lounge programs you will have to enroll in the Priority Pass Select Program. Thanks to this program you don’t have to fly first class to enjoy comfortable sofas, complimentary food/drinks, internet, and more.


Bingo Wireless Access

Speaking of internet, owning  Platinum card will give you unlimited access to Bingo hotspots all around the world, giving you free Wi-Fi at most airports. You can even access the Wi-fi on up to four devices at a time.


Peace of Mind With Travel and Car Rental Insurance

Enjoy peace of mind with Travel Accident Insurance, and Car Rental Insurance. Platinum is known to provide one of the most extensive travel insurance benefit packages out there.

We all know that travel brings risks and accidents happen. With the Platinum card, you are insured up to $500,000 in the event of dismemberment or accidental death.

Along with Travel Accident Insurance you can also enjoy roadside assistance and baggage insurance. Knowing that your belongings are covered against theft, damage, and misplacement is comforting thought when traveling abroad. You’re covered up to $3000 per person per trip for carry-on baggage and up to 2,000 for checked luggage.


Roadside Assistance

A Platinum Card membership can eliminate the need for an AAA membership. You’re covered for up to four service calls per year in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Covered services include:

  • Towing up to 10 miles
  • Jump Starts
  • Flat Tire Change
  • Winching
  • Lockout device
  • Fuel Delivery

Renting a car with your card will automatically provide Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance without charging you an extra penny, though there are some terms and restrictions that apply. Thanks to this coverage you can say no to all additional insurances. Your also enrolled in Hertz #1 Club Gold, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club, and Avis Preferred, allowing you to skip tedious lines and paperwork.


Worry-Free Shopping

The Platinum charge card provides a worry free shopping experience. Have you ever turned down the extended warranty only to have it break just as the manufacturers warranty runs out? The Platinum eliminates this problem by extending your warranty up to a year.

Purchase protection steps in when your new purchase is stolen, damaged, or lost while return Protection works to reimburse you on items the store won’t take back. You’re covered up to $10,000 per occurrence, allowing you to repair, replace, or be reimbursed for the item.


Concierge Services And Hotel Benefits Are At Your Fingertips

With the Platinum Card you have 24/7 concierge service that you can call to make reservations for you. Simply call them and tell them what you want and they will do their best to get you in.

The Amex Platinum Dining program will help you experience the best when it comes to wining and dining. Premium Access is another great feature of the Platinum Express. This service allows you to purchase upgraded tickets to the best seats at sports, family events, concerts, and more.

If you frequently visit luxurious resorts and hotels, you can appreciate the Hilton Honors™  Gold Status Enrollment that comes with the Platinum card. This program provides bonus points on stays and complimentary in-room internet.

You also receive complimentary benefits at hotels and resorts if you stay at any of the 750+ Fine Hotels and Resorts properties around the world. These benefits include:

  • Free room upgrades at check-in if available
  • Late check-out
  • Complimentary breakfast for two  int eh mornings
  • Perks such as complimentary 3rd or 4th-night stay, foods, drinks, or spa credits that vary by property


The Verdict

Luxury comes at a price, and an annual fee of $450 proves it. This luxury travel card has so many features and privileges and for those that travel in style, the card pays itself off. Access to selected airport lounges worldwide, concierge services, hotel upgrades and more are all perks you can enjoy with the Platinum card.

Do the math; lounge access typically costs $400, you get $200 in airline fee credits and $100 toward global entry. These benefits alone come out to $700 and that’s not taking into affect all of the insurance coverages  and other benefits you are automatically enrolled in.

Whether or not the Platinum offers great value will depend on your spending and travel habits. If you travel frequently and lavishly, then the Platinum offers you perks that you would typically pay for anyway. If you don’t travel much or prefer to travel economically there are better cards out there to suit your needs.

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