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When you’re on the hunt for a credit card that comes with generous rewards and perks, it might be tempting to zero in on cards that offer big five- and six-digit welcome bonuses right up front. It’s super-enticing to see a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express with its welcome offer of 60,000 points (after using the card to spend $5,000 in your first three months) and pretty quickly think about signing up.
In fact, we told you about that current 60,000-point offer just a few weeks ago. But here’s the thing about the Amex Platinum. There are actually a ton of perks beyond the welcome offer to be aware of so you can maximize the full benefit potential of this card — which, we should note right off the bat, includes a $550 annual fee. But watch how quickly that fee melts away (and your benefits start to mount and mount) as we run through all the lesser-known perks associated with this card.
Here’s just a sampling, in addition to the welcome bonus:
- 5x points earned on airfare (booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel) and hotels (booked on amextravel.com)”
- Up to $200 in Uber credits
- Up to $200 in airline fee credit
- Centurion Lounge access
- Elite Status for stays at Hilton and Marriott properties
- A Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
- Up to $100 in credit for use at Saks Fifth Avenue
- American Express Concierge service
- Access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program
If you’re searching for a rewards credit card, that list is exactly the kind of thing you want to see. Yes, a generous up-front points bonus is great. But you also want a string of perks that keep providing value — in a way that, strange as it might sound to say for something like a credit card, genuinely makes your life a little bit better.
The Amex Platinum, in our opinion, does that and especially does it for a particular kind of consumer. Take a look at that list of benefits above, and at least one theme will jump out at you: If you travel at even a modest frequency, there’s a lot here to take advantage of.
Below, we’ll summarize some of the finer points of that benefit mix that will be invaluable particularly for travelers — many of them, again, benefits that Amex Platinum cardholders might not even be aware they’re entitled to.
The addition of 5x bonus categories in 2017 gave the Amex Platinum, which was already a solid premium card, unmatched earning potential. You can use the card to earn 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare, plus 5x points on hotels booked through Amex Travel. Pro tip: You’ll earn 5x points on airfare when you book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. With hotels, however, you’ll only earn 5x points when you book prepaid rates through amextravel.com, or when you book Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stays through Amex online.
Let’s briefly mention some of the travel-related credits associated with this card.
Each calendar year, the card will give you $200 in credit toward incidental airline expenses (You’ll need to specify an eligible airline, and unfortunately the credit doesn’t cover any actual airfare). It’s a nice perk to use to pay for anything from luggage fees to lounge access. One of the card’s most popular perks is the $200 in Uber credits you get each year. The way they’re doled out — you get the credit in $15 increments every month, except for a $20 credit in December. Be sure and add your Amex Platinum to your Uber account and choose “Uber Cash” when paying. Note: The credit’s don’t roll over at the end of the month, so if you haven’t used up your month’s allotment, be aware that they’re also good for Uber Eats purchases.
To mention just a few more perks, this card also grants you complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounge locations. If you’ve never checked one out, you don’t know what you’re missing. Gourmet food options, craft cocktails and ample comfort wherein you can relax while avoiding the hubbub of the airport outside. The card also grants you access to Delta Sky Clubs when you’re traveling with Delta, Priority Pass Lounges and many other lounges.
Meanwhile, you also get Gold Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, as well as Hilton Honors Gold status. Both of these entitle you to benefits like late checkout and bonus earnings on stays. This card can even serve as the gateway to your own personal concierge service. You get access to Amex Platinum Concierge, a phone-based service that can help you book in-demand restaurants and events as well as find a perfect dinner spot or even deliver items on demand.
Feel like splurging on some retail therapy? The Amex Platinum has you covered there as well, thanks to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit. It’s available as two $50 statement credits per year, the first of which is available from Jan. 1 through June 30, with the second available from July 1 through Dec. 31. Even better, there’s no minimum purchase required to trigger those credits.
The bottom line
The credit card you rely on can be about a lot more than scoring sweet up-front points bonuses and earning cash back. From the $200 airline credit to the “concierge” service and so much more, The Platinum Card from American Express offers a ton of value and benefits — beyond the obvious ones — to merit consideration for a place in your wallet.