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The Amex Platinum is the perfect credit card in almost any scenario, including emergencies

Updated 3 years ago
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Please note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

  • Emergencies, preparedness, uncertainty and the like are what’s on everybody’s mind right now thanks to the relentless spread and effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • As all of us practice more social distancing and even quarantining, it might be increasingly less practical to visit a bank or ATM to withdraw cash. We recommend keeping The Platinum Card® from American Express handy — and to sign up for the card if you haven’t already and you’re looking for a new piece of plastic.
  • This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Amex Platinum. 
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

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. Indeed, for many consumers, it might be 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 actual fact, though, the Amex Platinum also offers a ton of other reasons to think about signing up for this premium card, perks for which you’ll pay a $550 annual fee but which mount up quickly. Such that they more than offset the fee and give travelers, as well as anyone who wants a card that lavishes them with luxe benefits, plenty of opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life. But this isn’t merely the card to help you enjoy VIP-level benefits — In our opinion, this is an excellent card to keep on hand for emergencies and in lieu of cash, something that’s especially relevant thanks to the spread of the coronavirus right now.

In addition to the welcome bonus we noted above, here’s just a sample of the many benefits this card includes:

  • 5x points earned on airfare (booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel) and hotels (booked on
  • 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

Those travel perks will come in handy once the world returns to normal and travel restrictions begin to lift. Here, meanwhile, are some other benefits of the card:

  • Up to $200 in Uber credits ($15 each month, $20 in December)
  • Up to $100 in credit for use at Saks Fifth Avenue
  • American Express Concierge service

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. The Amex Platinum, in our opinion, does that and especially does it for a particular kind of consumer. 

Below, we’ll summarize some of the finer points of the Amex Platinum’s benefit mix that will be invaluable to travelers and non-travelers alike.


When it comes to earning potential, this is a solid premium card that’s almost in a class all its own. You can use the Amex Platinum to earn 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare, plus 5x points on hotels booked through Amex Travel. You’ll also earn 5x points on airfare when you book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel — though, with hotels, you’ll only earn 5x points when you book prepaid rates through, or when you book Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stays through Amex online.

As far as the card’s travel-related credits go, each calendar year you’ll get $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 is that 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.

Those credits 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.

Additionally, this card also grants you complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounge locations — which, if you’ve never taken advantage of an airport lounge before, suffice it say you don’t know what you’re missing. The benefits include gourmet food options, craft cocktails and ample comfort wherein you can relax while avoiding the hubbub of the airport and crowds outside. This 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. As if all that wasn’t enough, this card even gives you 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 final word

Big up-front points bonuses are great, but don’t forget that the credit card you rely on can be about a lot more than solid one-time rewards. 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 spot in your wallet.

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.