Both the personal and business versions of the American Express Platinum Card offer the best suite of perks in the industry. There are so many perks that I wrote a separate post to review them.
The personal version’s annual fee is $550, and the business version’s is $595. Both fees are NOT waived the first year. But you will likely derive positive expected value from either card, so consider the fee an investment.
Airline Incidental Credits
Both cards give you $200 per year in airline incidental fee credits. Amex intends them to be used for incidentals like in-flight purchases and checked bags. But people have used them for gift cards. The trick is to buy multiple gift cards under $100 sporadically throughout the year.
Airport Lounge Access
This perk gives you access to over 18,000 airport lounges around the world. These include Amex’s own Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Delta (if you’re flying Delta the day you visit), and Airspace Lounges. The lounges give you a nice space to relax, eat, drink, and get ready before boarding your flight.
Centurion Lounges also include the two Centurion Suites at Staples Center (Los Angeles, California) and Barclays Center (Brooklyn, New York). These suites are great for watching basketball and hockey games while saving hundreds of dollars.
Note that American Express cards no longer have access to Priority Pass restaurants as of August 1, 2019. This includes all versions of the Platinum card and American Express co-branded cards.
Marriott & Hilton Gold Status
You receive automatic Gold status from the world’s two largest hotel chains. Both chains offer free room upgrades (when available) that could justify the annual fee within one trip.
Hilton Gold gives you free breakfast for two for each day you stay, a fifth night free when using points, two bottles of water, and an 80% bonus towards future free nights.
Marriott Gold gives you a small points bonus when you check in, guaranteed 2 PM checkout time, and exclusive hotel discounts.
Global Entry / Pre-TSA Fee Credits
You will receive a credit once every 4-5 years to waive the fee for either program. I suggest going with Global Entry because Pre-TSA comes with that membership automatically.
Global Hotel Collection
This perk gives you a $75 (personal) or $100 (business) statement credit and a room upgrade. The room upgrade could be worth hundreds of dollars (and possibly justify the card’s annual fee), depending on where you stay. The catch is that you need to book you a hotel room with your Platinum card through amextravel.com.
Global Dining Collection
Foodies rejoice! This benefit lets you dine at some of the best restaurants in the world. You might also meet a celebrity or world-renowned chef after your meal.
This is a fabulous perk for concert and event lovers. You will have access to getting tickets to events before the general public. In turn, you also get the best seats because you’ll have first choice. The catch is that seats can be very expensive relative to sites like Ticketmaster and Stubhub. Your mileage may vary here.
This is a great way to get reservations for popular restaurants and events that are sold out to the general public. Many fancy restaurants hold seats for Platinum and Centurion card-members to take advantage of this benefit.
Pay Over Time
This feature lets you finance larger expenses over time for a high interest rate. It’s a common benefit for all business and personal charge cards. But its still noteworthy, especially for businesses.
Amex sometimes offers a bonus of 10,000 MR points if you enroll. I was given this offer for my Business Platinum and I gladly accepted. If you get the same offer, I highly recommend taking it. You don’t have to use this perk once enrolled.
Uber Credits & VIP Status
You receive a $15 monthly Uber credit from January to November and a $35 credit in December, for a total of $200. The credits can only be used within the US and they don’t carry over after a given month ends. Plus, VIP Status lets you only receive drivers with a rating of at least a 4.8 out of 5.0.
Saks 5th Avenue Credits
This perk gives you two $50 credits to Saks every six months. You could receive hundreds in value if you shop there at least twice per year and combine the credits with an Amex Offer.
35% Points Rebate
You will receive a 35% points rebate for future trips when you use MR points to pay for a trip on amextravel.com. This perk increases the value of your points and gives an incentive to use Amex’s travel website.
GoGo In-Flight Wi-Fi Passes
This perk gives you 10 passes per card-member year. This perk is vital for business-people, families, and travelers on the go.
Avis, Hertz, & National Status
This benefit gives you mid-tier status at the three car rental companies. My family and I primarily rent from Enterprise, so these benefits will only be useful if Enterprise can’t help me.
These credits are useful for technology companies and people wanting to buy computers or other technology. The credits are split into two $100 credits that are issued every six months. You will receive one credit in January, which expires on June 30. And you will receive the other credit in July, which expires on December 31.
We Work Global Access Membership
This benefit is a one-year membership for We Work. We Work is a series of shared work spaces for business-people and entrepreneurs on the go. Membership could be valuable for entrepreneurs who need a space to work but don’t have an office. This issue is becoming increasingly common in the digital age, so its nice to see Amex thinking ahead.
Amex is advertising this benefit’s value at $2,700. They also mentioned that this is a temporary benefit that will go away in early 2020.
Both versions of the American Express Platinum Card have the best perks in the business. The key with holding either card is to consistently use as many perks as possible. In doing so, you will increase your positive expected value and justify the Platinum’s high annual fee.
As a Business Platinum card-member, I will receive the most value from the hotel statuses and airport lounges access. One five-night stay at a Marriott or Hilton, for example, could be enough to justify the annual fee.