I’ve long held off adding one of the American Express Platinum credit cards to my wallet due to the hefty annual fee and the fact that United doesn’t participate in the lounge access benefit. But as my nearly exclusive flying on United is coming to an end soon by locking in million-miler status, I took the plunge and applied for a card. And the annual fee will pay for itself each year in travel benefits on other airlines, specifically lounge access and $200 in annual airline fee credits.
Link: The Platinum Card® from American Express: The current standard offer provides 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within 3 months, $200 in airline fee credits (more on that below), access to American, Delta, US Airways and Priority Pass airport lounges, plus a host of other Platinum perks. The annual fee on this card is $450.
Link: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN: The current standard offer provides 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within 3 months, access to American, Delta, US Airways and Priority Pass airport lounges, plus a host of other Platinum perks. The annual fee on this card is $450.
Link: Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz: The current offer provides 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in 3 months, access to American, Delta, US Airways and Priority Pass airport lounges, plus a host of other Platinum perks. The annual fee on this card is $475.
American Express has recently been mailing targeted offers out for the Platinum card with 100,000 Membership Rewards points, which is the best deal of course. But if you’re not lucky enough to get one, the above cards can still pay for themselves.
While not officially stated as a benefit of the Business or Mercedes-Benz cards, they do reportedly get $200 in airline fee credits. The credits are advertised as being for incidentals, such as checked bag fees, in-flight purchases (not Wi-Fi), change fees and the like. But airline gift card purchases have been widely reported as being successful.
As my flying on American Airlines will increase in the coming months, I’ll designate them as the carrier for the $200 credit. Then, I’ll purchase gift cards (probably in $50 increments) under their program to capture the statement credit and use those cards for future flights.
And I’ll be able to avoid purchasing an Admirals Club lounge membership ($400 at my current AAdvantage Platinum status). So, the $450 annual fee will certainly pay for itself this year given my travel habits and patterns. Oh, and if you don’t already have Global Entry, American Express will reimburse the $100 application fee if you pay for it with your Platinum card.
I’m probably one of the few people who has held off for so long getting an AMEX Platinum card. And I only recently started getting targeted offers with the more generous Membership Rewards points, so never thought the previous 25k or 50k offers were worth the trouble as I focused predominantly on Chase and Citi cards.
Application link: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Application link: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
Application link: Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
For other airline, hotel and flexible credit cards that earn miles or points, click here.
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