Amex Platinum Card featured image

American Express Platinum Card Review

I need to make a confession. I love an Amex card. Actually, I love the bonus points associated with Amex cards.

Which is why in the last 18 months I’ve signed up to and used pretty much every Amex card going… and my latest addition to my collection might just be the best yet… the Amex Platinum Card.

Now, when I say the best yet – I’m talking about for my own personal circumstances. Yours might be very different to mine, and of course, there is one major difference when assessing American Express’ premium offering – the whopping big ¬£650 yearly fee!

Amex Platinum Credit Card

If you’ve landed on this Amex Platinum Card review, I’m guessing you are already considering signing up – and you’d have good reason if you stand to gain from the wide range of travel (and non-travel) perks that come with this card.

If you can’t stomach the ¬£650 fee – stop reading now and maybe consider either the BA Amex Card or The Amex Gold card – both of which come with their own significant travel benefits and are without year one fees.

But if I have piqued your interest enough to consider ¬£300 worth of global dining credit, ¬£100 Harvey Nichols retail credit, free access to airport lounges and included worldwide travel cover – plus a fair few other perks – then let’s pick apart the Platinum Card offer and see just how much value an average traveller might enjoy.

Amex Platinum Card – How It Works

The Platinum card by American Express works just like any other credit card, and like other cards, it comes with its own set of perks. It is ideal for those who travel a fair amount (we will get in to why shortly) and like other Amex cards, it allows you to collect American Express points – which they call Membership Rewards.

For every £1 you spend, you earn 1 point that can be used against travel or retail related purchases. But you get this with non-fee paying cards, so what makes Platinum so special?

For your £650 yearly fee you also get an array of other benefits Рand depending on how often you travel, they could be worth thousands in savings.

Amex points can also be transferred to other travel programs – including Avios points transfers, which means they can be used on airlines including Qatar Airways and British Airways.

Amex Membership Rewards can also be transferred to:

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Finnair
  • Flying Blue (AirFrance & KLM)
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Qantas
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Having the ability to transfer Amex Reward points to so many programs makes it a very appealing rewards program.

Who Can Apply?

It’s always best to check with the card provider before applying to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.

You of course need to be over the age of 18 and the minimum earning requirements are £35,000 per annum (down from £40,000 a year or two ago).

You will need a good credit score to be approved for a Platinum card.

The Welcome Bonus

The welcome bonus on the Platinum Card is one of the most generous – and depending on when you apply (if they have any promotions running or not) and whether you are referred – you could earn as many as 100,000 points.

One word of note (and something I personally didn’t realize when I signed up) is that if you have earned bonus points from any other American Express Rewards point programs in the past two years to you signing up – you will be ineligible for the bonus points.

I was a little miffed at this Рas I had previously had an Amex personal Gold Card and a Business Gold Card Рand received bonus points from both of these. I felt with my £650 fee I should have been entitled to the points Рso it goes to show Рalways read the small print!

It’s worth saying too, that if you are recommended by a friend, the chances are you will be offered more bonus points. If you don’t have a friend to refer you, feel free to drop me an email at jason@pointsinspector.com and I’ll send you a referral code.

American Express run promotions throughout the year, and when they are on, the bonus points will sometimes shoot from the standard 40,000 points – up to 100,000.

Amex Platinum Benefits

Despite my issue with not being eligible for the bonus points – even without them, the Platinum Card benefits can still more than make up for the hefty yearly fee.

Let’s start by looking at the headline grabbing benefits:

Each year you will receive £150 to spend in one dining experience in the UK, and £150 to spend outside the UK. You will need to check restaurant eligibility on the Amex website. It is often fine dining style restaurants that are included, so if you are not a fan of this type of restaurant it may not be for you.

Amex Platinum gives you access to the top tier of Priority Pass membership which entitles you and one guest (plus supplementary card holders) and dependents up to the age of 25 to free access to over 1400 airport lounges worldwide.

This is worth over £300 (but only if you use it of course) and is a really handy benefit if you travel as a family as you can easily access Priority Pass lounges for free for your entire family unlimited times each year with this perk.

Every 6 months you are eligible for a £50 statement credit when spending £50 or more at Harvey Nichols. If this is something you plan to take advantage of along with the dining credit then you already have £400 of the £650 fee taken care of.

Annual worldwide travel insurance is included for you, your supplementary card holders and dependents – meaning that two adults and their children can be covered for worldwide travel insurance for trips up to 90 days at a time. Depending on how much travelling you do and how much your premiums are, this can be very worthwhile indeed.

With Platinum you get access to Fine Hotels & Resorts which offers competitive rates at over 1,000 luxury hotels worldwide and gives you free room upgrades, free breakfast and early check-ins\late check-outs.

I used this for a trip to Madrid and enjoyed the benefits listed above along with a $100 tab to spend on anything I wanted at the hotel – such as food or spa activities. It’s also worth mentioning that the prices of the hotels (mostly 5 star) were cheaper on the Amex booking platform than on Booking.com and had the benefits on top.

If you take just one trip per year using this then you are likely saving £100+.

There are additional benefits to these headline grabbing perks listed above, which include the Amex travel and dining concierge service, automatic access to higher tiers in hotel loyalty programs including Hilton Honors and Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite Status, discounts on car hire and flights as well as double points on all Amex travel purchases and 1x points on all other purchases.

It’s important to state that these benefits are really only benefits if you use them – and although you do not need to use them all to make the Platinum Card worth it – the more you use, the more value you can get out of it.

Next, I’m taking a look at how that value stacks up for me and my family in a standard year.

True Value

There are three main reasons I want any kind of travel rewards credit card:

  1. To collect points to spend on flights (including those generous signup bonuses)
  2. Access airport lounges
  3. Travel insurance

The other benefits are nice perks, but they aren’t deal breakers for me. You should only include them when calculating your true value if they are things you would actually spend money on.

For me Рthe addition of the £300 global dining credit is a real boon Рas both myself and my wife love eating in high end restaurants and so this is effectively a £300 like for like value for me.

If you would not ordinarily spend £150 in one visit to any of the restaurants that the dining credit can be used for Рthen this might actually add costs for you rather than reduce them.

Here’s my breakdown of true value:

Year 1 BenefitsStandard ValueTrue Value For Me
£300 Dining Credit (Home & Abroad)£300£300
Airport Lounge Access£419£419 (based on 16 visits per year)
£100 Harvey Nichols Credit£100£0
Worldwide Family Travel Insurance£130£130
Hotel Upgrades/BenefitsVaries£100+
Bonus Points£300+£300+
Concierge£50£0
Car & Flight Discounts£50£0
Total£1349£1249

As you can see from the table above, I’ve attributed ¬£1249 of value in year one, which means even after the ¬£650 fee I am still enjoying close to ¬£600 in additional value.

For me, I wouldn’t use the Harvey Nichols credit usually – I will definitely take advantage of it as a nice bonus, but that, the concierge and the car hire discount is something I wouldn’t factor in.

For you, it might be the dining credit or the travel insurance that is worth nothing to you – and the figures above might be different for you based on your circumstances and preferences – but hopefully they serve as a good guide.

Is It Worth It?

Whether the American Express Platinum Card is worth it for you will very much depend on how you attribute the value to the benefits as shown above.

ETIHAD Business Class lounge
Airport lounge access is a real perk

Certainly, if you are eligible for the year one bonus points then it is usually very easy to make a solid case ‘for’ the Platinum Card.

The other beefy benefits such as the airport lounge access and dining credit will depend on how often you travel and how you like to dine. If you are traveling via air more than 4 times per year (assuming at least two lounge visits per trip for two or more people) and you take advantage of the dining credit then the chances are it will at least break even for you.

For me personally, even without the bonus points, the card is well worth it. For those who don’t have a family or who travel alone, then the perks might have to work a bit harder to make this card worth it for you.

Personally, I love the Platinum Card – and although the annual fee has crept up in recent years – so long as it doesn’t go much further north, I’ll continue to use it.

Verdict

We are blessed to have so many high value rewards based credit cards at our disposal – and the Platinum Card by American Express really is one of the heavy hitters.

Personally, I love it. Aside from the gorgeous aesthetic and the weighty feel of metal each time you pay for something, the benefits really are benefits – and not just a small perk.

The amount of value you can extract each year will vary on your exact usage, but for anyone who travels by air a few times each year (especially if it’s with others) then it shouldn’t be hard to at least break even – and that’s without trying too hard to find the value.

Should you get the Platinum Card? Only you can decide – but for me it’s a big yes!

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