Premium rewards credit cards don’t come free of charge, but sometimes the card’s rewards help the card pay for itself. The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best credit cards that can pay for itself, even with the hefty $550 annual fee, if you take full advantage of the benefits.
The American Express Platinum card is one of most expensive travel credit cards on the market, but its rewards truly set it apart from its competitors. It comes with over 40 benefits, mainly focused on the frequent business traveler. Some of the highlights include automatic Uber VIP status and Uber credits, airline credits for incremental fees, access to exclusive travel lounges, and five-times rewards points on purchases of airline ticket and eligible hotels.
Getting the Amex Platinum card’s annual fee to pay for itself through the redemption of points and perks, does take careful planning, but it is well worth it.
How to Make the Amex Platinum Annual Fee Worth It
With most American Express credit cards, the rewards program is complicated as it offers many different ways to earn points and redeem them. The average value per reward point is approximately 1.5 cents per point. Depending on how you choose to redeem the points, the payoff may vary slightly. Here are ways to leverage the points, along with other ways to make the card payoff:
Sign-Up Bonus – 60,000 points – $900
The Amex Platinum has one of the best introductory bonuses available: currently at 60,000 in member rewards points when the holder makes $5,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of membership. Based on a points evaluation of 1.5 cents per point, this works out to $900.
So, if you can take advantage of the sign-up bonus, you already pay off your annual fee for the Amex Platinum. But what if you didn’t spend $5,000 within the first three months? Or what if you are a long-time card holder who can’t receive a sign-up bonus? There are other rewards to use.
Uber Credit – $200
Do you rely on Uber to get you where you need to go at least once a month? Amex Platinum cardholders receive $15 per month in Uber credits plus an additional $20 bonus credit at the end of the year. That’s an easy way to earn $200 worth of rewards.
Airline Credit – $200
Frequent flyers who tend to rack up incremental airlines fees for items such as checked baggage, seat choice, and meals, can now enjoy upwards of $200 in annual credits for these fees. That means you can enjoy that mid-flight meal for free if you are flying with one of the following airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
TSA Pre or Global Entry Credit – $100
If you are approved for TSA pre or Global Entry, Amex will immediately credit your account with $100. This reward is a one-time credit available to new applicants only.
Delta Lounge Membership – $495
Access to the Delta branded airport lounges is just one lounge membership out of many others available through the Platinum card. Its annual membership fee, for non-executives, is a whopping $495, or $29 per visit.
This reward doesn’t take into account the other lounge access you receive, including The Centurion Lounge and The International American Express lounges, as well as partner networks, Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select.
Beyond these suggestions, there are many other ways to get the Platinum card to pay for itself. The card could help avid travelers save money compared to other cards because it has no foreign transaction fees. At select hotels, cardholders benefit from free extras like late check out and receive complimentary access to premium car rental services.
If all else fails, perhaps Amex will simply waive the annual fee. Longtime customers, with a history of on-time payments and excellent credit, may very well have their fee waived. While it’s not guaranteed, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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