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- The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best rewards credit cards because of its benefits, perks, and rewards that can get you a ton of value beyond the substantial welcome offer.
- The card's annual fee may seem steep, but The Platinum Card® from American Express more than pays for itself if you make the most of its rewards and benefits. Some of these perks require activation — they aren't automatic.
- You'll earn rewards on everyday spending and receive credits for airline fees, Uber rides and Uber Eats delivery, and shopping at Saks-brand stores. You'll also get access to thousands of airport lounges, elite status benefits at Marriott and Hilton hotels, opportunities to attend exclusive invitation-only events, and more.
- Plus, you can redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points for unforgettable first-class flights and bucket-list trips.
- Read Business Insider's guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees of any publicly available consumer credit card —$550 (See Rates) — but the perks of the card can more than outweigh the annual cost. For many frequent travelers, the Platinum Card is a must-have, but even if you're sticking closer to home, you can still get hundreds of dollars in value from its benefits.
What's more, there's currently a welcome offer on the Amex Platinum that is incredibly rewarding for those who aren't traveling right now. You'll earn 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening (Note: New Platinum Card® cardmembers can earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months of card membership).
With the holidays approaching and a full six months to meet the minimum spending requirement, it should be easy for most people to unlock the welcome bonus.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The best part of the airline credit is that because you get it each calendar year, not cardmember year, you can get it twice in your first year of having the card. For example, if you opened the card in March, you could earn the full $200 credit before the calendar year ends. Then, once the credit resets on January 1, you can get it again before your next annual fee posts, meaning you can get up to $400 in value from this credit in a single cardmember year.
To designate your airline, you can either call the number on the back of your card or log in to your online account. If you're not sure which airline to choose because you don't have travel plans yet, you can make the selection when you're ready; otherwise, once you've made your choice, you can change it each January either online or by phone.
Use your Amex Platinum for streaming and wireless phone services (until December 2020)
Amex has added limited-time perks to some cards to account for the fact that most people aren't traveling and can't use things like airline fee credits right now. With the Platinum Card, you can get up to $20 per month in statement credits each toward select streaming and wireless phone services, for a total of up to $40 per month.
This benefit is currently only good until December 31, but it's worth paying at least part of your monthly streaming and cell phone expenses with the card to unlock the credit. Just be sure to switch back to using one of the best cards for streaming services or a card that offers cell phone protection once the promotion period expires.
Add your Amex Platinum card to your Uber account
The Platinum Card offers cardholders up to $200 in Uber credits each calendar year. If you don't take Uber rides, don't worry — you can still use the credit toward Uber Eats food delivery and takeout. You'll also get a complimentary 12-month Uber Eats Pass membership (worth up to $119), which gets you a 5% discount on orders of $15 or more and $0 delivery fees.
The Amex Uber credit is broken into monthly chunks. At the start of each month, you'll get $15 of credits added to your Uber account, with a $20 bonus each December for a total of $35. Additionally, your account will be upgraded to Uber VIP status, which comes with a few perks, like the option to only request rides from top-rated drivers.
To get the credit, just add your new Platinum Card to your Uber account as a payment method. You don't actually have to use the card to pay; as long as you have it stored in your account you'll get the credits and VIP status. However, you'll have to manually activate your complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership through the Uber Eats app before December 31.
Enroll your Amex Plat for up to $100 each year in Saks credits
The Amex Platinum Saks credit is split into two chunks: You'll get up to $50 in statement credits between January and June, and another $50 from July to December when you use your card at Saks Fifth Avenue.
This perk also requires activation. To do so, sign in to your Amex account, click on the "Benefits" tab, and scroll down to find the credit listed. Click "Enroll," and you're all set going forward — you don't need to re-enroll to get the credit each time.
While items from Saks can be expensive, there are plenty of lower-priced items available, especially during sales and holiday shopping season. It's a perfect opportunity to splurge on a luxurious treat you might not otherwise consider.
Sign up for Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold elite status
Getting complimentary Marriott and Hilton hotel elite status from the Platinum Card is an excellent perk that offers real value, especially if you don't stay at one chain often enough to qualify for the mid-tier Gold level status.
Before you enroll, make sure you've signed up for loyalty accounts with each of the hotel brands. Then, either call the number on the back of your Platinum Card, or log in to your Amex online account. Enter your Marriott and Hilton account numbers to request Gold status — it typically takes a day or two for it to show up in your accounts.
Elite status perks vary between brands and each individual hotel, but typically include things like early check-in and late checkout, a better chance at room upgrades, bonus points on stays, and, in Hilton's case, free breakfast — which can add up to hundreds in savings if you're a frequent guest.
Note that you can also get complimentary Hilton status with certain Hilton credit cards, and Marriott elite status with some Marriott credit cards.
Enroll your Amex Platinum for rental car elite benefits
In addition to hotel status, you can get elite status with several car rental agencies. When you get your Platinum Card, log in online and request Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status — you'll just need to create accounts with those providers first.
Benefits include things like car upgrades, guaranteed availability, and waived fees for additional drivers.
Use your Amex Platinum to apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
If you don't have Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, you're missing out on one of the most valuable, time-saving tools frequent travelers swear by.
TSA PreCheck is a program that offers expedited security screening at airports. Instead of having to take off your shoes and light jacket, unpack laptops, tablets, and liquids from your hand luggage, and go through slow full-body scanners that create a bottleneck at the security checkpoint, PreCheck members can just put their bags through the x-ray machine, empty their pockets, and walk through a metal detector. It's a faster, easier process, and typically leads to shorter and quicker lines.
You can pay an application fee of $85 for PreCheck, or you can pay an extra $15 to apply for Global Entry, which, if you're approved, includes PreCheck. Global Entry lets you use self-service kiosks at passport control and customs when you return from abroad, skipping the long, snaking lines that typically form in the border control halls.
The Platinum Card offers a statement credit to cover either program's application fee every four years. To get the credit, fill out the application online and pay with your card. If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can use the credit to cover the cost of the application for someone else.
Sign up for ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping
ShopRunner is like Amazon Prime for other retailers. With a ShopRunner account, you can get free two-day shipping and free returns from hundreds of participating online stores.
The Platinum Card comes with a free ShopRunner membership (which normally costs $79 per year). To sign up, visit ShopRunner's American Express website, enter your email and card number, and follow the prompts.
Check out the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program
Platinum Card and invite-only Centurion (or "Black") cardholders have exclusive access to Amex Travel's Fine Hotels & Resorts program, or "FHR."
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is an exclusive, curated list of hotel properties and resorts around the world. Currently, there are about 1,100 properties in the program, although the list changes each year as new properties are added and dropped .
When a cardholder books through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, they'll get exclusive perks at the hotel, including room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout, complimentary breakfast, and an on-property credit to use on dining or spa services.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
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