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How to Maximize the Amex Platinum Travel Credit

The Platinum Card from American Express has developed a reputation as one of the best premium traveler’s cards on the market. When the COVID-19 pandemic brought many travelers’ plans to an abrupt halt, AMEX used the opportunity to infuse the AMEX Platinum card with even more generous membership benefits.

Many benefits are still available as incentives to American Express cardholders today. From hotel and airline credits to cashback on streaming services and shopping, the American Express Platinum card is flush with benefits.

The great thing about Amex travel credit and bonus offers is that they are available in addition to any rewards you may earn through the membership points rewards system. Between the two, it’s actually possible to save a great deal of money as long as you spend responsibly.

The downside, of course, is that Amex’s Platinum card comes with a considerable annual fee. Whether or not it’s worth it for you will largely depend on your knowledge of how to make the most of your membership rewards.

This begs the question:

How Much Is the Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card?

The Amex Platinum card comes with a hefty annual fee of $695 and 19.74% to 26.74% variable APR on eligible charges. Oof. Admittedly, based on these numbers, it may not initially come across as one of the world’s best credit card offers.

Yet there are plenty of reasons that people still apply to become platinum cardholders every day. The card’s main draw is that it offers up to $1,500 worth of benefits every year.

Mastering Amex’s credit card points system can not only help you earn back your initial $695 investment, but also earn you an extra $805 in credit statements every year. But before you jump in and start racking up charges, it’s important to keep two things in mind.

The first is that even an extra $805 a year can disappear quickly if you don’t stay on top of your payments in order to avoid interest rates and late fees. Be sure to take this into consideration before signing up for an eligible card account and never spend more than you can afford to realistically pay off.

The second thing to keep in mind is that in order to recoup your annual fee and actually save money, you’ll need to thoroughly understand everything American Express Platinum offers.

That’s where we come in. Here we’ve created a handy breakdown of all the great perks that the Platinum card from American Express offers personal cardholders. Keep in mind that offers are subject to change and that terms apply.

We’ll give you a solid overview of the perks you can expect if you choose to sign up for an eligible Platinum card. But it’s always important to reach out to Amex customer service if you have any questions.

See Related: Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access

How To Sign Up for an Amex Platinum Card Account

Before you can start enjoying travel benefits and more, there’s the small matter of actually getting approved for a Platinum card. The good news is that you can find out if you’re approved online with no impact on your credit score.

Simply head over to the application page and answer some basic questions about your contact information and income qualifications. If it turns out that you qualify, you’ll then be able to complete your application and accept the offer.

Signing For Amex Platinum Card

As soon as your card is issued, you can start enjoying perks such as a generous welcome offer for new Amex platinum cardholders. So, what exactly is on offer and how do you take advantage of it?

If you use your card to make at least $6,000 in eligible purchases within the first six months, you can score a ton of extra membership rewards points. While the exact number of points you can earn tends to vary from time to time, it’s generally anywhere between 80,000 to 125,000 points.

Amex Platinum Card Perks

Platinum cardholders also enjoy the chance to earn more points on eligible travel purchases. Whether you use your card to book directly or through the Amex travel portal, you’ll earn:

  • 5x the points for every dollar you spend on flights, up to $500,000 per calendar year
  • 5x the points on prepaid hotels
  • 1x points on every dollar you spend on every other eligible purchase you make with your card

How Do Amex Credit Card Points Work?

Signing up for a new Platinum card can help you rack up plenty of points fairly quickly. But no matter how many points you earn, they won’t mean much unless you take the time to understand how to track and use them.

After logging in, click on the “Account” option at the top of the menu and then select “Membership Rewards Points Summary” under “Other Accounts and Payments.”

Amex My Account Section

There you’ll be able to keep track of how many points you’ve earned and redeem them for the offers of your choice. While Amex’s point system definitely comes with perks all its own, it can also be a little confusing to navigate.

The good news is that points can be redeemed for everything from gift cards to statement credits. The tricky thing is that the value of your points can change substantially depending on which offers you choose.

Luckily, Amex has provided a handy way to compare the value of your points based on which offers you redeem. The Amex points value calculator allows you to select the number of points you have to spend and then shows you what you’ll get if you use them for various rewards.

What Rewards Can You Earn With Amex Points?

Amex Membership Rewards Webpage

The Amex points value calculator is a nice way to get an overview of all the options you have for redeeming your points. Options include using your points to:

  • Pay at checkout with participating retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Grubhub, and more
  • Earn gift cards from a huge variety of different retailers and restaurants
  • Earn statement credits on your account
  • Book flights, hotels, and upgrades through Amex travel
  • Transfer points to other participating frequent flyer programs

As mentioned, however, you’ll quickly discover that your points will go a lot further on some reward options than others.

Let’s say, for instance, that you had racked up 10,000 membership points on your Amex Platinum account. If you choose to use them to check out online at Amazon, they’d be worth $70.

Amex Platinum Card Points Worth in Amazon

If you exchanged them for a statement credit, however, they’d only be worth $60.

Amex Platinum Card Points Worth in Cover Card Charges

On the other hand, using the same number of points to book flights through Amex travel would make them worth $100.

Amex Platinum Card Points Flight Value

Bookmarking the points calculator is a great way to make sure you get the highest cash equivalents possible for the points you earn on your Amex account. Aside from Amex travel, the best deals tend to be gift cards from certain retailers.

Be sure to look through the various cards available, as some offer better deals than others. While 10,000 points will only earn you a $70 gift card from Walmart or Target, you can exchange them for a $100 gift card from stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Barnes & Noble, Adidas, and more.

See Related: Best Credit Cards for Traveling: Our Top Picks

Amex Travel Credit and Benefits

Aside from generous bonus points, the Amex personal Platinum card also comes with plenty of other great benefits. Being familiar with the bonuses offered in a variety of different categories is the key to offsetting your annual fee and enjoying substantial savings.

Amex offers a number of travel credit bonuses to Platinum card members each year, all of which can add up very quickly. Here’s a closer look at some of the best travel perks that the credit card issuer offers for Platinum card users.

Up to $200 In Hotel Credits

Each year, you can enjoy up to $200 worth of statement credits by using your Platinum card to book a prepared stay at a participating hotel chain through American Express Travel. Rest assured, you’ll enjoy thousands of choices to choose from when you make a selection from Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts® or Hotel Collections.

Amex Platinum Card Hotel Credit Value

When you use Amex Travel to book your stay, you’ll be presented with top-tier choices from participating partners. Each booking also comes with benefits such as free room upgrades and up to $100 in credit to use on in-hotel activities like dining or spa visits.

The great thing is that you can even earn credit for booking hotels using your Amex rewards points. Just make sure to read the terms and conditions, as some properties may include minimum stay requirements.

$200 Amex Travel Airline Fee Credit

While it’s important to note that Amex’s airline credit doesn’t appear to apply to actual airline tickets, it can still save you a great deal of money on your next trip. We all know the frustration of arriving at the airport only to be hit with fees for everything from checking baggage to pricey in-flight refreshments.

That’s where this particular travel credit could come in handy. Each year, Platinum users get up to $200 worth of statement credits to cover these types of fees. The only catch is that you can only use them for one selected airline, so make sure you choose wisely!

Access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection

As a Platinum cardholder, you’ll enjoy free entrance to any of Amex’s 1,400+ airport lounges in countries all over the world. Simply present your same-day boarding pass, I.D., and card to gain access.

You’ll enjoy the perks of the Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Club, Escape Lounge, and other participating lounges at airports around the world.

See Related: Best Travel Credit Card Deals for Airline Points

Premium Perks and Benefits on Car Rentals

Platinum members have the option to enjoy complimentary Premium status enrollment through a number of different car rental companies. You can enroll in Avis Preferred®, Hertz President’s Circle status®, and/or National Car Rental® and more right from your benefits page.

When you use your Premium card to book car rentals, you’ll also enjoy additional upgrades and discounts from a number of different providers. Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about getting upsold on the optional insurance coverage.

Your Amex card comes with complimentary collision damage waiver coverage for many vehicles. Just be sure to read the fine print when using the offer for secondary coverage, as certain conditions and terms apply.

Baggage and Trip Insurance

Despite all our planning, sometimes unavoidable issues are a part of travel. But when you use your Amex card to book flights, know that you’re covered by additional protection.

Say you’ve booked a round-trip flight with your card, only to end up with extra expenses because your flight is delayed for more than six hours. Amex can reimburse up to $500 worth of those expenses on up to two qualifying trips per year.

Amex’s Trip Cancelation and Interruption Insurance can also reimburse you up to $10,000 per trip for non-refundable expenses you incur due to covered reasons. You’ll even enjoy coverage on lost or stolen luggage on any plane, bus, ship, or bus trip that you booked using your Platinum card.

Enjoy Unlimited Insider Fares on International Flights

If you’re planning on booking an international flight, then it could pay to use your membership rewards points to book your ticket through Amex Travel. You’ll enjoy free unlimited access to Insider Fares, which are flights that cost fewer points to book.

The key is to realize that your search will only yield Insider Fare flights that you have enough points to cover completely. So, if you are considering a trip abroad, it may be worth letting your points add up in order to see additional options.

Enjoy a $189 Clear® Travel Credit

Gone are the days when you had to rely on travel documents and long security lines to gain access to the nearest airport. Clear is revolutionizing the airline travel experience by allowing members to verify their identity using simple eye or fingerprint scans.

If you’d like to take advantage of the program, make sure you sign up using your card. You’ll receive a statement credit for $189, which currently equals a full year’s membership.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credits

Sick of waiting in line at airport security or customs at U.S. airports? Make sure you take advantage of your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck bonus Amex travel credit.

Global Entry, which can get you through U.S. Customs much quicker at select airports, charges a one-time $100 application fee. When the time comes to pay, simply charge it to your Amex card and you’ll receive a full $100 statement credit.

Alternatively, you can choose to receive an $85 statement when you enroll in a 5-year TSA PreCheck plan. It’s also worth noting that if you’re approved for Global Entry, you may be able to gain access to TSA PreCheck for free.

See Related: Best Credit Cards for Churning for Rewards Points

Amex Platinum Shopping and Entertainment Perks

While American Express has long been known for providing excellent Platinum travel service bonuses, the benefits don’t stop there. Amex now offers cardholders several benefits for everyday shopping and entertainment purchases.

Amex Platinum Card Entertainment Credit Price

$240 Entertainment Credit

In addition to travel bonuses, American Express Platinum card holders can now enjoy up to $240 in credits each year toward participating entertainment options. Simply enroll and use your Platinum card to subscribe to one or more of the following services:

  • Disney+ or The Disney Bundle
  • ESPN+
  • Hulu
  • Peacock
  • SiriusXM’
  • The New York Times
  • Audible

You’ll receive up to $20 a month in statement credits, all for enjoying your favorite music, movies, and more!

Enjoy Walmart+ for Free With a Monthly Membership Credit

When you sign up for a membership with Walmart+, you’ll enjoy free grocery delivery, shipping, fuel discounts, and more. Best of all, you can enjoy all the benefits of Walmart+ for free when you sign up using your Platinum card from American Express.

Each month, Amex will issue you a credit that covers the price of your subscription. Walmart+ claims that the subscription itself can save you up to $1,300, so this offer could go even further toward offsetting your annual fee than you imagined.

$100 Annual Savings from Saks

You can enjpy $100 worth of credits each year when you use the Platinum card from American Express to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue or Saks.com! While this is an incredibly generous offer, it’s important to note that it actually comes in the form of two separate $50 credits.

Use one anytime between January and July, and enjoy the other between July and December. No minimum purchase is required, so feel free to splurge a little – or a lot!

$200 in Uber Cash Credits

It even pays to link your card with the Uber app, as you’ll get $15 every month in Uber Cash. You’ll even enjoy a bonus of $20 every December.

Whether you choose to use your credits for Uber Rides or Uber Eats, you’ll enjoy up to $200 worth of free perks every single year. Not a bad way to cover your trip to the airport to catch that flight you booked through Amex travel, huh?

Enjoy Up to $300 in Equinox Credits

Amex even has you covered when it comes to staying in shape. Each year, you can enjoy up to $300 in credits when you use your card to pay for an Equinox gym membership or Equinox+ app subscription.

Want to up your home workout game by purchasing an Equinox SoulCycle? Amex will reward you with a $300 credit each time you use your card to purchase a SoulCycle. While most people will only need one or two, Amex will give you the same deal on the purchase of up to 15 bikes a year!

Enjoy Complimentary Cell Phone Insurance

When you pay your cell phone bill with your Platinum account, your phone will automatically receive up to $800 worth of theft and damage insurance for the month. Should your phone meet with a disaster, you will be required to pay a $50 deductible.

But most would agree that that’s a welcome trade-off to being forced to cover the price of a brand-new smartphone! Just be careful to keep an eye on your new phone, as you’ll be limited to 2 claims per 12-month period.

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