Recently, I highlighted some of the most expensive credit cards currently available in the United States.
It was more of a “for fun” post, rather than an advice piece. And at the end of the article, I noted that the credit cards were more entertainment value than actual value.
So let’s look at one of them in more depth to see if it’s a good deal.
American Express Platinum Annual Fee = $450
The first major strike against the American Express Platinum card is its staggering $450 annual fee.
Sure, if you’re filthy rich, it’s not a lot of money, but for everyday consumers, it’s a significant amount of cash to fork over to your credit card issuer each year.
So what does this charge card with no spending limit offer that its peers do not, and is it worth the hefty price tag?
25,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
Well, for starters, the Amex Platinum comes with 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 during your first three months of card membership.
Put simply, 10,000 points is worth $100 in gift cards or other purchases, so you’re basically getting $250 in value there.
That’s not a bad haul, but it still doesn’t come close to offsetting the annual fee. In fact, you’re still $200 short.
The upside is if you use the points toward tickets on any airline, you get 20% of your points back. In other words, they go a bit farther.
You can also earn 10x points when you use the card with select merchants and 2x points when you book travel online at American Express’s travel website.
So the points can certainly add up.
But you need to spend about $4,250 a month to actually completely offset the $450 annual fee.
Tip: Keep an eye out for 100,000 bonus point Amex Platinum offers in the mail. Such a bonus will actually make this credit card quite attractive.
Even if you don’t get the offer in the mail, call American Express and ask for it! They’ll usually match offers sent to other customers, assuming you’re a creditworthy borrower.
What Other Perks Does Amex Platinum Offer?
There are certainly a lot of travel-related perks with the Platinum Card, namely the $200 annual airline fee credit, which reimburses you for incidentals like baggage fees, change fees and in-flight expenses.
You also gain free access to airport lounges in over 600 international and domestic locations in 100 countries. And you can bring a guest for just $27.
On top of that, you can earn a free international companion airline ticket when you purchase a qualifying full-fare first or business class ticket through the Platinum Travel Service.
The Platinum card is also foreign transaction fee free, which is great for world travelers.
Additionally, you get a $100 statement credit if you book a qualifying cruise or vacation of $3,000 or more via the Platinum Travel Service.
And hotel and car rental upgrades seem to be the norm with this card as well.
Finally, you also receive up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance when you use the Platinum Card for your purchase.
There’s also a concierge service, which can help with shopping and dinner reservations at the world’s best restaurants, along with access to once-in-a-lifetime events.
Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
But perhaps the best aspect of this credit card is the purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection.
For example, if your laptop falls to the ground or gets stolen, Amex will reimburse you for the full purchase price so long as it occurs within 90 days of purchase.
Of course, their lower-end credit cards offer the same protection, so it’s not necessarily unique to the Platinum Card.
That said, you might be better off with the Blue Cash Everyday card, which comes with similar perks and cash back, all with no annual fee.
Pros of the American Express Platinum Card
- 25,000 point sign-up bonus
- No spending limit
- No foreign transaction fees
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- Free access at airport lounges
- $500,000 in travel accident insurance
- Purchase protection/extended warranty
- Concierge service
Cons of the American Express Platinum Card
- $450 annual fee
- No promotional APR
- Balance must be paid in full each month
- Limited bonus point categories
Tip: If you want to qualify for the American Express Black Card, you need the Platinum Card first, and must spend at least $250,000 on it annually.