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2021 Review: The Platinum Card® from American Express – Is It Worth the $695 Annual Fee?

Updated Sep 09, 2021 | Published Apr 01, 202014 min read

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $695
Regular APR See Pay Over Time APR
At a glance

The American Express Platinum is the original high-end travel card. For its high annual fee, you’ll get access to an equivalently strong benefits package. That includes various credits and enrollment in airport lounge and hotel programs that help you save money and make traveling a breeze.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

While The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees compared to other cards, it offers a huge portfolio of benefits. We give it 5 out of 5 Stars because when it comes to expensive travel cards this one really feels like it’s worth the cost. (Rates & Fees)

Why We Like It

  • Large collection of high-end benefits, including the best card airport lounge access program available
  • Enrollment in programs that offer their own selection of extras and discounts, like elite hotel statuses
  • Annual credits to make the annual fee manageable
  • Flexible redemption options, including point transfers

Why It Could Be Better

  • High annual fee ($695)
  • Airline fee credit can only be used for incidentals, and you must select an airline ahead of time
  • Domestic airline point transfers have a fee
  • Hotel bonus category is limited to Amex Travel bookings
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card, a high-end metal card with a $695 annual fee, isn’t for everyone.

If you often find yourself sitting in a plane or sleeping in hotels, though, you should give this card a look to see if it could make your trips more enjoyable and save you some money.

This was the first high-end travel card, loaded with rewards and benefits. It’s been updated to keep it competitive with more recent entries to the market, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Mastercard® Black Card™.

We’ll walk you through the rewards and the many valuable benefits to help you decide whether this card is worth the price.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Designed for people who travel often: This is a card designed for frequent travelers, who’ll use it enough to make it worth the annual fee. If you travel multiple times per year this card might fit easily into your spending habits, where it can save you some money and provide some nice perks. If you don’t travel often or have a less predictable schedule, we recommend you check out some less-expensive travel cards.
  • Great for airport lounge access: If you spend a lot of time in airports be sure to use your card to gain access to any lounges that participate in the American Express Global Lounge Collection. There are quite a few all over the world, and they include Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, and Delta Sky Clubs (enrollment required). You and up to two guests can enter for free in many cases.
  • Use the travel perks: Enroll in the membership programs and educate yourself on how to make the most of the benefits. They include elite hotel statuses, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, and the many complimentary services you’ll find in the Fine Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Collection packages.
  • Transfer your points: You can maximize the value of your Membership Rewards points by transferring them to partner loyalty programs, like airlines and hotels.
  • Understand how to use the mighty Platinum card: Before getting this card, have a strategy to make good use of the rewards and benefits. Craft a plan of action to earn points and redeem them for their maximum possible value, and to book travel that will let you use perks like hotel status.

The Rewards

While the main value of this card comes from its benefits, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn rewards. You can earn the equivalent of .5%–5% cash back on purchases depending on the spending category and how points are redeemed, and even more if you transfer your points to a loyalty program.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then 1X)
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months

So, if you pay for flights and hotels with this card and can book directly with an airline or through Amex’s portal, you’ll be able to rack up points quickly.

Membership Rewards points don’t expire as long as the account is open and in good standing, so you can save up points over time without worrying they’ll go away.

Redeeming

There are many ways to redeem Membership Rewards points, and some are much more profitable than others. It’s worth taking some time to understand your options and learn exactly how to get the most value for your points.

You have three main options for point redemptions:

  • Normal redemption methods (Pay With Points for flights, hotel reservations, gift cards): Up to 1 cent per point; up to 5% cash back equivalent
  • Point transfer to frequent traveler program: Up to 2 cents per point or more; up to 10% cash back equivalent or more
  • Statement credit: 0.6 cents per point; up to 3% cash back equivalent

The normal redemption methods, like cashing in points for flights through Amex Travel or gift cards to certain merchants, can provide the equivalent of up to 5% cash back for your spending in the best cases. Statement credits will only provide 0.6 cents per point, and at a maximum of a 3% cash back equivalent this is the worst redemption method — avoid it at all costs.

The best values will be found by transferring your points to frequent traveler programs, where you can get the equivalent of 10% cash back or more for certain transfers. But the value of your points will depend on how you redeem them with the airline or hotel, so it pays to research your options and only use points when you’ll get a good value.

The normal redemption methods are the easiest to manage: Just cash in your points for flights to get 1 cent per point. This may be the best option for some people, who don’t want to mess around with point transfers.

But if you want to make the most of this card, point transfers will require a little more planning. As you become familiar with the process you’ll get faster, and can get a lot more value over time.

Travel

To redeem for travel expenses you’ll have a few options, with the most valuable being airline flights. The main way is to redeem through American Express Travel, though there are a couple other travel services you can use as well. You’ll be able to redeem 10,000 points in the following ways.

Redemption Method Travel Service Redemption Value Point Value (in cents) Cash Back Equivalent
Find Flights Amex Travel $100 1.0 1.0% – 5.0%
Reserve Prepaid Hotels Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7% – 3.5%
Plan Vacations Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7% – 3.5%
Take Cruises Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7% – 3.5%
Airbnb Bookings Airbnb $70 0.7 0.7% – 3.5%
Flights and Hotels on Expedia Expedia $70 0.7 0.7% – 3.5%

Transferring to Loyalty Programs

American Express will allow you to transfer your Membership Rewards points to quite a nice selection of frequent traveler programs, which cover several popular airlines and hotel chains.

There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to U.S. airlines, but there’s no charge for any other transfers. The typical conversion rate is 1:1, though you’ll also find a few different offers and occasional special deals where you’ll find different rates. Different programs will allow you to transfer points in different increments, for example 250 points at a time or 1,000 points at a time.

Transfer Partner Miles/Points for 1,000 MR Points Transfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub 1,000 Instant
Aeromexico Club Premier 1,600 Up to four days
Air Canada Aeroplan 1,000 Instant
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 1,000 Instant
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1,000 Instant
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 1,000 Up to 72 hours
Avianca LifeMiles 1,000 Instant
British Airways Executive Club 1,000 Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1,000 Instant
Delta SkyMiles 1,000 Instant
El Al Matmid 20 Instant
Emirates Skywards 1,000 Instant
Etihad Guest 1,000 Instant
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 1,000 Instant
Iberia Plus 1,000 Up to 48 hours
JetBlue TrueBlue 800 Instant
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1,000 Instant
Singapore KrisFlyer 1,000 Up to 48 hours
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1,000 Instant
Choice Privileges 1,000 Instant
Hilton Honors 2,000 Instant
Marriott Bonvoy 1,000 Instant
Learn all about point transfers and maximizing the value of your Membership Rewards points American Express Membership Rewards: Everything You Need to Know

The Benefits

Most of the value you’ll get out of the Platinum Card comes from its benefits rather than its rewards. Depending on what benefits you use and how often you use them, you could easily get enough value out of this card each year to offset the annual fee completely.

Some of the biggest highlights are the airport lounge access, Uber perks, and the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Any frequent traveler should be able to take advantage of most of these perks, helping you save quite a bit of money and occasionally making your trips much more enjoyable.

  • Global Lounge Collection: Cardholders get complimentary access to a wide selection of lounge brands, including Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta Sky Clubs, and more. You can bring up to two guests at no charge at many of these lounges. Most lounges will require you to show your Platinum Card, a boarding pass for same-day travel, and your ID. Enrollment required.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid hotels booked through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts; must pay with the Platinum card.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $300 in statement credits annually with Equinox (up to $25 per month), for Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $240 in statement credits annually for digital entertainment (up to $20 per month), only for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • CLEAR credit: Up to $179 in statement credits annually for CLEAR biometric security, enough for a membership.
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Resy provides access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.
  • Premium Private Jet Program with Wheels Up: A Premium Private Jet Program membership provides discounts and flight credits.
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Global Entry ($100) and TSA PreCheck ($85) are programs that provide expedited screening at airports, and Amex will refund the application fee for one of these programs. You’ll get up to $100 in statement credits to pay for this fee: once every four years for Global Entry, and once every four-and-a-half years for TSA PreCheck. Enrollment in either program is required.
  • Hilton Honors Gold status: Enroll in this benefit and get some nice perks when staying at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio. These include room upgrades, your 5th night free on reward stays, and an 80% bonus on Hilton Honors Base Points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status: Enroll to get a number of convenient services when staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties. You’ll get perks like room upgrades, late checkouts, a 25% point bonus, and other nice amenities.
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get up to $15 in Uber Cash per month, plus a bonus $20 in December; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • Uber VIP status: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get Uber VIP status where available.
  • Up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits per year: Up to $50 from January through June, and up to $50 from July through December (enrollment required).
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay (a new booking must be made with the eligible card, paid with that card or another American Express card, and be in the eligible card member’s name, and that card member must be traveling on the itinerary booked).
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties (a new booking must be made with the eligible card on Amex Travel, paid with that card or another American Express card, and be in the eligible card member’s name, and that card member must be traveling on the itinerary booked).
  • Global Dining Collection: Perfect for a night out on the town, American Express provides special access to reservations and dining events at top restaurants around the world. Just call your concierge service and select “Dining” from the menu. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Amex Offers: You’ll have access to extra point opportunities and discounts at a wide variety of merchants (offers are limited; enrollment required).

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
See Pay Over Time APR None 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$695 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Rates & Fees Up to $40 Up to $40

Things are pretty simple here. You’ll need to pay off your full balance every month by the due date, or you’ll incur late fees and potentially damage your credit (unless you use the Pay Over Time feature for eligible purchases; those purchases will accrue interest until you pay them off).

Eligible charges can be included in a Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Eligible charges include purchases, foreign transaction fees, and annual membership fees. The following are ineligible for Pay Over Time: cash advances, including cash and other cash equivalents, certain insurance premiums, and any other fees owed to American Express. Pay Over Time Limit applies to the total of the Pay Over Time, cash advance, and Plan balances.

All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance, a monthly payment plan, or a cash advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.

Take note that there’s no foreign transaction fee for this card, so you can use it outside the country without being penalized. As long as you always pay your bill on time and in full, the only cost you’ll ever have to deal with here is the annual fee.

This card has no preset spending limit, meaning you should have plenty of purchasing power. This doesn’t mean that it has an unlimited spending limit, however. It only means that the credit limit is not set in stone, and will adjust based on your usage of the card and some other factors.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, The Platinum Card® from American Express has a lot to offer a frequent traveler. To decide whether it makes sense for you, think about how much you travel, how much you spend, and figure out how much the benefits are worth to you.

If you could use airport lounges every week or month, this card could be worth it for that benefit alone. However, if you rarely travel by plane this card is probably not a great fit for you.

The key to using the Platinum card effectively is to be aware of the many benefits and member programs it offers. There are so many that it’d be easy to forget about some, and miss out on a nice discount or pleasant experience. These include the Global Entry/TSA Pre✓ credit, the Uber benefits, the Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy hotel programs, and the Amex Offers, all of which could save you a nice chunk of cash.

Travel cards come in many shapes and sizes, and this is just one of your options. Check out the alternatives below for some other cards with similar costs and benefits.

How Do I Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express?

Simply follow the link below to apply for this card. You’ll be directed to the card issuer’s website where you’ll need to submit an application. Before applying, check to see if you’re prequalified for any offers, which in some cases could get you a better deal.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Platinum Card from American Express?

It’s recommended that you have good credit before applying.

To have good credit, your credit scores would need to fall within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.

Keep in mind credit card issuers will look at other factors aside from your scores when determining your approval. Credit card companies will look at things like income and monthly rent and mortgage payments, so there’s a chance if your scores are lower than what’s recommended you might still be approved.

But that means there’s also a chance you won’t be approved, even if you have those credit scores or higher.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status, and potentially driver’s license number
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits come with the Platinum Card from American Express?

The most valuable benefits are probably the annual credits, airport lounge access, and elite hotel statuses. There’s $100 in annual Saks credits, up to $100 per visit for eligible hotel fees via The Hotel Collection, and more.

You and two guests will be able to enter a wide variety of airport lounge brands including Priority Pass, Delta Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges, and more. You’ll get Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status — both feature extra points, room upgrades when available, and other amenities.

Enrollment is required to access most perks. Check out a full list of benefits right here.

What are my Amex Membership Rewards points worth?

How you choose to redeem your points will determine their value. If you follow the normal redemption method (redeeming for flights, hotels, or gift cards) your points will be worth up to 1 cent for a maximum 5% cash back equivalent.

If you redeem for a statement credit, your points are only worth 0.6 cents equating to a maximum 3% cash back equivalent.

Or, you could transfer your points to Amex’s travel partners, where you could potentially find a point value of 2 cents or more, making for a cash back equivalent of 10% or more when earning 5X points per dollar.

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Alternatives to the American Express Platinum Card

If you don’t like what you see here, take a look at some other high-end travel cards currently on the market.

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) is a popular new entry to the world of high-end travel cards. But there are a few differences to be aware of between this and the Platinum.

The Sapphire Reserve offers an annual travel credit of $300 which can be used for pretty much anything from airfare to hotels, making it a little bit more handy while also being higher than what the Platinum Card provides for Uber.

However, the Platinum Card has some benefits that are better than the Sapphire Reserve, like access to more airport lounges and more useful elite hotel statuses.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve will provide higher rewards than the Platinum Card in some ways, earning 3X points on dining expenses. But if you spend a lot on airfare directly with airlines or book hotels through American Express’ portal, you’ll earn more with the Platinum Card. And you could always use a different reward card to earn points at restaurants.

So if you’d prefer to earn rewards on food, could make better use of a more flexible travel credit, and don’t need extensive airport lounge access, perhaps this is the card for you.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
    • Hotel stays and Car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Lyft rides (through 3/31/22)
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

The Sapphire Reserve features a 50% point bonus when you redeem for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That could net you the equivalent of 4.5% cash back in the 3X categories, not too bad.

Like the Platinum Card, you can also transfer your points to airline and hotel partners where you can get a better value. But with the Sapphire Reserve all your transfers will be at a 1:1 rate, a nice feature the Platinum Card lacks.

Key Features
  • 50% point bonus when redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: Transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs, like United, JetBlue, and Marriott Bonvoy.
  • $300 annual travel credit: You’ll get a $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied to any travel-related expenses you charge to your card.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Cardholders get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide plus a selection of restaurants.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts, including room upgrades, daily breakfast for two, and special gifts.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a statement credit to offset the cost of signing up for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Cardholders get accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call 1-877-660-0905 for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show.
  • Special car rental privileges: Get rental upgrades, discounts, and promotional offers at rental companies like Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental.
  • Lyft Pink membership: One free year of Lyft Pink, which includes 15% off rides, relaxed cancellations, surprise offers, and priority airport pickup
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for a year, which provides free delivery for orders of $15 or more
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit: Get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in credits in 2021.
  • Shopping protections: You’ll get Purchase Protection when shopping, Extended Warranty protection, and Return Protection.
  • Travel protections: Travel and Emergency Assistance, Emergency Medical and Dental Protection, Trip Delay Reimbursement, and much more
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$495
  • Purchase APR16.99%–23.99% Variable
  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee
Why We Picked It

The Citi Prestige® Card (Review) is a high-end travel card with a lower yearly cost, featuring a $250 annual travel credit that can be applied to plane tickets, hotel rooms, fees, and more.

You’ll get a complimentary fourth night free at any hotel you choose, twice in a calendar year. That’s a valuable feature, especially for people who stay at high-end hotels. The Prestige, however, doesn’t offer access to as many lounges as the Platinum Card. It also doesn’t come with the elite hotel statuses, which provide complimentary services and discounts, or many shopping and travel protections.

The Citi Prestige earns 5X ThankYou points on air travel and dining, with 3X ThankYou points on hotels and cruise lines. As long as you’re booking directly with airlines or through the Amex portal, the Platinum Card will be as rewarding for airline spending (and more rewarding at hotels), but it won’t get you that point bonus at restaurants.

So if you’re looking for a top-tier travel rewards card that provides some added flexibility with its annual credit, a free fourth night stay at your favorite hotel, and earns points on dining, the Citi Prestige might be the one for you.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Air travel
    • Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Hotels
    • Cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 ThankYou points for spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
Key Features
  • Point transfer: To a variety of airline loyalty programs, including Etihad Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Annual $250 travel credit: Good for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel expenses
  • Complimentary 4th Night Stay: Get your fourth night free when booking four nights in a row through ThankYou.com and paying with your card, ThankYou points, or a combination of both. Capped at twice per year.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges and restaurants around the world
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every five years
  • Citi Prestige Concierge: Call for non-emergency help any time you need it.
  • World Elite Car Rental Program: Elite memberships at Avis, Silvercar, and National
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.99%–23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The American Express® Gold Card (Review) is another above-average travel card that features strong perks and benefits for the credit aficionado on the go.

Like the Platinum, the Gold Card features perks geared at saving you money and making travel more comfortable, although there aren’t as many travel benefits. It does feature a $120 dining credit, which might even the playing field depending on how often you eat out or order in.

The Gold Card doesn’t offer enrollment in any membership programs, or grant you access to airport lounges. That benefit is a pretty valuable one, and can make traveling, especially if you do it often, far more comfortable. So in terms of benefits, the Platinum Card has the Gold Card beat.

The Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25K spent per year), and 3X points on flights booked through Amex Travel (amextravel.com). While the Platinum earns 5X points on flights, you very well could reap more rewards with the Gold Card depending on how often you use it for groceries and dining. And considering the dining credit, you’ll probably be eating out with it fairly often.

Each card is a pretty good choice. The Gold Card has a lower annual fee, but the Platinum boasts a stronger collection of perks for frequent travelers.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines
    • Flights booked through amextravel.com
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for every other eligible purchase
Introductory Bonus
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
Key Features
  • $120 annual dining credit: Earn up to $10 in statement credits per month for purchases at eligible restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Point transfer: To airline and hotel loyalty programs, like JetBlue, Southwest, Marriott, and Hyatt
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash: Add the Gold Card to the Uber App to get up to $10 in Uber Cash per month; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • The Hotel Collection: Provides up to $100 in credits for every eligible hotel stay of two nights or more, along with other perks.
  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra point opportunities at a changing selection of merchants (offers are limited; enrollment required).
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $250

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees)

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$495
  • Purchase APR14.99% Variable
  • Patented black-PVD-coated metal card—weighing 22 grams.
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
  • Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties.
  • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
  • Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
Why We Picked It

The Mastercard® Black Card™ (Review) is a more recent addition to the high-end travel card category. There are quite a few important differences to be aware of.

Chief among them, the Mastercard Black Card has a lower annual credit, no welcome bonus, and more limited airport lounge access. It also doesn’t feature the elite hotel statuses, Uber benefits, and a few other benefits that the Platinum Card offers.

However, the $100 airline credit is pretty flexible. You can pretty much use it for whatever airline-related purchases you’d like, unlike the Platinum’s. It also has a lower annual fee.

But, it still can’t really compete with the Platinum Card’s 5X point multiplier when you pay for airfare or hotel stays through the Amex portal. And since we’re talking about travel cards here, those flight and hotel bookings are the purchases that really matter.

The Mastercard Black Card doesn’t exactly stack up to the competition, considering most high-end travel cards offer more for their fees. You’d probably be better off going with one of the other cards collected here.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar for all purchases
    • Cash back redemption value: 1.5% cash back
    • Airfare redemption value: 2% cash back

You’ll get 2 cents per point for airfare redemptions, giving you a 2% cash back equivalent.

Statement credit redemptions will get just 1.5 cents per point, for a 1.5% cash back equivalent.

Key Features
  • $100 airline credit: This annual $100 airline credit can be applied to travel expenses like airfare, baggage fees, and in-flight purchases.
  • Global Entry credit: A $100 Global Entry application fee credit. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that provides expedited entry to the U.S. (it can include TSA PreCheck).
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Get unlimited visits and guests for the available airport lounges, with no need to call in advance.
  • Luxury Card Concierge: Personal 24/7 concierge service, you can call or chat live through the
  • Luxury Card app.
  • VIP Hotel & Travel benefits: Access to numerous discounts and amenities at a variety of different properties.
  • Mastercard Priceless Program: Exclusive access to invitation-only events
  • Purchase APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

How do you use your Platinum Card from American Express? What are the most valuable features to you? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Brendan Harkness

Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts are accurate and/or questions are answered.

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