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How To Get Awesome Value From The American Express Platinum Card

No pain, no gain with the American Express Platinum card

Ok, I have to admit a £575 annual credit card is eye-watering. There is no way of avoiding the fee if you opt for the American Express Platinum. Sadly, unlike the American Express Gold card, there is no free pass in year one. You could be forgiven for thinking this is a total rip-off. After all, much as I love my American Express rewards points, I am not sure I can justify the cost of the American Express Platinum simply to earn American Express points. But, this card offers some pretty impressive benefits, so do these benefits justify the high cost?

Benefits of the AMEX Platinum card

I have listed the benefits of the card, and their rough value below so you can make your own mind up.

Benefit Value Notes
Worldwide lounge access  £539 Prestige membership costs £339 per annum and includes unlimited visits. Guests pay £20. This cost therefore assumes ten visits per year taking a guest.
Worldwide travel insurance for you, and your family  £410.01 Based on figures from Holiday Extras on 31/8/19
Complimentary hotel room upgrades  £452.39 Based on figures provided by American Express and converted into GBP using the exchange rate as of 31/8/19.
Elite hotel status in a range of loyalty programmes  £600 If you stay ten nights a year and enjoy free drinks in the hotel Club room lounges plus complimentary breakfast for two, estimated saving is around £60 a night.
Elite status in a number of car rental loyalty programmes  £37.50 The value of this benefit is hugely variable, as there are many factors involved in determining a price for car hire. This figure assumes you spend £250 a year on car hire, but you can work out your own saving depending on how frequently you hire cars.
One Fine Stay £164.50 Credit for a booking
Total £2203.40


Worldwide lounge access

Bar in Gatwick airport Lounge
Bar in the No1 Traveller Lounge, Gatwick Airport

The card includes Priority Pass membership which allows access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide. Priority pass Membership usually costs £339 per person, or you can join for £69 and pay the guest entrance fee of £20 per visit. You can also visit other lounges which usually cost from £25 per person.

Note that the American Express Platinum card allows you to take one guest as a cardholder. Assume you visit ten times a year, and take a guest each time, the value of this benefit is thus £339 plus £200. That £539 almost covers your card fee! That alone might justify the expense for the card. However, if you are using my hacks to travel in business for less than the cost of economy, then you may find that you cannot make enough use of this perk to make it worthwhile.

If you wish to add supplementary cardholder to the account they can also take a guest for free, but it costs £285 for a supplementary cardholder.

Worldwide travel insurance

Worldwide travel insurance, which includes skiing and diving, is included for those under 70 (read full terms and conditions here). The insurance includes family members under 25 and even covers gap years. It also covers extended trips up to 90 dats.

A quick search on Holiday Extras for annual travel insurance, prices the same cover at £410 for a family of five including worldwide travel and winter sports.

posing in the mountains
Enjoy beautiful views in Cervinia knowing your American Express Platinum Card has it covered!

Complimentary hotel benefits

The card offers complimentary benefits, with an average value of $550, at over q,000 luxury hotels worldwide. This includes room upgrades where possible, complimentary breakfast and a late check-out, guaranteed until 4 pm. Now, who doesn’t love a room upgrade?

Hotel tier status

Membership grants you elite status in a number of leading hotel loyalty partner programmes. This includes Hilton Honors, Shangri-La Golden Circle and Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite Status, Radisson and Melia hotels. Now I genuinely think that this is perhaps one of the best benefits of the card. Such status often grants you access to the hotel club lounges, where you can indulge in canapes and drinks free of charge. You can also benefit from complimentary breakfasts and room upgrades. Just the thought brings back memories of our suite at the Waldorf Royal Astoria in New Orleans! What a superb room it was, made even better because we got it free with our elite status.

This alone can be worth more than £60 a visit for a couple, especially if you consider that a glass of wine in such hotels can often set you back a tenner. If you stay just ten nights a year in these hotels, you will save £600 on that basis.

Dinner at the Nest Hotel Incheon
Dinner at the Nest Hotel in Seoul, a member of SPG

One Fine Stay

Platinum card holders also receive a $200 (worth £164.50 as at 31/8/19) credit for every booking made with One Fine Stay. This company offers luxury homes around the world, a bit like a very upmarket Airbnb (sign up using this link if you haven’t already).

Car rental benefits

Members gain access to the higher tiers of Avis Preferred and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty programmes. This includes a discount of up to 15%. How much value you get from this will depend on how frequently you hire a car, but I have again assumed some conservative figures.

Sign up bonus

When you spend £4,000 within the first three months of membership, you will earn a whopping sign-up bonus of 30,000. This is the best deal there is in the UK, however other cards offer up to 26,000 with much lower fees. For instance, the premium British Airways AMEX card has an annual fee of £195 and a sign up bonus of 25,000 (26,000 if you use this referral link). Alternatively, the American Express Gold has an annual fee of £140, but this is waived in the first year. As long as you spend £3,000 within three months you will earn 10,000 American Express rewards points on this card (12,000 if you use this referral link).

Remember, this is a charge card and thus the balance needs paying off in full each month. If you fail to do so you forfeit your membership reward points for the month so it could be a costly mistake.


Ongoing American Express membership rewards

Surprisingly, the earnings rate is the same as the American Express Gold card. You only earn 1 point per £1 spend which is a little less than you might expect given the annual fee. The great thing about these rewards however, is that you are not restricted to a specific airline loyalty club, as you are with the British Airways AMEX card. Instead, you can transfer points to any of the American Express airline partners.

Other perks

Private car hire

Receive a £10 credit for any bookings made with Addison Lee (appears to be London only so no use to us Northerners!) and Tristar car services.

A bit of bling

Some of you might like the glossy metal card.

Global dining collection

Foodies might drool at the prospect of dining in some of the best global restaurants. AMEX hold reserved tables for American Express Platinum Cardmembers at some of the best restaurants on the planet. They might even be able to help you meet your kitchen heroes, or arrange complimentary tour of a renowned kitchen.

Access global restaurant sensations with your AMEX card

Is the American Express Platinum card worth it?

So, based on these rather conservative assumptions, I would argue that it is worth it. Even if you take out the card, achieve the sign up bonus and subsequently cancel, you still retain elite status for the remainder of the year. You will also be eligible for a partial refund of the membership fee.

Even at conservative estimates, I think it would be relatively easy to gain over £1,500 of savings using the American Express Platinum card. Now if you happen to be tempted by all these goodies, sign up using this link to earn an additional 5,000 reward points. Just spend £4,000 within four months and you will bank a whopping 35,000 membership rewards.

What do you think?

Maybe you have already opted for this card. How much value do you estimate you gain, and would you recommend it to others?

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. I took my card out a month ago, have already spent the £6,000 to get my 65k points and in so doing have booked my brother and his wife into a Melia hotel where I got £600 discount due to the status that the card afforded me. In that way (even though I didn’t personally benefit) it’s already paid for itself. The multi-trip annual travel insurance is worth several hunderd £ alone, as I can use it for my adult daughters too. So far this card has been a great buy!! Plus if you transfer the points into Virgin Flying Club miles you can get a return buisness class flight to Japan with ANA for 95k points (120k 1st class), plus a small tax charge. Overall my initial impressions are that it is a very good card.

    • James that’s great to know. Definitely worth being strategic like this to ensure you get value for month. Love your style! I’m also guessing you are very popular with the family!!

  2. In the UK, you get one complimentary supplementary platinum card so as a family this can really pay.
    This summer myself, my wife and my son did a tour of Asia and hit the following lounges
    So you could easily argue 5 lounges times 3 people for 5 airports at £25 each which would be £375 on just one holiday

    • Mark that’s interesting as that was one of the things I checked when I did the post. In the terms and conditions it said there was an additional charge for the supplementary card holder. Have you had your card a long time and therefore it’s waived?

  3. Tres interesting! I never put that much thought into which card I use and after reading your post I’m seriously beginning to regret that. I know it takes a lot of leg work in terms of doing the research to find the best card but clearly based on what you’ve outlined here, it’s absolutely worth it! Thanks for inspiring me to get my act together in this area!

  4. I’m not a heavy card user despite being an ex banker. As a general rule, I tend to avoid all cards with significantly high annual fees. But it is good that you have listed out the benefits in detail so that people can take an informed decision.

  5. My understanding is that the Amex travel insurance that comes free with the card is a very poor comparison with the Chase products. If traveling beyond the most basic travel plans I would use a chase card to book rangements, particularly the flight.

    • Sadly the Chase cards aren’t an option for us in the UK so I wouldn’t know. I’ve looked at the insurance though and would be quite happy substituting this policy for my annual travel policy

  6. I never knew about this. It’s really nice to save few bucks while u travel and definitely gonna think about this.

  7. Right now, I’m not sure I would get the most out of taking out this card, as I don’t spend that much each month. If I travelled as frequently to get the points, then it would justify the £450 annual fee. Something to definitely consider however, thanks for the tips.

  8. Man, that membership fee is quite the sticker shock!! With good planning and the right habits, I can see how the benefits would pay off… but I think a lot of people would intend to follow through and end up not using the perks. Common problem, I’m sure! Personally, I’d love to get my hands on that lounge access.

    • I know that’s why I’ve never indulged before. However we are due to reapply for Amex in a few months and I’m definitely going to try it then so will let you know how I get on

  9. Sounds like a pretty good deal – I am going to check it out! Thanks for sharing all of this information with us.

  10. This was an interesting read, though I dont use credit cards but I sometimes feel that its important while traveling and a card which has so many benefits and is so much to offer definitely calls for giving it a try. I am thinking high time I should apply for a card

  11. We have had the AMEX Platinum Card for a number of years and after a while we kind of lost track of all the inclusions and there have certainly been a number of times where we have taken out separate travel insurance especially where we weren’t sure if it covered certain trips and activities. We are fortunate in that we still accumulate points faster than we plan to use them and hold life membership to some airline lounges quite independent of the card so it really doesn’t provide too many advantages there. Like many things you sometimes keep the membership going as a matter of habit and just keep renewing each time you get the invoice in the mail – but I’m sure if we added ll the benefits up, it would still be worthwhile to keep. Nice post.

    • Thanks Nicole. Yes I checked out the travel insurance in detail as I wanted to know if it covered skiing and diving and it does

  12. Interesting…. At the moment as we are backpacking I”m not sure we would end up making our money back (without the luxury hotel rooms and car rental) but it’s definitely one to think about!

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