AMEX Platinum Card: Earn a free bonus worth $800 or more! A needed card for all that travel, even infrequently

My wife and I like to travel frequently with or without our 5 year old son.  Over the years, I shrugged away from getting certain credit cards because of the annual fees.  That all changed a few years ago when I started to realize how many perks and bonuses were available by having the higher annual fee cards.  Today we will talk about the AMEX Platinum Card and why I keep it in my wallet all the time!

Keep in mind that the AMEX Platinum is a card that is very valuable for traveling, so if you do not travel at all, it might not be a good fit.  However, I had the card during 2020/2021 and could not travel due to COVID.  I still found good benefits and value, but it required more work and effort to justify the cost. 

The AMEX Platinum card has an annual fee of $695, Do not let this number scare you!  I will show you how you can easily get this amount back and make money every year.  Here are the main reasons and values that allow this to work in your favor:

1.)  $200 airline incidental fee.  You pick an airline and charge baggage fees, seat upgrades (such as exit row/bulkhead seats), drinks/snacks, pet fees, early check-in, airline lounge passes, some in-flight WiFi, and a bunch of other fees can all be offset by this bonus.  In addition, there are ways to charge values up to $100 to certain airlines and get the credit for actual ticket or future ticket costs.  As an example, if you select United Airlines, you can make 2 $100 purchases in their travel bank, effectively crediting your United account with $200 worth of gift cards that are able to be used in the future towards any expense related to United!  One other example, if Southwest is your airline, and you purchase flights $99.99 or less, you will also get the amount of the flight credited back on your AMEX account!

2.)  $240 digital credit per year, offered in $20 per month increments.  This credit is good for Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Peacock, SiriusXM, Audible, and NYTimes.  I enjoy SiriusXM radio in both of our cars, but would not pay the regular fee for it, but with this credit, I signed up for two promotional year long radio subscriptions for $4.95 plus tax per month.  This still left me enough to pay for a Peacock subscription, as well.  Even if you charge $21 or more per month, the first $20 will be issued as a monthly credit, leaving you to pay the remainder amount.

3.)  $200 annual FHR credit – This is a $200 credit when you stay at a hotel or resort using the AMEX travel portal and searching for a “Fine Hotel or Resort” location worldwide.  My wife and I have used this every year and usually take a staycation away from our son for one night at a nice hotel.  In addition to the $200 off, all FHR properties offer a $100 experience credit, which might be spa or food, or any combination.  Almost all properties provide early 12 pm check-in and 4 pm late checkout included with standard booking.  Finally, if an upgraded room is available the night(s) of your stay, it will be offered to you, free of charge.  We have been able to get several upgrades to nice suites over the years valued at several hundred dollars per night more.  I value this benefit at $400 per year, based on all of the above. 

4.)  $200 UBER credit – $15 month Jan-Nov, $35 in December – This credit can be used for UBER or UBER Eats.  We have used the credits strictly for transportation some months, some months strictly for food, and others a mix of both.  One pro tip:  If you use UBER Eats, order the food via the app and get your credit and then go to the restaurant, if possible, to avoid the service fee as well as the delivery fee.  I have found this can save $5-15 per order.  I am willing to drive a few miles and pick-up food a lot of the time for that kind of savings.  If you prefer the convenience, have it delivered and use the credits to offset the cost of the meal, instead.

5.)  $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit – $50 for Jan-June, $50 for July-Dec.  If you are lucky enough to have a physical location for Saks Fifth Avenue, you can purchase anything on your Platinum card in store and receive $50 off twice per year.  If you do not have a location nearby, you can order items online and get a $50 credit on your AMEX statement soon after.  Combine this discount with Rakuten or Mr Rebates (see my previous blog posts) for maximum value.  Pro tip:  You can buy a gift card in store for $50 and get the credit on your AMEX account, as well.  This ONLY works for physical store locations.  For some reason, you can’t buy one online.  I have purchased a few in store and my wife is stock piling them for a few years to make a larger purchase.

There are lots of other benefits including free access to Priority Pass lounges via a sign up link in the AMEX portal, free Hertz President’s Club access to be able to skip the rental counter line, and a bunch of hotel status upgrades that add up to potentially a lot of money, if used, as well. 

As you can see, just what has been discussed above can provide $1000+ savings per year.  I plan on posting soon about the value of Membership Rewards points (the points earned when you spend using your AMEX Platinum).  Below is a personalized referral link that will provide you a sign up bonus worth at least 80,000 Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for $480 cash, $800 travel through AMEX, or potentially a lot more if transferring the points to hotels or other airlines in the future:

Apply for an American Express Card with this link. With your new Card, you could earn a welcome bonus and your friend could earn a referral bonus. Terms Apply.   . 

Full disclosure, I will earn some bonus Membership Rewards points for the referral, but it will not affect your bonus for sign up! . 

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