If you are a frequent traveller, the American Express Platinum Card may be right for you. Here are 7 reasons that could help you decide whether getting the card is worth it.
Reason 1: Hotel Status Upgrades
As a cardmember of the American Express Platinum Card, you would be eligible for status upgrades at the following hotel chains:
By simply owning the AMEX Platinum Card, you would not need to complete 25–30 nights of hotel stays to achieve these hotel loyalty program statuses, which are worth a sum of money on its own, as they allow you to be rewarded with amenities such as free breakfast, dining vouchers, late check-out, depending on the property you are staying in.
In my case, to receive these status upgrades, I had to call AMEX upon receiving my card and tell them I would like to have my status upgraded for both hotel chains.
Reason 2: Complimentary Airport Lounge Access and Priority Pass
If you love airport lounges, then the AMEX Platinum Card has got your back. If you have this card, you will be able to have unlimited access to airport lounges in most major cities around the world.
Check out the AMEX Global Lounge Collection website and type in a city, an airport, or a country to view the lounges you can enter with the card.
You will also be eligible for a complimentary Priority Pass membership for lounge access at the Prestige tier, which conventionally requires an annual fee of USD $469 (previously USD $429), where possessing it will allow you free access to all airport lounges within the Priority Pass network. As of 2023, Priority Pass members have access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide.
Additionally, with the AMEX Platinum Card, you will also have access to the following lounge collections:
A photo showing the thickness of the American Express Platinum Card. The card is made of metal, weighing around 18.5 grams. Other non-metal credit cards typically weigh only around 5 grams.
Reason 3: $200 Annual Travel Credit
The AMEX Platinum Card offers a CAD $200 annual travel credit that can be used for flight bookings, hotel reservations, and car rentals. This credit is only usable for bookings made in the American Express Travel Online website, where eligible reservations will show you an option to pay using the CAD $200 travel credit.
Keep in mind if you make a flight booking or airline reservation through AMEX Travel, you may not be able to collect airline miles or hotel nights because these benefits usually exist only if you make a direct booking with the airline or the hotel.
However, if you are already an existing status holder with an airline or a hotel, you may still be able to enjoy your status benefits (such as complimentary check-in baggages, hotel breakfast, and so on). Make sure you link your flight or hotel membership status to your AMEX Travel booking upon or before checking in. This is usually done on the airline's or the hotel's end and not via AMEX.
Reason 4: Travel Insurance
As a holder of the AMEX Platinum Card, you may be automatically covered by the Out of Province / Country Emergency Medical Insurance. This is an insurance that activates automatically when you leave your province of residence in Canada.
When you book flights, hotels, or car rentals that are partially or fully charged to your AMEX Platinum Card, you may be covered by the following travel insurance. The bookings do not necessarily have to be made through the American Express Travel Online website for the insurance to be active.
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Trip Interruption Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Hotel Burglary Insurance
- Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
To read more about the insurance listed above, head to the Platinum Insurance Coverage webpage.
Reason 5: Membership Rewards Points
If you have not previously owned an American Express Platinum Card, applying and getting approved for the card will make you eligible for a Welcome Bonus Membership Rewards (MR) points. This Welcome Bonus changes from time to time (for the latest offer, check here).
Within the American Express website itself, there is an option to convert your Amex MR points into statement credits, where every 1,000 AMEX MR points are worth around CAD $10. This means that 100,000 AMEX MR points can be converted into $1,000 worth of statement credits.
However, the value of an AMEX MR points can be higher than that, depending on how you use them. For example:
AMEX MR points can be transferred to Aeroplan points at a 1:1 ratio, so if you have 100,000 Amex MR points, they can be converted into 100,000 Aeroplan points. During certain promotions, the value of your points can stretch even further.
Sites like Ratehub and NerdWallet calculate the worth of 1 Aeroplan point as around CAD $0.0200 to CAD $0.0223. This means 100,000 Aeroplan points on average can be worth around CAD $2,000 to CAD $2,230.
- AMEX MR points can also be transferred to other airline or hotel loyalty programs, such as Delta Skymiles at a 4:3 ratio or Marriott Bonvoy at a 5:6 ratio. Visit this page to see a list of airlines and hotels you can transfer AMEX MR points to.
Reason 6: Statement Credits and Promotions
Aside from the travel benefits above, there are also dining and lifestyle benefits that you can partake in every now and then.
One of the most notable offers I was able to get some time ago as a holder of the card was receiving up to CAD $175 in statement credits for spending up to CAD $175 in selected dining establishments (which is essentially a free dining credit).
In my time of owning the card, there have been many other "Spend X, Get Y" statement credit offers from TransLink, Subway, and Amazon, as well as from brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, United Airlines, 1Password, Dropbox, Parachute, Indeed, and more.
Reason 7: Other Benefits
Other benefits that come with the AMEX Platinum Card include:
Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which protects eligible purchased items by extending their manufacturers' warranty for one additional year.
Purchase Protection Plan, which insures eligible purchased items against accidental damage and theft for 120 days from the date of purchase for up to CAD $1,000 per occurrence.
CAD $100 NEXUS Card Statement Credit, which will apply against your NEXUS application or renewal fee.
- Benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport, such as access to Priority Security Lane, complimentary valet services, and discounted parking rates.
You can read more about all these other benefits in the American Express: The Platinum Card webpage.
So is it all worth it for a $699 annual fee?
If you travel a few times a year, whether domestically, between provinces, or internationally, I personally think that the American Express Platinum Card offers premium benefits that are indeed worth the annual fee.
For a start, the Annual Travel Credit itself already offsets the annual card fee by CAD $200, let alone the value received from the travel insurance, Priority Pass membership (worth USD $469) as well as unlimited complimentary lounge access, and hotel status upgrades (if you are a frequent traveller, think of the number of meals you would have to pay out of pocket otherwise in airports and hotels).
Are you thinking of applying to become an AMEX Platinum Cardmember? Do you think it's worth it for the annual fee?