American Express Platinum Card: 40,000 Points, $200+ Airline Credit, and Airport Private Lounge Access

The Platinum Card® from American Express has more than doubled their usual promotion, offering the following for new cardholders:

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • With the Platinum Card, you can receive up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight-change fees, and snacks.
  • To receive the statement credit, you need to enroll and select a qualifying airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms & restrictions apply.

The annual fee is $450 a year.  It is not waived for this offer, so in my view this just about offsets all of the bonuses above.  But that still leaves …

  1. $200 airline fee credit annually, to “cover incidental fees with your favorite airline. ” Each year, you pick an airline like American or Delta. Then, whenever you charge an airline fee from them onto the Platinum card like checked baggage fees, overweight fees, ticket booking/change fees, in-flight food, it will be refunded to you. (Inflight WiFi not eligible.)
  2. Receive a companion ticket for discounted travel when you purchase a qualifying First- or Business-Class international ticket.
  3. Entertainment benefits. get Advance Tickets before the public and access once in a lifetime events with By Invitation Only.
  4. Premium travel benefits. Access over 600 lounges worldwide when you enroll in Priority Pass Select, no foreign transaction fees. Also get access to the first-class lounges, even if you are flying coach. Relax on comfortable couches, get free drinks and snacks, free computer access and WiFi, and sometimes free meals and showers. You also get preferred re-booking help if your flight is delayed.Valid for American Airlines Admirals Club, Continental Presidents Club, Delta Sky Club, US Airways Clubs, and more. You just need a same-day ticket, except for US Airways. You can access any US Airways lounge, even if you’re flying on another airline! Even better, access is valid for you and two companions, or your spouse and children under 21.


  1. Still… there’s a $450 annual fee!! yikes!

  2. If you fly Delta, definitely consider combining this offer with a promotion the airline is running until next month. Convert those 50,000 miles and you’ll get a 50% bonus plus enough qualifying miles for frequent flyer status in 2011.

  3. So Jonathan, is it safe to say that if you do bite on this card, you’ll be canceling after the first year? I’ve seen this same offer promoted on other sites, and it’s amazing to me that often the annual fee is mentioned like it’s a side note. You do a pretty good job throwing it out there fairly early.

  4. I agree, a $450 annual fee is big. Effectively with the bonus, it is waived for the first year. This is usually not the case, the bonus used to be only 25,000 points (and no airline fee credit).

    I personally do not plan on keeping this card past the first year as of right now, unless I can find out a way to use all the perks in a way that is worth more than $450 a year. It will be hard to do. Keep in mind that annual fee access for lounge access at any *one* airline usually runs about $450 alone. It’s worth something to me, but not that much. There is other stuff, like special hotel rates and free companion tickets that I am still trying to see how to maximize the value of.

    I have no problem canceling a card that does not meet my needs. It doesn’t hurt my credit score very much, especially as I have enough older lines such that my average age of accounts is still adequate. It’s always good to keep your oldest lines alive with a no annual fee card.

    Mostly, I am in a period where I am traveling nearly every other month if not monthly, and have been eyeing this card out for the free airport lounge access for a while. These lounges can be great, they often announce exactly when your flight actually starts boarding, so there is no need to hang out by the gate. Just wait in the lounge with the free drinks and snacks while surfing on the net. Makes flying so much nicer. With the airline fee credits I’ll still profit from the card as well.

  5. Must… resist… I wonder if it works for partner lounges in Europe, etc.

    Make sure you do read the fine print about those companion tickets – I have the gold card and get an email about once a month about this ‘bonus’. I went ahead and did some quick googling and it turned out to be a completely bogus proposition. I hope by paying $450 a year will land you a better deal on those, but wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same thing.

    Pete – thanks for the link! I was just about to give up on keeping my status for next year.

  6. Agree that the lounges are nice and this is a very cheap way (by comparison to paying full price) to gain access to them.
    I travel a fair amount on business and therefore get reimbursed for flight expenses. So it sounds like my employer, not me, will be the benficiary of the $200 annual credit against fees and other expenses. And I’ll be paying the annual fee. I realize I could probably expense the fees and then keep the reimbursement from Amex but to me that feels a little sketchy. If I didn’t actually pay those fees I feel weird submitting an expense report for them.

  7. Another good thing about lounges is they can make flight changes (rebook, seat changes, etc) for you. Some of the bigger lounges even have showers. If you travel a lot–particularly internationally–or just have frequent layovers, the lounges are REALLY nice.

    I have a platinum card through work and it’s nice. Doubt I would pay for it on my own.

  8. Just wanted to point out that another perk of the Platinum card is the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. That entitles you a free automatic room upgrade, late checkout and free breakfast. You also get free membership to some car rental programs (like Hertz Gold) as well as instant Starwood Gold Preferred Status. Lots of little things that if you really travel a lot, do add up. On the other hand, if you don’t travel, then you probably really can’t justify the annual fee.

  9. I will stay with cards that pay cash back.

  10. If you get a card like this using the offer and you get the points. Can you immediately cancel after you get the points and ask Amex to refund the card fee? If you do that do you forfeit your points?

  11. @Dave – This can get tricky, but yes. If you cancel after paying an annual fee you get a pro-rated refund. However, if you haven’t used the points and don’t have any other cards as part of the Membership Rewards program, then you risk losing those points when you close your last card. You also stop being able to use the other perks like lounge access, etc.

  12. So as long as I keep one if the cards I can retain all my points? Even though I only signed up to get the promo points of 50K?

  13. Yes, they want you to try out the card and if you do and still don’t want it, then you can cancel it and keep the points.


  1. […] The AMEX Platinum does have a hefty $450 annual fee. Essentially in exchange for $450 you’ll be getting 90,000 miles, elite status, first class lounge access, and also other perks like $200 annually to spend on airline incidentals like baggage fees, ticket fees, and inflight food and beverage. The first class lounge access is valid for you and two companions at American Airlines Admirals Club, Continental Presidents Club, Delta Sky Club, and US Airways Clubs. More details on the perks here. […]

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