Best for travel benefits: American Express Platinum card

Why it’s great in one sentence: It’s not cheap, but the famous American Express Platinum Card is a heavyweight when it comes to travel benefits, with up to $ 200 in annual airline credit, up to $ 200 in annual Uber credit, access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including Amex Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta, elite status with Hilton, Marriott, Hertz, Avis, and National Car Rental, and many other benefits from luxury travel.

This card is suitable for: People who want premium luxury travel benefits, refundable travel credits, and transferable travel rewards.

Outstanding:

  • Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex’s 21 partner airlines and hotels.
  • Up to $ 200 in annual credits for occasional purchases on a select eligible airline.
  • Up to $ 100 in credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Up to $ 15 in credits every month ($ 35 in December) when you pay for your Uber trips with the card.
  • Access to American Express Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta, and Priority Pass airport VIP lounges (not including Priority Pass restaurants).
  • Complimentary Gold Elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotel chains.
  • Complimentary Preferred Elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National Car Rental chains.
  • Shoprunner membership.
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.
  • No overseas transaction fees.
  • $ 550 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: 60,000 points after spending $ 5,000 on purchases during the first three months.

What we like about the American Express Platinum: If you want to feel like a true VIP when you travel, take the plunge and get an Amex Platinum. For some road warriors, access to so many lounges, and especially Amex’s Centurion lounges, which are considered some of the best lounges in the US, is worth the cost of the card alone. But if you can also take advantage of the card’s annual airfare credit of up to $ 200, as well as Uber’s annual credit of up to $ 200, plus the Saks Fifth Avenue credit of up to $ 100 (which you can use to buy anything at Saks, either in-store or online), you’ll get up to $ 500 in annual credits for a card that costs $ 550 a year, leaving a net cost of just $ 50. The icing on the cake is the welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $ 5,000 on the card in the first three months,

What could be better: For an annual fee of $ 550 a year, you need to be able to take advantage of the benefits of this card to make it worth the cost. And surprisingly, the American Express Platinum is not a great card when it comes to earning points. It is strong when you book airline tickets since you will get 5 points for every dollar you spend directly with the airlines. But to earn 5 points per dollar in hotels, you must book only prepaid hotels, and only through Amex Travel. For such an expensive card, those are not exceptional bonus categories. And just like with Amex Gold, credits in Amex Platinum can be difficult to take advantage of. Unlike travel credits on cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve, the credit of up to $ 200 on airlines is only valid on one airline that is chosen each year, and only for certain rates such as luggage or pets in the cabin. The Uber credit of up to $ 200 does not come as a single credit, but as a monthly series of credits of $ 15, with an additional $ 20 in December to reach the total of $ 200. Even the Saks Fifth Avenue credit is split in two, with $ 50 available in the first six months of the calendar year and the other $ 50 in the second half. In the end, the Amex Platinum isn’t designed for everyday use; Rather, you must be a regular traveler with a desire to be treated better during those long days of travel for the cost of the card to make sense. Eve the Saks Fifth Avenue credit is split in two, with $ 50 available in the first six months of the calendar year and the other $ 50 in the second half. In the end, the Amex Platinum isn’t designed for everyday use; Rather, you must be a regular traveler with a desire to be treated better during those long days of travel for the cost of the card to make sense. Even the Saks Fifth Avenue credit is split in two, with $ 50 available in the first six months of the calendar year and the other $ 50 in the second half. In the end, the Amex Platinum isn’t designed for everyday use; Rather, you must be a regular traveler with a desire to be treated better during those long days of travel for the cost of the card to make sense.

Where it outperforms our benchmark card: Luxury Travel Benefits and Travel Credits, Airline and Hotel Bonus Categories, Strong Travel Protections, Extensive Airlines and Hotel Partners, Welcome Bonus.

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