I really feel a bit tacky saying it, however I like my Platinum Card® from American Express, even with its exorbitant $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). I plan on protecting it perpetually, regardless of the hefty enhance within the annual payment again in 2021.
I first received the Amex Platinum card manner again in 2000 after I knew nothing concerning the world of factors and miles. I don’t assume I even received factors for making use of. On the time, I assumed I used to be one thing particular only for holding the cardboard (oh, the self-love of youth).
The status issue stays excessive for a lot of, however I’ve moved on to the various useful advantages of the cardboard that, for my part, simply justify the annual payment. Amongst them? The automated Gold standing with Marriott and Hilton, as much as $200 per calendar 12 months in airline fee statement credits, computerized elite standing with Hertz and the as much as $200 per calendar 12 months in Uber Money. Enrollment is required for choose advantages.
Now, I’ve to confess, I used to be a bit shocked by the soar within the payment. A rise of $145 is some huge cash. Happily, the mathematics nonetheless works nicely for me to maintain the cardboard.
I’ve already used the Clear statement credit to the tune of $189 this 12 months. I’m additionally an enormous fan and subscriber of The New York Instances, in order that $20 per 30 days digital entertainment credit will go to good use for my $18 per 30 days NYT on-line invoice. The opposite $2 a month partially offsets my Hulu streaming subscription. These two new advantages alone are price $240 to me. Enrollment is required.
That mentioned, I’m comparatively unimpressed with a few different advantages. I don’t frequent Equinox gyms, so I have never been in a position to make use of that profit. The $155 credit score for Walmart+ can also be not interesting, however aside from that, I stay “all in.” Enrollment is required.
I’ve used my American Express Membership Rewards factors a number of occasions prior to now few years. I transferred Amex factors to Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue program so I may fly enterprise class from New York to Paris in October for 76,000 Flying Blue miles. I booked one other business-class flight from Paris to New York this summer time for one more 73,500 Flying Blue miles.
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I additionally transferred 30,000 Membership Rewards factors to Flying Blue so I may improve from a premium economic system seat on Air France to enterprise class in February. Rating.
These are the type of redemptions that make Membership Rewards factors so useful on prime of some nice advantages, however there are quite a few different perks that include the cardboard. Learn on for all of the methods I received worth from the cardboard final 12 months and the way I’m maximizing it in 2023 and past.
I received a ton of use from my Amex Platinum final 12 months. Along with having fun with entry to Centurion Lounges in New York, Miami, Dallas and Seattle, I saved sufficient cash and earned sufficient factors by way of varied perks to make protecting the cardboard a no brainer.
One in every of my favourite issues concerning the Platinum card is the automated Gold standing with Marriott and Hilton. I have already got Diamond status at Hilton by way of my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — which has a $450 annual payment (see rates and fees) — however the standing at Marriott got here in helpful a number of occasions prior to now few years. I’ve been upgraded and obtained a brilliant late checkout time simply due to the automated standing granted by the Amex card. In reality, the cardboard offers you standing in several elite programs.
The data for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.
Membership Rewards factors
I earned greater than 75,000 Membership Rewards factors final 12 months. Whereas I don’t put all of my on a regular basis spending on the cardboard, I do use it for airline purchases to get 5 factors per greenback spent. I additionally use it for rental automobiles for auto insurance benefits and have gotten some profitable referral bonuses.
In 2021, I even obtained 20,000 points as a bonus for keeping my card.
In 2022, I counted greater than $1,000 in assertion credit alone. Among the many finest credit? The $20 a month for streaming companies. I received $100 again from the biannual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit ($50 each six months), and I additionally benefitted from a $70 credit score I obtained for one in every of my approved customers paying for his TSA PreCheck software with the cardboard. Enrollment is required.
Moreover, I earned the entire (as much as) $200 airline fee statement credit for charges at Delta Air Strains. These rebates got here in helpful, as they coated pet-in-cabin charges I incurred whereas touring with my canine. Enrollment is required for choose advantages.
I used to be additionally in a position to maximize my Uber credit, incomes $200 again from that profit.
Conservatively, I’d say I received at the very least $1,000 in worth from assertion credit alone in 2022.
Burning these factors
I would be remiss if I did not point out how I lastly redeemed a number of the Amex Membership Rewards factors I have been hoarding. With round 144,000 factors, I booked two business-class flights price greater than $4,000. Speak about a return on my annual payment funding.
2023 is off to begin in relation to incomes again my annual payment.
I’ve already been in a position to make use of a few lounges this 12 months because of the cardboard giving cardholders entry to Delta lounges when flying on Delta flights. To date, I’ve checked out the incredible new Delta lounge at New York Metropolis’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) courtesy of my card.
After all, the most effective lounges I’ve entry to (for my part) are the Centurion Lounges, the place you get entry regardless of which provider you might be flying. I’ve already had the prospect to spend time on the new LaGuardia Amex Centurion Lounge, which I extremely advocate.
Nonetheless, I anticipate getting much more use out of my lounge entry as I proceed to journey this 12 months.
Membership Rewards factors
Simply three months into the 12 months, I’ve managed to earn a complete of 8,641 Membership Rewards factors. That is due, partially, to the excessive incomes price on airline purchases.
These factors add up quick and can convey me that a lot nearer to my subsequent massive redemption.
Within the first quarter of 2023, I’ve already obtained some $300 in assertion credit. To start out, I received a credit score for a Delta Air Strains payment of $50 for choosing a seat on a flight. One other $189 got here again to me when one in every of my approved customers renewed his annual Clear membership.
Along with these credit, I additionally count on to qualify for a $125 credit score for a pet-in-cabin payment I will be paying later this 12 months. The opposite massive credit score for me this 12 months would be the up to $200 annual hotel credit on pay as you go American Specific High quality Lodges + Resorts or The Lodge Assortment bookings (the latter requires a keep of at the very least two nights) made by way of American Specific Journey. I plan on making an attempt to make use of it to e-book a resort in Paris this summer time.
I will even use the total $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit by shopping for some candles and Bombas socks as nicely. I ought to have the ability to use the rest of my Uber credit, too.
The Amex Platinum’s excessive annual payment is a bitter capsule to swallow, however it comes with a spoonful of sugar, too.
Conservatively, I’d say that I’m getting at the very least $1,500 in worth out of my Amex Platinum yearly. That worth will doubtless soar into the $3,000 to $4,000 vary this 12 months because of all of the Membership Rewards factors I’ve redeemed not too long ago. Not a foul return on my funding, for my part.
Because the outdated Amex slogan goes: “Membership has its privileges!”
Apply for the Platinum card with 80,000 bonus factors after you make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership. Nonetheless, you might be able to earn a higher welcome offer through a friend or loved one’s referral link by way of June 7.