Premium travel cards come with a long list of benefits and credits, many of which having been added in the last few years as issuers overhaul their card products or offered up as limited-time benefits to retain cardholders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping all the benefits straight and pouring over the details can feel time-consuming and overwhelming. When it comes to benefits, and travel benefits in particular, few cards offer as many as The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Here’s an overview of some of the Platinum Card’s best travel-related benefits that anyone currently holding or thinking of applying for the card should keep top of mind.

Details of The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium card with many fantastic travel benefits. It also comes with a hefty annual fee of $695 (Rates and Fees), which is why it is so important to understand the benefits to receive full value from the card.

Overview of American Express Platinum Travel Credits and Benefits

There are a lot of top travel benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express including the following:

  • Hotel Credit
  • Clear Credit
  • Up to $200 in airline fee credits
  • Lounge access
  • Premium Private Jet Access
  • Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Trip Delay and Cancellation Insurance
  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Baggage Insurance
american express platinum travel

American Express Platinum Travel Credits

Platinum cardmembers can take advantage of a long list of credits, including three major annual travel credits not to be missed.

Hotel Credit

With the July 2021 overhaul of Platinum card benefits came the rollout of an $200 annual statement credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel.

Pre-registration for this hotel credit is not required. The credit will apply as a statement credit after you make your booking. The Hotel Collection bookings require two nights, though Fine Hotels + Resorts can be booked for only one night.

It can take some poking around, but there are some good hotel options to be found that can be almost completely offset by the $200 credit.

Clear Credit

Effective July 1, 2021, The Platinum Card® from American Express rolled out an annual Clear credit of $179. The Clear credit does not require pre-registration on the Amex website and resets on the calendar year.

Clear is a program that uses biometrics to verify a passenger’s identity, allowing them to skip to the front of the security line. Many airports have Clear lines for those with TSA Precheck and those without. In addition to airports, Clear also allows for expedited entry into some entertainment venues and stadiums. You can see a complete list of participating airports and venues here.

The standard rate for Clear is $179 a year with the ability to add up to 3 adult family members per year at a discounted rate of $50. Children under the age of 18 can go through the Clear line for free with a Clear member. Clear also offers discounted rates for United and Delta frequent flyers.

Anyone with a (free) United Mileage Plus or Delta SkyMiles account can subscribe to clear for $119 per year. Delta Platinum/Gold/Silver Medallion Members, United Premier Platinum/Gold/Silver and co-branded credit card holders for either program can subscribe to Clear for $109 per year. Clear membership is free to Delta Diamond Medallion® Members and United Premier® 1K® members. These discounts mean that most households should be able to cover at least two people with the available credit.

Airline Fee Credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express includes an annual $200 Airline Fee Credit which resets based on the calendar year. In order to trigger the credit, you must first register and select an airline in the Benefits section of your Platinum card’s account on the American Express website.

Only US-based carriers are eligible for the credit, including the following airlines

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

The credit works for charges like checked baggage, seat selection, lounge access and food and beverage charges in flight or in lounges. Per American Express’s terms, “airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.”

The credit triggers until the $200 limit is reached. The credit is a great way to save on luggage fees and seat selections. It can be especially useful on carriers like Spirit and Frontier which operate on a low cost carrier model.

airport lounge access benefits of Amex platinum credit card

One of the driving reasons many individuals hold The Platinum Card® from American Express is its range of offerings of airport lounge access.

American Express Platinum Travel Benefits

Some of the travel benefits, like lounge access, will be very familiar to most readers, while to others these may be a bit more of a mystery.

Lounge Access

One of the driving reasons many individuals hold The Platinum Card® from American Express is its range of offerings of airport lounge access. The American Express Global Lounge Collection® offers more lounge access than any other card program out there. Lounges include The Centurion® Network which includes Centurion Lounges and Escape Lounges – The Centurion® Studio Partner, Airspace lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, Lufthansa Lounges, Delta SkyClub® and a Priority Pass™ Select membership. Below is detail on each program and the card’s rules around access:

Lounge ProgramRules
Centurion® Lounges
Platinum card members and additional Platinum Card Members on the account + two guests. Access is gained by presenting your Platinum card, a government ID and a confirmed boarding pass for a flight within three hours. Those accessing a lounge during a connection may access the lounge before the three hour window.

Effective 2/1/2023, only the cardholder will have free access. Guests will be charged $50 per adult guest and $30 per child aged 2 - 17. The additional guest fees will be waived if a cardholder has more than $75,000 in spend in the card in the previous year.
Escape Lounges – The Centurion® Studio PartnerCardmember and 2 guests. Must present Platinum Card, government-issued ID and same-day boarding pass.
Delta Sky Club®Only the cardmember has complementary access and must show their Platinum card and a same-day ticket for Delta operated flight or a Delta-marketed flight operated by WestJet. Guests are $39 per person, per location and children under 2 are admitted for free.
Priority Pass™ Select Cardmembers must register for Priority Pass under the Benefits section for the Platinum card on the American Express website. To gain access to Priority Pass lounges, a passenger must present the physical or digital Priority Pass card. The Priority Pass card holder can bring two guests for free. The Priority Pass member will be retroactively carded for additional guests.

American Express Priority Pass memberships do not include the Priority Pass restaurant benefit.
Lufthansa LoungesSimilar rules apply as with Delta. The card member must be flying on a Lufthansa Group flight (Lufthansa, Austrian or SWISS), flights on Brussels or Eurowings do not qualify.

Platinum cardmembers flying economy passengers have access to the Lufthansa Business Lounges. Business-class passengers have access to the Senator Lounges.
Plaza Premium LoungesCardmember and two guests admitted. Must show Platinum card, boarding pass with confirmed same-day travel and a government-issued ID.
Airspace LoungesCardmember may bring spouse and children under the age of 21 OR up to two guests. Must show Platinum card and valid ID.

Premium Private Jet Access

Platinum Card® Members receive discounts on Wheels Up Memberships. Members receive a 20% discount on the Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core Members initiation fees, plus a $500 or $2000 credit added to their Wheels Up account to use towards their initial flight within the first year.

Wheels Up Connect MembershipWheels Up Core Membership
• $2,396 (20% off of $2,995) for the first year, $2,495 starting in year two.• $10,500 (40% off of $17,500) for the first year, $8,500 starting in year two
• $500 credit towards first flight• $2,000 credit towards first flight.
• 1 round-trip or one-way flights within the continental United States per year on a King Air 350i at a guaranteed capped hourly rate.

Amex Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts

The American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program allows card members to book select properties around the world and enjoy exclusive benefits during their stays.

The benefits include:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • $100 Experience Credit (check specific hotel for more details)
  • Guaranteed 4pm check-out
  • 12pm check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade, when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

In addition to the standard benefits, Fine Hotels and Resorts also offer additional benefits at some properties including third or fourth night free and increased experience credits.

american express platinum travel

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status

Platinum Members are eligible to receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.  Account-holders need to activate the benefit via the Benefits section of their Platinum account on the American Express website.

Gold Elite benefits include:

  • A 25% bonus on hotel stays
  • Eligibility for an enhanced room upgrade
  • Welcome gift of points
  • Complimentary In-Room Internet Access
  • 2pm late checkout

Gold status does not include elite night credits, so to qualify for status above Gold, a guest would need to complete all the qualifying requirements for status, not just the requirements after achieving Gold.

Hilton Honors Gold Status

Platinum Members are eligible to receive Hilton Honors Gold status. Account-holders need to activate the benefit via the Benefits section of their Platinum account on the American Express website.

Hilton Gold Status benefits include:

  • Room upgrades, based on availability
  • Free continental breakfast
  • 80% bonus on base stay points
  • Fifth night free on stays booked 100% on points

Gold status does not include elite night credits, so to qualify for status above Gold, a guest would need to complete all the qualifying requirements for status, not just the requirements after achieving Gold.

American Express Platinum Travel Insurance

The Platinum products come with insurance coverage that will be useful to many travelers. The most recent addition of Trip Delay and Trip Interruption Insurance in January 2020, was especially notable. With the Platinum cards earning 5X Membership Rewards per dollar on the first $500,000 spent annually on airfare booked directly with the airlines or through Amex Travel, this makes the Platinum card a wise pick for booking flights.

trip delay insurance benefits

The Trip Cancelation and Interruption Insurance of The Platinum Card® from American Express provides $10,000 in coverage per trip up to $20,000 per 12 consecutive months.

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip Delay insurance provides protection to travelers whose travel is delayed by at least six hours for a covered reason. Cardholders may file up to two claims in a consecutive 12 month period up to $500 per claim for reasonable reimbursable expenses including lodging, meals, toiletries, medications and other personal items.

The coverage is valid if the roundtrip (defined as roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip or one-way tickets) are booked with the Platinum card. Travel booked in combination with points, vouchers, coupons, certificates or discounts where a portion of the booking is paid with the Platinum card are also covered.

Eligible reasons for trip delay include inclement weather, terrorist action or hijacking, a common carrier’s equipment failure, or lost or stolen passports or travel documents. The claim process must be started within 60 days of the covered loss.

Trip Cancelation and Interruption Insurance

The Trip Cancelation and Interruption Insurance provides $10,000 in coverage per trip up to $20,000 per 12 consecutive months. The coverage is secondary to any other coverage a traveler may have.

Covered reasons include the following:

  • Injury or sickness of the traveler, traveling companion or family member of the traveler or traveling companion;
  • inclement weather;
  • Change in military orders for the traveler or spouse of traveler;
  • Terrorist action or hijacking;
  • A call to jury duty or court subpoena which cannot be postponed or waived;
  • The traveler or traveling companion’s home is uninhabitable; or
  • Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons.

There are also some situations that may leave you ineligible for coverage including pre-existing conditions, injuries that occurred while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, declared or undeclared war, and the financial insolvency of the travel agent, tour operator or travel supplier.

As with the interruption insurance, travel must be round trip (defined as roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip or one-way tickets) and can include award tickets, vouchers and gift certificates as long as a portion of the booking was made on the Platinum card.

Rental Car Insurance

The Platinum cards include secondary car rental insurance. This means that a cardholder must first file a claim with other insurance coverage before being eligible to use the secondary coverage. As with all credit card insurance, the coverage covers car loss or damage but not liability, damage to other vehicles or to people in other vehicles. In order for the insurance to be in effect, the entire car rental must be charged on the card.

The plan covers up to $5,000 in medical treatment for the cardmember, authorized driver or passengers for an accident that occurs in the rental car, accidental death and dismemberment as a direct result of an accident that occurs in the rental car, loss of personal property ($1,000 per person, up to $2,000 per accident), and theft or damage to the vehicle up to $75,000.

Residents of certain states have different coverage and certain locations and types of vehicles are not covered. Check out the Car Rental Loss and Insurance Plan documents for full details.

rental car insurance

Baggage Insurance

American Express Platinum’s baggage insurance covers the damage or loss of carry-on or checked luggage. In order for the coverage to be in effect, the common carrier travel must have been paid for in full with the Platinum card or booked via American Express Travel with Membership Rewards points. Bookings with vouchers, gift certificates or mileage redemptions are not covered. Covered individuals are the Card Member, Card Member’s Spouse or Domestic Partner, Dependent Children under the age of 23 and dependent children over 23 with handicaps incurred before the age of 23 that make them dependent on their parents.

Carry-on Baggage is covered up to $3,000 per person and $2,000 per checked bag with a per person maximum of $3,000. Additionally, there is a $1,000 per person limit on high risk items like jewelry, computers and electronics, items made from silver, gold, platinum, sporting equipment and furs. Residents of New York State have slightly different coverage which is $2,000 per bag for each covered person, with an aggregate maximum of $10,000 for all covered persons.
It is important to note that this benefit does not cover baggage delay.

Final Thoughts

Membership has its privileges and as you can see, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with many that will benefit travelers. While benefits should not be the only factor in selecting cards, receiving the full benefits goes a long way in maximizing a card’s overall value. Through its travel statement credits and insurance protections, the The Platinum Card® from American Express may actually save you money.