There are very few cards that we recommend getting if you’re under 5/24, but The Platinum Card from American Express is sometimes one of those cards. When there’s an elevated welcome bonus, the Platinum Card will always be found near the top of our list.

One of the struggles that many people have with signing up for the Platinum Card is its $550 annual fee. It can be difficult to justify spending $550 for a credit card, making many people wonder if The Platinum Card from American Express is really worth it.

Let’s take a deep dive to see if The Platinum Card from American Express is really worth it, both in the first year and beyond.

Maldives, tropical paradise - Ayada Island

The Platinum Card from American Express Welcome Bonus

If you’re wondering if it is worth it to get a new Platinum Card, then you certainly have to consider the welcome bonus.

The standard welcome bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards points. However, you should always check the CardMatch tool before applying. You may find the CardMatch tool offers you a targeted 100,000 point bonus for the exact same card. American Express limits you to only one bonus per lifetime, so be sure you’re getting the highest bonus possible.

Very rarely, the bonus has been as high as 125,000 Membership Rewards points, but don’t hold out for this. If you’re planning to sign up for the card, and you’ve been targeted for 100,000 bonus points, then you should go ahead and take it.

Luxury Resort in Maldives

Luxury Resort in Maldives

For new cardmembers, the welcome bonus makes the annual fee worth it. Even at just 1 cent per point, the 60,000-point bonus is worth $600 and the 100,000-point bonus is worth $1,000. And, this is low-balling the value you can get out of Amex Membership Rewards points.

This easily makes it “worth it” on a pure financial level, but only for new cardmembers. If you’re not a new cardmember, the bonus won’t be part of your consideration for whether the Platinum Card is worth it. Instead, the other benefits and perks will be the determining factor.

Amex Platinum Card Statement Credits

The Platinum Card has three credits that help offset the annual fee. The value of these credits will vary from person to person, but are available to help offset the high annual fee associated with the Platinum Card.

Uber Credit

New York City, USA - March 5, 2016: Uber car service with sign in car window is waiting to pickup passengers on 6th Avenue in Manhattan, NY.

Uber Credit

Cardmembers receive a monthly credit to use on Uber. You’ll receive $15 per month from January through November, and $35 in December. That’s a total value of $200 in Uber credits that can be used for rideshares or with UberEats.

The credits do expire every month, so if you don’t live somewhere that Uber services and only use rideshares when traveling, the credits won’t be of much value.

This is a determination you have to make on an individual level. Many will be able to get the full $200 value every year from the Uber Credit.

Saks Credit

Honolulu, USA – Oct 29, 2017: The International Market Place shopping center in Waikiki late in the day.

Saks Credit

In addition to the Uber credit, you’ll receive $100 in annual credits at Saks. The credit is split into 6 months. You get $50 from January through June and another $50 credit from July through December.

baggage fees

Luggage on weight at check-in counter at airport

Airline Fee Credit

The final credit that you’ll receive annually is the airline fee credit. At the start of the year you can select one airline to receive a $200 credit for incidentals every year. Unfortunately, you can’t use this credit to buy a ticket, but it is great to use for incidentals such as seat selection fees or baggage fees.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit

You can get the cost of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry covered by the Amex Plat every 4 years. TSA PreCheck costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100. I’d recommend getting Global Entry because you get PreCheck with it. Plus, it won’t cost you any extra to get this additional trusted traveler program.

TSA precheck

Credits Overall

In total, there’s $500 in credits you can receive annually. The credits in themselves are almost enough to offset the annual fee, as long as you’re able to fully take advantage of them each year.

Bonus Categories

Another way The Platinum Card from American Express can have added value is through its bonus categories. You’ll earn 5X points for flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel. You can also earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines.

If you’re paying cash for travel, the 5X points is a great way to earn a bit back on your cash bookings.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any bonus categories that aren’t travel related. If you’re booking most of your travel with points, this leaves the Platinum Card lacking in its ability to earn bonus points.

Transfer Partners

What makes Membership Rewards points so valuable is the numerous transfer partners available within the program. Utilizing transfer partners is one of the best ways to get extra value from any transferable points currency.

Primarily, Membership Rewards are used to transfer to airlines. Transfer partners such as Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic, etc. offer some great opportunities to book award tickets.

KLM Flying Blue

You can also transfer points to Choice Hotels, Hilton, and Marriott. Typically, you’re better off transferring Membership Rewards points to airlines, but a transfer bonus could make transferring to a hotel partner worth it.

Lounge Access

What sets the Amex Platinum apart from so many other premium credit cards is the vast lounge access you get.

Many premium cards come with a Priority Pass membership. The Amex Platinum is no exception, but you’ll also get access to Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, and some other smaller lounge networks.

amex centurion lounge

Photo Credit: The Centurion Lounge