If you’re like me and you pay $695 per year to have the American Express Platinum card, you should really make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. That’s why in this blog, we’re going to go over the 13 things you must do right now to get the most value out of the benefits on your AMEX Platinum card so that it doesn’t go to waste. The first thing I want to do is show you where all this information is coming from on the inside of my American Express account. So once you log in and you’re at this account homepage,
You’ll just go to the top where it says rewards and benefits, and then you’ll click again on the one word “benefits.” Now, this is where you’re going to be able to track and browse some of those credits and the other things that hopefully will help you to justify that $695 annual fee on the AMEX Platinum or also you could just do a quick Google search for this card and then go over to the American Express website to see all these benefits as well.
1. $240 Digital Entertainment Credit
The first benefit we’re going to take advantage of here is the $240 digital entertainment credit, split up into $20 monthly statement credits that you have to use or lose, meaning they won’t roll over from one month to the next. But this $20 monthly credit is going to apply to purchases made through Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, Hulu, or the Disney bundle of all three of those, as well as Audible Peacock, SiriusXM, and the New York Times.
Sometimes it is going to be cheaper to do an annual subscription to some of these services, but in general, for me, I just keep it simple and subscribe to Audible on a monthly basis and get reimbursed for $15.85 for my subscription. And I know I’m not maxing out the full $20 credit right now, but it works for me because I was already paying for Audible before this credit was added.
Now you do have to enroll in this, so just go over to your benefits page under your Amex account and then click on enroll so you can start getting reimbursed for some of these services. And then you’ll get up to $20 back per month when you pay with your Amex Platinum.
2. Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Credit
Since Platinum is a very travel-focused credit card, we have a few other travel benefits you should take advantage of as well, starting with a global entry or TSA Pre-Check credit. So you’ll get one global entry statement credit of $100 every four years or one TSA Pre-Check statement credit of $85 every four and a half years when you charge that application fee to either one of these programs on your Amex Platinum card.
Now those are each five-year memberships, and after they expire, you can go ahead and use that credit again. And also, as a quick note here, you can use those credits to buy a global entry or TSA Pre-Check for someone else if you want to. Now, a global entry gets you faster clearance when you arrive back in the US from travel outside of the country, and TSA Precheck gets you through airport security much faster and easier.
But if you’re deciding which one of these to use that Amex Platinum credit on, go with global entry because it actually comes along with TSA Pre-Check; it doesn’t work the other way around. So it’s definitely a great benefit for saving time if you’re planning to travel and spend a lot of time at airports. Of course, I love saving time whenever I can, but I also really love saving money now that I’m in the habit of putting some money away for travel every single month into a high-yield account.
That’s why I use Wealthfront because they have an excellent cash account that’s the perfect place to put your travel fund since it currently pays 2% APY. Now that makes the Wealthfront Cash account one of the best-paying high-yield accounts out there right now. So it’s great for creating savings categories to track separate goals like a travel fund, a car you’re saving up for, or even a down payment on a house.
I also really like Wealthfront Cash because it has zero account fees, which is such an important thing that I consider it whenever I’m deciding where to put my money. Basically, there are no unnecessary overdrafts or maintenance fees that some other places still charge for some reason. The account is also FDIC-insured for up to $1 million in deposits, thanks to the partner banks that Wealthfront works with.
Not only are you fighting back a little bit against inflation with that higher APY, but you can also feel safe knowing that your cash is protected. Plus any excess cash that I want to invest through their award-winning investment account, I could just instantly make transfers so that Wealthfront can help me to build a personalized portfolio that works for my financial goals. And it’s someone who appreciates the design of things like the look on both the regular Amex Platinum card and its new art card designs.
I really like Wealthfront’s simple user interface for both their app and their website because I think it adds to the whole experience and really makes you want to save and invest responsibly. So go check out the high-yield 2% APY Wealthfront Cash account if you’re looking for a great place to keep your travel fund or any other excess cash. But moving on here, let’s keep the focus on some of the other travel benefits to think about with the Amex Platinum that you should be using and enrolling in.
3. Lounge Access and Priority Pass
So next to that, we have the third benefit that I want to talk about, which is lounge access and a priority pass. Now, to find most of the airport lounges that the Amex Platinum card gives you access to, you could just do a search of the global lounge collection through American Express. And then, once you’re at the airport, all you have to do is present your Platinum card to them along with a same-day boarding pass and your ID, and then you should be good.
That includes lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounge, the Delta Sky Club, and a few others that you’ll find when you do that search. But for priority pass lounges, you’re going to have to enroll in this to receive a separate priority pass card free of charge. And then you’ll have to present that to get access to any of those. To do this on your benefits page, you just click on the “Global Lounge Collection” choice, scroll down, and select “Enroll Now.” The priority pass will then send you a card in the mail within 10 to 14 days.
4. Gold Status For Both Marriott and Hilton
Next for Platinum card benefit number four, you can activate gold status for both Marriott, Bonvoy, and Hilton Honors programs. This is a benefit that’s going to be decent for some people or not so much for others, depending on how much you stay at these hotels or if you have higher status already.
But for me, I just activated them as something that’s nice to have for possible late checkouts or room upgrades, depending on where I’m staying and if that’s available. So to do that, again, just simply go ahead and click on “enroll” when you’re on your benefits page, and then you’re going to have to share your loyalty account numbers from Marriott and Hilton to get the status added to those accounts. Now since these are gifted gold statuses, you’re not getting elite night credits to go towards a status higher than gold in these programs, so that’s just something to consider.
5. Premium Car Rental Status
Benefit number five is going to be premium car rental status. So if you travel and rent cars a lot, then you’re going to get status towards Avis Preferred Plus, Hertz Gold Plus, and National Emerald Club executive status, and those are going to give you things like free upgrades and skipping the check encounter when you’re picking up a rental car. But just check with each one of these programs individually to see what’s included because each one’s going to be a bit different.
Now for all these things that we just covered, like airport lounge access and statuses with certain hotels and car rentals, it can be a bit harder to put an exact dollar value on what they’re worth to you. So, if you’re thinking about getting the Amex Platinum card, I recommend first looking at how much value the fixed dollar amount credits will get you, such as the $240 digital entertainment credit and some of the other credits we’ll go over next here. But after subtracting those credits from the $695 annual fee, that’ll give you an effective annual fee estimate that’ll help you decide if that price is worth the other benefits like lounge access and status.
6. $200 Uber Credit
Now on to benefit number six, which is going to be another credit that’s pretty big and another easy one for most people to use, and that is the $200 Uber credit. So this $200 credit is split up into 15 monthly “use it or lose it” credits that have to be used each month or they won’t roll over into the next one. There’s also an elevated $35 credit in December each year, so all that adds up to $200.
To use this credit, simply go to your Uber app and Uber account, and then add your Amix Platinum card as a payment method. Then each month, pretty much on the first day, you’re going to get that $15 monthly uber credit deposited into your account as uber cash, and you can use that for either rides or eats.
But just make sure that it’s working first and that you actually have that uber cash in your account before you go to use it because just the other day I had a family member who recently got the Amex gold card that also has an uber credit, and they added it to their uber account but then placed an uber Eats order before the credit showed up, and then they were asking me if the credit even worked.
Now, I’ve never had any issues, but again, I just confirmed that Uber Cash is showing up as a payment option when you’re checking out, and then any excess cost above that credit is just going to be charged to your platinum card. Another tip is that if you want to save on delivery fees with Uber Eats, just set your order to “pick up only,” because then you’ll get more value for that credit if you can drive or walk to get the food yourself. The prices might sometimes be slightly higher on Uber Eats compared to normal takeout through the restaurant, but usually, it’s not too much, and sometimes it can be the same price.
7. $200 Airline Incidental Fee Credit
Now on to benefit number seven, which is the $200 airline incidental fee credit. So for this one, you do have to enroll on your benefits page to use it, and unfortunately, you are going to have to choose just one airline for the credit to be applied to. Then you just pay with your Amex Platinum card for any qualified incidental fees, like checked bags, Wi-Fi, food and drinks, or a bunch of other things with that airline, and you’ll receive a statement credit in a couple of weeks to refund those fees. You are responsible for spending up to $200 per year.
Now you can change up this airline once per year in January, but actually, in 2022 I had to change it from United to American back in March, and since I hadn’t used it yet for 2023, I was able to message Amex, and they had no problem changing it for me after January. Now, Amex says that you cannot use this credit to actually purchase flights or do seed upgrades, but over the years there have been different data points online about what has and has not triggered this credit, so just do a quick Reddit search if you want to hear some stories about what actually works and what doesn’t, but for this blog and some of my own data points, I thought I’d share them here.
I’ve had my check bags covered by this credit with an American Airlines flight as expected, but earlier this year I had to cancel two tickets on another American Airlines flight, which Amix gave me a flight credit for, and then when I went to use that flight credit for two more tickets on a different American Airlines flight a couple of months later, the new flight total for those tickets was about $90 over the amount of my flight credit, so I put that $90 on a platinum card and didn’t even think about it, but two weeks later I logged into my account and somehow that actually triggered the airline incidental fee credit.
Also, last year when United was my selected airline for this credit, I did some research and found that some people were able to upgrade from regular economy to economy plus and then get reimbursed for the 40 or 50 dollar cost, and that was because apparently it still is economy class, so really it was classified as a seat change and not an upgrade, but the seats in economy plus had way more legroom, so I did that, and then when I checked my Amex account a few weeks later, that United seat change upgrade also triggered the credit.
Now again, I’m not saying that those things are always going to work because your experience and mileage may vary with this $200 incidental fee credit, but I just wanted to share what has worked for me, and for anyone else out there that’s also used this credit, be sure to comment down below what’s worked for you so others can see.
8. $200 Hotel Credit
Then next, for the eighth benefit, we have the $200 hotel credit, and to use this, you’re going to have to book a hotel stay with either the fine hotels and resorts or the hotel collection with your Amex Platinum card through Amex Travel. Now, you don’t have to enroll in anything for this one, but you should know that these two hotel programs for this credit do include hotels that are a bit on the higher end of the price range for nightly stays, so it depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’ll use this credit or not.
But one very important thing to note is that if you want to trigger that $200 credit for stays with the hotel collection specifically, you do have to book a minimum of two nights’ stay, and I’ve heard a lot of people miss out on this credit due to that little detail. Now you can tell what hotels are a part of the fine hotels and resorts or the hotel collection when you search through Amex travel but fine hotels are going to get you things like guaranteed 4 p.m.
Late checkout, daily breakfast for two, and room upgrades when available; then, the hotel collection is going to get you upgrades when available as well, plus a really useful bonus of $100 in credit for on-site dining spots and resort activities. So again, some people use it and some won’t. I did happen to use it last year, but this year I don’t really have any plans to use it, and I probably won’t.
9 and 10. $300 Equinox and $155 Walmart Plus Credit
Now for benefits numbers 9 and 10 here, I’m not going to focus too much on them because typically you’ll either use them 100% or just completely ignore them. So number 9 is the $300 Equinox credit, and number 10 is the $155 Walmart Plus credit. Now the Equinox credit is split up into $25 monthly statement credits that you can put towards things like an Equinox membership. All you have to do is log in to your Equinox account and then add the platinum card as a payment method for your membership, or if you’re an Equinox Plus member, you can actually use that $300 credit to buy a Soul Cycle at the home bike, which Amix explains in more detail on their benefits page.
This is a very specific credit that doesn’t even fully cover an Equinox membership, and that’s why the majority of people like myself just discount this credit entirely. And then Walmart Plus is a subscription that can get you free Walmart shipping and same-day delivery. So you can get a statement credit that covers the $12.95 monthly cost plus taxes each month by using your Amix Platinum.
You can only use this credit for the monthly membership, not the annual membership, which is technically cheaper if you divide it into a monthly cost, but you just have to create a Walmart Plus account and then add your platinum card as your payment option, pay with that card, and then you’ll get a statement credit back. And finally, as we go over the last three benefits to take advantage of to get the most out of your Amix Platinum card, these are going to be more related to shopping, but they’re still pretty good in my eyes.
11. $100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
So benefit number 11 is the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit that’s split up into $250 credits. The first $50 credit has to be used from the period running from January to June each year, and the second $50 credit has to be used from July until December, so you can’t combine these credits and roll them over from one period to another. Now Saks is mostly a luxury retailer that I personally would not shop at too much because it has a lot of overpriced brand name items but it can be good for buying cheaper $50 gifts for others or sometimes smaller accessories for yourself too.
You do have to enroll for this credit, so make sure you do that before you try using it, but all you have to do is again just pay with your Amex Platinum card after you’ve enrolled, and then you should be reimbursed with a stable credit back to your American Express account of up to $50 each six-month period. One other tip that I have is to also try to take advantage of the Saks credit during certain times of the year when the shopping website Rakuten has an elevated cashback offer for Saks Fifth Avenue. This usually happens around twice per year at least, and I’ve been able to use it for each six-month period to get somewhere around 15% cashback, so really I’m pocketing 15% off a $50 purchase plus getting that $50 purchase for free from the credit.
The next benefit number 12 that you should be using is going to be shop runner, which is a service that gets you free two-day shipping for a lot of online stores. Now I don’t use it a ton, but since it’s free, I did sign up for it and found it to be pretty useful for the times that I did use it since the normal speed for free shipping at a lot of places is like seven to ten business days. You do have to enroll in ShopRunner by following the links through Amex and the ShopRunner website, but after that, you’re all set, so it’s pretty straightforward with this.
13. Amex Offers
And then for the 13th Amex Platinum benefit in this blog, we have something that I think puts a ton of value back into your pocket if you remember to use it, but that would be Amex offers. Now Amex offers are available on other American Express cards as well, but usually, there are some pretty good ones they give to Platinum cardholders, and that could be some easy cash at places you might already be spending money at anyway.
What they do is give you a statement credit or some bonus membership rewards points for using one of those Amex offers on your Platinum card, and it’s as simple as browsing through these offers, adding one to your card, and then using that card to make a purchase at that store. Now in my experience, the only problem with Amex offers really comes down to the fact that there are literally hundreds of offers out there at any given time, and it’s pretty hard to keep track of the ones you’ve already added to your Amex Platinum card.