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Review: the American Express Platinum credit card (Amex Platinum)

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This is our review of the American Express Platinum credit card, also known as The Platinum Card from American Express.

Is Amex Platinum worth the £650 fee? We look at the card benefits below.

This review is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards‘ area of the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

Key link: American Express Platinum application page

Review American Express Platinum credit card

Key facts: £650 annual fee

The representative APR is 704.6% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 31.0% variable.

Reward credit cards generally have high interest rates and are not suitable for anyone who does not pay off their full balance each month. If you do not clear your balance, you should look for a non-rewards credit card with a low interest rate.

This article was updated on 1st February 2024, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

About The Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum credit card is issued directly by American Express.

Note that The Platinum Card is no longer a charge card. In August 2022 it swapped to being a standard credit card. This means that you no longer have to pay off your balance in full at the end of each month, although you will pay interest if you don’t.

What is The Platinum Card sign-up bonus?

You receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6,000 within three months.

Membership Rewards points can be converted 1 to 1 into Avios, so you would receive 40,000 Avios per points. Click here to see what other reward programmes are Membership Rewards transfer partners.

What are the rules for qualifying for the sign-up bonus?

The bonus is only available to customers who have not held a personal American Express card which issues Membership Rewards points in the previous 24 months.  This would include Green, Gold, Platinum and the American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you currently or recently only had a British Airways, Marriott or Nectar American Express card.  All that matters is that you have not held a card offering Membership Rewards points.

You will receive the sign-up bonus if you have a Corporate or Business American Express card via your job and you receive Membership Rewards points from it.

You will definitely receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.

If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply.  You still receive the other card benefits, which are substantial.

Review The Platinum Card from American Express UK

Any other benefits with Amex Platinum?

The card has substantial benefits – easily the best package of any UK loyalty card.

  • You receive travel insurance for yourself and your family. You can insure one other family group by giving the head of that household the free supplementary card on your account. Some benefits require you to pay for your trip with an American Express card, but the core medical benefit is automatic. There is an age limit of 70 on the travel insurance.  For legal reasons, you need to opt-in to the travel insurance benefit by ticking the relevant box on the application form.
  • You receive full car hire insurance, with no requirement to pay with your Platinum card
  • You will receive permanent status in various hotel schemes:
  • Gold in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Premium in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in MeliaRewards
  • Other benefits include Eurostar lounge access in London, Brussels and Paris whatever your class of travel. (The Amex website does not mention Brussels but it does work there.) You also receive lounge access when flying with Delta although any guests must pay $29.
  • You receive £150 per year to spend in over 160 UK restaurants. The spend can be cumulative and spread across different restaurants.
  • You receive £100 of Harvey Nichols credit each year. This is split into £50 from January to June and £50 from July to December. It is valid online or instore. There is no minimum spend – if you buy just £50 of items, you will not pay a penny.
  • There is also an exclusive hotel booking scheme called ‘Fine Hotels & Resorts’ which offers valuable additional benefits on your stays. If you are a regular visitor at five star hotels then you can recoup your entire membership fee via FHR bookings. I wrote more about Fine Hotels & Resorts here – for me, the guaranteed 4pm check-out on every stay is invaluable, especially for weekend breaks.

What is the annual fee on American Express Platinum?

£650.

You will receive a pro-rata refund of your annual fee if you cancel. Amex will be removing the ability to obtain a pro-rata refund at some point after 29th February 2024 but until then you can cancel for a refund of your unused months. The exact date when the rule will change is not yet known.

The Priority Pass airport lounge card is cancelled immediately if you close your Platinum card. However, the hotel status cards will continue to work until they expire naturally.

If you are self employed, remember that you could offset the card fee against tax as long as you used it exclusively for business-related expenses.

American Express Amex Platinum card review

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card. This is equivalent to 1 Avios or other airline mile per £1 if you choose to transfer them.

What is a Membership Rewards point worth?

Anything from ‘quite a bit’ to ‘a lot’ is the answer!  This article looks at the best use of American Express Membership Rewards points and what they are worth.

Realistically, Membership Rewards points are worth at least 0.66p. This is because you can convert 1 point into 1.33 Nectar points via the new Avios partnership. 1.33 Nectar points are worth 0.66p when spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

I value airline miles at 0.75p – 1p each (this is conservative) so that is your valuation if you transfer to an airline programme.

Some of the hotel programmes also offer good value. You can choose from Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy and Radisson Rewards.

Historically there were occasional transfer bonuses of 20%-30% to various airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Flying Club, although we have not seen any for the last few years.  If you see reports of American Express transfer bonuses to Avios, they are almost certainly discussing cards issued outside the UK.

You can take a look at the full list of Membership Rewards options here.

Is The Platinum Card a good card to use when travelling?

As Amex adds a 3% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.

Unfortunately there are no credit cards with 0% foreign exchange fees worldwide which earn airline or hotel points. (The Virgin Atlantic credit cards have 0% FX fees in the Eurozone.)  One option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Amex charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more about Currensea by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Is there a minimum income for Amex Platinum?

You can apply for the card with a minimum personal income of just £35,000.

Conclusion: Is Amex Platinum worth the £650 annual fee?

Whether or not the American Express Platinum fee represents value for money long-term depends on how many of the card benefits you will use. I have had a Platinum card since 1999 and can justify the cost based on how we use the travel benefits, especially the travel insurance, car hire insurance and the Fine Hotels & Resorts programme.

It is very easy to give the card a trial for a year to see if it works for you. The sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points plus £300 of dining credit and £100 of Harvey Nichols credit means that you can’t help but come out on top for the first year.

Remember that the sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points is the largest bonus of any personal points card on the market. It would convert into 40,000 Avios or Virgin Points for example. If you converted the Avios points into Nectar points, you would have £265-worth.

For on-going spending, 1 point per £1 is not outstanding. A lot of American Express Platinum cardholders keep the card for its benefits but put their spending on other cards.

The application form for The Platinum Card can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (72)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • bprakoso says:

    Hi all

    I’m currently holding a gold card and interested to upgrade it to a platinum card for insurance and lounge access purposes. I’m wondering whether any upcoming trip that has been booked with my amex gold card prior to the platinum upgrade will be covered with the platinum card’s travel insurance?

    I understand that some insurance coverage requires travel tickets to be paid by any type of amex card from the same card account. However, I’m just a bit worry if it does not cover any booking made prior to the platinum card activation.

    Pls let me know if you have any thought or experience on this.

    Many thanks.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a fair question – and not addressed in the documentation – but I am sure you would be OK. Amex would be required to make it clear if pre-existing bookings were not covered.

      The only exception, of course, would be if you took out the card and then tried to make a claim for something that happened before that – eg you break your leg, take out the card and then try to claim for the holiday you booked months ago. Clearly that isn’t happening.

      • bprakoso says:

        Thanks, Rob for your response. I also have the same thought about this.

  • Tamim Islam Siam says:

    I think the 575£ annual fee is worth it as they give give fee access to airport lounges and give us money to use in international restaurants and insurance for me and my family

  • Miguel says:

    Hi! Amex has just opened a Centurion club in midtown Manhattan… Platinum cardholders can get in no charge if they make a booking in advance. Are the food services in that club free for Platinum cardholders?

    • Rob says:

      Rhys is hoping to take a look this week as he’s over for the Virgin Hotels launch party so will try to find out.

  • Aaron McHale says:

    Wow Platinum since 1999! I would love an article comparing what the card was like then to what it is now, how it’s changed over the years and whether you think it was better then or now!

  • Rob says:

    Yes you can. Will email you a link later, thanks.

  • Simey says:

    Can anyone comment on the other benefits? Such as their mentioned Platinum Concierge, Airfare Benefit which claism they can get you cheaper travel etc etc? Are they important or useful or just marketing bait?

    • Rob says:

      Generally marketing nonsense. BA is no longer part of the Platinum Airfare scheme IIRC. You are only likely to get benefit from this if you buy flexible business class tickets on participating airlines.

      The concierge service is useless. They no longer do restaurant bookings. Whether they can help you on other stuff really depends on how plugged in you are – I know the cheapest place for Wimbledon debenture tickets for example (wimbledondebentureholders.com) but if you didn’t know that and don’t know how Google works then potentially they could help.

      The Platinum Events programme isn’t bad. The free ones are hugely oversubscribed but if you don’t mind paying then you can get to do something interesting. Platinum simply doesn’t carry much clout these days though and Amex struggles to get deals – the big hitters (£250k+ per year of spend) have Centurion and the quality of average Plat cardholder has dropped sharply since it became more of a coupon book.

      I’m currently offered via the app a VIP ticket to the Ashes cricket at Lords on 27th July for £1650 per person for example. If that’s your thing, great.

      • Simey says:

        Cool Rob, thanks for that summary. Good to know that not everything is as good as it sounds. I’ll probably be able to make Y1 a good one with the card for sure, given a 60k bonus so will consider. Do you think there’s issues regarding that I have a BAPP just since early February? So back to back cards etc would be an issue?

        • Rob says:

          Won’t know unless you try ….

          • Simey says:

            Sure – I get that.. but people on here know more than me! So I wonder if there’s a period to wait between products, or AMEX is not like that as they are happy that another cow comes to give them £575 for a card. 🙂

  • Jules says:

    Rob if you send a referral do you get the 60,000 points + the 5000 extra 65K total for a 6k spend? as per the current offer re this article? I presume I can’t refer myself from Biz Amex?

    • Rob says:

      No, you can’t do Business to personal referrals. Can send you a 65k link.

  • Andrew says:

    Do you happen to know if both the member and supp card holder both get hotel gold status if they are both already members?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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