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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.

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 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 primary 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

What are the benefits of Amex Platinum?

The card has substantial benefits – easily the best package of any UK travel rewards credit 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 and you should check the list of acceptable pre-existing conditions.  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 status in various hotel schemes for as long as you keep the card:
  • Gold in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Premium in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in MeliaRewards
  • Other lounge benefits include Eurostar lounge access in London, Brussels and Paris as long as you are on a Channel Tunnel service. You receive lounge access when flying with Delta. You receive lounge access at selected airports, including Heathrow, when flying with Lufthansa / Austria / SWISS.
  • 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 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.

Note that the restaurant and Harvey Nichols credits are only guaranteed for 2024. It is not yet confirmed that they will continue into 2025.

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 in ‘late 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.

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 the 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 £200-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 (83)

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

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    No.

    I get more Avios per £1 elsewhere, including with Amex themselves!!

    In Scotland, the food offer is very poor. I have now tried the restaurants and hardly want to go back, even if “free”

    Travel insurance I get through Nationwude, and it offers better cover.

    Car hire insurance is £37 a year through Coverwise – who use AXA.

    Lounge access: love the ones in Edinburgh, but getting in is an issue. Long-haul, always in Business.

    Experiences: somehow, the ones I might consider, even though in London, are sold out by the time I hear about them!

    Positives: I love the sign-up bonus (although effectively reduced due to the 1 Avios per pound earned while attaining them compared to 1.5 elsewhere) and the pro-rata refund.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I agree with you here.

      I stick with mine because I pay £48 monthly and a charge will be unaffected by pro rata refund change, 35k-50k annual loyalty bonus for the past few years and 18k per referral when there’s a boost help get value. I also do quite like a few of the restaurants I can spend the £150 at home and abroad even if only for cocktails.

      My current 4 points/£ for 3 months for a referral has been a real bonus too.

      • JDB says:

        @TGLoyalty – you have dared speak of the largest benefit of all which cannot appear in the official sales patter or in the terms, but it’s clearly such a swing factor for so many people… in essence it’s cheaper for Amex (in the UK at least) to offer a somewhat marginal set of benefits to many who don’t care but love to wave a Platinum one (unfortunately it’s only 3½ inches) and pay off the few who do care with a big retention.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Unfortunately It’s no different to my Sky TV or my broadband … I never pay the advertised price for either but others never haggle / threaten to leave and keep paying the headline price 🙂

          • JDB says:

            @TGLoyalty – financial services are different though. There is supposed to be a single published annual fee for credit cards.

    • NorthernLass says:

      Is your car insurance not just an excess policy though, for that price? I’ll check it out though as I seem to only have CDW on my next rental, which is annoying as I thought Avis had gone fully comp these days!

  • Nick G says:

    Is the annual fee charged as one amount or is there an option to pay monthly?

    • Rob says:

      One go. Some people have had success by swapping to monthly on request. However this is just an instalment plan – when fee refunds end you will be on the hook to pay the rest of the year.

  • dshunter says:

    I like the idea of the convertible currency but the earning rate sucks. Is it possible to hold both gold and platinum?

  • James says:

    Could you sign up, earn the 40k points and then cancel the card at the pro rated rate?

  • Lewis says:

    So they still have not abolished the pro rata refund then?

    Anything stopping me getting the renew bonus and then cancelling in a month or two?

    • Rob says:

      Not if you believe ‘late 2024’ means later than two months time, no.

  • Shivam says:

    When could we expect the next Sign Up Bonus for Platinum comes out? I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth using an boosted referral now for 60k points or waiting for a month

    • Rob says:

      Nothing I know coming up.

    • Matt says:

      how did you get the boosted referral for 60K?
      In the same boat as you weighing up options

  • Simon Whitfield says:

    I wonder when or if Amex extends the platinum dining offer beyond 31.12.24. I’m wondering whether it renew

    • Rob says:

      My suspicion is that dining will stay and Harvey Nichols will go.

  • Paul says:

    I would happily get this card, but in the T&C’s it says that the hotels have to be booked directly and not via a Travel agent (They would not be prepaid, just booked). As I travel lot for work, do you know if I would still get the Marriot Elite status, if the company I work for, uses their travel agent service to book the hotel? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      You’re confusing multiple things here.

      Do you get 6 points per £1 via the Amex on Marriott bookings if you pay at the hotel at check-out? Yes, irrespective of how booked

      Do you get Bonvoy points and elite qualifying nights for stays booked via a corporate travel agent? Usually, but you need to try to be sure – after all, these schemes are designed for business travellers

      Do you get the 15 elite nights for signing up to the card regardless of all this? Yes

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

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