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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.

  • Craig says:

    I think it’s worth mentioning that the 40,000 sign up bonus is at the lower end of the scale compared to previous promotions of up to 120,000 in the past.

    • David says:

      At least with the end of pro rata Plat wouldn’t dare to put a 40k bonus on £650 p.a. Alongside no announcement of extension of dining credits.

  • Sam says:

    Surely the MR earning rate needs to be evaluated.
    1 MR point per £1 spend on a £650 card.
    Really?

    • JDB says:

      Amex wants you to hold a portfolio of cards, something perhaps easier to persuade Americans to do than Brits, for this reason the benefits of each of the three big UK cards are quite deliberately different.

      If ‘points’ are your key focus, then you need the PRG or BAPP for a better earning rate. If Amex upped the MR on Plat, it would cannibalise Gold etc.

    • mike anthony says:

      It is all about the benefits not the points. I have the BA AMex card for points and the Platinum card for benefits

  • JdeW says:

    Greatest benefit of the Platinum Amex is the travel insurance. Is the 70 years age limit negotiable? Any thoughts on available options when you hit 70?

    • Jonty says:

      At one time the age limit on the business platinum was higher, dunno if it still is.

    • TooPoorToBeHere says:

      Can’t imagine the travel insurance being useful to many over 70s due to the pre-existing-condition limits.

      The travel insurance is VERY POOR for families compared to HSBC Premier because of the pre-existing-conditions are so limiting.

      • Chris R says:

        I just bought a single travel insurance policy for myself (due to pre existing condition) purely for the medical aspect, over and above the platinum insurance. I needed to pay a premium anyway on previous bank linked travel insurance, so it’s not that different.
        Would be better mind you if I could just pay for the extra through Amex.

      • Matt says:

        Was going to say. Anyone willing to pay £650 card fee will be earning over £75k and therefore can get worldwide travel insurance for free via HSBC Premier. Therefore the Plat benefit is worthless?

        • Maples says:

          Wouldn’t really say everyone with a Platinum is on over £75K. That’s absurd to think like that.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Saying it’s an absurd comment is Hyperbole too

            If you drew a Venn diagram one circle earning £75k+ and the other holding a Platinum the overlap would be large, atleast it should be because it’s all about dining in higher end restaurants, shopping at HN and travel and you need the funds to do those things enough to justify the fee.

          • apbj says:

            I’m barely above half that! The travel insurance, car hire insurance and lounge access on non-BA trips pays off for me. Just about.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            a job

            If it just about pays off Amex gold is free for the first year and gives 4 lounge passes, nationwide give insurance for your whole family for £15pm and you can get similar car hire insurance elsewhere for a fraction.

            Ofcourse if you’re a couple and have 2 guests on every trip then the value starts to increase and visit one of the restaurants etc the value increases but who knows if that’ll carry over next year.

        • Michael says:

          What a ridiculous comment

        • mike anthony says:

          A good point – I was HSBC premier so gave this a lot of thought – overall the benefits i got with Amex were greater – so I ditched HSBC (and get better interest) .
          Each person has a different situation – this is all about value – I get value from this – many others don’t

          • Roy says:

            Worth pointing out that all HSBC Premiere customers now automatically get access to the Rainy Day Saver and Blue Rewards Saver accounts _without _ having to join Blue Rewards. Which is a big deal as Blue Rewards and Avios Rewards are mutually exclusive.

            Of course, if you’re qualifying for HSBC on the basis of income, then you can just stick your savings elsewhere if you prefer. But if you’re qualifying on the basis of savings and investments, then no longer being locked out of HSBCs highest paying instant access accounts (assuming you want the annual upgrade voucher) is a big deal.

          • Rob says:

            HSBC customers get access to two Barclays products?

          • Roy says:

            Oops, sorry, confusing HSBC with Barclays LOL.

            The Barclays changes do make Barclays Premier rather more attractive – particularly for those qualifying on savings and investments.

            You’re 100% correct that the Barclays Premier improvements di nothing to make HSBC Premier more attractive 😀

      • mike anthony says:

        not if you don’t have huge pre-existigns…

    • HampshireHog says:

      Greatest benefit, Insurance? Only for young folk I’m afraid. There was a huge fanfare when they published a list of allowed pre conditions, which turned out to be naff all e.g. even taking statins for high cholesterol excluded leading to a likely refusal in the event of any heart related incident.
      You can’t buy up either, over 50’s avoid.

      • mike anthony says:

        I’m over 50… works for me… Everyone is different

    • cin4 says:

      The misery trip limit makes it completely useless for me.

  • James Davies says:

    I’m going to call Amex/AXA tomorrow but perhaps someone knows about this. There are forum posts on the subject but none actually outright cover this, neither does this article, although touches on it.
    In regards to the travel insurance cover that they say you need to have used the Amex card.
    Do they cover you even if the merchant (say a travel agency) doesn’t accept Amex and you can prove it.
    And do you have to have used the Amex Platinum or does my BA Amex also count as it’s part of the Amex account.

    • Rob says:

      This is all explained and answered in the insurance T&C document, albeit if you’ve never had any basic legal training you may struggle.

      Any personal Amex in your name is fine. No bother if merchant doesn’t take Amex.

      • Angus says:

        I would also prefer to put my travel spend onto my BA Amex card for Avios and for companion voucher. Potential complication in my case is that I have a BA Amex Premium Plus card with my wife as supplementary card holder, my wife has a BA Platinum card with me as supplementary.

        I have read through the Platinum travel insurance T&C to try to follow through the connections from “The following benefits are dependent on use of the Card…”, to the definitions of card, account, card member etc but I’m not confident that I / she can pay the bills on the BAPP cards and we can both be covered by the Platinum insurance.
        We’re both carrying two Amex cards but neither of us is the primary account holder for both.
        Do you have a view?

        • Rob says:

          My view is that your wife is definitely fine, because she has her own standalone insurance policy via her supp and so the bit about paying with any card she has is OK.

          You may be on trickier ground because it depends how Amex treats a supp BA card – legally it belongs to your wife and is not yours.

    • HampshireHog says:

      Specified parts of the cover eg cancellation require you to have paid with Amex or demonstrate that they don’t take Amex. Annoying as you might otherwise have paid for an airfare or hotel in local currency with a fee free card saving 3%

  • Swissy says:

    Its worth mentioning that in addition to the Plat Supplementary Holder, up to four further Gold Supplementaries ( And families) receive the travel and medical benefits.

    • Rob says:

      Not any longer. You can’t issue Gold supps now.

      • Swissy says:

        f you have a Platinum Charge Card, you can add one Platinum Supplementary Card and up to four complimentary Gold or Green Supplementary Cards.

        Please note, gold and green Supplementary Cards only receive the insurance benefits, Amex Offers and the opportunity to earn you Membership Rewards points. You can Add additional Platinum Cards at a cost of £285 annually. There is a total Account limit of five Supplementary Cards.

        Rob, from the Amex site. Am i missing something here ?

      • Andrew J says:

        You can if you are on the legacy Chargecard – I issued a supp gold card last month.

  • Mikel says:

    Poor offer at the moment when you consider that the BA premium card is offering 60k if applying direct via BA.

  • Simon says:

    Perhaps someone can help me. I have had a Amex Plat Credit Card since 1995. I only pay £35 a year and supplementary fees of £17 per card, but I get all the existing benefits. Am I just lucky on an old agreement or am I missing something??

    • Rob says:

      The Plat credit card you have is a totally different product with none of these benefits.

      • Simon says:

        Thanks. This is what confuses me as I do get access into the centurion lounges on my various travels and I do get the insurances. When I log into my account, it lists a whole host of benefits available to me (most of which I don’t use)

  • Michael S says:

    I just had a great experience with amex plat car insurance. They paid me over £1,000 damage with no fuss at all, within 3 weeks

    Just a note, while you dont need to pay for car rental with amex its always preferable for me. Disputes are very common and amex handles those very seamlessly. In a recent car rental, rental company didnt provide me damage report (without which I couldnt claim insurance) they simply charged my card. Amex reversed the charge and eventually reinstated back AFTER 6 MONTHS, when rental company finally sent report. Thats a huge benefit, it puts the onus on the rental co to provide documentation, you don’t need to chase them

    Also – while insurance is a separate provider (axa), i feel like its easier for your claim, especially when there is a dispute and axa sees that amex reinstated the charge, by validating documentation

    • apbj says:

      That’s good to know, as I had a Hertz charge for £300 of “damage” without any evidence whatsoever and Amex Platinum refused to dispute the charge because it had been over six months (Hertz had taken 1 month to apply the charge and 2 further months to respond to my complaint with gibberish so I though this was unfair. Amex claimed it was to protect businesses from spurious claims… which seemed to miss both the letter and the spirit of the case!) I will see if I can raise it as an insurance claim.

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