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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.

  • Katy says:

    My question is about the platinum business card, does the £200 Amex travel credit have to be used in a single booking/transactiin?

  • JimmyJazz says:

    Can pre-existing conditions be added to the travel insurance? It’s pretty crazy that mild asthma isn’t covered when it’s a given on almost all other policies.

  • Matt M says:

    I have a Platinum Charge Card. I can’t see any benefit to the charge card over the credit charge. The credit card looks superior as it has section 75 protection. So, I’m wondering whether it’s worth asking for a swap.

    • Rob says:

      You can still give free Gold supps to 3 people who get the travel insurance for their entire families. Plat credit doesn’t offer that.

  • JD says:

    One thing to note about using Lufthansa lounges with your Amex (I believe its been covered before but not on this article) is you cannot take any guests in. They are strict on this as well. Last Thursday my wife and I (both platinum holders) tried to use the Lufthansa lounge in FRA T1 and the guy on the door would not let us in because our daughter did not have one, she is 10!

    • HampshireHog says:

      Do they swipe it?

    • Rob says:

      Correct. This was in our full article last week on using Lufty lounges.

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      Sorry to be pedantic, but “the guy on the door would not let us in”? As you were both Plat holders, he was wrong to do that. I think you probably mean that the guy on the door would (rightly) not let your daughter in, because the Lufty lounge benefit only applies to the cardholder. And as a result you all decided that none of you would enter the lounge. I know I am splitting hairs but people aren’t that familiar with the LH lounge benefit and I wouldn’t want them getting the wrong impression if they read this back for advice on how it works.

  • FlightDoctor says:

    Out of interest what would a comparable travel insurance policy cost on the open market for a family of 5 including winter sports and car hire insurance? My wife is always challenging the real value of the Platinum card (as we tend to travel business class anyway so very rarely need the PP cards) and it feels like this would be the biggest single cost driver if priced up?

  • HampshireHog says:

    Q is it worth the £650 fee
    A No

    • mike anthony says:

      Yeah – but no.
      I assess this every year. and every year I get more that £650 in benefits. Its up to each individual to assess:
      But for me:
      – Travel insurance – that has a value (for me on average £200 a year:
      – I use the dining credits and Harvey Nicks – £400
      – I use Priority Club around 6 times a year when I’m not flying business. Even at £10 a time that is £60:
      – My wife uses priority club 4 times a year – £40
      – I get 80% bonus pints on hilton – last year that was worth £60
      – The offers (Economist, LNER, a discount on Air France, £15 on small restuarants: last year was £145

      Works for me.
      But not for everyone

      So yeah – but no.

      • Ken says:

        You are counting offers that are available on a variety of free cards, IME platinum had the least offers.

        You may find that Hilton gold last for years (and years) after you have cancelled the card.

        Do you really value £400 worth of credit at Harvey Nicks or restaurants as £400 cash ?

      • Roy says:

        I’m all in favour of credit cards offering bonus pints! At least assuming it’s pints of beer….

  • Paul says:

    I have the AMEX BA Premium card, can I swap to this card and take my credit limit with me or will it reduce ? (I’ve had AMEX since the 90s and the limit is high!)

    • sayling says:

      You can apply for the new card, then ask for the limit to be transferred – it won’t ALL go across, as they have to retain a minimum credit value on the BAPP.

      You can then cancel the BAPP

  • Ken says:

    Worth noting that in the UK outside of London 80% + of the restaurant eligible for the £150 credit are chains like the dreary Ivy or Hawksmoor or Gaucho.

    In Spain you wouldn’t find a single offering in great swathes of the country (Andalucía,
    Basque Country, Asturias, Galicia).

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

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