I originally had this info in another post, but it ended up being long enough for a post of its own.
Last year, after a TON of research, I decided to apply for an American Express Platinum card. I knew that once it was safe to travel again, I would start looking for deals and I had heard about how great the AMEX Travel rewards were in several of the Facebook travel points groups I’m in.
Benefits of the AMEX Platinum Card
Thankfully, my credit is excellent, so I was able to qualify for the max sign-up rewards points. The annual fee is steep ($595), BUT you get SO much for it:
- TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry application fees covered (I already had Pre-Check, so I snapped up Global Entry–especially helpful living in a border city)
- $100/year at Saks
- $240 digital entertainment credit (including Audible, Peacock, SiriusXM, The New York Times)
- $200 airline fee credit (your airline of choice and includes fees for checked bags)
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection (free food, internet and a place to rest–these lounges are amazing!) and free Priority Pass membership
- $200 in Uber Cash for rides or Uber Eats
- Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status
- Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- $100 – $200 Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection booking credit
- Walmart+ monthly membership credit
- Platinum Card Concierge
- AMEX Split and Send (which I use to pay my contractors via Venmo so I can get the points)
- And so much more! These are all things I would use, anyway, so I feel like the fee is warranted.
AMEX Travel: Like Having Your Own Personal Travel Agent
AMEX Platinum’s customer service is TOP NOTCH. Someone actually picks up the phone, I’ve never had to wait and they’ve patiently answered all of my questions. The best part is, when booking flights through AMEX Travel either with your cards or points, you’re not shown basic economy–you’re only shown flights that include the “extras” like carry-on and/or checked baggage and seat selection. AMEX also has numerous travel partners with which you can earn bonus points.
For example, I booked us on Delta, round-trip, using points this past summer and I received 3x points, used the Delta credit to cover the cost of our extra checked bag on the way home and it was booked in a matter of minutes. I also received free access to the Delta lounge, but my hubby would have to pay, so we just took advantage of our free Priority Pass lounge membership.
I recently booked us all to Denmark for 2022, again on Delta, and when I called AMEX Travel to ask about the options of changing our flights in case the pandemic flares up again, I was told we’d have a year to use a Delta voucher amount (which is fine because if we can’t go to Denmark, we’ll travel somewhere in the U.S.). The flights in AMEX Travel were MUCH cheaper than any outside searches, including Delta’s site, and we not only were able to select great flight times, choose seats together (so important when traveling with kids) and confirm we could each bring a carry-on and checked bag, but this time, I earned 5x the AMEX points!
You can also purchase trip insurance when booking including emergency dental and medical coverage, trip cancelation coverage, emergency evacuation, baggage loss and trip delay protection, travel accident protection and 24/7 travel assistance (for residents of Michigan we paid about $50 each for our Denmark trip).
Here’s the thing: I’ve never been a fan of credit cards and debt stresses me out. I am budget-conscious, a saver and even bootstrapped my business…so, if you do dip your toes into credit cards, please be careful and don’t run up debt. And, if you are in debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, which I did almost a decade ago and it changed my life (hint: he doesn’t like credit cards, but his tips are incredibly valuable).
That being said, if you have some big purchases coming up for you or your business, you may want to consider applying to get up to 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months. Yes, this is my referral link, but if you know me, you know I don’t recommend anything I’m truly passionate about. And honestly, with some of the negative customer service experiences I’ve had lately, it is so incredible to call, talk to a human, have your questions answered and be on your way in five minutes–I so appreciate AMEX’s dedicated team! Click here to apply today.
Note: that I am pretty sure this is only for U.S. citizens, so be sure to read the fine print.
Have you used AMEX Travel in the past? What tips do you have to maximize your American Express membership? Leave a comment below and let me know.