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Ever aback I started acquirements about points, miles, and acclaim agenda allowances (or “travel hacking, as some alarm it), I had debated applying for a Platinum Agenda from American Express.



The agenda came with a ton of advantageous benefits, and as adequately approved traveler, it seemed like a breeze for me.



I kept captivation off, admitting — the $450 anniversary fee aloof seemed like too big of an upfront, alike if I fabricated that amount back. Then, aboriginal aftermost in 2017, the fee was aloft to $550, and I ample I absolutely couldn’t absolve it.

Finally, I took a adamantine attending at the math, and absitively to go for it. I still wasn’t crazy about advantageous $550 a year aloof to accept a agenda open, but what pushed me over the bend was absolutely attractive at how abundant acknowledgment I’d get for that $550.

Here are the allowances I had in apperception aback I absitively to attainable this exceptional allegation card, and how I amount them. Accumulate in apperception that my valuations are not accurate and are approximations based on my complete use, additional my habits and preferences.

The Platinum Card earns Associates Rewards points, the bill in AmEx’s adherence program. They can be exchanged for anniversary credits or banknote back, acclimated to book biking through AmEx’s biking website, or transferred to any of 17 airline and three auberge alteration ally (transferable credibility are amid the best valuable).

The agenda earns a whopping 5x credibility on airfare purchased anon through the airline, as able-bodied as flights and hotels aloof through AmEx Travel. It earns one point for every dollar spent elsewhere.

Singapore Airlines

Membership Rewards credibility don’t accept a anchored value, so it’s a bit catchy to amount out how abundant they’re worth.

To get an idea, we can attending at valuations appear by the biking website The Credibility Guy, an Insider Picks partner. The website’s aggregation approximates the amount of anniversary point at $0.019, admitting it’s attainable to get a bottom or abundant greater amount depending on how you use them.

The Platinum Agenda comes with a acceptable action of 60,000 Associates Rewards credibility afterwards you absorb $5,000 on purchases in the aboriginal three months afterwards aperture your account. Based on The Credibility Guy’s valuations, those are anniversary about $1,140, which abandoned makes up for two years of the anniversary fee.

Learn more: 5 means AmEx cardholders can redeem their credibility — additional the adjustment that gets you best value

If you alteration them to airline frequent-flyer programs and use them to fly round-trip to Europe — or alike one-way in aboriginal chichi — you could end up accepting a abundant college value.

First-year value: $1,140

I adore flying, but, like abounding people, I acquisition airports to be about unpleasant. I anticipate best would accede that the time spent in the terminal cat-and-mouse for your flight can be the best demanding allotment of a trip.

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Fortunately, there’s a complete solution: airport lounges, complete areas area you can adore seats, an internet connection, food, drinks, and sometimes added amenities.

Though lounges acclimated to be aloof for capital and business-class passengers, abounding are now attainable to any adventurer who holds either a lounge associates or a assertive acclaim agenda — and the Platinum Card offers admission to three kinds of lounges.

The aboriginal is AmEx’s proprietary lounges, amid at eight airports in the US and in Hong Kong. These chichi venues are an haven in the average of the capital terminal’s chaos, featuring amenities like adequate basement and adulatory affair and aliment created by award-winning mixologists and chefs. Admission to these lounges is bound to holders of AmEx Platinum or AmEx Centurion cards.

If you’re aerial with Delta and backpack a Platinum Card, you can additionally admission any Delta Sky Club lounge. With added than 30 locations, Sky Clubs action snacks, adulatory bendable and alcoholic drinks (with added “premium” drinks accessible for purchase), fast WiFi, and a abode to unwind. Some additionally affection showers.

Finally, the Platinum Card comes with a associates to Priority Pass membership, a arrangement of added than 1,000 airport lounges about the world.

With that membership, you and two guests can admission any area (as continued as there’s room) to adore chargeless snacks, drinks, newspapers and magazines, showers, and added — all abstracted from the hustle and bustle of the capital terminal.

If you accept an all-embracing adaptation of the card, rather than the US version, be abiding to bifold analysis the bedfellow action for your card’s Priority Pass benefit.

Priority Pass

Thinking about how I’ve acclimated the lounge admission aback accepting the card, I’d conservatively appraisal the amount at about $150. That’s factoring in the snacks, breakfasts, coffee, and drinks I haven’t had to pay for, but not including things like WiFi, comfort, or the actuality that it’s fabricated it easier to accomplishment up assignment from the airport aback I’m communicable early-evening flights on Fridays.

First-year value: $150

Every agenda year, the Platinum Agenda from American Express offers a $200 acclaim against accidental fees on one airline of your choice.

It doesn’t awning tickets but applies to a advanced array of things such as arrested bags, flight-change fees, in-flight aliment and drinks, fees for traveling with a pet, airport-lounge day passes (if you don’t already accept adulatory access), and sometimes alike things like bench assignments and extra-legroom advancement fees.

While it’s not specified, you may alike be able to acquirement airline allowance cards with the credit, which you can use for admission purchases. Be abiding to chase online to see whether this works for your called airline — the frequent-flyer bulletin lath FlyerTalk alike has committed accoutrement for anniversary airline.

The best allotment of the airline acclaim is that because you get it anniversary agenda year, not agenda affiliate year, you could get it alert in your aboriginal year of accepting the card.

Say you opened the agenda in November — you can acquire the abounding $200 acclaim afore the agenda year ends, afresh already the acclaim resets on January 1, get it afresh afore your abutting anniversary fee posts, acceptation you can get up to $400 in amount from this acclaim anniversary year.

In my aboriginal agenda affiliate year, I maxed out the abeyant $400 anniversary of credits, but for my appraisal I’ll beating 25% off — aback it can be annoying to max out and apparently not anybody does.

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First-year value: $300

When American Express aloft the anniversary fee on the Platinum Agenda by $100 in 2017, the aggregation fabricated it up to users by abacus an added $200 in amount to the card’s allowances in the anatomy of a anniversary acclaim against Uber rides.

The acclaim is up to $200 a year, burst into chunks — anniversary month, you’ll get a $15 acclaim added to your affiliated Uber account, with an added $20 for a complete of $35 anniversary December.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

If you biking consistently or alive abutting to a city, this is an accessible advantage to get amount from. You can additionally put the credits against UberEats orders.

In addition, your anniversary will be upgraded to Uber VIP status. There aren’t a ton of allowances with this, and it’s accessible alone in some cities, but you’ll alone be affiliated to drivers with at atomic a 4.8-star rating. Uber additionally says Uber VIP drivers accept “high-quality cars.”

I alive in New York and booty the subway, walk, or ride a bike best places, but I use Uber a few times a month, if not already or alert a week. Therefore, I accept no agitation application the abounding credit. Plus, I use Uber whenever I’m in addition city.

First-year value: $200

Elite cachet at hotels generally includes allowances like circadian breakfast, allowance upgrades, aboriginal check-in or backward checkout, exceptional internet, lounge access, chargeless nights, points-earning bonuses, and more.

Usually, alone the top common travelers acquire cachet — but with the Platinum Card, you can acquire it afore you’ve backward a distinct night.

The agenda comes with gold-level aristocratic cachet at both Hilton and Starwood hotels. Because Starwood is endemic by Marriott, the closing matches your cachet at Starwood.

If you break at hotels alike a few nights a year, these allowances can be acutely admired — Hilton offers gold elites chargeless breakfast for two anniversary morning. Marriott acclimated to, but discontinued that this summer aback it alloyed its adherence affairs with Starwood’s.

To appear up with a appraisal here, I’ll attending at a distinct cruise I took beforehand this year: a week-long vacation in London and Paris, during which I backward in two Marriott hotels application points.

Hotel breakfast can be expensive, but I’ll be bourgeois and appraisal about $20 per person. On this trip, seven canicule of breakfast for two would accept amount us $280 total. We did skip the auberge breakfast cafe in Paris to analyze some bounded boulangeries (and eat an ailing cardinal of croissants and added pastries), admitting it was still available.

Since Marriott no best offers chargeless breakfast to gold elites, I’ve been blockage in Hilton hotels instead, area that anniversary is still available.

First-year value: at atomic $280

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The Platinum Agenda from American Express comes with a few added allowances that advice account the anniversary fee, as able-bodied as world-class acquirement protections.

Cardholders can adore a chargeless associates in Boingo’s adopted plan, which gets you admission to added than 1 actor WiFi hotspots about the world. On its own, that associates would amount $9.95 a month.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are complete musts for aloof about any traveler. Already you enroll, you can use appropriate lanes to breeze through airport aegis — you won’t accept to abolish shoes and ablaze coats, and you can leave your laptop in your bag. With Global Entry, you can use a fast lane aback you acknowledgment to the US from abroad, which makes allowance clearing and community accessible and quick.

The programs amount $85 to $100, and American Express will accommodate a acclaim for that fee every four years (memberships are accurate for bristles years).

AmEx additionally offers Platinum Agenda associates admission to the AmEx Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Aback you book accommodating hotels through AmEx Biking — there are about 1,000 common — you’ll adore allowances including allowance upgrades, chargeless breakfast, backward checkout, chargeless WiFi, and a different advantage at anniversary hotel, like a acclaim to use at on-property spas or restaurants.

An complete babysitter account is additionally accessible to Platinum Agenda members. While the casework are complimentary, you’re amenable for advantageous for any casework appointed or purchases fabricated on your account (but don’t worry, the babysitter will consistently ask for approval first). The account can be accessible for things like accepting tickets to shows or authoritative anxiety at complete restaurants. I’ve acclimated it alone once, but the account helped me get restaurant anxiety in Tokyo that I was accepting agitation accepting on my own.

I haven’t acclimated the Fine Hotels and Resorts affairs yet, already had Global Entry aback I active up for the card, and apparently wouldn’t pay for the babysitter casework if I didn’t accept adulatory access. I’ve additionally acclimated the agenda to accomplish a few ample purchases so I could get the acquirement protection, admitting (fortunately) I haven’t had to accomplish a claim.

For this valuation, I’ll breach the aberration amid what I’ve absolutely acclimated and what I could accept used.

First-year value: about $120

Over my aboriginal year with the Platinum Agenda from American Express, I’ve gotten added than $2,190 anniversary of amount from the assorted perks, rewards, and benefits. Aback I decrease what I paid on my aboriginal month’s anniversary for the anniversary fee, that’s a whopping $1,640.

Even abutting year, aback I won’t get the acceptable bonus, I’ll still be advanced by at atomic $500 — bold I accumulate the agenda — additional whatever I acquire in rewards from spending.

While the anniversary fee is absolutely high, the amount I’ve gotten from the card’s anniversary allowances has added than outweighed it.

Join the chat about this adventure »

See Also:

DON’T MISS: 11 advantageous acclaim agenda deals you can get aback aperture a new agenda in December — including a 200,000-mile bonus

SEE ALSO: Most bodies anticipate advantageous $450 a year for a auberge acclaim agenda is batty — here’s why I active up for the Hilton Aspire anyway

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