American Express Platinum: A Solid Choice
This one is by far the most expensive of the group, but some would say the most beneficial. It starts with a $550 annual fee, which seems high but American Express has always tried to be a step above others and I guess a higher fee is one of those things.
New in 2017 they have decided to partner with Uber giving 15$ a month with a 20$ bonus in December for $200 total, which also works with UberEats.
With only 200$ in airline fee credit it is by far the lowest, and you have to select your airline yearly as only one airline will qualify.
As American Express has Priority Pass for lounge access, they also have access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, but also, they have created their own premium product, The Centurion Lounge Collection, currently in 7 major airports and are creating more all the time. These lounges are premium in both food and drinks served and some even have a place for a free massage or kids room.
American Express has an option for you to get your US Global Entry or TSA Pre-check refunded every 4 years, aka whenever it is time to be renewed.
Using the Platinum card you can get automatic elite status at 3 major hotels. Starwood Preferred Guest Gold, Hilton Honors Gold, and by a status match Marriott Rewards Gold.
The American Express has good premium car rental insurance that you can opt into and its acts as primary insurance, however it doesn’t cover liability, but the rate is lower that the CDW at rental place, and is also only paid once during rental period unlike car insurance. We have actually used this feature before and had a small fender bender, called American Express and they took care of everything, painlessly.
You can also get free Boingo hotspots, over a million locations for 4 devices.
Using Platinum also benefits you access to the American Express Travel which includes high end hotels with some nice benefits, via the Fine Hotels and Resorts, a room upgrade if you stay 2 nights, via the Hotel Collection, custom travel itineraries and recommendations via the Platinum Travel Service.
The platinum card earns a massive 5 points per dollar spent on the airfare purchased at the airline itself or via amextravel.com the American Express travel portal.
It also earns 5 points on hotels purchased through the travel portal, but going this route you will forfeit any status or loyalty that you might have with the airline.
However it only earns 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Other non travel benefits
American Express has multiple other benefits that might entice you to make this card your travel card. First of note is for active duty service members American Express will waive all fees on the card. American Express usually gets presale tickets for concert, venue and others so you can score great seats before anyone else. Finally they a concierge service that can get expert advice or create arrangements or reservations for a special night out, or help you get a perfect gift for someone.
Is this the right card for you? Well that depends huh? Check out our calculator to see if it is for you. If so here is a link that helps me to an extent, but again I try to be unbiased and note that American Express sign up bonuses are once in a lifetime and this signup bonus is not the best as of writing.