American Express Platinum Card Review

“P” is for premium and that’s what the American Express Platinum Card is all about.

If you are looking for a credit card or charge card that offers mouth-watering VIP benefits and top-of-the-line travel benefits and points, the AMEX Platinum card is a winner.

It costs $699 per year, however, the perks and points you will earn far outweigh the cost, especially if you are a frequent traveller.

This American Express Platinum Canada review covers how to earn the 50,000 welcome bonus points, why it is one of the best travel rewards cards in Canada, and everything else you need to know.

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American Express Platinum – At a Glance

  • $699 annual fee
  • 50,000 welcome bonus points
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining, and 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • $200 CAD annual travel credit
  • Complimentary access to 1,200 airport lounges
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits (valued at $550 for a 2-night stay)
  • Hotel status upgrade benefits
  • VIP perks at Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

It goes without saying that the American Express Platinum Card is all about luxury. Let’s take a look at some of its most popular perks.

The Platinum Card Welcome Bonus Points

This card offers 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

This is one of the highest bonuses you will find for any card in Canada and it’s valued at $500 (1 cent per point) if you redeem it as a statement credit to pay for travel.

You can double the value of the points by transferring them to one of their airline or hotel partner programs e.g. Aeroplan or British Airways Avios.

In addition to the bonus points, you earn 3 points for every $1 spent on dining, 2 points per $1 spent on travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

The Platinum Card $200 Travel Credit

Every year, you receive a $200 travel credit and can use it to save on travel booked through American Express Travel Online or via the Platinum Card Travel Service. 

This is an easy $200 you can enjoy without putting in any work.

The Platinum Card Airport Lounge Access

Take full advantage of The American Express Global Lounge Collection which unlocks access to over 1200 airport lounges worldwide. 

This VIP perk unlocks access to some of the most luxurious VIP lounges (over 1,200 airport lounges) including The Centurion Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges.

Generally, to access these lounges, you need to show your Platinum Card, a boarding pass, and government-issued I.D.

Hate flying? The free food, drinks, Wi-Fi, and even spa services will make your pre-flight enjoyable.

AMEX platinum card review airport lounge

The Platinum Card Travel Benefits

The American Express Platinum Card for Canadians offers comprehensive travel insurance coverage including:

  • Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance with coverage up to $5 million and for up to 15 consecutive days
  • Trip cancellation up to $2,500 per person per trip and $5,000 maximum
  • Trip interruption insurance up to $2,500 per person and $6,000 maximum
  • Travel accident insurance up to $500,000
  • Car rental insurance with coverage for up to $85,000 MSRP
  • Flight delay insurance up to $1,000
  • Baggage delay insurance up to $1,000
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance up to $1,000
  • Hotel/burglary insurance up to $1,000

In addition, you also benefit from travel emergency assistance (available 24/7/365) and StandbyMD travel medical concierge who provide 24/7 access to doctor consultations, referrals, and house visits.

The Platinum Card Toronto Pearson Airport Benefits

When travelling through the Toronto Pearson International Airport, you enjoy access to the Pearson Priority Security Lane during peak hours, complimentary valet service, and a 15% parking discount when using your AMEX Platinum.

The Platinum Card Fine Hotels and Resorts

Some of the Platinum benefits you should not overlook are available at more than 1,000 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Valued at $550 for a 2-night stay, you enjoy:

  • Complimentary daily breakfast for two
  • Late check-out at 4 pm and noon check-in
  • Room upgrades and more

The Platinum Card Hotel Status Upgrades

The AMEX Platinum card gives you fast-track access to upgrades at some of the world’s most-exclusive hotel loyalty programs. For example, instead of the usual several nights stay needed to qualify (20-40 nights), you automatically qualify for the following:

  • Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Radisson Rewards Gold status
  • Marriott Rewards Gold status

American Express Invites

The Platinum Card from AMEX keeps on giving with the American Express Invites. This makes it possible for cardholders to easily purchase or reserve tickets to exclusive events (e.g. concerts and theatre productions) in advance before the public can access them.

This perk includes:

  • Front Of The Line Advance Access
  • Front Of The Line Reserved Tickets
  • Front Of The Line e-Updates

Other Benefits

You enjoy purchase protection against accidental damage or theft for 120 days after making a purchase (on up to $1,000 per purchase). And, extended warranty for up to one additional year.

Downsides of the AMEX Platinum Card

This card is mostly about positives which explains why it is one of the best credit cards in Canada. A few cons to note if you are considering applying for one are:

1. It has a hefty $699 annual fee. Supplementary cards cost $175/year for Platinum and $50/year for Gold cards.

2. It is a charge card and you should pay off your entire balance each month. A 30% interest rate applies to any outstanding balances that are carried over month-to-month.

3. Lastly, this card is an American Express and is not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.

AMEX Platinum Points and Rewards

If you choose to redeem your points as a statement credit towards travel purchases, the reward rate is $0.01 (1 cent) per 1 point. In this case, your 50,000 welcome bonus points are worth $500.

You can also redeem your points via The Fixed Points Travel Program which makes it easy for you to book your vacations using a fixed points system that potentially gives you more value.

For example, you can redeem 15,000 points for a short-haul return flight in Canada and the U.S. (economy class) at a maximum base ticket price of $300 (worth 2 cents per point).

Or, you can redeem 60,000 points for a return flight between Canada and several destinations in Europe at a maximum base ticket price of $900 (worth 1.5 cents per 1 point).

Fixed points travel program

For even higher reward rates, you can transfer your points to another frequent flyer loyalty program with a better conversion rate.

For example, you can transfer your membership rewards (MR) points at the following rates:

  • Amex MR to Aeroplan – 1:1
  • Amex MR to British Airways Executive Club – 1:1
  • Amex MR to Delta SkyMiles – 4:3
  • Amex MR to Asia Miles – 4:3
  • Amex MR to Etihad Guest – 4:3
  • Amex MR to Alitalia – 4:3
  • Amex MR to Hilton Honors – 1:1
  • Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy – 5:6

Is The American Express Platinum Card Worth It?

There’s no doubt about it that the AMEX Platinum Card is a premium card and you will be paying a commensurate fee.

For frequent travellers who want to enjoy the very best of luxuries in-transit and save on flights, this card does the job.

The $699 fee is not as bad as it sounds, considering that you get a minimum of $500 (can easily be doubled) as a welcome bonus (50,000 points) plus the annual $200 travel credit.

Add in the comprehensive travel benefits, multiple hotel upgrade options, access to airport lounges, and the other luxurious perks, and this card can pay for itself a couple of times over.

If you are not a frequent traveller, some other premium travel credit cards you can consider are:

1. Scotiabank Gold American Express ($120 fee): 30,000 bonus points, up to 5% earn rate, comprehensive travel insurance benefits, discounted Priority Pass membership, and no-FX fees. Read the review.

2. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite ($139 fee): Complimentary Priority Pass membership with 6 free lounge visits annually, 30,000 bonus points, up to 2% earn rate, comprehensive travel insurance benefits, and no-FX fees. Read the review.

Applying for the AMEX Platinum Card is easy. The basic eligibility requirements are that you must be a Canadian resident and be at least 18 or 19 years depending on your province of residence.

Apply for The American Express Platinum Card.

American Express Platinum Card Review
5

Summary

The American Express Platinum Card is one of the best credit cards in Canada for VIP benefits and perks. This review covers what you need to know.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO and monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell.

1 thought on “American Express Platinum Card Review”

  1. I would give American Express Platinum a ZERO out of 5. I had a fraudulent charge on my card was basically told oh well too bad. I will NEVER use American Express services ever again.

    Reply
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