American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Every calendar year you can get up to $200 in airline fee refunds with The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Officially these are intended to be used for bag fees, seat upgrades, and lounge passes/memberships. However they also work for items like the $100 American Airlines gift cards, $100 United gift registry contributions, and the PGGM.
If you have a Platinum card don’t forget to make a $200 airline fee purchase in 2014 and again in 2015.
Triple dip if you apply now: If you don’t have a card yet you can actually apply now and get 3 fee refunds in your first cardmembership year. You would be able to get credit in December 2014 as well as in January 2015 and January 2016 before you would have to pay a 2nd annual fee. Yes, the card has a $450 annual fee, but that’s $600 in potential fee refunds to cover that.
Double dip for 2014: Many cardholders were targeted for an additional $100, $200, or ever $500 fee refund for spending on American or USAirways when cardholders lost access to those lounges on 03/22/14.
That spending must be completed by 12/31/14 as well.
If you don’t recall what your offer was or if you weren’t targeted call the number on the back of your card and ask. I just called today on my business Platinum card that wasn’t targeted and the rep was able to add the $100 offer to my account!
Others have called about not being targeted and have even received flat-out account credits as a courtesy.
It Platinum worth it?
It definitely is for the first year with the 40K signup bonus. Especially if you apply now and can triple dip the airline fee refund before you have to decide whether to keep the card for a 2nd year.
But what benefits does the card have?
-Centurion lounge access:
American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time. Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, San Francisco, and more to come. Miami will be the next to open.
Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airline like Continental and USAirways but no longer do.
But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges they opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well. You can bring your spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or you can bring in any 2 other people with you for free.
The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.
-Priority Pass membership.
There are over 600 lounges worldwide that accept Priority Pass and you can access all of them for free.
-In Newark you can access the Art & Lounge. That’s the same lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It has offers kosher food and Israeli art.
-In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.
See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges. Note that you can’t access United lounges with the Priority Pass membership that you get from the Platinum card.
You don’t get any free guests, but secondary Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority pass membership.
Currently there are Airspace lounges in Baltimore, Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue terminal), and San Diego.
These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks. Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.
You can access these even with an inactive Platinum card until the card expires 5 years from the date of issue.
You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta. You don’t get any free guests, but secondary Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounged for free as well.
The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!
You can access Delta lounge with an inactive Platinum card until the card expires 5 years from the date of issue.
You can add 3 additional users onto a personal Platinum card for $175 ($58.33 per additional cardholder per year). Secondary users do get full lounge access so they will have access to Delta and Priority Pass lounges for themselves and they will be able to guest others into Airspace and Centurion lounges.
The annual fee on this card is a doozie, $450. But it’s not as painful as it sounds.
As with annual fees from most banks, they are refundable if cancelled within 60 days. It is also pro-rated if cancelled after 60 days and you have another American Express card (i.e. if you have the card for 3 months and then cancel you would get a $337.50 refund), and it is pro-rated if you downgrade the card even if you have no other American Express card.
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.
It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check, which allows you to avoid the nude-o-scope machines and lets you leave your shoes on and laptop in your bag. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.
Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.
Starwood Gold Elite Status:
Platinum cardholders get Gold elite status for free. That gets you free premium Wi-Fi and a 250 point rebate every time you stay at a Starwood hotel-even if you are on an award stay!
It also gets you 50% bonus points on paid stays, and room upgrades and 4pm late checkout on all stays.
Lost Item Protection:
If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. No other card I’m aware of offers lost item protection. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often it has a cap of just $1,000.
Car Rental Perks:
A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.
The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees. And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.
So, is it all worthwhile? It’s not for spending.
I value Starpoints earned from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express more than Membership Rewards points.
Credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express earn more points per dollar than the Platinum card. The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is a charge card like the Platinum card but earns more points on airfare, gas, and groceries than the Platinum card.
But the Platinum card does continue to have very unique benefits. I’ve laid most of them out for you and you’ll just have to decide for yourself if its worth it based on your own situation