Tags Posts tagged with "Platinum Card"

Platinum Card


The undisputed kings of credit card benefits are the American Express Platinum Cards, which come with airport lounge access, airline fee reimbursement, Global Entry reimbursement, hotel status, and a Platinum concierge.

All Platinum cards have access to these benefits, whether they are personal or business Platinum cards.

I recently got The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN. The card has a $450 annual fee. I got it because the card member benefits far exceed $450.


After getting the card, I did something I do embarrassingly often, I consulted a MileValue post to refresh my memory. Specifically I read Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card to remind myself of all of the card’s benefits and how to activate them.

How did I activate my airport lounge access, airline fee credits, hotel elite status, and how long did activation take? This information is useful whether you have or plan to get a personal or business Platinum card.

The American Express Platinum personal and business cards come with annual fees of $450. But they also come with a litany of valuable benefits worth more than $450, at least for the first year.

Unfortunately none of those benefits is automatic. In order to get the most out of the card, you need to spend a little time signing up for each one.

All American Express Platinum cards–including the “regular” Platinum, Business Platinum, Mercedes-Benz Platinum, and Ameriprise Platinum–receive the following benefits in the first year:

$500 in Free Statement Credits

$200 ($400) Airline Fee Credits

Platinum cards come with a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year. That means in everyone’s first year of holding a Platinum card, you can get $400 worth of airline fees credited back to your card.

For instance, I got a Mercedes-Benz Platinum (personal) card in February 2013, so I took advantage of this benefit in 2013 and January 2014 for $400 in statement credits.

The airline fee credit is supposed to be for fees likes change fees, cancellation fees, and bag fees. The fee credit is not supposed to apply to ticket purchases, miles purchases, or gift card purchases.

But American Express’s computers decides whether a certain purchase qualifies for a fee credit, and in the experience of thousands of people, certain airline gift card purchases will result in a statement credit. That makes this benefit like getting $400 in free flights, which almost completely offsets the annual fee in one swoop. Here is the lowdown on which airline gift cards are being reimbursed as of October 2015.

In order to get the $200 airline fee credit, you have to choose a single airline on which you will receive credits for fees incurred. Designate that airline from the list of eligible airlines here.

It can take a few weeks for the offsetting statement credit to appear–though it usually takes just a few days. If yours doesn’t appear after a few weeks, you can call the number on the back of your card or initiate an online chat to get your statement credit.

$100 Global Entry Fee Credit

Platinum card holders are entitled to a $100 statement credit when they pay the $100 Global Entry enrollment fee with their Platinum cards.

Having Global Entry allows you to skip the immigrations and customs queues when arriving in the US. Instead of spending time in line and talking to an agent, you tap a few buttons at a kiosk and get to the curb in a few minutes. Global Entry membership is valid for 5 years. I love Global Entry. And having Global Entry also lets you skip immigration queues in Australia and New Zealand.

There are two steps involved in obtaining Global entry: an application and an interview.

First, you need to fill out the online application.  To do this as efficiently as possible, make sure you have on hand: Proof of Citizenship documents (passport works); your driver’s license, if you have one; and both your address and work histories for the past five years. The online application process took me about 30 minutes to complete.

If you have never registered with GOES (the Global Online Entry System), you will be prompted to register when you click the online application link above.

Once you are registered with GOES, log in to the system. You will see that you are not a member of any programs. Click “Enroll in a New Program” to begin your Global Entry application.

Select the link that allows you to start the application for the trusted traveler program.

From here, you will have to fill out a variety of personal information. There are 16 categories of information.

Fill out all the sections and submit your application. You will be prompted to pay the $100 application fee–make sure you use your AMEX Platinum to pay this in order to have the fee credited back to you!

Unfortunately, the GOES system doesn’t email you when your application is approved or denied. I set a reminder in my calendar to check on the status of my application in a week. Once your application is approved, you can use the GOES system to schedule your in-person interview, which will take place at any airport that participates in the Global Entry program.

Free Lounge Access

You can get free lounge access at Delta Sky Clubs by showing your American Express Platinum Card and boarding pass–no set up required! You also get free access to American Express Centurion Lounges with their expanded footprint. American Express Centurion Lounges are the nicest domestic lounges.

You can get even better lounge coverage–especially internationally–by signing up for a free Priority Pass Select membership to complement the automatic free lounge access.

Priority Pass Select

Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program. Platinum Card holders get free Priority Pass Select membership, which entitles them to free access to hundreds of lounges worldwide (everything on the list except United Clubs).

Sign up for your free Priority Pass Select account here. I received my shiny black and gold Priority Pass card in the mail only 5 days after I called.

This card has to be shown and swiped at participating Priority Pass Select lounges. I downloaded the app on my phone, so I can search for participating lounges by airport while I travel.

There’s more information about this benefit here.

Hotel Status

Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status

Platinum Card holders are entitled to free Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Gold status will entitle me to late checkout, free internet, and other benefits on any stays at a Sheraton, W, Westin, Four Points, and other hotel brands.

Call the number on the back of your card to get free SPG Gold Status. You will be transferred to an SPG agent who can even create a new SPG account for you and give it Gold Status.

Hilton Gold Status

To get Hilton Gold Status, click this link.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.03.28 PMEnter your Hilton number, and you will get a pop up saying the status should appear in 72 hours.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.04.36 PMIf you have additional cardholders, they can get Hilton Gold Status too, just not online.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.06.57 PM

Hilton Gold Status entitles you to better rooms, late checkout, more points, and other freebies. Click here for all the benefits of Hilton Gold.


The American Express Platinum cards come with big annual fees, but even bigger benefits. The benefits require a little bit of work to set up: a phone call, some gift card purchases, and a Global Entry application. But setting up and enjoying your benefits is easy.

Call American Express at the number on the back of your AMEX card:

  1. Designate an airline to receive your $200 annual (calendar year) airline fee credit (or enroll online)
  2. Ask to be enrolled in Priority Pass Select (or enroll online)
  3. Ask to be given Gold status in Starwood Preferred Guest. You will be transferred to SPG.

Get Hilton Gold Status online.

Buy gift cards with your AMEX Platinum on the airline you designated that will be reimbursed by the airline fee credit. Then use those gift cards for free flights.

Apply for Global Entry, paying the fee with your AMEX Platinum. Then enjoy plane-to-curb times under ten minutes on international flights.

There are even more benefits of holding a Platinum Card–many more than would fit here, and most of little use for the majority of people. For a complete list including benefits at Neiman Marcus, Equinox Fitness Clubs, car rental agencies, and more, see here.


For me, a ten minute phone call was the easier way to enroll in these benefits. If you prefer not to speak to an agent, you can enroll for most benefits online here.

Double Bonus

For many people, the Citi Prestige® Card offers better lounge benefits and statement credits. Find out which is better for you in:


If you don’t have the American Express Platinum Card and want to get one with the first year annual fee waived, apply here for a special offer for Ameriprise clients. Normally the first year annual fee is $450 and is not waived, so this can be a huge value.

Reports are that the application works regardless of having an account open with Ameriprise, but apply at your own risk.

The AMEX Platinum has these benefits:

If you’ve wanted those benefits, but were leery of the $450 fee, this offer may be for you. But you may also want to consider the Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card.

The Mercedes-Benz version is open to all and has all the same benefits listed above. But it also comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 within three months. The Mercedes-Benz version has a $475 annual fee that is not waived, so choosing it is like “buying” 50k Membership Rewards for $475, a choice I’d make every time.

Follow Me