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The American Express Platinum Card takes pride of place at the front of my wallet, as it does for so many other travellers I know, for one simple reason: when it comes to delivering travel and lifestyle benefits, no other card on the market comes close.
Want airport lounge access around the world? You’ve got it.
How about lucrative perks when checking into leading hotels? Also yours.
And then there’s the high-quality travel insurance cover, the exclusive access to experiences, the strong points earn rate on spend, the flexibility to transfer points to 10 airlines including Qantas, and much more.
Right now, new Card Members can also get 80,000 Membership Rewards bonus points with this card (more on that below).
While the card annual fee is high, at $1,450 per year, you can extract so much value when travelling and at home. In fact, when you tally up the total value of the card benefits, it can amount to thousands of dollars per year. Amex states that the value of the perks is more than triple the card fee.
The minimum income to qualify is also high, at $100,000 per annum. So this card isn’t for everyone – and it’s not meant to be. It’s designed for higher income earners who want to enjoy elevated benefits and experiences.
Here’s an overview of the card features you can enjoy, with more details and a mobile-friendly application form available here.
1. Enjoy worldwide airport lounge access
Start your trip in style with access to over 1,200 airport lounges in more than 130 countries, including unlimited entries to:
- American Express Lounges – located in Sydney, Melbourne and select overseas cities (guest access policies vary)
- The Centurion Lounge – Amex’s flagship lounges in major US cities and Hong Kong (two guests permitted)
- Priority Pass Lounges – Priority Pass is the world’s biggest lounge network, with a presence in more than 500 cities. Membership is complimentary for you and one Additional Card Member (you may bring in one guest each at no charge)
- Plaza Premium Lounges – Plaza Premium is an independent lounge operator with a strong presence in Asia. Access is complimentary for you and an Additional Card Member (you may bring up to 2 guests in each at no charge)
- Delta Sky Club Lounges when flying Delta (guest access rules vary).
2. Enjoy elite status benefits at major hotels
You’ll gain instant elite status with major hotel loyalty programs, including:
- Accor Hotels, which has over 4,800 properties worldwide and includes brands like Sofitel, Pullman and Mercure. You’ll receive Le Club AccorHotels Silver Status.
- Hilton, which has over 5,000 properties worldwide and includes brands like Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Doubletree: Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Marriott – the world’s biggest hotel group with over 7,000 properties, including the Sheraton, Westin and Aloft brands. You’ll receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status.
- Radisson Hotel Group (over 1,100 hotels globally): Radisson Rewards Gold status
- Shangri-La (over 100 hotels worldwide): Golden Circle Jade membership. You can match this to your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account to get instant KrisFlyer Silver status.
Additional Card Members also receive elite status with the above hotel loyalty programs, except Le Club AccorHotels.
Elite benefits vary from program to program and can include complimentary room upgrades at check-in, early and/or late checkout, complimentary internet access, and (only with Hilton) free breakfast for two people.
When I put my new Hilton Gold status to the test recently in Tokyo, I scored over $1000 of complimentary benefits during just one stay including an upgrade to a club room and free breakfasts for two people. You can read about that experience here.
3. Enjoy other valuable hotel perks
You’ll receive complimentary Accor Plus membership valued at $399 p.a., which grants access to the most expansive hotel, dining and lifestyle membership program in Asia Pacific. Benefits include a complimentary night’s accommodation each year (including at high-end hotels like Sofitel and Fairmont, subject to availability), up to 50% off your dining bill at hotel restaurants, and more.
You also get access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program, which provides complimentary benefits at over 1,000 five-star properties worldwide, including daily breakfast for two people, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, room upgrades when available, a special amenity at each property, and more. These benefits offer an average value of over $700 for a two-night stay. When I tried this out with my family at a hotel in Vienna recently, we scored over 600 Euros of benefits.
Enjoy complimentary room upgrades and more at stylish hotels around the world
The separate Amex Hotel Collection includes more than 500 properties in over 30 countries, including brands like Hyatt and Hilton. Every time you book a two-night stay you’ll receive a hotel credit worth up to US$100 to spend on dining, spa and resort activities, as well as a complimentary room upgrade at check-in when available.
4. Earn piles of points on spend and transfer them to 10 airlines
The card rewards program is called Membership Rewards. You’ll earn 2.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent everywhere except with government bodies in Australia, where the earn rate is 1 point per $1 spent.
There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn.
You can transfer points to 10 airline partners, including:
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Air New Zealand Airpoints
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
The points transfer to airlines at a 2:1 ratio, meaning 2 Membership Rewards points convert to 1 airline frequent flyer point. The only exception is Air New Zealand, where 200 Membership Rewards points converts to 1 Airpoints Dollar.
Having so many airlines to choose from means it can be much easier to find award seats when the time comes to book, especially if you want to fly in a sought-after business or first class cabin.
There are also many other ways to redeem points, including by transferring them to hotel partners.
5. Travel securely with top-notch travel insurance cover
You’ll get complimentary domestic and overseas travel insurance cover for you, your partner and dependent children up to the age of 24 when you pay for a return trip with your card or use Membership Rewards points or airline frequent flyer points to book.
The full policy is available here, but in summary it includes:
- medical emergency expenses cover (unlimited cost of treatment)
- transport accident cover up to $400,000
- travel cancellation cover up to $30,000
- travel inconvenience cover (for time delay, missed connections and luggage setbacks) – up to $700 for additional hotel accommodation and restaurant meals or refreshments, and up to $700 for emergency purchase of essential clothing and items
- loss damage waiver cover for car rental of $125,000
- up to $30,000 cover for damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen personal baggage, money and documents
- personal liability cover up to $3,000,000.
Additional Card Members also receive the insurance cover in their own right, irrespective of whether they are travelling with the primary Card Member.
6. Enjoy many other travel and lifestyle benefits
There are loads of other perks to enjoy – too many to list in full here – but the ones I like most are:
- a $450 Travel Credit each year, which is redeemable for flights, hotels, car hire or experiences through American Express Travel online or over the phone. You can use the Travel Credit for any person you wish.
- The Australian Financial Review Premium Digital subscription valued at $628 per year
- Benefits at hundreds of restaurants worldwide, such as priority access to reservations with The Global Dining Collection
- access to special events like the Grange Wine Dinner Series, Melbourne Cup American Express marquee and the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
- access to Platinum Concierge, which can arrange exclusive travel and dining experiences for you
- Platinum International Airline Program: save up to 20% on first and business class fares with leading airlines
- get up to US$300 in onboard credit when you book a cruise with one of Amex’s cruise partners
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Avis Preferred memberships: enjoy savings on car rentals worldwide and complimentary upgrades when available
- smartphone screen insurance, with up to $500 available twice a year for screen repairs (with a 10% excess) when your pay for you smartphone with your card, either outright or on a monthly contract
- up to 4 Additional Cards for family members at no extra fee, which extends many card benefits to them and can also help you earn more points.
And finally, I do have to mention that the card looks great – it’s all metal, and you’ll love the feeling of whipping it out!
The stylish all-metal Platinum Card
Plus 80,000 bonus points
Receive 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 within the first three months (new Card Members only).
That converts to 40,000 frequent flyer points with almost all partner airlines, which could go towards an award seat or upgrade.
Use your points to experience Qantas business class
This bonus points offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. That means you must not have held a card issued directly by American Express Australia in the last 18 months. However, you are still eligible for this offer if you’ve held an Amex card issued by a bank (i.e. Westpac, ANZ, CBA or NAB) or if you’re an Additional Card Member on someone else’s account.
Important: This article is not intended to suggest that you should apply for a credit product. You should seek independent, professional advice and consider your personal circumstances before deciding to apply for a credit product.
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Read more in our Cards Disclosure.