American Express Platinum Card Review: The Platinum Card Takes Luxury Travel to New Heights | shoptherate.ca Blog
Credit Cards

American Express Platinum Card Review: The Platinum Card Takes Luxury Travel to New Heights

By Staff Writer | February 19, 2019
The American Express® Platinum Card®
The American Express® Platinum Card®
Apply Now  More Info 

Have you ever had your flight delayed because of bad weather and dreamt of somewhere to unwind with a delicious warm meal? The good news is there is a more sophisticated and relaxing way to travel—with the American Express Platinum Card®. From complimentary cocktails and hot meals at airport lounges—to free room upgrades at luxury hotels, the Platinum Card® elevates the art of travel. The refreshed Platinum Card® is crafted from metal and offers a suite of benefits. Not to mention, you get 50,000 points as a welcome bonus when you sign up (if you spend $3000 on the card in the first three months). That’s enough points for you to fly from North America to anywhere in the Caribbean! If you enjoy traveling, we highly recommend getting the Platinum Card®.

The Key Benefits of the Platinum Card

While the Platinum Card® comes with a premium price tag ($699), it offers an array of unique benefits. A more in-depth look at the Platinum Card’s features reveals you can get your money's worth out of the annual fee and more. Here's a breakdown of the card's primary benefits.

  • Receive a $200 travel credit each year. You'll get a $200 travel credit back on your card when you book eligible travel, such as a flight or hotel using your Platinum Card and when you book with American Express Travel. That $200 credit alone gives you cash back on your annual card fee. 
  • Relax and refresh at premium lounges around the world. How would it feel to get your vacation started with a relaxing massage, followed by a  complimentary cappuccino before you hop on the plane? The Platinum Card provides complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the globe. Lounges offer an array of services, like massages, showers, and access to food and drink. Complimentary lounge access is a huge benefit of this credit card, for context, purchasing a 6-hour lounge pass for the Plaza Premium Lounge at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport would cost you $80, plus HST. 
  • Unlock valuable benefits at top hotels. Checking out of your hotel early when you're waiting for a late flight can be a hassle, but if you pay for your stay using the Platinum Card you could enjoy free extended check-out to 4:00 p.m., along with other great benefits at top hotels, like the Shangri-La, Hilton or Marriott properties. Enjoy benefits such as complimentary breakfast, noon check-in, room upgrades and more at eligible hotels. Check out the American Express Travel Hotel Collection page to see how you could unlock even more benefits at fine hotels.
  • Redeem points on flights, hotels and luxury items, like a handbag from Holt Renfrew.
  • Score reservations at exquisite fine-dining restaurants with access to AMEX's Global Dining Collection.
  • Access unique experiences with the metal Platinum Card.
  • Get Platinum Concierge access: Whether you're in Calgary, Rome or Shanghai, get access to recommendations, concert tickets, reservations, and more from the AMEX concierge. The concierge can also assist you if you have an unusual request like locating the dress Scarlett Johansson wore in her latest film or sending your wife a limo for your wedding anniversary. 
  • Stay protected with comprehensive travel insurance: Travel is fun, but let's face it, planning your insurance needs for a trip can be tedious. The card comes with a comprehensive suite of travel insurance coverage, including emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance, and other benefits. In total, the card offers 11 different types of insurance coverage.

How to Earn Platinum Card Points

  • Get rewarded for dining at your favourite restaurants: Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible Canadian restaurants.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 you spend on eligible travel purchases.
  • All other purchases will earn you 1 point per $1 spent on your card.

How to Redeem Platinum Card Points

The American Express® Platinum Card®
The American Express® Platinum Card®
Apply Now  More Info 

Flights: One of the primary advantages of this program is that you can transfer AMEX points to other popular frequent flyer rewards programs, such as Avios® and Aeroplan®.

Hotels: You could alternatively transfer your points to premium hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy (formerly known as Starwood Preferred Guest®), depending on your eligibility.

Gift cards, tech, and more: Redeem your points to treat yourself or your loved one to a shopping spree at Holt Renfrew or use them to get the latest Bose speaker. The AMEX Membership Rewards portal has an extensive catalog with something for everyone.

There are endless ways to use your points, but it is particularly advantageous to use your points to pay for flights. Use the chart below as a reference on how far your points could take you if you redeem them for one economy class flight reward with the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program. Business class flights are also available for redemption. See a detailed breakdown of how to redeem your rewards for flights, here. Also, since you can transfer your AMEX points to partner reward programs, don't forget to check out AMEX's reward partners like Aeroplan® to price match the best flight reward deals.

AMEX Points Earned on Flight Types
Flight Type Eligible Flight Examples Points Required

Canada/U.S. (Short Haul)

Short-haul flights are defined as a flight within a Canadian Province/ territory/U.S. Territory, or a flight to an adjacent Canadian Province/ territory/ U.S. Territory (with the exception of Alaska)

Ottawa-Toronto
Montreal-New York
Calgary-Vancouver
15,000

Canada/U.S. (Long Haul)

A long- haul flight is defined as a flight from a Canadian Province/Territory to a non-adjacent Canadian Province/Territory/U.S. State. (With the exception of Hawaii and Alaska).

Toronto-Vancouver
Montreal-Calgary
Nova Scotia-Toronto
New York-LA
40,000
Sun destinations and Alaska Anywhere in Canada to the Caribbean,
Central America,
Hawaii, Mexico,
Alaska and more
50,000
Europe Anywhere in Canada to European destinations like France, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and more. 60,000
Other international flights Canada to Asia, Africa,
New Zealand, and beyond.
100,000

 

The Fine Print

Annual Fees $699
Supplementary cards $175 for an extra Platinum Card
$90 for an additional Gold Card
Minimum payment and interest rate You must pay the full statement balance each cycle, or you'll be charged a 30% interest rate for delinquency. So be prudent when using this credit card (and all credit cards).

 

The Bottom Line

The American Express® Platinum Card®
The American Express® Platinum Card®
Apply Now  More Info 

Let's be honest; this card isn't for everyone. The price tag on this prestigious card isn’t cheap; however, the annual fee is worth it for cardholders who travel frequently and value luxury experiences. For starters, the card’s generous welcome bonus of 50,000 points is enough for you and your favourite travel companion to fly from Toronto to New York. Not to mention, the next time you fly using your Platinum Card® you'll be enjoying awesome perks like access to premium lounges and exclusive dining experiences. The card also sets itself apart by allowing card members to transfer points to other elite reward programs like Aeroplan® and Marriott Bonvoy™. If you're a frequent flyer, the Platinum Card® will elevate the way you travel.  

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are those of shoptherate.ca.