During my consulting internship last year, I decided to try out the American Express Platinum Card.
Airline Lounge Access
The airline lounge access benefit is by far the best benefit of the Platinum card for the frequent traveler. Currently the Platinum card entitles you (and two guests) to enter any Delta Sky Club or American Airlines Admirals Club for free when traveling on that airline’s flights. It also allows entry into the US Airways Club when traveling on any airline. A one-year membership for any of these lounge programs can be more than the $450 annual fee of the American Express card.
For the international traveler, American Express offers complementary membership in PriorityPass, which will grant you access to many airport clubs in locations worldwide on your international itineraries.
Airline Fee Reimbursement
American Express will reimburse up to $200 per year in airline “incidental” fees, including baggage fees, upgrades and lounge passes. Some enterprising people over at FlyerTalk (http://www.flyertalk.com/forums/) have discovered that American Express occasionally reimburses small-value ticket purchases as well.
Global Entry Fee Reimbursement
I posted recently about Global Entry, the US Customs and Border Protection program for frequent flyers wanting to expedite their passage through immigration. American Express will automatically reimburse you for the $100 registration fee paid to enroll in the program, provided you charge your enrollment to your card. (If you are already enrolled, consider having your spouse or significant other sign up.)
Highly Flexible Points
I generally believe that the best kind of point is cash. Second only to cash are highly flexible points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Starwood Points, and American Express Membership Rewards. In addition to being redeemable for various types of rewards on American Express’ website, Membership Rewards points can be transferred to a number of airline partners. If you need to top-off your Delta or British Airways account for an award ticket, your Membership Rewards points can get you there.
Travelers, do you carry the Platinum card? Are there other credit cards out there with similar benefits?