When Platinum Cards Are Worth the Fees

When Platinum Cards Are Worth the Fees

This post originally appeared on SmartAsset.

Some platinum credit cards are free and accessible to consumers with solid credit history. Others such as American Express’s platinum credit card requires an annual fee of $450. Wells Fargo does not require an annual fee and Discover’s platinum card does not either. So what makes having a platinum credit card so special and is the fee really worth it?


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Well if you are going to take advantage of the various perks that come with the card then you could end up reaping more from the card than the annual fee. However, if you do not fly often then a platinum credit card is likely not even worth considering. This is because the card contains perks for people who travel internationally frequently. If you do not take advantage of those perks then you will not be able to recoup the annual fee.

Furthermore if you are considering getting a platinum credit card you should take the 25,000 point sign up bonus into consideration. The 25,000 points can be redeemed for over $300 in airfare which nearly covers the annual fee alone. In addition there are many more benefits and some smaller ones which may include random gifts or exclusive event invitations.

Airport Lounge Access

A platinum credit card will give you access to American, Delta and US Airways lounges if you have a ticket that is valid for same-day travel. This could save you upwards of $500 a year if you were to join these lounges separately. Additionally you can bring along your spouse and any children who are under 21 or up to two guests.

These lounges can be great if you want to wait until you board your plane in a nice peaceful air conditioned setting. They usually also offer free Wi-Fi, drinks, snacks, TV, showers, gyms and more. Nonetheless a platinum card can come in handy if you wish to take advantage of this.

Airline Rebate

American express recently introduced a $200 airline rebate to help curve the loss of continental leaving membership rewards. As a platinum card holder you can now get a $200 airline rebate one time every calendar year. This means that you can receive a $200 rebate on your designated airline before the end of the year and then you would have another $200 rebate on January 1st.

The credit is applicable to seat assignment fees, flight switching fees, heavy baggage fees, and in-flight food and drink. Many heavy travelers already get these fees waived but if you are new to traveling then you cannot go wrong with a platinum credit card in this scenario.

Hotels & Resorts

Another great thing about having a platinum credit card is that you can get free room upgrades, free breakfast for two, spa credits, free golf and late checkouts when you book hotels and pay with the card. The breakfast perk by itself can save you more than $50 each day although your FHR rates may be just a bit higher. Benefits can also include credits for spa treatments or expenses and at some places you may even get free WiFi. Even though room rates are usually the same, the perks can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars of extra value.

Purchase Protection

Amex also offers a purchase protection program that provides coverage for up to 90 days after the date of purchases for items that are stolen, damaged or lost. This includes purchases made internationally by someone else or you by up to $10,000 per purchase and $50,000 per card every year.

There are plenty of additional benefits as well, so it is safe to say that you can get well over the $450 annual fee in perks and extra benefits alone. If you are a frequent traveler then a platinum credit card may be right up your alley. Gold cards are also great but more so if you are not a heavy traveler as they do not contain the airline credits, cruise credits, fine hotel & resorts benefits and many of the other perks associated with platinum credit cards.

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