Is The Amex Platinum Still Worth it in 2024?


With its annual fee hiked to $799 (all figures in CAD) last year, the American Express Platinum Card is now the most expensive publicly-available credit card on the market.

Given this annual fee increase, the question that must be asked is, “is the Amex Platinum still worth it in 2024?”

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into whether you should apply for, keep, or cancel the American Express Platinum Card.

Amex Increases the Annual Fee of the Platinum Card

In 2023, American Express Canada announced that it would be increasing the annual fee for the Platinum Card. The fee went from $699 to $799, with the increase taking effect towards the end of September 2023.

The annual fee for a supplementary card was also increased at the same time from $175 to $250 per card.

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In 2023, the annual fee on the Platinum Card increased to $799

With the American Express Platinum Card already sitting among the most expensive cards in Canada, the fee increase naturally caused some furor in the Miles & Points community. Many in the community were left wondering if the card is still worth keeping or if it’s worth applying for in the first place.

We at Prince of Travel still believe that the Platinum Card is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada; however, we also recognize that each person has different wants, needs, and travel habits, so the card might not be suited for everyone.

To explore this further, let’s break down whether the Amex Platinum is still worth it in 2024.

Welcome Bonus

If you’re holding the American Express Platinum Card after the first year of card membership, feel free to skip this part of the article; however, if you’re currently contemplating whether or not to apply for the card, read on.

The American Express Platinum Card has always lured would-be cardholders with a strong welcome bonus.

Currently, the card offers the chance to earn a welcome bonus of 70,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points once you spend $10,000 in the first three months of card membership.

At our current valuation, 70,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $1,540 (1 MR point = 2.2 cents), making signing up almost a no-brainer.

Additionally, you can potentially get an even higher value out of those points by transferring them to an airline partner.

By transferring your 70,000 points to a partnered airline loyalty program like Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, or Air France KLM Flying Blue, you could enjoy a redemption like one the following examples:

  • A one-way flight in business class from anywhere in Canada to South America, or from the West Coast to Japan with Aeroplan
  • A round-trip business class between the US East Coast and Madrid on Iberia with British Airways Executive Club
  • A one-way business class from major cities in North America to anywhere in Europe with Air France KLM Flying Blue
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The welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum is enough for a one-way business class ticket to Europe

However, do keep in mind that the welcome bonus comes with a rather steep minimum spend requirement of $10,000 in three months. For most households, this might be difficult, especially given that American Express isn’t accepted everywhere.

That said, this level of spend is doable if you have an impending large purchase, such as a renovation or a wedding. Alternatively, you could pay your rent with the card by using a service like Chexy (if your landlord is eligible), and this could make a big dent in the spending requirement.

As an additional bonus, you can earn another 30,000 points by holding the card into the second year and making a purchase between months 14 and 17 of card membership.

These additional 30,000 points are worth $660 according to our valuation, and this alone already covers three quarters of the annual fee for the second year!

In all, with the welcome bonus alone, the American Express Platinum Card is worth applying for and keeping for the second year

Recurring Credits

The American Express Platinum Card has three recurring credits, as follows:

You’ll have access to these credits after you’ve been approved for the Platinum Card and as you renew it for subsequent years. Keep in mind, however, that these credits aren’t a carte blanche; they come with a laundry list of terms and conditions.

The $200 annual travel credit can only be used on travel booked with Amex’s in-house travel agency, but you’re free to use it on any travel product available on the website or over the phone, including flights.

The $200 annual dining credit is exclusively available to be used at a restaurant selected from a list curated by Amex based on Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants.

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The notable downside to this restriction is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find an eligible restaurant if you live far from Canada’s bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

The third recurring credit is pretty straightforward. You can use the NEXUS credit to offset the cost of NEXUS applications. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that the credit only recurs once every four years.

Now, if you can make use of the travel and dining credits every year, your “net cost” for the card will effectively go down to $399 without even taking into consideration the welcome bonus discussed above.

Amex Offers

Another feature of the American Express Platinum Card that may justify its fee is Amex Offers.

With Amex Offers, purchases with partner merchants are incentivized with statement credits, Membership Rewards points, or discounts. Many of these offers can result in substantial savings, sometimes in the hundreds of dollars.

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Recent Amex Offers include statement credits with United Airlines, Air France/KLM, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Bonvoy-affiliated properties in Canada, and Fairmont hotels in Canada.

Some offers are exclusive to Platinum cardholders, but many targeted offers appear on the American Express card that you’re currently using most frequently, or on the only Amex card you have.

Thus, if you’re holding more than one Amex card, you might not necessarily get specific Amex Offers on your Platinum Card.

More importantly, Amex Offers are targeted based on your spending patterns, so they’re not the same across all cardholders, and you can’t count on them to consistently offset the cost of your Platinum Card.

Lounge Access

Airport lounge access is one of the most compelling features of the American Express Platinum Card since the card provides unlimited access for the cardholder plus one guest.

The lounge access provided by the Amex Platinum is available worldwide, mostly through the Priority Pass network, which offers 1,500+ lounges.

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Unlimited lounge access is a key feature of the Amex Platinum

The cash cost of a single entry to a Priority Pass lounge is $35 per person per visit, so the value of unlimited access can add up.

As an American Express Platinum cardholder, you also get access to Amex’s own Centurion Lounges, which offer gourmet dining and handcrafted cocktails. Centurion Lounges are mostly available in the US, but they’re also available in cities like Sao Paulo and Hong Kong.

Lounge access might also justify supplementary cards for $250 a piece, since supplementary cardholders also get unlimited access to lounges for themselves plus their own guest.

However, unlimited lounge access is only great if you have ‌frequent use for it. For example, if you fly economy for work or you fly low-cost carriers as a digital nomad, you’ll find it truly beneficial.

Comparatively, if you fly business class a few times a year and have lounge access included with your ticket, then unlimited lounge access isn’t a compelling reason to hold the Platinum Card.

Automatic Hotel Status

With the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll receive two hotel statuses automatically: Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold Elite.

After receiving the card, you can log into your Amex account and find the option to link your Marriott and Hilton accounts and upgrade your status immediately. You’ll retain these elite statuses as long as you hold the card.

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With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn status instantly with Marriott and Hilton

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite gives you potential upgrades and, more importantly, 2pm late check-out, while Hilton Honors Gold Elite gets you potential upgrades, plus a daily food and beverage credit or free continental breakfast, depending on the property.

Frankly, these statuses aren’t top-tier by any means; however, they’re still nice to have, especially if you can’t earn them by holding another credit card or with organic hotel stays.

Other Benefits

Aside from the major features discussed above, the American Express Platinum Card offers a bevy of other benefits.

Excellent Insurance Benefits

The American Express Platinum Card offers among the strongest credit card insurance benefits in the game.

As an American Express Platinum cardholder, you’ll enjoy the following protections:

  • Emergency travel medical insurance of up to $5 million, covering you and your dependents for the first 15 days of your trip, regardless of whether or not you charged your trip to your Platinum Card
  • Trip cancellation insurance of up to a maximum of $5,000, reimbursing you for the non-refundable travel charges you made, in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as an emergency medical condition, death in the family, and government advisories
  • Flight delay insurance of up to $1,000, covering your accommodations and meals if your flight gets delayed by at least four hours
  • Purchase protection coverage that covers accidental physical damage or theft, plus an extension to the manufacturer’s warranty for one year

Platinum Card Concierge

With the Platinum Card Concierge, you get help with restaurant reservations, buying event tickets, and other tasks, typically without extra cost to you.

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You might find this service useful as you navigate a new city, or if you’re trying to score a coveted restaurant reservation.

Centurion New York Reservations

A less-publicized benefit of the Platinum Card is the ability to make reservations at Centurion New York, a fine-dining restaurant perched atop One Vanderbilt in Manhattan.

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You have exclusive access to the Centurion New York as an Amex Platinum cardholder

Menus are created by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boloud, and the prices are reasonable by Manhattan standards.

This exclusive restaurant is only open to holders of the Platinum Card and the Centurion Card. You can call the Platinum Concierge to make a reservation.

Access to Hotel Collections

The American Express Platinum Card gives you access to two hotel collections:

  • Fine Hotels + Resorts: Luxury properties that provide daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, 12pm early check-in, potential room upgrades, and $100 (USD) unique property credit (e.g., for the spa or restaurant) per stay.
  • The Hotel Collection: Premium properties that give $100 (USD) experience credit (e.g., for the spa or restaurant), plus potential room upgrades.

The Fine Hotels + Resorts collection is exclusive to holders of the Platinum Card and the Centurion Card.

American Express Experiences and Amex Front of the Line

American Express Experiences provides exclusive access and benefits to some of the best entertainment and events.

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Additionally, Amex Front of the Line gives access to presale tickets for some of the most in-demand concerts, theatre productions, and special events, often before the general public gets access.

So Is the Amex Platinum Still Worth It in 2024?

If you’re thinking of applying for the American Express Platinum Card, you definitely should as long as you can fulfill the minimum spend requirement for the welcome bonus. After all, the 70,000-point welcome bonus, worth $1,540 by our valuation, more than pays for the card.

You should also keep the card for the second year, since the second tranche of the welcome bonus (30,000 points worth $660) easily offsets more than three quarters of the cost of the card’s annual fee.

The question of whether you should keep the card for subsequent years past the first two is more complex.

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Keeping Amex Platinum after the second year can be a complex decision

If you can use the $200 annual travel credit and $200 annual dining credit, you’ll bring the “net cost” of the card down to $399.

Now, this remaining cost of $399 may be justified by the benefits provided by the Amex Platinum that we’ve discussed above.

Unfortunately, unlike the US-issued American Express Platinum Card, the Canadian Platinum Card doesn’t come with more recurring credits to bring down the net cost of the card further.

Additionally, the potentially lucrative Amex Offers aren’t guaranteed, and for many of the offers, they may show up with an Amex card other than the Platinum Card.

Thus, the thing that could justify holding the Platinum Card for many years is, in one word, access.

With the Platinum Card, you get access to airport lounges around the world, access to hotel status, and access to other exclusive benefits like the Platinum Card Concierge, Fine + Hotels Resorts, Centurion New York, and Amex Front of the Line.

If you value access – and the status symbol of holding the metal Platinum Card – then you should keep the card in your wallet year after year.

Conclusion

The American Express Platinum Card is now the most expensive publicly-available credit card in Canada, commanding a $799 annual fee.

The increase to the annual fee, which took effect in 2023, made many people wonder if the card was still worth applying for or keeping in subsequent years.

Hopefully, in breaking down the card’s benefits above, we’ve helped you make an informed decision on whether to apply for, keep, or cancel the American Express Platinum Card.

 





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