American Express Platinum......
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    Brian's Avatar
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    American Express Platinum......

    I am not a credit card person as to leave a balance and pay the interest, but I will admit fully that I never have any cash on me anymore. I live 100 percent off my credit card even for small purchases.

    So I get an invite to the Visa Black Card last night. $495 per year plus $195 per person you add to the card. I laughed but still read it due to my interest, then googled it this morning and it came up with comparisons between the Amex platinum and the Visa Black Card. They both have some pretty stout benefits. I like that the Black Card gives you an extra 1 year warranty past the manufacturers warranty on anything you buy with it. But that is where the card stops.

    The Amex Platinum card has some wonderful travel benefits and will reimburse you up to $200 per card worth of baggage fees and drinks on a plane. I have never had an American express card before, but with all the traveling my wife does for work, I signed up. She will get some great benefits, I hope. I guess that's why I made this thread.

    Does anyone out there have an American express card or the Platinum card? Does it provide the benefits they say?

    Also, it seems Amex is not taken everywhere? Again, first Amex card.

    Thanks for any tips.


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    I have never been willing to pay for an Amex myself. But, I have an Amex Platinum through Costco. I find it is taken most places I go. The one I have is also a cash back card. I used it for all of my fuel purchases as I get 3% back on fuel. One of the benefits I have leveraged relative to travel is with regards to auto rentals. There is an option to choose a "premium rental" coverage. When you rent a car, they charge an extra fee to your Amex card that covers the insurance so you don't need to get the daily insurance from the rental agency. Some rental agencies will argue that it is not the same. Amex says it is. Something else to look into with your new card.

    Also, if you have access to Costco and are not a member, it may be worth joining Costco just for the free platinum Amex.

    Not sure I really answered your question. I can't say for certain on the travel expense reimbursement. I also do not know for certain that my Costco sponsored "free" platinum really matches the one you just requested.

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    Credit Cards come in all sorts of varieties. I have or have used them all.. MasterCard, Visa, Discover, AmEx, and many of the "store" cards (typically issued by GE Money Bank or something).

    There are a LOT of things to consider when signing up for a card that I look at.

    - Is there an annual fee? If I'm going to be using the card just to make purchases and paying it off, and I don't care about any benefits from it, then no fee is a must.
    - What are the benefits? From air miles to hotel points to straight cash back... What's in it for me? Vendors pay a fee when I use my card, and that cuts into their profit. I've been successful at negotiating better prices on larger items by paying cash because that fee isn't present. If I have zero chance of a better price with the card, what else is coming my way as a result of using it?
    - How much are the benefits worth? If I'm going to spend $700 on fees to carry a card, will I get more than $700 worth of benefits? If not, the card is useless.

    I travel some for work. I carry a Delta AmEx that entitles me to no baggage fees for myself and up to seven or eight other people traveling with me. One trip to Disney with the family and that benefit pays for the card.

    I carry a Visa with hotel points and use that for pretty much all of my regular purchases. One free night in a hotel (and I earn weeks worth of free nights in a hotel plus get upgraded member status by holding the card) and that card is paid for.

    My Lowe's card is used on anything over about $50 that I buy there because I get 5% off on all Lowe's purchases (or 0% financing, buy I pay mine off). No fee, and I shop there with enough regularity to actually save some money with it.

    I also have to consider how much credit I'm carrying at any point in time. And, you have to look at whether or not you have any balances. A lot of this factors into your credit score, and that can impact whether or not you get things like a loan for a car.

    If you have 50,000 worth of credit and carry $10,000 on a revolving balance, you're ok. If you have that same credit line (combined across cards, not on just one) but carry $40,000 worth of revolving balances, that's very bad. Canceling a card with a high limit and no balance will push you toward the second example, so be careful about shutting down a card just because you don't use it. And, to that end, make sure you DO use it once in a while to keep the account active.

    If you make $10,000/year as household income and try to carry $100,000 worth of credit line across a bunch of cards, that's VERY bad (even if you have no balances and always pay on time). Having too much potential to spend makes you a bad risk for any new loans.

    Applying for lots of loans / cards at the same time is bad because it puts too many inquiries on your credit report. Again, bad.

    AmEx is not accepted as widely as Visa (which is taken at even more places than MasterCard). But, it's still taken an awful lot of places. Sam's Club, interestingly takes ONLY MasterCard for credit cards.

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    I've been a "paying" Amex member for over 30 years, started green, went to gold then went back to green. I used to travel quite a bit for business, and the yearly summary that I used to get with gold was really useful at tax time. When I stopped traveling, I went back to green to lower my fees. I still pay for one card for the "mileage rewards" program, which you can't have with just the free Amex cards. Amex always tried to get me to upgrade to a platinum, but I couldn't justify the cost vs benefits. I had originally wanted to save enough points for a cruise, but until I spend all my mileage points, I'll keep paying the fee. After that, I'll have to decide. With all the free cards out there, I don't think I'll continue with any fee-based Amex CC's.

    As I remember, there were quite a few more benefits with a platinum Amex, especially if you travel. One was a free companion ticket when you purchase a business class ticket. That was great if you did a lot of travel abroad for business, you could get a free ticket for your wife. There was also some airline club memberships included too, I believe. Not sure how they have changed today, it's been quite a few years since I checked. But if you can get the company to pay the fee, or deduct it on taxes, you may enjoy/use some of the added benefits.

    One other thing, Amex has always been easy to deal with on incorrect/disputed charges, and one time they called me to tell me that my number was compromised. They cancelled my present card and overnighted a replacement. But then I'm a paying member, not sure if it's the same with all the free Amex cardmembers.

    One downside, with the green, gold, platinum and black fee-based cards, I believe you have to pay off the balance each month.

    Just my 2 cents.

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