Lifestyles of the rich and famous: Shorter lines! Hotel upgrades! Lounge access! (Must be nice, right?) But with the right credit card—ahem, the Platinum Card® from American Express—it’s actually possible to live like a VIP and stick within your budget. How? It has a lot to do with the fact that this credit card is a status symbol in its own right. It also comes with the best airport lounge access and hotel upgrades in the industry. We asked the team at The Points Guy to tell us more.
First, you need to brace yourself for the sticker shock. The Amex Platinum comes with a $550 annual fee that’s not waived in the first year. It’s the highest of any premium credit card, since most of its competitors top out at $450. But there’s one important distinction: The Platinum actually does a better job of completely negating that fee, thanks to the abundance of perks.
Interesting, what kind of perks? Amex Platinum users receive up to $200 in annual airline fee credits for incidental charges (which does not apply to base fares), a $200 annual Uber credit (up to $15 in monthly increments and up to $35 in December), a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit and a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (split into $50 increments for the first and second half of the year). In addition to monetary benefits, the Amex Platinum gets you Uber VIP Status, Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold Status, airport lounge access for Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) and a Priority Pass Membership (which is basically an in-network lounge system), and statuses with rental car companies. There’s also add-ons like cruise credits and upgrades, unlimited Boingo WiFi, and Amex offers.
Let’s quickly pause to do the math on the above. Taking the Uber and airline fee credits at face value, plus the hotel statuses and lounge access (which are easily worth the remaining $150) gets you to $550 and fully covers the annual fee.