While American Express cards aren’t widely accepted outside of the U.S. (typically only at international locations of U.S.-based hotel and restaurant chains and sometimes high-end stores), the Platinum Card from American Express might be useful as a second card when traveling abroad.
Specifically, the Platinum Card plugs you into Amex’s excellent travel concierge service, which is like having a personal travel agent a phone call away, no matter where you are in the world. Likewise, this card is a good option for frequent flyers who'd like to make use of American Express’ best-in-class Centurion Lounges, with more than a dozen locations across the globe.
This card has a $550 annual fee, though, so you’ll definitely want to use it often in the U.S. to make its points and perks worthwhile overall.
Points: The Platinum Card from American Express offers 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or through American Express Travel—beginning on January 1, 2021, the spending cap for this category is $500,000 per year. Cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar when booking hotel stays through amextravel.com, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Additionally, during the first six months of a new account, the Platinum Card offers 10 points per dollar on up to $15,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations.
These points can be redeemed through Amex Travel with a value of 1 cent each ($0.01) or they can be transferred to American Express partners like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Perks: Even though you may not be able to spend money on your Platinum Card everywhere you travel, it still has many benefits that are worthwhile for international travel. First off, American Express travel concierges are accessible for assistance with restaurant reservations, concert tickets, and more anywhere in the world when you’re a Platinum cardholder.
As you'd expect, cardholders have their Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee covered when it's paid for with the card, and you’ll get a Priority Pass Select membership with access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Additionally, you'll have access to American Express’ Centurion Lounges (currently 12 within the U.S., plus several international lounges, with more opening every year) and Delta’s lounges when you fly with the airline.
With the Fine Hotels + Resorts programs, Platinum cardholders receive an average of $550 worth of complimentary perks such as late check-out and room upgrades. The Amex Platinum also offers $200 annually in Uber credits ($15 per month, $20 in December) but only for use in the U.S.