I carry a lot of credit cards, but my favorite is the American Express Platinum because of the perks such as free bags, money back, airport lounge access for FREE and so much more!
AmEx Platinum cardholders have access to the airport clubs of American, Continental, Delta and US Airways, and they can bring along their spouse and children under 21, or they can bring two guests. All they have to do is show a same-day boarding pass on that carrier and an AmEx Platinum card, and they can enter the club and relax before their flight. (US Airways doesn't require that you fly with them to use their clubs.)
The American Express Platinum Card doesn't come cheap (the annual fee is $450), but many of these airport-club memberships cost the same or more and can be used only when you're holding tickets on that airline. These club fees range from $450 to $525 for first-year members who don't have elite frequent-flier status.
With the American Express Membership Rewards Program, I can earn points and then transfer them to a number of different airlines or frequent-stay hotel programs when needed. The program occasionally offers bonuses for point-to-mile transfers. I can also earn double points when I shop at the supermarket, gas stations and the post office.
Another thing I like about the American Express program is that I find it easier to cash in points to get airline tickets. I can use points to buy all or part of a ticket on an airline of my choice by using 100 points for every $1 of the price of the ticket. For example, if I found a round-trip ticket for $150, I could use points and pay 15,000 points. If the price of a ticket is more than $250, and I can get an award ticket for 25,000 miles, it may be better to redeem points for miles and book the ticket directly through the airline. When transferring points to miles, one point equals one mile.
American Express has agreements with a number of airlines, including Delta, Continental, British Airways and Frontier, but other airlines such as American and United don't participate in mileage transfers. Using points through AmEx to buy tickets gives me greater flexibility on which airlines I can fly, and I am not subject to blackout dates, but I may have to use more points if tickets are expensive.
Figuring out the best use of points is a little more complicated with American Express than with a standard frequent-flier program. With AmEx, you can use points for all or part of your ticket, giving you more options for flights. Or, you can transfer them into your frequent-flier account.
Enroll and select an airline to receive up to $200 annually in statement credits for incidental fees such as checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and change fees. We recommend that if you are an elite member with an airline, don't pick that airline to use this credit with. If you are elite status you already get your bags checked for free, and sometimes change fees are waived so you probably will have a tough time spending the money. We think you should select an airline that you use frequently but don't have status with. That way when they ask you to pay for your bags, you can get reimbursed for those additional costs through this great program.
We wanted to pass along a few other Platinum Card benefits that you may or may not be aware of:
· Priority Pass Select gives Card members access to more than 600 international airport lounges in more than 100 countries. This program extends the existing airport lounge program that you mentioned which provides access to all domestic airport lounges for AA, US Air and Delta.
· Card members avoid incurring 2.7% foreign currency transaction fee on every international purchase when using the Platinum Card abroad.
· While staying at one of more than 700 properties within the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program, Card holders receive a room upgrade (upon availability), daily continental breakfast for two, 4p.m. late check-out and additional special amenity worth a minimum of $450 per stay.
To find out all the benefits of the Platinum American Express card, please click here.
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