American Express has been a major player in the travel-rewards card space for decades, and its Platinum charge card deserves some of the credit.
Although it comes with a steep annual fee of $450, the potential value of the card’s benefits more than offsets its cost.
The card lost some value recently, with the announcement that cardholders would no longer have access to the airport lounges of American and US Airways. In advance of the loss, American Express had preemptively expanded access to its Centurion lounges to Platinum cardholders. But there are only two Centurion lounges currently in operation, with two more set to open later in 2014.
This week, American Express announced two new Platinum perks, both of which become available in June:
- Boingo Wireless – Platinum cardholders will receive complimentary, unlimited access to more than 700,000 land-based Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide in airports, retail, and hotel locations through the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan.
- Statement Credit for TSA PreCheck – Platinum cardholders can choose to receive an $85 statement credit for a TSA PreCheck application fee. That’s in place of the $100 statement credit for a Global Entry application fee, which will remain an option.
Both of the new perks have the potential to add real value for travelers who are in a position to actually use them. The same could be said of the card’s overall value proposition. On paper, the cost of all the card-linked benefits far exceeds the card’s annual fee. But it’s still only a good deal if you take advantage of those benefits.
Reader Reality Check
Can you justify paying the $450 annual fee for a Platinum card?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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