How A Financial Planner Justified The $695 American Express Platinum Annual Fee

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When choosing a credit card, you should consider the value rather than just the cost. At $695 per year, the American Express
Platinum Card is one of the most expensive credit cards on the market. Depending on your spending and amount of travel, you may get huge value from this card. On the other hand, some of you may be better with another credit card with a lower annual fee.

Keep reading as this fun financial planner shares how I evaluate whether the $695 American Express Platinum annual fee is worth it. The value of some benefits is easily quantifiable, and others will depend on your personal needs and travel habits.

$240 Digital Entertainment Credit

You can get a $20 monthly statement to help offset the cost of Audible, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, Sirius XM, and the New York Times
. Spending $20 or more per month across these services is easy. In my book, this is a valuable benefit.

$200 Hotel Credit

Even if you don’t travel much, spending $200 on hotels isn’t hard to do each year. You must book a prepaid hotel via American Express hotel programs to qualify for this benefit. These include the Fine Hotels and Resorts or the Hotel Collection.

$200 Uber


You will receive $200 in credits throughout the year to use on Uber or Uber Eats. This is easy to use, assuming you take an Uber or order Uber Eats at least once per month.

$100 Shop with Saks with Platinum

You will receive a $50 statement credit twice per year with your American Express Platinum Card. Pretty straightforward.

$189 Clear Credit

I get a Clear discount with my airline status. This means the $189 Clear credit is enough to pay for my spouse and me to have clear each year.

$200 Airline Fee Credit

I hate paying airline fees. However, this benefit often isn’t quite as generous as it sounds. First, you must pick the airline for which you want American Express to pick up the fees. If you are a frequent traveler, you likely don’t incur many fees; if you do, they are on an airline you don’t fly often.

This is the first year I’ve fully utilized the $200 Airline Fee Credit. I paid to fly our dog, and Delta was nice enough to charge us more than if I’d gotten the dog its own seat on the flight. Luckily, the Airline fee credit covered the cost in one direction.

Additional Travel Benefits

The value of the travel benefits will vary widely depending on your travel habits. I enjoy booking Amex Fine Hotels when traveling, and there are some great benefits here. This could be valuable if your home airport has a Centurion Lounge. I’m not a huge fan of the New Centurion Lounge at LAX, but it will do if I don’t have access to another lounge when flying internationally.

You can also find some good flight deals when booking via the International Airline Program. Remember that this is like booking through a third-party site and may cause issues if the flight schedule changes or you need to rebook for some reason.


You get free Walmart+, which costs about $155 per year. The main benefit appears to be no minimum purchase to get free shipping. If you are already paying for Walmart+, it will save you money. If not, I’m not sure how valuable this benefit is.

$300 Equinox Credit

This is an excellent benefit if you are already a member of Equinox. You can receive a $25 monthly statement credit when paying your dues on the Amex Platinum. This can also be used for the Equinox online subscription. If you don’t live near Equinox or don’t want to pay their sky-high dues, you likely aren’t getting much value from this benefit. In case you were wondering the Equinox+ app is a whopping $39.99 + tax per month.

Sign-Up Bonus?

A sign-up bonus can make year one of the American Express Platinum Card a no-brainer. In addition to the benefits listed above, the sign-up bonus will likely give you enough Amex points to offset the initial annual fee.

Bottom line, this fun financial planner suggests you consider the overall value of a card rather than just the base annual fee. The more you travel (especially internationally and to higher-end hotels), the more value you can get each year from the American Express Platinum Card. Even if you don’t travel a ton, it may not be that hard to wrestle more than $695 of value each year from this premium credit card.

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