Reviewing the Platinum Card by American Express (Canada)

The Platinum Card by American Express has long-held the title as the most valuable credit card in Canada. It offers a number of benefits, from lounge access, travel credits, hotel status, and more.

Visit places like Mauritius using Membership Rewards points for FREE!

The credit card has an annual fee of $699. However, as I’ll explain below, it’s easy to get the effective fee down to $299. With the benefits on the card, this is an absolute steal of a deal. I’ll explain the major benefits of the Platinum Card below.


60,000 Membership Rewards Points

When you register for the Platinum Card, you’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 in three months of card membership. Membership Rewards points convert 1:1 into Air Canada Aeroplan and British Airways Avios points. On Aeroplan, this is enough to fly round-trip in coach to Europe for free!

$200 X 2 Travel Credit

You’ll get a $200 travel credit each calendar year. That means in your first year of card membership, you’ll get two $200 travel credits – one immediately and another one on January 1, 2018. After you use both credits, cancel the card (and rinse-and-repeat).

It’s easy to turn the travel credits into cash, making your first year effective fee $299!

Lounge Access

You’ll be able to access all Plaza Premium lounges (including at Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Edmonton), over 1,000 lounges with the included Priority Pass membership, and all Centurion Lounges around the world. You’re even allowed a complimentary guest! There’s no limit to how many lounges you can visit.

Source: American Express, Centurion Lounge at Houston. Retrieved 2018-01-09.

Earning

You’ll earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, which is essentially equivalent to 1.25 Aeroplan miles. This isn’t the best earning rate in the industry, but is absolutely solid.

Source and Copyright: Amex Bank of Canada, retrieved from www.americanexpress.com on 2016-12-04

Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton Gold

You’ll receive complimentary enrolment in Starwood and Hilton Gold, which gives you upgrades, free breakfast, WiFi, and more. In addition, since Starwood and Marriott are merging, you can instantly match your Starwood Gold and receive Marriott Gold status as well!

Fine Hotels and Resorts

American Express has partnered with hundreds of four and five star hotels around the world to join the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. As a Platinum Card member, you’ll get access to this program. Rates are similar to every other travel agency, but you’ll get perks like free breakfast, $100 hotel credit, guaranteed upgrade, late checkout, etc.

Industry-Leading Insurance

You’ll get what many consider as the best travel insurance in Canada, including emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, delay, baggage, accident, car rental, and more.

In addition, you’ll get complimentary insurance on your purchases, which cover purchases for damage/theft (think dropping your cellphone), and automatically doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on most items!

And more…

There are many additional benefits, such as concierge services, automatic elite status, and more. American Express also offers “surprises” on occasion. For example, current American Express Platinum Card holders receive a free $200 duty-free credit at Toronto-Pearson.  Think about the card this way: with this benefit and the two travel credits, you’re effectively paying $99 for 60,000 points and all these benefits. That’s an amazing deal. 

This post contains referral links. The writer receives a benefit if you use his link. However, his link is the best available offer for 60,000 points. Standard links only offer 50,000 points. Your support keeps this blog running and is greatly appreciated.

Comments

    • Terms say no… experience says yes. I haven’t actually seen reports of points not coming through (even when agents say they wont).

  1. What happens if you apply now and they don’t give you next years $200 credit? Anything you can do about it? I could definitely try to apply later this year, but I’m trying to take advantage of the $200 Pearson airport duty free discount too. Thanks

    • There’s no precedent for them not offering the benefit. It’s in the terms and conditions of the cardholder agreement. I wouldn’t worry

  2. Agree with your comments around the insurance. It’s fantastic. I was in Dubai and my Air Canada flight was cancelled due to weather. They couldn’t get me on another flight for 3 days! They also refused to put me on another airline. I called AMEX Platinum and they found me a flight on Delta Airlines via Detroit then on to Toronto that left that day. Cost was $2982 CAD and the Platinum Trip Interruption insurance paid the entire fare, plus my food and entertainment during the 6 hours till the Delta flight left. The constant promotions like the $200 of free Duty Free in Toronto are awesome. For those people are live in the GTA the Pearson Airport benefits are of huge value (15% off parking via cash-back on your statement, free Valet parking fee (AMEX pays the $25 valet fee then you get 15% cash back on the actual parking fee), Security Line Bypass and use of the AMEX/Priority Pass lounges). Wish I had of seen your blog before so I got the 60,000 points 🙁 Agreed though – in my option this is one of the best cards in Canada by far. The only other ones I’ve seen that come close to the insurance is the Visa Infinite Privilege Black cards. One other note – I had bought a non-refundable airfare and my business meeting was cancelled. AMEX Platinum is the only card I believe that covers cancelled business meetings. They sent me a check for the amount of the airfare I purchased after I sent in a letter from my customer confirming they cancelled the meeting.

  3. Can someone confirm if you get 5X earning points based on purchasing airfares with the Canadian version of this card? People in the US are all raving about it and it seems mysteriously absent from the Canadian version of the AMEX site.

  4. Would you please confirm the “complimentary quest” lounge access?
    Also, would the insurance coverage apply to my spouse.
    A link to the terms & conditions would be useful.
    Thanks,
    Fred

    • Great article,

      Been wondering about the complimentary guest access as well. Was thinking of getting the card for a few upcoming trips with the family (2 adults and one child- 2 year old). It’s hard to find info on specific lounges in the Priority Pass catalogue. Essentially the card is a no brainer if there are two complimentary guest passes each turn. Once the card is received can you call about specific lounges and guest access- to be certain? Last thing we’d want is to hit up a number of lounges on the trip, to have our card pummeled when returning home with lounge charges. Also thought about getting my wife a supplementary card. Maye someone out there is as thrifty and has data points.

      • For the Canadian Lounge’s: Cardmember + spouse and 2 children OR one guest | Supplementary Cardmember also gets spouse and 2 children OR one guest
        Priority Pass: Cardmember + one guest | Supplementary cardmember and one guest
        Delta Sky Club: Cardmember and supplementary cardmember only

  5. Can you please clarif, if I apply now, will I get 2× $200 this year? In the post it says you’ll get one immediately and one on Jan. 01, 2018. Will I get both credits in 2018, now that we are after Jan. 01, 2018?

    Thanks for all your posts!

  6. Word of caution, Amex has been clawing back that second $200 credit for many users when cancelling within the first year. They either owe it back or will only refund $499 of the $699 fee if it posts. YMMY.

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