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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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