American Express Platinum or Gold Card?
Update – American Express is in the midst of updating their Platinum Card. We expect the new features and updates to be available later today. Please bear in mind that some information on this page regarding the card may be outdated at this moment.
In this comparison review, we will look at the differences between the American Express Gold, Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum version. We’ll find out at the end that these cards (especially the Premier Rewards and Platinum) can be complimentary and many people have both (we’ll explain why). We’ll also highlight the circumstances where one is better than the other. Below is the chart highlighting key features.
The most basic similarity among these cards is that the reward program is the same (well, almost) for all cards. Membership Rewards allows you to transfer points to their airline partners and hotel partners. Platinum cardholders are entitled to MR First program (which simply means there are a few high end luxury rewards). But for all intents and purposes, all these cards have the same program. Furthermore,
- All cards allow you to earn unlimited points which do not expire.
- There are no preset spending limits for these cards.
- They are have the Gold Card Events feature – For those who are not familiar with it, American Express sponsors events like concerts, theaters etc. And they are normally some good seats which they make available to card members before the general public has access to them.
- They have almost similar travel and shopping insurance type features.
- How you earn points? – Ironically, the most effective card among the three in terms of points earning capacity is the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, where you can earn triple points for airline ticket purchases and double points for gasoline and supermarket purchases. The other two cards just allow you to earn the standard one point per dollar on all purchases.
The Premier Rewards Gold also gives you 15,000 bonus points when you spend $30,000 a year on the card.
- Hotel Booking Perks – Both the Gold and Platinum versions have hotel booking perks. Platinum has got the Fine Hotel and Resorts program.
The program has lots of hotel partners and when you use your Platinum Card to book with them, you get perks like a $100 hotel voucher (which I frequently use at their spa), free room upgrade if available, late checkouts and complimentary continental breakfast.
Recently, the Gold series has also added a similar perk called the Gold Hotel Connection. Their partners include Fairmont, MGM in Vegas, Destination Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Preferred Hotel Group, KSL, Loews, City Center (Vegas), Omni, Radisson, Thompson and The PUBLIC Hotel in Chicago. You get $75 resort credits and room upgrades (if available) if you book with American Express Travel and stay two consecutive nights.
- Extra Platinum Perks – Aside from these differences, the Platinum Card comes with the following extra perks that are not available in the Gold version. Examples include airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, global entry fee payment, $200 airline credits, cruise credits and concierge service.
Verdict and Opinion
After looking through their features, the similarities and differences, we can safely make the following statements.
- 1. The Platinum Card is All About Benefits – You pay a $450 annual fee a year. And it is all about benefits. They have more perks than most other credit cards. And if you use your perks, you could easily cover the cost of the annual fee. For example, making use of the airline credits ($200), joining the Hertz Gold membership ($60), joining the Platinum Status on Starwood, getting a couple of hotel credits when you book your hotels with FHR are some ways to reap the benefits. Getting access to Delta, American Airline
- The Premier Rewards Gold Is Great For Earning Points – While the Platinum Card is full of great benefits, the Premier Rewards Gold the the king in terms of the points you can earn. It is really hard to beat triple points on airline tickets. You would think the the Plat would at least match it, but this is not the case. They also have the advantage of giving members 15,000 MR points if they spend $30,000 a year on the card. Both the Plat and regular Gold do not have this feature.
So which is actually the better card? – Well, the simple answer would be to say that if you are more concerned about points (who would not be), then the Premier Rewards Gold would be the easy choice (read our review here).
And if it is benefits that you are after, then the Plat should be your choice.