The Amex Platinum Card offers great airport, hotel, and travel perks for cardholders, but is it worth the $799 annual fee? Read our American Express Platinum Card review to learn if it's right for you.

So we’ve arrived at the Grandpappy of Canadian credit cards. The Amex Platinum is a card with heft – not just its wildly high annual fee or staggering welcome bonus, but in the literal metal card you’re sent, so thick you can barely insert it into conventional chip readers. The Amex Platinum could be considered the final boss for point heads, or simply the default for high-networth individuals. Either way, if you’re into credit cards, you’ve considered the Plat (what hip people like myself call this card).

Let’s get the fee out of the way – and by the way, it has gone way up since I cancelled my Plat. It’s going to set you back $799, and you better believe you’re paying that up front. But that number gets whittled down more than a bit by the perks. For one, there’s a $200 annual travel credit. Oh, and this was news to me – there’s also a $200 annual dining credit to be spent at “a curated list of Canada’s top restaurants.” 

And now we arrive at the welcome bonus. Assuming you can spend $10,000 in three months (no mean feat), you’re looking at 70,000 bonus points. Decide to keep it for another year? One purchase between 14 and 17 months nets you another 30,000. It’s pretty clear why both the wealthy and the wannabes (present company included) have Platinum on the brain.

Who’s the Amex Platinum for?

As I mentioned above there are two types of people for whom the Amex Plat holds obsession-like appeal – those who find $800 a pittance and don’t know the cost of a banana, and weirdo point collectors who’ve min-maxed schemes for travel and realise the value far outweighs the cost. For most others, an $800 upfront fee (not to mention spending $10,000 on an Amex in three months) is a lot to ask.

Pros and cons

Amex Platinum Pros and cons



  • Earn 5X Rewards Points for flights and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

  • Access to a wide range of luxury perks, including premium concierge service

  • Complimentary lounge membership providing access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide

  • Annual statement credits: $200 airline fee credit, $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit

  • Special insurance coverages like trip cancellation/interruption, flight delay, lost or stolen baggage and rental car theft & damage.

  • Provides extended warranty (2 years) and purchase protection (120 days).



  • High annual fee of $799, one of the heftiest among Canadian cards

  • The rewards system can be complicated, especially for users not familiar with maximizing credit card points

  • Requires good to excellent credit for eligibility

Basic rewards structure

The Platinum by American Express welcome bonus

  • Earn up to 100,000 points, a value approaching $1,000 (though it could be a lot more with clever point transferring). 
  • Spend $10,000 in the first three months, earn 70,000 points. Make a purchase with your Amex Platinum between 14 to 17 months, and qualify for an additional 30,000 points.

How to earn membership rewards points on The Platinum by American Express

I’ll start by noting that the card offers one of the best bonuses available in Canada. Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s up to $1,000 towards a weekend away. New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 70,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $10,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first three months of cardmembership. Conditions apply. Plus, earn 30,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.

And those points could be worth significantly more if you transfer them to an Airline loyalty program (more on that below).

The Amex Platinum is a card built around its bonus and its perks – not its daily earning categories. Two times the points on dining and food delivery, 2x on travel, and 1x on everything else. Kinda underwhelming right? That said, if you’re the kind of person who can easily put $10,000 on your Platinum in three months, those points can and will rack up, just not with the big multipliers you’d expect from your garden variety daily spend cards.

No matter what you buy with The Platinum Card®, it’s vital to remember that it’s not technically classified as a ‘credit card.’ Interest applies in accordance with your cardmember agreement, information box and disclosure statement if the total new balance is not paid by the payment due date each month. All payments must be received by the payment due date shown on the monthly statement.

When you do get your points (welcome or otherwise), it’s a great idea to look at transferring them to a partner (like Marriott or Aeroplan) – usually its value is magnified for a niche like flights or hotels.

Earn Rate: 

  • Two points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery
  • Two points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel
  • One point for every $1 in all other Card purchases
About the card

How to redeem membership rewards points on The Platinum by American Express

In general, the Platinum Card® Membership Rewards® points have a single point dollar value of $0.01. They can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, retail gift cards and more on the rewards website. Plus you can use them for exclusive member-only experiences and events offered through Amex’s Platinum Concierge. You also have the option of redeeming points as a statement credit. While 1,000 points = $10 when redeemed for travel, the same 1,000 points may not carry the same value when redeemed elsewhere.

The Amex site claims you can “pay for almost anything with points” – and it's true. Rather use the points to buy directly? The Amex Membership Rewards page lets you redeem them for everything from travel to Amazon and everything in between. Seriously – there is no reward program quite as comprehensive as Amex. Gift cards, Airbnb stays, spa and beauty, dining… the list goes on.

For my money (points) however, I’m inclined to transfer Amex to either Marriott (which used to transfer 1.5x Bonvoy points per 1 Amex – the golden era) or to Aeroplan 1:1. For instance, those 70,000 welcome bonus points? A tidy $700 for statement credits. But, transfer to Aeroplan, and you’re looking creeping into a one-way, non-stop flight to Paris, potentially in premium economy, a value of well over $1,000. 

Note: 5 Membership Rewards points transfer to 6 Marriott Bonvoy points, and 1 Membership Reward point transfers to 1 Aeorplan point

Standout features

Other standout card features

The Platinum Card is perhaps the most feature-rich travel card in Canada, with an array of goodies that we’ll cover in detail, including:

  • Entry into Amex’s International Airline Program, which offers discounted companion tickets, complimentary airline upgrades and some special discounted airfares.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport including security bypass, complimentary valet car service and discount car care and parking.
  • Standard and premium Amex Entertainment Benefits, including Front of the Line, as well as special dining programs.
  • Hotel perks. Cardholders get automatic gold status in several hotel programs, as well as hotel discounts.

Aside from those, the card has two additional perks that are particularly attractive to frequent travellers, and which could push The Platinum Card® into the must-have category, despite its high annual fee.

$200 annual travel credit

$200 CAD annual travel credit and dining credit

This is obviously one of the card’s most significant perks because it essentially reduces the $799 annual fee. Access a $200 Annual Travel Credit through American Express Travel Online or Platinum® Card Travel Service. If you travel even once a year, it’s not difficult to imagine using this credit on a hotel room or a flight upgrade. It’s essential, however, to pay attention to the fine print. You must use the credit on travel purchases booked via American Express Travel Services (or by calling Platinum Card Travel Service) and can only use the credit ONE time per year on the SAME transaction. That means you can’t split it for one trip to pay for a checked bag and use what’s left over on another trip that same year to pay for seat selection. It must be used all at once on one travel expense.

With your Platinum Card, you now have access to an annual $200 Dining Credit. This is made possible through Amex’s partnership with Canada’s 100 Best, and have curated a list of some of the top restaurants nationwide. Use your Platinum Card to pay at these establishments and tap into your $200 Annual Dining Credit.

Airport lounge access

Unlimited airport lounge access

Despite my deep love of travel, I don’t enjoy airports. That’s why the Airport Lounge Access perk is so important to me. It really can make what would be a hellish eight-hour layover into a thing of beauty thanks to excellent food, quality wines, free Wi-Fi, plush seating and sometimes even shower and nap areas. With The Platinum Card® you can take full advantage of The American Express Global Lounge CollectionTM which unlocks access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.

Travel insurance

Amex Platinum insurance coverage

While they may be the least glamourous perks of a credit card, insurance benefits can be by far the most vital, especially if you end up needing medical attention while in a foreign country. As you would expect for the steep annual fee, The Platinum Card® offers a comprehensive lineup of insurance:

  • Emergency medical insurance: Up to $5 million in coverage for emergency medical expenses incurred in the first 15 days of your trip (for card holders under 65). We'll cover this one in more detail below.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption: In the event of trip cancellation, you’re covered for non-refundable purchases made on your platinum up to $2,500 per person up to $5,000 total. This also applies in case your trip is interrupted or pushed back for any reason, except it’s covered up to $6,000 total.
  • Flight delay insurance: You’re covered for up to $1,000 when your boarding is delayed for more than four hours, for things like hotels, restaurants and sundry items purchased on your Amex Platinum.
  • Baggage insurance: In the event your baggage is delayed for more than six hours, you’re covered up to $1,000 for reasonable purchases of clothing and necessary items. This also goes in the event it’s lost or stolen, so long as you paid the full price of your airline ticket on your Amex Platinum.
  • Travel accident insurance: You’re covered up to $500,000 in the event of a major accident while travelling
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance: So long as you rent a car valued less than $85,000 with your Platinum, receive coverage against theft, loss or damage.
  • Extended warranty: Tack on an additional one year of warranty to products you purchase that have a manufacturer's warranty of less than five years.
  • Purchase protection: Get up to 120 days of purchase protection for items purchased on your Platinum.
Emergency medical

Emergency medical insurance (out of province/country)

This is possibly one of the most critical insurance features for people who travel frequently. Two of the most significant details to note are how many days you’re covered for and how much you’re covered in terms of dollar amounts. With The Platinum Card® you are protected up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per insured person (one of the highest dollar amounts for Canadian similar cards) for 15 consecutive days of each trip. While 15 days is fairly standard, the coverage is only available if you’re under 65 years of age. Once you hit that age threshold, you’re out of luck.

Other travel cards, like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, have a much lower annual fee and longer coverage—25 consecutive days in the case of the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card. It also offers 3 consecutive days of coverage to those over age 65.

Personally, when a card comes with a $799 annual fee, I expect the emergency medical protection to be among the best possible available for all age categories. For me, this is one of the major drawbacks of The Platinum Card®. It’s also discouraging that, while the Baggage Delay Insurance reimburses you up to $1,000, it only kicks in after six hours, whereas other less costly cards (like the Scotiabank Gold American Express card kick in after only four hours. You can compare travel insurance credit cards via our detailed page on the issue.

What people have to say

What people have to say about this card

... worth it? Absolutely is! They say you have to travel frequently. FK it: collecting the points over 2 years and using it for an almost $0 trip to Hawaii.


We’ll get to my “worth it?” answer down below, but if you’ve read this far, you probably guess that I am in staunch agreement. Use the points you earn, take advantage of the credits, and the Amex Platinum more than pays for itself.

How it compares

How the Amex Platinum compares

The Platinum by American Express vs. Scotiabank Platinum American Express

Google the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card and you might go “woah, woah, woah – this card says it offers $2,100 in value in 14 months, all for a $399 fee? Half the Amex Plat? What gives?” Let me spare you the confusion and say Scotiabank goes through some very creative calculus to reach that figure. It's broken down in its legal footnotes that includes estimations on how much foreign exchange fees you’ll be saving and how many Scene+ points you’re going to earn by spending X amount. A lot of assumptions going on there.

Aside from the marketing BS, the Scotiabank Platinum is damn good. Lots of ways to earn and a dandy welcome bonus. The $399 price tag is kinda steep though, especially considering you don’t get the credits offered by the Amex Plat. I’m leaning OG Amex Plat on this, despite Scotiabank trying to steal a little of their valour. 

The Platinum by American Express vs. American Express Cobalt

Two completely different cards, two completely different target audiences. The American Express Cobalt card is a slow and steady daily driver and a great card for young working professionals looking to build points over time. The Amex Plat is for the amazing perks, huge bonus and people who have either done the point math or literally have the spare money to have people do math for them.

For travel and quickly-earned point volume, the Amex Plat is in a different league than the Cobalt.

The Platinum by American Express vs. American Express Gold

Features The Platinum by American Express American Express Gold
Annual fee $799 $250
Welcome offer Up to 100,000 bonus points Up to 60,000 bonus points
Insurance Comprehensive coverage Comprehensive coverage
Benefits Travel credit, dining credit, concierge, lounge access Some lounge access, general Amex perks
Is it worth it?

Is the Amex Platinum worth it?

Oh yeah. That $799 is going to be too tough a pill to swallow for most people, but for those who can see past that, there’s no doubt it more than makes up for it with the value it offers. It remains one of the hardest card cancellations I’ve ever made – I loved it that much.


  • How do I qualify for Amex Platinum?


    Amex recommends your income be at least $50,000 before applying, and your credit score will likely need to exceed 700 for a chance at auto approval.

  • What is the limit on an American Express Platinum card?


    There’s no credit limit associated with Amex Platinum – just make sure you pay down the balance for each billing cycle.

  • Does American Express Platinum cover car rental insurance?


    Yes, it provides coverage for vehicles up to $85,000 MSRP for rental of 48 days or less when you fully charge you rental to your Platinum card. Be sure to decline the rental agency coverage.

  • Does The Platinum by American Express have foreign transaction fees?


    Yes, the Amex Platinum still requires you to pay foreign exchange fees. The foreign transaction fee is 2.5%.

  • Is Priority Pass free with American Express Platinum?


    There’s no deal with Priority Pass, but you won’t need one – the Amex Platinum has extremely comprehensive global lounge access.

About our authors: faces of finance

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor, Freelance Contributor

Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town.

Cameron Smonk
Cameron Smonk, Freelance Writer

Cam is a content marketer with a passion for saving, financial independence, and pulling off elaborate credit card point schemes. He has worked in Fintech and Finserve (specifically Group Retirement) and loves researching and writing about finance. When not writing about money, Cam writes about booze on his blog called Sublime Imbibing, dedicated to wine, whisky and craft beer.


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