There are dozens of credit cards on the market that are aimed at travellers, so how do you know which one is the right fit for you? The answer: it depends. From your spending habits to the type of travel experiences you enjoy the most, there are a myriad of factors that can affect your choice of plastic and it’s important to look at the details of each credit card to see which one suits your needs the most.
If you’re a frequent flyer who likes to travel in style and spends big on restaurants, one credit card we would recommend is the Platinum Card from American Express. It comes with an annual fee of $699, but considering the premium benefits and lucrative sign-up bonus it offers, it can deliver considerably more in value for the right cardholders.
Here are six reasons why the Platinum Card should be on every frequent traveller’s radar.
The Platinum Card Benefits
1. Up to 80,000 points sign up bonus
The Platinum Card comes with a massive sign up bonus of 65,000 points when you charge $6,000 to your card in the first three months, which you can redeem for a roundtrip flight to a destination in Europe using the Fixed Points Travel Program (towards base fares, up to maximum of $900). Plus earn a total of 10X the points on eligible eats and drinks purchases in Canada for the first 6 months of Cardmembership, up to a maximum of 50,000 points. You can also earn 15,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 to 17 months of Cardmembership, redeemable for a short-haul roundtrip flight to one of the popular routes using the Fixed Points Travel Program (towards base fares, up to maximum of $300).
Alternatively, you could convert these points to Aeroplan Miles at a 1:1 ratio. 60,000 Aeroplan points are enough for two round-trip tickets to anywhere in Canada and the continental U.S.
Enjoy flexible ways to use your points such as statement credits for any eligible purchase charged to your Card, new travel purchases booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program, and eligible flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program.
2. Great rewards earn rates
With an earnings rate of 3 points per dollar on eligible dining in Canada, 2 points per dollar on eligible travel (including flights and hotels), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, you can rack up points on the Platinum Card fast. For example, let’s say you spend $10,000 on travel in a year, $400 on restaurants a month, and $1,000 a month on other purchases each month, you would earn 46,400 points by the end of the year. It should also be noted that throughout the year, American Express hosts special promotions that offer the ability to earn even more points at select retailers.
3. $200 in annual travel credit
When you apply for the Platinum Card, you instantly receive a $200 travel credit. This credit is an annual benefit that’s awarded on the anniversary of your card membership. You can redeem your credit when booking travel through American Express Travel.
4. Lounge access and premium airport benefits
A few credit cards now offer airport lounge access, but the Platinum Card is the only consumer credit card that gives you free unlimited entries. You’ll get access to over 1,200 Priority Pass lounges as well as the American Express Centurion lounges. Best of all, your credit card also allows you to bring in one guest to select lounges for free. For reference, a yearly Priority Pass standard membership would cost you $99 USD with an additional $32 USD per visit. That means after just four entries, you would have saved the equivalent of around $300 CAD.
Cardholders will also receive access to premium benefits when departing from or landing at Toronto Pearson Airport, including security bypass, discounted parking and valet car services.
5. Hotel status upgrades
As a Platinum Cardmember, you instantly get or enrol in the following hotel status upgrades: Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, Hilton Gold status, Radisson Gold status, and Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle Jade status. These upgrades offer benefits such as member discounts, additional points earned, room upgrades, free breakfast, early and late checkouts, and more. To normally qualify for these status upgrades, you would typically have to stay anywhere 20 to 40 nights per hotel.
6. Comprehensive travel insurance
If you’re flying abroad, you need travel insurance. Fortunately, you’re covered with the Platinum Card and its comprehensive travel insurance package. Cardholders under the age of 65 are covered for 15 consecutive days of travel, per trip. The card’s travel emergency medical insurance covers you up to $5,000,000 while trip cancellation and interruption insurance covers up to $2,500 per person up to a maximum of $5,000 and $6,000 respectively. Other travel insurance benefits you get includes flight delay, baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, car rental theft or damage, hotel and motel burglary, and travel accident.
The Platinum Card Benefits – At A Glance
American Express® Platinum Card®
Earn up to 80000 Membership Rewards® points:
- $699 annual fee
- Welcome Offer: 65,000 bonus points if $6,000 is spent on the card in the first 3 months.
- Plus earn a total of 10X the points on eligible eats and drinks purchases in Canada for the first 6 months of Cardmembership, up to a maximum of 50,000 points
- You can also earn 15,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 to 17 months of Cardmembership
- Enjoy complimentary benefits that offer an average value of $550 USD at over 1,000 extraordinary properties worldwide when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts
- Gain access to many leading hotel and car rental companies’ loyalty programs, including Marriott International, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group Americas, Hertz and Avis
- Apply by August 3, 2021 to take advantage of this incredible offer.
- $200 annual travel credit awarded on the anniversary of your card membership
- Earn 3 points per $1 on restaurants, 2 points per $1 on travel, and 1 point per $1 on everything else
- Get unlimited access to numerous airport lounges
- Travel insurance benefits: Travel emergency coverage; trip cancellation, and interruption insurance
- Toronto Pearson Airport benefits including security bypass, discounted parking and valet car services
- As a Charge 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
The Platinum Card is truly a frequent traveller’s dream card. In addition to the above benefits, you also get concierge service and Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits which further enhance your travel experience. The $699 fee may seem high, but the value you get is worth it.
This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.